* Okay, I know I keep apologizing for the gigantic delays in posting this, but I really don’t mean to leave you all hanging. I’ve been kinda side-lined by a stupid sports accident, both my parents have been ill, and real life has just been a massive drain on my creativity, in general. ANYWAY, I promise you that I will finish this sucker as soon as I can. In the meantime, you might want to go back and re-read Part 15 to refresh your memory. To those of you who’ve continued to support me, thank you from the bottom of my heart. I continue to be grateful for your patience. *


‘ Second  Son ’

by  A. K. Naten



For disclaimers, etc., see Intro.




Now that Gwynneth’s lying-in period had ended, the time had come for the babies to be properly christened in a formal ceremony. However, what normally should have been a pleasant experience was turning into a dreadful one for the young Lady. 

The Lord and Lady hadn’t really discussed names for the children. They spoke of it only one time, briefly, with Anton saying that he’d like the children to be named after their ancestors. Gwynneth assumed that he meant his ancestors, as was the custom, but when she timidly said that she’d always wanted to name a daughter after her late mother, Anton merely smiled and nodded in apparent agreement. Gwynneth was overjoyed, however, it did not last for long.

One evening, as she was walking the halls, the young blonde overheard Anton and Lady Marina arguing. Forgoing her manners, Gwynneth had leaned toward the door and eavesdropped.

The Marchioness Dowager was obviously unhappy. She scolded Anton for waiting to christen the children in the first place – a complete sacrilege and disgrace, in her opinion – and now the older woman was insisting that Anton stick to tradition and name the children after Weldon ancestors. At first Anton laughed, telling Marina that everything he did was a sacrilege that went against tradition. Then he stated that he was satisfied with the names as they were. But, as Marina continued to sputter and say disparaging things about the House of Clarendon, Gwynneth got the distinct impression that her daughter would end up being named something altogether different.


The morning of the christening arrived quickly and everything proceeded smoothly. The ceremony was long and drawn-out, and the babies fussed mildly as the chaplain droned on. Gwynneth watched with apprehension as the chaplain went through each ritual:  breathing upon each baby’s face to exorcise evil spirits, signing the cross upon their bodies to symbol redemption, and placing blessed salt in their mouths so that they might receive wisdom. Both babies were crying in earnest by then, and when the moment arrived for the chaplain to ask for the names, Gwynneth closed her eyes, preparing herself for disappointment.

The little boy was held up, first to receive ablution. Anton murmured the name to the chaplain as the older man began to pour water on the boy’s head. “I bless thee and christen thee Edgar Joseph.” The child wailed aloud as the chaplain continued, “In the name of thy Father, and of thy Son, and of thy Holy Spirit...Amen.”

The little girl was then lifted up for the process to be repeated. Anton again gave the name, his soft voice drowned out by the sound of little Edgar’s cries. The chaplain proceeded, “I bless thee and christen thee Anna Catherine.” Gwynneth’s eyes flew open as she heard her mother’s name. “...In the name of thy Father, and of thy Son, and of thy Holy Spirit...Amen.”

White veils were placed on both infant’s heads and the chaplain held his hands above them, reciting the final blessings as everyone murmured their Amens. When the candle was finally lit and placed in Anton’s hand, tears began to stream down Gwynneth’s face. “May The Lord bless thee and keep thee. Go in peace. Amen.” The chaplain said in finality.


Gwynneth was exhausted. It had been a long day, and it was the first public outing for her. So many people had approached her, congratulating her and telling her how wonderful she looked and how lovely the children were. It was pleasant, yet tiring. She climbed the stairs slowly as she headed toward her room, her legs still shaky, even after much bed rest. As she neared Anton’s chambers, she thought that perhaps she’d stop and speak with him. They hadn’t really had a chance to be alone since the ceremony, and she wanted to thank him for giving little Anna her mother’s name.

As she neared the door, she could hear a voice, specifically, Lady Marina’s voice. Certain that the older woman was chastising Anton yet again, Gwynneth inched closer and shamefully eavesdropped once more.

“...Several people asked me if something was wrong with the two of you, for heavens sake!” The Marchioness Dowager’s voice was scolding.

“I don’t care if people think something’s wrong.” Anton answered flatly.

“Well you should!” Marina squawked. “You both looked terribly awkward. You acted awkward!”

“It was awkward, Mother! For Gods sake!” Anton finally shouted. “There were dozens of people there milling about, staring at me, staring at Gwynneth, staring at the children! People I don’t even know were congratulating me and calling me ‘Poppa’!  It was very uncomfortable!”

“Well it can’t be uncomfortable, Anton! You must be the father and portray yourself as happy and comfortable! Not disenchanted or indifferent!”

“I’m tired of portraying, Mother!”

Marina sighed and rubbed her temples in frustration, “I know you are, dear, but we don’t have much of a choice, do we?”

Gwynneth strained to hear Anton’s reply, but heard only movement and rustling.

“You and Gwynneth must act normal. You must act as happy and contented as you were before. People’s tongues are wagging as it is.”

“What do you mean?” Anton’s voice was sharp.

Marina sighed loudly again. “People are gossiping, you know how they do, saying that you’re unhappy with Gwynneth. Saying that you no longer need to play ‘happy couple’ and pretend to dote on your wife because you’ve gotten your heirs.”

“What?” Anton sounded genuinely incredulous.

Outside the door, Gwynneth’s heart clenched in a mixture of fear and anger.

“Oh come now, Anton, don’t act so surprised. You know that people are just assuming that you’ll do what most noblemen do. Once the wife has produced heirs, most men move on and find other women to dally with. It’s just what men do.”

“Well it’s not what I do!” Anton shouted. “I am not like those noblemen dogs!”

Gwynneth pressed her ear against the door, eager to hear everything. She could hear furniture being pushed or shoved as someone, most likely Anton, moved about angrily.

Marina sighed again, “Yes, dear, I know that you aren’t, but others don’t. Others expect you to behave the way most men behave.”

“And is that what you expect, Mother!?”

“No, I—” Marina began to protest but was cut off.

“Because I don’t care what others expect! And I don’t care what others think! I refuse to abandon Gwynneth, and I refuse to push her into something she isn’t prepared for! If it takes some time for our relationship to warm, then so be it! If we appear ill at ease in the meantime, then so be it! I don’t give a piss what anyone says or thinks of it!” The Marquess slammed a fist down onto her writing table, “Damn all those blasted gossiping fools! I hope their wagging tongues rot away and fall out of their vicious heads!”

“Anton, for Gods sake, calm down!” Marina admonished. “You needn’t get yourself so worked up. Why don’t you let me go and fix you a warm brandy.”

“No...thank you.” Anton sighed deeply and rubbed her face. “Just...just leave me, please. I’m very tired.”

Gwynneth decided that was her cue to leave. She pulled herself away from the door and scurried down the hallway toward her own room, glad that she was not discovered.

Once inside her room, the Lady laid down on her bed, her emotions jumbled and swirling. A part of her felt angry that people were so catty as to gossip about her relationship with Anton. Who were they to judge? They had no idea the hell the two of them had gone through in the past months. It had been enough to test any relationship.

On the other hand, Gwynneth couldn’t help but feel a little guilty about the rumors. She blamed herself for the obvious lack of affection between her and Anton. She was the one who was hesitant; she was the one who failed to be demonstrative, not Anton. She couldn’t help but wonder if indeed Anton might seek out another lover. Though he told his mother that he wouldn’t, the notion filled the Lady with insecurity.

As the winter winds whistled and gusted outside, Gwynneth started to cry. She cried for herself, she cried for Anton, and she cried for the conflicts between them that seemed to never end. As her eyes grew heavy and she began to drift off, she vowed to make up her mind about her husband and their relationship. She vowed to stop waffling and decide whether or not she could, and would, truly be a wife to Anton.



Weeks and weeks droned on until at last a glimmer of Spring slowly began to appear, thawing the snow and warming the air around Weldon. Inside Weldon, things were steadily growing warmer as well.

The Lord and Lady had been rebuilding their relationship slowly but successfully, moving things from a sort of casual friendship to a point where they were becoming emotionally and physically closer. They were getting reacquainted with one another, almost as if they were courting. Lately, however, their times together did not end with a simple peck upon the Lady’s hand. Lately, things were ending - and sometimes even beginning - with tender caresses and increasingly passionate kisses.

It was often quite maddening for Anton. As the kisses became more heated and urgent, and the touches more frequent and tantalizing, she found herself tempted to push further. If Gwynneth would just give her a sign or say the word, she would gladly bow down and worship her whole body and soul. But she didn’t want to move too quickly, lest she frighten the younger woman away for good. She knew Gwynneth still felt hesitant, and she knew why. Even though the blonde seemed to be comfortable with their increased kissing and touching, Anton still didn’t want to push too far too fast. Oh but it was difficult.

For her part, Gwynneth was enjoying the close bond that was developing between them once again. At times, she was able to forget the past and imagine that things were as they used to be, and she was none the wiser. She enjoyed the way the two of them made time to be with one another, strolling the manor grounds together and walking hand-in-hand like they used to, or sharing a quiet, intimate meal, often by candlelight. They would sit in the study and read to one another or talk about all sorts of things, steadily moving toward being personal and open with each other rather than stilted and formal. Gwynneth felt as though Anton was wooing her, and she was thoroughly enjoying it.

Even the more physical aspect of their time together was slowly becoming enjoyable to the Lady. Though she was still hesitant and unsure of herself at times, she was learning to let herself go and simply enjoy the kisses and simple touches. She was determined to relax and relish in the pleasure of being close with another human being, rather than remain fixated on how unusual a situation it was. Gwynneth had, for the most part, come to grips with the fact that Anton was who he was, but she nonetheless fretted about the heightened intimacy and potential physical direction of their relationship.

Through all their prior intimacies, Gwynneth had never thought they were anything other than a man and a woman. Once she discovered the truth, however, the Lady had difficulty getting past the notion that their couplings – and indeed their entire relationship – would be considered greatly unnatural and unconscionably sinful. If anyone knew the truth...if anyone knew that they had been two women loving each other all along...what would people say? What would become of them if they were discovered?

Gwynneth felt badly whenever she considered being with Anton as sinful or unnatural, because in her heart, she never truly felt that way when she and Anton were together. Even though she now knew the truth about her husband, Gwynneth could not deny the deep feelings that still dwelled inside her heart. Unnatural or not, she could not deny that she was still drawn to Anton in the most emotional, spiritual, and physical ways.

She was a little ashamed to admit that she was frightened by the mere idea of being sexually intimate with another woman. Being with a woman was not only absolutely forbidden by the church, it was also a completely foreign concept to her. When they had been together before, Gwynneth thought Anton was a man because he had functioned completely as a man. But what would he do now? Would it be like before; would he still want to be with her as a man? Or would he at last reveal his true self to her? Would she finally be allowed to touch and feel the real Anton...the Anton who was – a woman? And what on earth would they do? What could two women do together? And then there was the worry that if they were to come together, as two women, would God strike both of them down for such a sacrilege? For knowingly committing such a terrible sin?

Thus far, Gwynneth had been able to convince herself that being close to Anton and rebuilding their relationship - even kissing and touching him - was not such a wretched crime. However, when things became heated, when the touching and kissing veered into sexual territory...that’s when Gwynneth’s fears stirred. That’s when she felt the twinges of guilt over who they were and what they were doing.

It wasn’t her fault that she felt these conflicts.  She had been raised and taught that sex was something a man and woman did only for necessity; only for purposes of procreation. Being the weaker and more inferior of the two sexes, women were the ones who tended to revert to their most primal, animalistic urges. They succumbed to lust and arousal, desiring sex simply for pleasure. They were easily tempted and seduced by the devil, willingly falling prey to the more wicked nature of sex. It was the duty of the men, the husbands, to ensure that the wicked woman was properly chastised and kept under thumb. Any woman who felt lust or sought pleasure was evil and full of sin. These were the beliefs and teachings of the church; this was the stuff that had been pounded into Gwynneth’s head all her life. Until she met Anton.

With Anton, sex had been pleasurable...perhaps not initially, but in time. Anton showed her that sex was not a bad thing; he encouraged her pleasure, and she eventually enjoyed it a great deal. Initially, Gwynneth did feel guilty and sinful; but over time, those feelings eased until she nearly forgot them. She was happy with Anton, and the feelings of desire and pleasure easily went hand in hand with that happiness. They had loved each other, and Gwynneth had decided that it could not be wrong to enjoy sex with a husband you loved.

But things were different now. Desiring a woman...knowingly having sexual relations with a woman...that was very different. It was a much greater sin than simply enjoying sex; it was extraordinarily blasphemous. Gwynneth knew the position of the church in such matters; she supposed she could once again try to forget, but it would not be easy. Though Anton was still her husband, she now knew that physically, he was a woman. Having sex with Anton could never be for procreative purposes; it could only be for pleasure. It was unnatural. It was a sin.

So, Gwynneth’s dilemma was two-fold: could she ignore the preachings of the church and overcome her guilty feelings enough to willingly be intimate with a woman? And, did she dare tempt the probable reprimand of God by knowingly committing such a sin? Did she love Anton enough to do these things? The worries and questions overwhelmed the young woman and made her head spin.

Sometimes Gwynneth fantasized about tempting fate and God by acting impulsively and just throwing herself at her husband. She fancied going to him and sitting herself upon his lap, kissing him lasciviously while running her hands through his dark hair. Or just reaching out and embracing him, telling him that she cared so much for him still and wanted very badly to show him. ...If only she had the courage to try...if only she knew what to do.

The Lady knew that it would be up to her to take the next step or give an indication that she was ready to move forward. Anton was clearly waiting for her; she just needed to work up the nerve to do or say something. She was sure that Anton must be frustrated, and she hated feeling so ambivalent. Things had definitely become more heated between them, and although Anton always remained polite and restrained, his burning kisses and tender caresses were slowly breaking down Gwynneth’s walls of doubt. She hated that she faltered as soon as they became too passionate. She did not want to falter. She did not want to feel guilt – about anything.

Gwynneth told herself over and over that she was a fool to worry about sinning and being unnatural. They really had been unnatural all along, and they had already committed sin numerous times - she simply hadn’t been aware of it. She wondered, then, if perhaps they had already been punished by God. Couldn’t Anton’s terrible battle injuries and all their trials and tribulations have served as penance for them? Hadn’t they paid a price with their turbulent relationship? Had they not suffered enough? Gwynneth wanted to believe that God was loving and merciful. She wanted to believe that He would not overlook the fact that she and Anton genuinely cared deeply for each other, and were good to each other. Surely a benevolent God would not fault two people for truly caring and loving one another, no matter what their gender.

The Lady told herself that she should forget about the possibility of sin or no sin, and just make a decision. She just hoped that if she managed to work up the gumption to do something, Anton would take the lead and be as gentle and understanding as he always used to be.


The dawn broke sunny and unusually warm. Anton arose early and decided, after strolling through the gardens, that it would be a perfect day to take a ride through the western valley and have a picnic along one of the creeks that bordered Weldon.

The Marquess chose not to tell Gwynneth where they were headed nor what they were doing. The young mother had a tendency to fret and worry about the children if she were given too much advance notice, so Anton was learning that she had to take the blonde by surprise if she wanted to get her out of the castle. After speaking with several ladies maids, she successfully arranged for the children to stay at home and be attended to, then she sent word for Gwynneth’s maid to prepare the Lady immediately for an outing on horseback.


Though she wasn’t overly keen on leaving her children for an extended period of time, the Lady was grateful that her husband arranged some time away for the two of them. Anton often surprised her with little pleasantries, and as they trotted along on their horses, she looked over at him and smiled, thinking how sweet and considerate he really was. They chatted lightly about various things until they reached a quiet little creek that meandered lazily through a grassy meadow. A wide watering hole formed at one of the bends, and once they’d unloaded the horses, Anton lead the beasts over to the hole to drink and rest.

Gwynneth spread the blanket out on the grass and began to snoop through the baskets and satchels, eager to see what goodies Anton had secretly packed them for the picnic lunch. Sweetbreads, cheeses and fruits were laid out, and the Lord and Lady sat back and thoroughly enjoyed themselves amid the burgeoning flowers and crisp country air.

They talked while they ate, discussing everything from the weather to politics. When the subject of the children came up, Gwynneth finally decided to express thanks to her husband. They were still seated on the blanket, Anton lying on his back, his hands clasped behind his head while Gwynneth sat beside him.

The Lady felt a tiny rush of nervousness as she cleared her throat, “Anton, I wanted to give you my thanks.”

Blue eyes rolled over to look at her, “For what?”

“The christening,” Gwynneth said. When Anton gave her a puzzled look, she continued. “For naming Anna Catherine after my mother.”

Anton smiled, “You don’t need to thank me for that. It was what you wanted.”

“Yes, but...” she hesitated, “well, it wasn’t what your mother wanted. And perhaps it wasn’t what you wanted either...” she trailed off uncertainly.

Anton frowned and sat up, scooting closer to the blonde. She reached out and took the small hands in hers, locking their gazes together. “Gwynneth, what my mother wants isn’t important. I want you to have what you want, and I strive to give it to you because I want you to be happy.”

Tears immediately sprang to Gwynneth’s eyes, “Thank you, Anton.” The words strained against the tightness of her throat and she smiled faintly, trying to maintain her composure.

Anton moved even closer, her voice low and soft, “Are you happy, Gwynneth?”

The Lady looked up into eyes of sky blue and felt her heart flutter.

“After everything that’s happened...are you happy here with me?”

Gwynneth heard the uncertain question in the soft voice and read the multitude of feelings in the clear, light eyes. Worry, fear, anxiety...they were emotions she knew well; she just never figured that Anton was feeling them too. She didn’t want him to feel that way. She didn’t want either of them to feel it. She wanted them to be happy, and in truth, she was. She lived very comfortably on a lovely estate; she had two beautiful children who were healthy and thriving; and she had a husband who was good to her, and the babies. Even though Anton was not the typical husband and their relationship was not what it used to be, Gwynneth decided that, yes, she had much to be happy about.

She reached up to cup Anton’s cheek and gaze into his eyes, “Yes, Anton, I am. I am happy.”

The heartfelt words touched Anton deep inside. A warm feeling of gratitude, as well as a sense of relief, washed over her and she smiled. Sliding a hand around Gwynneth’s neck, she drew her toward her and leaned in, gently touching their lips together.

It felt as though the words they’d shared served to strengthen the connection they’d been rebuilding. Both of them felt it; felt undeniably closer.

Again their mouths met, the kisses slow and purposeful. Gwynneth closed her eyes and made herself relax to absorb the contact and relish the closeness. She reached up and ran her fingers through Anton’s dark hair, moaning softly when she felt herself being lowered onto the blanket. Anton leaned over her and pressed their mouths together more firmly, their kisses becoming deeper, more passionate.

Gwynneth felt her lips and tongue being suckled and she moaned again, feeling a spark of desire flare. It surprised her, but she was determined to let herself go; determined to give free reign to her tentative feelings. She kissed Anton back, suckling his lips, exploring and tasting him, her pulse racing as they kissed with more urgency. She wrapped her arms around his shoulders, feeling a rush of sensations fill her as she opened her legs beneath her skirts and his body came to rest between them. A hot shiver raced through her as she realized that she could feel her husband’s manhood, or whatever it was, pressing against her intimately. The Lady felt her face flush and she nearly faltered with her kisses, so taken aback was she.

Gwynneth was well aware that Anton must wear some kind of ‘prop’ to give the appearance of being a man. She had noticed his manly appearance before, but of course didn’t think much of it. Not until she came to know the truth. Now the realization that this ‘prop’ was suggestively pressing against her left her feeling a little unsettled. What was it, exactly? What did it look like? Would Anton permit her to see it? Touch it?

At that thought, Gwynneth blushed furiously and released a soft groan. She felt Anton answer back with a gentle push of his hips, the unknown bulge pressing against her even more intimately. Despite her disconcert, Gwynneth felt her desire roar forth again, nearly taking her breath away. She was overwhelmed with sensation and emotion and finally whimpered as she faltered at last. Pulling away from the kisses, Gwynneth broke the delicious but unsettling contact.

Anton let her forehead fall to the blanket, her breathing ragged. She had been so aroused that she had failed to restrain herself, letting her desire get the best of her. Apparently it went too far for Gwynneth. It certainly seemed that the young woman was enjoying the heated exchange, but perhaps the increased physicality was too much, or maybe not wanted at all? Lifting her head up, Anton gazed down upon her wife. The pale face was flushed, cheeks tinged a pleasant pink. Rosebud lips were parted and Gwynneth was breathing raggedly, her blue-green eyes glazed as she raised them up to her. Anton could tell that Gwynneth was as moved as she was; it was obvious that she was aroused. So why did she stop? If the younger woman was excited by their activities, then her hesitation must be due to something else. But what?

Anton worried that she would never know when, or if, her wife might be ready to be sexually intimate with her. She didn’t want to be frustrated, but she couldn’t help but feel it. She needed to know what the future held before she went insane.

Gwynneth felt that she should say something, explain her hesitancy, but she could not find a voice for what she was feeling. She could only stare up at her husband, taking in the planes of his face, his kind eyes, his gentle expression. He was such a beautiful soul; why couldn’t she just forge ahead and show him how she felt? She felt the sting of tears behind her eyes and she reached up to touch Anton’s face, wanting to tell him that she was sorry...wanting to tell him that she did love him, but that she needed his patience and understanding.

Anton shifted her hands so that they held Gwynneth’s head. She stroked the blonde hair gently, aware that the younger woman was near tears. “Gwynneth,” Anton whispered, their lips nearly touching, “if I ask you a question, do you promise to answer it truthfully?”

Gwynneth blinked in surprise, “Yes, of course.” She rasped, her throat tight with unshed sorrow and a slight feeling of dread.

Anton stared at her then closed her eyes. She whispered, her heart in her throat, “If I were to come to you and ask you to be with me...” she paused, hesitant to speak her want, “to lie with me, as my wife...as my lover...”

Gwynneth’s eyes widened. Her chest constricted and her stomach began to churn.

Anton opened her eyes and looked at Gwynneth, “...what answer would you give me?”

The two of them stared as Gwynneth tried to formulate an answer. She licked her lips and swallowed, her heart pounding beneath her ribs. She could not deny that she had been aroused, but she was also afraid to proceed further. She was still uncertain, and she knew she had to be honest about it.

“I...I cannot deny that I enjoy being close with you, Anton, and I feel very...drawn to you, still.” Anton quirked a small smile. “I just...” Gwynneth paused and blinked long, “I...I’m...” she stammered and shook her head, looking for the words, “I’m afraid.” The words came out as a shameful whisper.

Anton’s eyes dropped and her heart sunk. Afraid? Of what? ...Of me? ...Of being with me? She thought hard for a moment. Or perhaps of what it would mean for us to be together now that she knows the truth?

Anton had long ago become accustomed to going against convention and the teachings of the church. She was able to ignore all thoughts and perceptions of sin; she had to in order to survive. But, she realized, Gwynneth probably did not feel that way. The young Lady had been raised quite differently, and even though Anton felt as though she’d made strides with convincing Gwynneth to feel and act more freely, their unusual situation might be too much. It was one thing to unwittingly go against convention and commit a sin, but now that Gwynneth knew the truth, she might feel differently.

The Marquess closed her eyes and sighed quietly, trying to hide her dejection. Gwynneth’s response was not a complete turndown, it was just an admission. Anton supposed it was an understandable one; still, she couldn’t help but feel a stab of hurt. She’s afraid to be with me because of what I am.

Gwynneth saw her husband’s reaction and felt badly. She didn’t want to hurt Anton. She loved him.  I do, she thought, sudden clarity gripping her, I do love him.

Before another word could be spoken, Anton moved off of Gwynneth and rolled to her side. Staying close, she leaned in and touched the blonde’s face, bringing their eyes together again. “Gwynneth,” Anton began in a low whisper, “I do not mean to tempt you into something you perceive as...shameful or unnatural. And I certainly would not force you to do anything you’re not comfortable with.”

Surprised at her husband’s perceptiveness, Gwynneth shook her head and opened her mouth to deny his words, but Anton held a finger to her lips, quieting her.

“Just know this – I love you, and I desire you. If that makes me the most wretched kind of sinner, then so be it. I do not care whether or not I am judged. I cannot prevent my feelings, nor will I try to.” 

The Lady’s face flushed with shame and her heart thudded so loudly she was certain the noise could be heard across the entire meadow.  Why couldn’t she be as brave as Anton? Why couldn’t she just forget what others thought and follow her heart?

Anton leaned in closer, “I miss you, Gwynneth...I miss what we had together.” With that, she leaned in and kissed Gwynneth deeply, passionately, wanting to deliver her message loud and clear.

They broke apart and Gwynneth stared into smoky blue eyes, a rush of emotion and excitement coursing through her.

“I shall wait for you. If you decide that you are ready to move forward, I shall be here.” Anton gently trailed her hand across Gwynneth’s face then moved away. She stood up and brushed her pants off, her gaze pointedly kept away as she spoke again. “We should be getting back. I’ll fetch the horses.”


...To Be Continued in Part 17...

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