“Well, that seemed to go very well.” The Duke, seeming quite pleased with playing his part, grinned at his wife before taking her hand and pressing a kiss. The Duchess pulled her hand away.
“Don’t count your chickens, Carrick. You know that if anyone can possibly ruin the outcome tonight, it would be your sons. They are both quite charmingly hopeless.” Glancing about the room, she smiled at the revelers in an encouraging way. Enticing them to continue with their fun and ignore the fact that four young people had just disappeared, unchaperoned, under dubious circumstances.
“Those young ladies are well-matched with your errant sons, m’dear. I think this will all go very well.”
“Carrick, you are ever the optimist. As much as I like Miss Steele, I fear that Christian has underestimated his opponent. As to Lady Katherine. We both know that she is not the problem.” She smiled fleetingly at Lady Montford as she waddled past, effectively dismissing the tiresome old biddy’s unwelcome approach.
“Would you care to wager?” Her Grace raised an eyebrow as her husband continued, “four gold sovereigns that there will be grandchildren on their way by Mistlemas.”
Her Grace laughed. “Grandchildren! Oh, I should like to take that wager, and I would gladly lose.”
“What happens now?” The Duke snatched up a glass of champagne from a passing footman.
“We hope that Sir Raymond remembers his lines.”