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A Pocket Full Of Rye

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Viceroy of India was a good thing to be, all things considered. He knew he owed it mostly to his wife and her way with words, but that didn’t mean it wasn’t a tribute to his own merits as well.

Sylvia loved the life they led down there; she’d even made a few half-hearted attempts at flirting with the handsome young officers under his command, until he’d firmly put her back into her place – and that was exactly what she’d been looking for all along. Women like Sylvia craved the drama above everything else in the world, while an excess of kindness would only have them bored out of their mind; poor Christopher could never understand that, while Lord Campion did and behaved accordingly.

The marriage was a success in its own way, as was Christopher’s second marriage to Valentine. The divorce had been finalised just in time for their child to be born as a Tietjens, and he as Christopher’s godfather genuinely rejoiced at the notion; young Valentine was the perfect companion for a man like him, they wouldn’t tear each other apart like had happened with Sylvia.

 


 

Of course it was his duty to escort his wife when she went back to England to visit her son, even if being under the same roof with her former husband was a trifle awkward; for all that Sylvia claimed she’d never really loved Christopher, he could tell that their bond ran deeper than either of them had ever been aware of.

Michael regarded his mother’s husband with the thoughtful solemnity he’d absorbed if not inherited from the man he called his father; and while Campion knew that the child was actually Gerald Drake’s, he couldn’t help but think that the boy took after Tietjens more than anyone else. Little Edmund, on the other hand, shared something of Valentine’s innate trustfulness and dreamlike countenance; he was also blessed with the love of both of his parents, something that couldn’t be said for his eldest half-brother.

“Who’s the lucky beggar now?” Christopher quipped after both of their wives had retired for the night and they were sitting in front of the fireplace, nursing a glass of whiskey.

Lord Campion offered him a fond smile, and raised his glass in a silent toast.