Tremaine's True Love

Tremaine's True Love Read Online Free PDF

Book: Tremaine's True Love Read Online Free PDF
Author: Grace Burrowes
reference had likely been to lameness rather than digestive upset. He continued to visually inspect the sheep, his dark brows knitted, as if he had heard those three unladylike words but could not credit that they’d come from her.
    “An excellent point, Lady Nita.”
    Heat, incongruous in the cold, crept up Nita’s cheeks.
    And now, Mr. St. Michael studied her. “A bit of color becomes you—not that your ladyship needs becoming.”
    Mr. St. Michael was in trade , he lacked genteel English good looks, and his antecedents were all wrong, and yet when he smiled…
    When he smiled at Nita, spring arrived early in Kent. Tremaine St. Michael’s eyes crinkled, his mouth curved up, and a conspiratorial good humor beamed from him that took Nita’s breath.
    His smile also made Nita foolish, for she wanted badly to smile back. “What do I need, Mr. St. Michael, if not becoming?”
    Off by the stone fence, a sheep bleated plaintively.
    “Perhaps your ladyship needs befriending?”
    Marvelous response. How long had it been since Nita had had a friend? She stood among the sheep, who were milling ever closer, and wished Mr. St. Michael were not merely one of Nicholas’s business acquaintances who’d be gone from Belle Maison by this time next week.
    “A friend is a precious treasure,” Nita said, though Susannah or Kirsten would have had some handy quote to serve up instead.
    A moment developed, with Mr. St. Michael’s nearness protecting Nita from the bitter breeze and Nita wishing she’d had that handy quote, or that George would come whistling down the lane, or that Nicholas had not been dragooned into meeting with the vicar.
    The wind blew a strand of Nita’s hair across her mouth—Susannah and Kirsten would also have pinned their coiffures more securely. Mr. St. Michael tucked the lock behind Nita’s ear. The sensation of heat in the midst of cold assailed her again, while her insides blossomed with more of that early spring.
    Whatever Mr. St. Michael might have said on the subject of friendship was interrupted by the same sheep, bleating more loudly. Mr. St. Michael swung about, toward the far fence, and cocked his head.
    “Something’s amiss.” He marched off in the direction of the bleating sheep, the other ewes scampering from his path.
    Had that particular bleating not conveyed distress, Mr. St. Michael’s brisk pace across the hard ground would have. Nita followed, though dread trickled into her belly as the bleating ewe came into view.
    A small, dark, woolly lump lay steaming on the frozen earth before her.
    “You’ve an early arrival,” St. Michael said, kneeling by the ewe. “A wee tup-lamb.”
    The little beast wasn’t moving, and what manner of god allowed an animal to be born wet and tiny in this cold? Nita cut that thought off—she and the Almighty were not in charity with each other.
    “Is he dead?” she asked.
    “Not yet,” Mr. St. Michael replied, unbuttoning his greatcoat. “But the mother can do little for him once she’s given him a good licking over. At least this ewe didn’t abandon her young. Hard to save the ones orphaned at birth.”
    He continued to unbutton—his coat, his jacket, his waistcoat, his shirt even—while Nita endured a familiar blend of helplessness and anger.
    “Why did it come so early?” she murmured. So lethally, stupidly early.
    “Some of them just do,” Mr. St. Michael replied, “and some come late, and a good shepherd knows which ewes are close to delivering, which are yeld, and which will have late lambs. Had winter been mild and spring early, this fellow would have had advantages over his younger cousins. Take my gloves.”
    Nita scooped them up and set them aside, a fine pair of riding gloves lined with some kind of fur.
    Mr. St. Michael stroked a bare hand over the lamb, who was breathing in shallow, shivery pants. The ewe stamped a hoof and came closer.
    Maybe, like Nita, she dreaded to see the little one suffer and dreaded more to see Mr. St.
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