Matchmaking with a Broken Duke
Four years later…
It was the fourth year after they had hung Tamara’s picture back in Max’s study. The window in the Eyrie didn’t open by itself anymore. Leonie had given Miss Tamara a pair of beautiful wings in her portrait; Miss Tamara was their guardian angel, and Leonie believed it wholeheartedly. By the side of the painting hung another portrait, of Max and Leonie, painted by Oliver himself as a wedding gift to the couple four years ago.
Morwenna was still Leonie’s maid, and also Leonie’s closest friend. She had a habit of gathering all the rumours going around the castle and then reporting them back to Leonie. They gossiped most of the time, and although Leonie thought it wrong, it had its benefits. For instance, she knew exactly what the servants thought of her and Max.
They believed them to be deliriously happy, living together at Rokesby Castle. The maids thought Leonie was a wonderful down-to-earth duchess, and they loved her. Hearing all the compliments about her and her doting husband always made Leonie happy. It reassured her that she was doing well. She had been a duchess for four years, yet, sometimes, Leonie felt she had no clue what she was doing.
Max had not changed a bit. He was still his loving, cheerful self. It was as if they both had a new lease of life. Leonie couldn’t imagine being happier. It didn’t seem possible. Max’s business was flourishing, and he was widely respected for his honourable practices.
In their free time, Max and Leonie loved nothing more than exploring the castle together or going out to sail their little dinghy. They called the dinghy Miss Tamara, of course. It was only right to name it after their guardian angel.
“Leonie?” Max called out to her. She was sitting in the nursery, gazing out of the window at the horizon.
“I’m in the nursery,” she answered, turning to the door.
Max walked in cautiously, trying not to make a sound. “Are they awake?”
Leonie shook her head. “Marc is still asleep in his bed. I had to rock Lily to sleep because she had a stomach ache.”
Three years ago, Leonie and Max had been blessed with twins. Marc, named after Max’s late father, and Lily, named after Leonie’s late mother. Leonie was with child again, but she had not started to show yet. Their family was growing, faster than Leonie had expected. She recalled her reaction when she realised that she was birthing twins three years ago. She and Max had cried in each other’s arms. Tears of pure joy.
Max walked over to her side and took Lily into his arms. He walked over to her little bed and placed her there gently so as not to wake her. Then, he returned to Leonie’s side. Max took her hands and helped Leonie to her feet.
“Have you finished with your ledgers?” Leonie asked, stroking Max’s cheek. “You look tired.”
Max pinched Leonie’s chin and tilted her head up. He planted a kiss on her lips and a tired moan slipped into her mouth. They giggled as they hugged each other tightly.
“I don’t know what I’d do without you, Leonie,” Max said, rocking from side to side, with Leonie in his arms. “You, Marc, Lily, and our precious baby inside you are such a blessing to me. I’d do anything for you all. Anything.”
“We love you too.” Leonie smiled. “I love you too, Max.”
Max placed a brief kiss on Leonie’s lip. “Should we get Morwenna to watch the children so we can go to the cove? It’s been a while since we had a picnic on the beach.”
“Yes, please,” Leonie said, taking Max’s hand.
They walked hand in hand out of the nursery and, after asking Morwenna to watch the children, they made their way out of the castle. Leonie took off her shoes when they reached the beach. Their usual routine was to take a long walk along the seashore and talk, while the servants got their picnic basket ready for them.
Four years had gone by, and yet, it didn’t feel like it. Leonie fell in love with Max more and more as the years went by, and she marvelled at how much love she had in her heart for the man. It seemed endless.
Max had made her a promise on their wedding day. He had promised to provide whatever she asked for, to give her everything she wanted, and so far… after four years, he had kept that promise.
Leonie Delaney, the Duchess of Rokesby was happy. It was forever with the Duke, and she knew their journey together would never end.
I hope you enjoyed “Matchmaking with a Broken Duke”. I would love to know your opinion!