Novel Name : Hot Revenge Box Set 4

Chapter 11

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Where is he?

My Master is not in the lounge or the dining room. I don’t find him in his office or any of the usual


In this weather?

I finally find him in the stables, currying mud from Oliver. He doesn’t see me as I come in behind him
and I halt at the doorway…

Does he want to talk to me?

Oliver blows through his nostrils as the comb circles over neck and flank. Charlie leans across,
nuzzling at my Master, then nickers softly, ears flicking forward as I enter.

My Master turns, but as he sees me, displays no pleasure. “Charlotte.” And he returns to grooming
Oliver, this time using a brush on the heavy winter coat, clearing dirt and dust from the thick hair.

“Master, I’m sorry. I came to apologise...”

He pauses his movement, then restarts. “Thank you for that, at least…”

“… and to ask if you might like to invite Georgie to dinner this evening?”

He ceases his brushing, sets the brush to one side then turns to face me. Legs astride, arms folded,
he’s still not smiling. “And what brought about this change of heart?”

“Michael spoke to me. So did Mom. They said… They said I’m being selfish. And that there’s nothing
you could want more than…” I can’t look at him… “Even Richard said…”

I stir a flake of hay across the floor with my foot.

“I don’t know what else to say. I’m sorry. I was wrong. I want to try to put it right.”

And he’s there, his arms around me, pushing me hard back against the plaster, his mouth on my own.
His grip on me grows tighter. Setting his face by mine, cheek on cheek, his breath rasps loud. His chest
heaves. One hand pins the side of my head, holding me still.

After a long minute, he relaxes, kisses me. “Thank you, Charlotte.” He stands back, palming my cheek,
looking me in the face, and my Master is smiling at me again.

The words stumble out of me, a staccato tumble. “I’m sorry. I’m so sorry.”

“Shhh…” He presses a finger to my lips. “It’s done. It’s over.” Then he replaces the finger with his lips,
brushing over the skin.

He stands back, lips curving, eyes crinkling. Holding me at the shoulders, “What shall we have for this
meal? You choose.”

My mind blanks over. I can’t think of a single thing I want to eat. “I… I don’t know… I can’t think of

He chuckles. “A likely story.”

“What does Georgie like? You could cook that.”

He blinks. “I could, couldn’t I…” He considers for a moment. “You know, I‘ve no idea. When she was a
little girl, she always liked beans and sausages, but she’s grown up a bit since then.”

“How about grown-up beans and sausages?”

He snaps his fingers, laughing again, real joy there now. “You’re right. Do you like cassoulet?”

I shake my head. “I’ve no idea, Master. What is cassoulet?”

“French sausage and bean casserole…” His gaze goes distant… “Or fabada… That’s the Spanish
version. Come on…” He grabs my hand, towing me towards the door… “You can help me in the

As we make our way back to the house, he’s muttering to himself… “Do I have any chorizo in the

I don’t have a clue if he has any chorizo. But it doesn’t matter. My Master is smiling again.



“So, what are we having?” It’s Richard, with the air of having followed his nose.

“Fabada,” I say, brandishing my chorizo, “with some traditional Spanish tapas and accompaniments.”

He leans over my casserole pot, examining the contents, sniffing the steam. “And fabada is what,

“The Spanish answer to cassoulet...”

His brows rise… “Ah, yes. An excellent dish. I had it in the south of France on holiday some years ago.
Quite a rich dish. Heavy on the beans and pork as I recall.”

“That’s the one. Spanish fabada is a bit different… I have most of the ingredients, chorizo, belly pork,
and I can get away with black pudding instead of morcillas. I don’t have the authentic Jamon Iberica,
but Parma ham will do.”

Richard’s face is glazing…

Am I talking too much?


“… And the accompaniments?” His gaze sweeps my work area.

“Alioli and a tomato dip with fresh crusty bread, a potato salad, olives…”

His gaze wanders the kitchen. “Sounds like hearty fare.”

“So it is. So it is. Perfect for miserable January winter days.”

He stands, hands in pockets, looking a bit helpless.

Or a bit lost…

“Can I help?” he asks.

Looking for an excuse to hang out?

“Absolutely. Where’s Beth?”

“Asleep. She’s exhausted. I’ll be glad when Adam’s safely born and then we can all relax again.”

“Apart from the small matter of not getting a full night’s sleep for the next two years?”

He pulls a face, then, “What can I do?”

“Peel some potatoes for a start.”

Richard havers. “And the potatoes are…?” He swings, looking around the kitchen… At the fridge…

The table…

The dishwasher…

When did he last cook a meal for himself?

Has he ever cooked a meal?

“Back of the wood store. You’ll find a couple of sacksful out there…”

“Ah…” He tilts his chin with a roll to the eyes that suggests that, whatever Richard’s financial acumen,
he’s sailing foreign seas.

I point to one of my larger pans. “If you fill that up, there should be plenty for mash and roasts tomorrow
and we can give Hickman a good meal too.”

He straightens his jacket like some medieval knight girding his armour then, pan in hand, heads out. “I
may be some time…”

Shouldn’t be more than a minute or two…

After a quarter of an hour, I’m about to send out search parties when he returns with the pan filled. Mud
smears his hands, streaks down his jacket and circles previously white cuffs. “Sorry I was a while. It
was very dark in there.”

I point. “There’re aprons hanging on the back of the door.”


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