tagNovels and NovellasMarrying for Money Ch. 11

Marrying for Money Ch. 11


The next afternoon, Dr. Blackwell dropped by to check on his patient. He changed the bandage on Trevor's shoulder, grunting his approval when he saw that the skin around the wound looked healthy and pink, and he noted that Trevor's cheeks were regaining some of their usual vitality.

When he finished his task, the doctor sat back on the side of the bed. There was a twinkle in his eye as he watched a frowning Trevor, sitting propped up in the bed with his wife fussing to make sure his pillows were just right and he was comfortable. The good doctor could clearly see that Trevor was going to be a reluctant patient and his beautiful wife was turning out to be a strict nurse. Dr. Blackwell exchanged glances with Steven who was lounging against a bedpost, and both men grinned.

Trevor frowned with impatience, squirming under Leanna's relentless attentions. "Doc, when can I get up? I'm tired of lying in this bed."

Dr. Blackwell chuckled, remembering that Trevor had never liked being sick. It had been the same when he had gotten the measles when he was seven and when he had broken a leg at the age of twelve. Back then, it had been Trevor's mother trying to make him rest, but now it was his wife's responsibility. Dr. Blackwell shook his head.

"You need to stay in that bed for at least a few more days." He held up a hand to stop the younger man, when he opened his mouth to protest. "No, not another word!" The doctor leaned over and fixed him with a reproving glare. "Do you want your poor wife to be worried sick about you?"

Trevor's mouth snapped shut, and he looked instantly contrite as his eyes went to Leanna. He had to admit that she still looked tired following his illness, and he mentally groaned. For her sake, he kept quiet but he didn't know how much longer he could stand being an invalid.

Dr. Blackwell looked at Leanna from over the rim of his glasses as he stood up to leave, and there was a definite twinkle in the old man's eyes. "Make sure he stays in bed. I don't want him doing anything that's going to open up the wound now that it's finally mending." He picked up his bag and started toward the door, but turned back to look at Trevor. "I'll be gone for the next few days. I have to visit my sister over in Richmond. Until I get back," he gestured to Leanna, "she's in charge. You're not to get out of that bed until she says it's alright."

Steven escorted the doctor out, leaving Leanna standing beside the bed. Her arms were crossed as she gave Trevor a stern look. He raised his eyebrows, trying to appear innocent, while his cheeks flushed under her steady regard. He squirmed uneasily.

"What? Why are you looking at me like that?"

Leanna couldn't help but laugh. "You look like a naughty little boy. You think I don't know that you're already plotting how to get out of that bed, but you'll do no such thing. You heard the doctor, you need to rest." Pausing to ensure that she had his attention Leanna continued in the same no-nonsense tone. "Now, please try to eat something." She sat down on the side of the bed and started to feed him spoonfuls of rich soup that Camilla had brought in for his lunch. "Here, eat this, it's good for you."

"You're turning out to be a bossy wife," Trevor grumbled irritably.

Still, he obediently swallowed the soup, watching his wife as she concentrated on her task. Each time she fed him a spoonful, she leaned toward him, being careful not to spill any on his chest. His frown disappeared abruptly when he glanced down and noticed that from his vantage point, he had an enticing view of the shadowed valley between her full breasts. He decided that being an invalid had its advantages, especially if one had such a beautiful nurse.

Leanna had fed him almost the entire bowl of soup when she stopped with the spoon raised halfway to his mouth and frowned, raising one delicate eyebrow. "What are you grinning about?" she asked suspiciously.

Trevor gave her another innocent look and tried to shrug until he was reminded of his shoulder and winced. Leanna immediately set the bowl back on the side table and reached around him to adjust his pillows, trying to make him more comfortable.

"Lie still," she scolded, "you'll hurt your shoulder."

As Leanna stretched her arms behind him, the side of her breast brushed his cheek. Trevor closed his good arm around her waist, startling a little yelp of surprise out of her when he buried his face in her bosom.

"Trevor," she gasped, trying to sound outraged, but sounding breathless instead. "What do you think you're doing?"

Trevor chuckled, nuzzling his face between her breasts. "Mmmm," came his muffled reply. "I'm having dessert!"


Over the next few days, Trevor continued to improve, quickly regaining his strength under his wife's tender care. She fussed and coddled, coaxed and scolded, repeatedly reminding him to "lie still or you'll hurt your shoulder." She repeated that phrase so often he thought he might go insane. In the end, he decided it really wasn't too bad being bedridden, when he had such a charming companion to help him pass the time.

Leanna was always nearby, changing his bandages, reading to him, talking with him, feeding him, sometimes just sitting beside him in the big bed, her head resting on his good shoulder. Trevor was becoming increasingly ravenous for his wife, especially since she was always so close by, but she steadfastly refused his advances, insisting that he wasn't strong enough for such activity.

Leanna couldn't stop worrying about her husband, and the fear she had faced from thinking she might lose him was slow to dissipate. Her continuing concern for his welfare kept her from seeing just how well he was recovering. It was inevitable that the situation would eventually come to a head.

Trevor's constant cajoling eventually persuaded Leanna to pronounce him fit enough to get out of the bed, but only for short walks around their bedroom. She adamantly refused to let him go downstairs.

It was nearly two weeks after the shooting when Leanna helped Trevor into the tub, making sure he kept his shoulder dry, while she fussed over his bath. Trevor's eyes followed her movements with burning intensity as she carefully scrubbed his body in the steaming water. When she reached to wash between his thighs, she discovered his manhood, already enlarged and throbbing. Trevor blushed like a schoolboy.

"I thought you never wanted me to bathe you with a cloth again," Leanna quipped, glancing at him mischievously from under her lashes.

Trevor merely growled and looped his arm behind her neck, bringing her close enough to receive his hungry kiss. When he finally released her lips, they were both breathing raggedly. The intense desire burning in his eyes belied the casualness of his tone as he answered her.

"I changed my mind," he growled.

Finished with the bath, Trevor stood up, and Leanna toweled him off before leading him back to the bed. He sat on its edge, but when Leanna turned to get him some clean clothes, he grabbed her hand and hauled her onto his lap. Ignoring her squeal of protest, he cupped one of her breast in his palm, kneading the tender flesh as he trailed kisses down the side of her neck.

"Trevor," she groaned.

Leanna was exasperated by his persistence and her own body's rebellious response to his lovemaking. He quickly had her bodice unbuttoned and was working on the tiny buttons of her chemise, while her hands desperately tried to subdue his groping ones.

"Stop that! You know you're not strong enough to be doing this yet!"

To prove her wrong, Trevor lay back on the bed and rolled to pin Leanna's delectable, squirming form beneath him. He captured both her wrists in one of his hands and easily held them above her head on the mattress, while his other hand returned to its mission of dispensing with the remainder of her buttons. When he bared her breasts to his gaze, they were both panting raggedly.

"Don't move," he growled, his eyes devouring her and his voice sounding positively primitive. Without warning, he greedily sucked one of her nipples into the hot cavern of his mouth. Leanna gasped, instinctively arching her back. "Don't move, my little whore." He spoke softer this time but with unmistakable command in his voice. His lips parted in a naughty grin as he bent his head back to her breast, using her own words against her. "Lie still or you'll hurt my shoulder."

"But Trevor, you really aren't strong enough to be doing this!"

"Quiet! Remember? You are mine anytime and anywhere I want. I choose now and here."

Leanna moaned when his fingers found their way to her pussy. She was slick and throbbing and oh so needy. As he slid two fingers inside her and used his thumb to stroke her clit, she couldn't help but rock her hips against his hand. He brought her to a swift climax, and she clenched his fingers deep inside her as waves of pleasure washed over her.

Trevor waited for her to float back to earth before he grinned down at her. "My turn."

He proceeded to show his surprised wife what a remarkable recovery he had made. As he sank into her heat again and again, it was Leanna who felt weak...with passion.


That night, the Grayson family gathered for a celebratory dinner. As they dressed before the meal, Trevor noticed that Leanna was wearing one of her new gowns that had been delivered the day before.

"Come here," he beckoned her softly.

Leanna came to stand before him, and when he motioned, she pirouetted in a small circle under his watchful gaze. The gown was sewn of wine colored silk, and it lovingly conformed to the full curves of her bosom before falling from a high waistline to elegantly drape over her slender hips. The color of the fabric accentuated the creaminess of her ivory skin and brought out twin spots of rosy color in her cheeks.

"Do you like it?" she asked, knowing by the gleam in his sapphire eyes that he definitely did.

Trevor hooked an arm behind her waist and pulled her against his hard frame. "Umm," he murmured, nuzzling the sensitive spot just behind one of her dainty ears. "If we weren't already late for dinner, I would show you just how much I like it."

Leanna's eyes misted with happy tears, and she hugged her husband tightly. "I love you," she whispered.

Trevor straightened and looked down into her shining eyes. "I love you too," he softly replied.

Dinner that night was a festive affair. Many toasts were drunk to Trevor's recovery, his reunion with Leanna, and to the future good fortune of the entire Grayson family. It was over dessert that Trevor raised his glass once more and cleared his throat to gain everyone's attention. His gaze rested on Leanna for a few moments, and their eyes locked in mutual adoration.

"Steven, Amanda," he finally said, "Leanna and I would like to announce that the Grayson family will soon be expanded to include one more member."

There was a moment of silence before Amanda squealed in delight. She rose and ran to Leanna, enfolding her sister-in-law in a fond embrace. Meanwhile, Steven whooped his delight and raised his glass in salute to his brother before drinking deeply of its contents. When he spoke, his voice was laced with good humor and shared masculine pride.

"Well, that certainly didn't take you long, big brother. So when can I expect to become an uncle."

Leanna laughed and flushed delightfully, exchanging a warm glance with her husband before replying. "Sometime in late September."

"Oh, that's wonderful," Amanda cried. "So how are you feeling? Tell me everything."

The two women turned, forgetting to even excuse themselves from the table, and walked arm-in-arm into the parlor. Since Leanna's return, she and Amanda had developed a warm, loving friendship, and they chattered incessantly throughout the remainder of the evening, their gleaming heads close together. Not only were they discussing the new baby, but Amanda had postponed the ball because of the shooting. Now that Trevor was recovering well, the two women were absorbed with planning the upcoming festivities. At one point while finalizing the list of guests, Amanda grimaced.

"I haven't invited Eliza yet. I don't think we should after everything she's done."

Leanna tensed for a moment but then squeezed Amanda's hand and smiled. "While I would rather not invite her, to exclude her would be a slight against her entire family. I know Trevor and Steven are both very good friends with her brother Tom. I wouldn't want to offend Tom in any way. Please invite her."

Amanda didn't look convinced. "But Leanna, after everything she's done to try and come between you and Trevor, I don't want her doing anything to ruin your enjoyment of the ball."

Leanna's smile was serene and a bit dreamy. "Now that I know that Trevor loves me and not her, she can't hurt me anymore. Even if she slings her little jibes and insults, they don't mean anything. Any hold she may once have held over my husband died long ago."

"You are a wise woman," Amanda whispered. "I'm proud to have you as my sister." The two women embraced, and then got back to the business at hand.

While the party plans were being finalized in the parlor, Trevor and Steven adjourned to the study for another game of chess. After Trevor had sat motionless for several minutes without making a move, Steven's curiosity got the better of him.

"So why are you so preoccupied tonight, big brother. Aren't you pleased that Leanna is expecting?"

Trevor blinked, realizing he had been lost in thought and released a pensive sigh. "It's not that. Of course, I'm overjoyed. I've known for a long time that I wanted to become a father." He met Steven's eye and gave him a troubled frown. "Between the two of us, I'm worried. I don't want to alarm Leanna, but I'm convinced that the incident with the highwaymen was not just a random act. Those men were waiting for us and no one else."

Steven frowned and sat forward in his chair. "What makes you think that?" He listened intently as Trevor explained his reasoning, and he had to agree that it sounded more like a planned execution than a robbery gone sour. "Why didn't you tell me any of this before?" he asked quietly.

Trevor gave a sheepish grin. "Until tonight, I haven't had a moment alone with you. Leanna has been fussing over me like a little bantam hen with her chicks."

Steven lifted a brow in skepticism. "Oh, I've noticed how you've been suffering under her care. It must have been hard being tended by such an unpleasant nurse."

Trevor released a long suffering sigh, but the corners of his mouth twitched. "Indeed! You have no idea what I've had to endure." He couldn't suppress a lecherous grin at the memory of his earlier bath and the events that had followed. "Why, it was torture getting her to allow me to come down for dinner."

Steven threw back his head, and his hearty laughter rang out until his brother joined him. When their mirth finally subsided, Steven said quietly, "Much as I would like to disagree with your reasoning, I think you're right. There is cause to be concerned. But other than waiting and hoping the blackguards will be caught, what can we do?"

"I don't know," Trevor said quietly. He slowly rose and crossed to the mantle, where he stood for a few moments staring into the fire. "I can't shake this feeling I have that someone is out to hurt our family, and I'm particularly worried about Leanna's safety."

"Why Leanna's safety? It was you they tried to kill," Steven pointed out.

"I know, but my gut instinct is telling me that Leanna could be in danger. Maybe I'm just being overly protective, but I intend to make sure Leanna is kept safe. And whatever we do, I don't want Leanna to know about my concerns." When Steven looked like he would argue, Trevor raised a hand to silence him. "Steven, Leanna is pregnant. The last thing I want is for her to start worrying and fretting over me. She's been through enough of that as it is, and it's not good for her or the baby."

Trevor returned to his chair, dropping into it with a weary sigh. "For now, I'm going to concentrate on getting my strength back. I still get tired at the least exertion. As long as I'm recovering, I can count on Leanna to remain within my sight, and therefore, I'll know she's safe. But once I'm better, I'm going to need your help to ensure Leanna is guarded at all times."

Steven nodded his agreement. "You know you can count on me. Between the two of us and Amanda, we should be able to ensure she is seldom out of our sight."

"Umm," Trevor murmured. He looked at Steven intently from under his brows. "But I don't want her to know. I don't want her to worry." At Steven's nod of acquiescence, Trevor sighed with relief and fatigue. "Good. Now, I think I'll retire for tonight."

Trevor rose and gave Steven a mischievous grin, waggling his brows in emphasis. "Would you be so kind as to send my nurse up to me? I need to be tucked into bed." With that, he turned and made his way up the stairs, his brother's chuckles of glee echoing up to him.


The afternoon of the ball, the Grayson household was a hive of activity. Trevor had fully recovered, and only an occasional twinge in his shoulder continued to bother him. Still, Leanna refused to let him do very much to help them prepare, insisting that he rest so he would be fit for the evening's festivities. Trevor didn't mind too much. He knew Leanna and Amanda had plenty of help from the servants, and he honestly preferred to avoid being underfoot during their last minute frenzy.

The ballroom was transformed into a fragrant fairyland under the guidance of the two Grayson women. Bouquets of flowers were liberally scattered about the room, and yards of colorful fabric had been draped along the walls, lending the room a dramatic flair. Everything had been polished and waxed until it shone, and the light from the dozens of candles in the chandeliers reflected off all the furniture and the gleaming parquet floors. It was mid March, still too cold to open the French doors onto the terrace, but inside the ballroom, it looked like Spring.

The final preparations were completed in plenty of time for Leanna to luxuriate in a steaming bath before dressing for the evening. Trevor could hear her humming a cheerful tune, as she soaked in the huge claw footed tub. Normally, he would have been drawn to the dressing room, unable to resist the temptation of watching his wife bathe, but this night, he had other plans.

While Leanna enjoyed her bath, Trevor was busy preparing her surprise. He removed a large box from the back of his armoire where he had hidden it and carefully unwrapped its contents. A grin of anticipation lit his face as he lifted out the garment. Mrs. White had truly outdone herself with this one, he thought. He smoothed the dress out on the bed and quickly laid out the accompanying undergarments and slippers.

Trevor hastily donned his formal evening attire, relieved that his wife liked to take her time in the bath. When he was dressed, he silently moved a comfortable chair into the shadowed corner of the room where he wouldn't be immediately noticed and settled in to wait for Leanna.

Moments later, she emerged from the bathing chamber dressed in a satin robe and still humming a tune as she pulled the pins loose from her upswept hair. As her hair tumbled down around her shoulders, she stopped, spotting the gown on the bed. Leanna gasped with pleasure and ran to the bed to admire the dress.

The gown was of the finest quality midnight blue velvet, and the neckline, sleeves and a multitude of small darts surrounding the bodice had been stitched with gold thread. More gold thread had been used to embroider an intricate design around the neckline, cuffs and waist. The fabric and workmanship were exquisite. It was a gown fit for a princess, and Leanna felt completely overwhelmed. Her hands traced the fabric lovingly, wonder etched on her beautiful features, before she turned her attention to the undergarments and slippers. The stockings, petticoats and chemise had all been sewn from the finest silk Leanna had ever seen, while the slippers were made from the same blue velvet as the dress. Finally, there was a new satin corset trimmed with yards of French lace that was specially designed to give her a bit more room around her belly while still holding her in at the waist.

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