First Drop Of Crimson by Jeaniene Frost

First Drop Of Crimson by Jeaniene Frost

Author:Jeaniene Frost
Language: eng
Format: epub
Tags: Vampire;Paranormal Romance;Vampire Romance;Love Story;Paranormal;Frost;Jeaniene;Night Hunteress Series

"He hid it from me, at first. Explained away the letters from his acquaintances or the mutterings at court. But then when he indebted himself to the Duke of Warwick over a game of whist, and he couldn't pay, the duke complained to the king."

And since his father had also gotten caught bedding the lovely young duchess, Warwick had been in no mood for mercy. He'd rounded up every courtier his father owed, whipped them into a frenzy, and then implored the king for justice on behalf of all of them.

"They came for my father at night, taking him away to Newgate, where he'd rot until every last farthing was repaid," Spade said. "Warwick knew my father wouldn't live long enough for me to find a way to repay his debts. Even young, strong prisoners died all the time at Newgate. He'd done it not to jail him, but to kill him."

"I can't believe he could be jailed over debts" Denise gasped.

Spade let out a wry chuckle, turning her in time to the music. "Indeed, one of the things different back then was that there was no declaring bankruptcy and going on with your life, especially if you incurred royal ire. My family's estate was seized by the crown, Madeline left me since my title was now worthless, and my father grew ever sicker in jail. So I went to the duke to offer him a bargain: Transfer my father's debt to me."

The memory of that day still scalded; Warwick laughing at him, taunting him that soon he'd be burying his father, and then finally demanding that Spade beg for him to transfer the debt. Spade had done it, accepting the humiliation to secure his father's life, not realizing that ultimately Warwick agreed only because he knew this would hurt his father more. It had. His father drank himself to death less than two years after Spade's deportation.

"But you knew you'd go to jail..."

"Denise." Spade held her gaze. "I had nothing left to lose but my freedom, and I knew after a time, I'd get that back. Yet my father would have surely died in prison. What choice did I have?"

He knew that she of all people would understand, considering how Denise had endangered herself for her family these past few weeks. It was yet another thing they had in common.

She sighed. "So that's why you were sent to jail."

"Didn't expect my sentence to be different than my father's, but Warwick thought it would be grand fun to convince the king that I would be more useful to the crown sent to the New South Wales colonies than just sitting in prison. And on the voyage there is where I met Crispin, Ian, and Timothy."

"And became friends." Her voice was soft.

"Not at first." Spade raised a brow. "Me, the future Earl of Ashcroft, chained to common miscreants who'd no doubt earned every moment of their sentences? I didn't deign to even speak to them for days."

Denise smiled at his deliberately haughty tone.


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