Second Chance with the Millionaire

By: Penny Jordan



There had been a time, just before her father married Fanny, when she had made a bid for freedom, suggesting that she leave the newly married couple alone and move to London, but Fanny had pleaded with her to stay.

Almost from the moment of her mother’s death Lucy had run the house—not through choice but through necessity—and Fanny had claimed that the thought of taking over from her totally overwhelmed her. And so, despite her misgivings, she had stayed, trying not to feel too guilty about the waste of a perfectly good degree and the loss of her personal independence.

Since then her life had been busy rather than fulfilling. There were certain responsibilities incumbent on living in the Manor, certain local charities her mother had taken an interest in and helped, and this mantle had now fallen to her.

Her decision to try and write had been born of the mental starvation she suffered from, Lucy suspected, and certainly the hours she spent alone in the library on her research had been among the most fulfilling she had experienced since leaving university.

Now, though, she was likely to lose all that, unless Saul allowed her to use the library.

He was such an unknown quantity, she wasn’t really sure what to expect. Her memories of him were clouded by the animosity which had sprung up between them almost from the word go and when she pictured him mentally, it was with a truculent scowl on his face.

In looks he didn’t resemble the Martins at all, being very dark, almost swarthily so, his eyes grey and not brown, his transatlantic accent adding to his alienness.

Looking back on that disastrous summer, Lucy felt a twinge of sympathy towards him.

Poor boy, it couldn’t have been easy for him—thrown upon relatives he did not know, who moreover spoke differently and had a different set of rules to live by. That scowl, that stubborn indifference to all that the Manor had to offer, must have been defensive rather than aggressive, but of course at twelve she could not see that, and had only seen that he mocked everything that she held dear, while all the time reinforcing his own Americanness. The brash superiority had just increased her own dislike of him, so that she had willingly joined Neville in his tormenting of him.

Neville… so smooth and sophisticated to her then, so excitingly male and aloof, and yet undeniably a part of her world in a way that the American intruder was not. When Neville spoke, it was in the same way as her father, his accent public school and clipped, unlike Saul’s American drawl.

Even the way he dressed was different… alien … And how she and Neville had tormented him when they watched the way he rode! She had been unkind almost to the point of being cruel and had since regretted it deeply because it was not part of her nature to inflict hurt on others.

Poor Saul. How did he remember her? she wondered wryly. Well, she would have ample opportunity to make restitution for her sins once he arrived. Neville might speak slightingly of the Manor passing into American hands, but now she did not encourage him.

Tara had stopped crying and was watching her hopefully. ‘We won’t be too poor to keep Harriet,’ she told her firmly. ‘Richard was quite wrong.’

‘Are you going to marry him?’

That was Oliver, eyeing her truculently.

‘No.’

Relief showed briefly in the brown eyes before he turned away. Oliver had been closer to their father than any of them, something she had not really thought about before she knew the truth, and Oliver was the one who would miss his male influence the most. Perhaps Saul might be induced to take an interest in him. Perhaps he was married now with children of his own.

It was a shock to realise how little she knew about him. In all the anxiety and tumult of her father’s death, she had had little time to spare to wonder about Saul; little time to give to him at all apart from overseeing the sending of a telegram to advise him of what had happened.

She had half hoped he would attend the funeral and had been almost hurt when he had not. Towards the end her father had complained that Saul had never made the slightest attempt to learn anything about his heritage, but fair-mindedly Lucy had pointed out that he had scarcely been given much chance.

Certainly her own memories of Saul weren’t happy ones, but like her he had no doubt matured and mellowed, and probably also, like her, knowing the close proximity to one another in which they would be living, he would want their relationship to be an amicable one.

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