When Lord Jacob Fielding suffers a traumatic injury denying him more children, it devastates both his present and his future. He and his wife Jane have only daughters, and the brother in line to inherit his title and lands is a disgusting reprobate, a man who should never have power over anyone.
In desperation, Lord Fielding formulates a wicked plan. He invites his distant cousin Matthew to come and share their home...and possibly more. Jane is shocked, but cannot deny her curiousity. She loves her husband, their situation is desperate, and Matthew is a kind, gentle, attractive man. But what can this situation bring, but tension and jealousy?
Emotions and libidos run high as the Fielding men search for a way to satisfy the need for an heir, their own lusts, and, most importantly, the desires of Lady Jane, before time runs out.
‘Matthew?’ I whispered, for at this distance I could not tell the difference between him and my own husband.
‘Yes,’ came his deep response.
‘Oh.’ I sat up in the bed, peering through the darkness beyond the candlelight. He was still dressed for dinner, though his jacket had been removed.
My heart beat traitorously loud; I was certain he must hear it. He stepped closer, and within a moment his face was illuminated by the candle. My breath caught in my throat - he was so similar to Jacob but so different as well. His jaw was sharply angled and his eyes shadowed by his brow.
We were completely silent. What could I say?
It seemed that we stayed hesitating for an age before he moved even closer to the bed, like a horse shy of its master.
‘Shall I assist in the removal of your boots?’ I asked.
Matthew looked startled, and licked his lower lip. ‘Ah, no, I am quite capable, my thanks.’ He sank down onto the side of the bed, and I watched curiously as his large hands unlaced his boots and his stockinged feet touched the hard floors.
‘Are you…’ I began weakly, ‘able to do this? For I shall not blame you if you are not.’
The Private Affairs of Lady Jane Fielding is the 3rd tale in 'The Regency Diary' series.