On the day of Caroline and Kensington’s wedding, Olivia was on pins and needles. She couldn’t shake the numbness out of her limbs or her mind. She was worried for Caroline. She was concerned about Lavinia. And she was still upset with Jarvis. Because he left her to deal with her worries all on her own.
Olivia breathed deeply, but the air in the house seemed too thin. She felt suffocated.
“Are you ready to go?” her mother asked from the threshold.
“No, Mama. I am too nervous for my friends.”
Olivia’s mother frowned and walked into the room. “Why would you be worried, dearest?”
“Because.” Olivia slumped. “Caroline never wanted to get married. And today is her wedding day.”
The viscountess rubbed Olivia’s back, and she straightened.
“Nonsense, child,” her mother said. “She is marrying the duke. One of the most influential and well-to-do men in England. One cannot ask for a better husband than him.”
But what about love? Olivia frowned. She had said to Lavinia that love didn’t matter in a marriage. When had she changed her mind?
“Mama, I lack air. Please, allow me to spend a few minutes in the gardens to calm myself.”
“Dearest, everyone is gathering in the ballroom. The vicar has already arrived.”
“Please, mama.” Olivia grabbed her mother by the arms.
The viscountess heaved a sigh. “Very well. I shall accompany you.”
Olivia smiled gratefully and looped her arm through her mother’s.
They walked to the gardens in silence. Each lost in their own thoughts. When they finally reached their destination, Olivia was surprised to see Caroline pacing in the rose alcove.
Olivia’s mother disengaged from her side. “Well, there’s your friend. Perhaps she can help you alleviate your worries. I shall wait for you outside the gardens. Do be brief.” She placed a kiss on Olivia’s forehead and walked away.
Olivia took a deep breath. What was she to say to Caroline? Did she apologize for her thoughtless remarks the last time they spoke? Or was she to beg her to give up Kensington? Perhaps Olivia didn’t need to say anything at all. If she stepped into the alcove, Caroline might reassure her and take her worries away.
Olivia was about to step around the bushes and reveal herself when the dark, tall man entered the alcove. Kensington.
“If your intention is for us to be caught in a compromising position,” Kensington said to Caroline, “then there is no need. We are to be married in a few minutes.”
“That is contrary to my intention, I assure you, my lord,” Caroline answered evenly.
It wasn’t polite to eavesdrop, but Olivia was rooted to the spot, unable to move. She didn’t want to be heard skittering away, and she still wanted to speak to Caroline after the duke left.
“What is your intention, then?” Kensington asked.
“I want to dissolve our betrothal.”
Olivia leaned forward to better hear the conversation. Caroline wanted to dissolve the betrothal! Perhaps everything would work itself out after all.
The duke cocked his head to the side and studied Caroline intently. “Is that truly what you want?”
“Yes.” Caroline held her head high and looked confident under the duke’s penetrating gaze.
“Well, you can’t have it,” Kensington said.
Olivia’s mouth dropped.
“I shall dissolve our agreement whether you are against it or not,” Caroline said.
Olivia saw Kensington’s chest rise and fall as he took a deep breath. “You cannot dissolve the deal your uncle negotiated on your behalf. I do not know what he told you, Lady Caroline, but we are to be married. Our deal is final.”
“And what if I run away?”
“You will be caught.”
“You seem too eager to marry me for someone who has barely looked my way since the night of our betrothal.”
There was a long silence as Kensington watched Caroline as if trying to solve a mathematical problem. He finally said, “Your uncle made certain of it. Believe me. I wouldn’t be marrying you otherwise.”
Kensington turned on his heel and walked away.
Olivia shrunk farther into the bushes.
What had she just witnessed? Should she go and console Caroline, or should she pretend she had heard nothing?
Her dilemma was solved when Caroline smoothed her skirts and left in the opposite direction from Olivia.
When Olivia entered the ballroom a few minutes later, Caroline stood before the vicar, holding the duke’s hands. She looked Kensington full in the eyes, calm, resolute, and steadfast.
Olivia watched wide-eyed as Caroline vowed to love, cherish, and obey the duke. And in a few minutes more, Caroline was pronounced the Duchess of Kensington.
Thank you for reading the deleted scene of “Secrets of the Wicked Viscount” I hope you enjoyed it!
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2 thoughts on “Secrets of the Wicked Viscount (Deleted Scene)”
Will Caroline and Kensington get their own book or do they already have one and I’ve just missed it?
Hi Linda! No, they do not have their book yet. But it is in the works.