Miller, Raine - The Undoing of a Libertine (Siren Publishing Classic)

The Undoing of a Libertine

 

Self-serving libertine Jeremy Greymont likes his sex on the rough side and his women anonymous. Perfectly content milling along through life on an existence of courtesans and fine Scotch whisky, Jeremy has a naughty past and his own demons to contend with, but he’s run out of time with his grandfather regardless. Jeremy needs an heir—posthaste. The lovely Georgina seems like the perfect answer to his predicament and intrigues him like no woman ever before. Jeremy can’t wait to get started on the baby-making and is even willing to tone down his preference for the wild romps he’s always enjoyed. There’s always time to teach her about that later, right?

 

But Georgina's demons trump Jeremy's in so many ways. A brutal assault has left her damaged and vowing she can be wife to no man—not even Jeremy Greymont. What is a libertine to do?

 

Genre:
Historical
Length:
87,826 words

 

THE UNDOING OF A LIBERTINE

Raine Miller

EROTIC ROMANCE

Siren Publishing, Inc.

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A SIREN PUBLISHING BOOK

IMPRINT: Erotic Romance

THE UNDOING OF A LIBERTINE

Copyright © 2012 by Raine Miller

E-book ISBN: 1-61926-260-6

First E-book Publication: February 2012

All quotes at the beginning of each chapter are as intended by the author. These quotes were not edited for content and original sources were not verified by the editor.

Cover design by Jinger Heaston

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The Undoing of a Libertine
 
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DEDICATION

To the Ghardians

This precious book of love, this
 
unbound
 
lover…

—William Shakespeare,
Romeo and Juliet
(1595)

THE UNDOING OF A LIBERTINE

RAINE MILLER

Copyright © 2012

Chapter One

…A libertine, fantastically I sing.

My verse is the true image of my mind,

Ever in motion, still desiring change...

—Michael Drayton,
Idea
(1619)

September, 1837

London

A proper blow always felt nice. Satisfying as hell, he thought. And he’d needed it. Badly. As usual, the sex played out just the way he liked—driving at full hop and more on the rough side of things than not.

His preference for a hard grind had always been like that, and thankfully plenty of brokers plied their skills in the fleshly arts to suit his tastes. To get what he was after never proved a problem. Hell, the beating heart of the pleasure trade trumped in London. If a fellow couldn’t find what he wanted in Town, then the toff was probably out of luck.

Jeremy Greymont leaned against the headboard and indulged in the drained flush of a man being satiated, for the moment at least. He knew the feeling wouldn’t last. It never did. That was the thing when he paid the person he fucked, didn’t know her from Eve, and intended to forget about her the second his prick was back under wraps in his kecks.

Looking around the room, he tried to see it for what it was. A room tastefully done up in forest-green silk wallpaper and dark oak, well appointed and clean enough. Only the best for him, right? But the trappings of decoration aside, it was just a room. A room for fucking. It was merely a room with a bed for the purpose of carnal dealings between people who exploited each other.

The exploitation was up front of course. If he thought about it, the exchange was nothing more than simple commerce at the core. A purposeful trade of good coin for the use of a body. This was about as decidedly purposeful as it was possible to be in Jeremy’s opinion. And he was very careful about it. He made sure to employ a French letter with courtesans. No pox, clap, or by-blows for him. He didn’t need those worries plaguing his conscience.

And once he had someone, Jeremy usually never had them again. A repeat fuck was a rarity. He sought only physical gratification. This he understood and respected. Attachments could always be avoided, but weren’t much of a worry for him regardless. It was nigh impossible to cultivate a relationship if the two parties never saw each other again after the raucous romp amid the bed linens was over and done. He wanted it that way.

Jeremy had to wonder if he was even capable of loving a woman. He certainly had never felt anything akin to a romantic notion about any of the women he’d had. And he’d had many. Jeremy liked them, admired their assets, took pleasure in their bodies, and enjoyed them thoroughly, but that was as far as he was willing to go.

Upon reflection, Jeremy accepted that the hard docking he did wasn’t really that satisfying after all. If he was honest, he would say it had become remote and perfunctory for him. What was he even doing here? The oddest sensation flickered through him.
Get up. Leave! Leave this place and never come back. You cannot find it here, and you don’t want to be like…him.

Jeremy had arrived at his bordello of preference to cleave off some tension tonight. Coming away from another obligatory meeting with his grandfather and feeling like an absolute shit-stick in the process, he’d needed the release.

Sighing heavily, he dressed himself, thanked his feminine companion for a job well done, and left in search of relief of a different sort.

If he couldn’t fuck the demons out of his head, maybe a less private method could be applied. A copious dousing of whiskey might just do the trick, he thought, while making his way out into the mild autumn night.

At
The Wicked Goat
, he settled down into communion with his own personal bottle of Scotland’s best and his musings. Jeremy wanted to prove to his grandfather that he took his responsibilities seriously. He didn’t intend to shirk, but at thirty years old, Jeremy was running out of time to demonstrate his seriousness about doing his duty to the family. Mere lip service was no longer an option. The time was upon him, he knew, but the idea of simply settling for anyone put him off more than once. He wanted her to be
right.
But
what in the hell did that mean? Right? To be right for him or right for the role? He felt hopeless in this search. Well, not really a search, for he hadn’t put forth any effort of note as yet.

Jeremy shifted in his seat, on edge again, thinking of their conversation…

“You must secure the line of succession, son! It is your duty by birthright. Find a good wife and get an heir, and be damn quick about it! I’m not going to last forever.”

How many times had he heard the entreaties? Jeremy smirked and tossed his head back, thinking how pleased Grandfather would be if he actually did marry, and to a female of decent lineage. God, both his grandparents would be ecstatic. He wanted to make them proud of him, but the thing was, he didn’t know many such women. Women of good family, that is.

Where to find a mate? Where to even start? The females he usually consorted with didn’t come with bloodlines written out on parchment. He needed a virgin, and the very idea made him roll his eyes.
By Cupid’s cock, what would you do with a virgin?
Exactly. Bedding an innocent did not appeal in the slightest. Not with the way he liked to fuck. Hard and fast was his only rule. He couldn’t imagine doing that with a virginal maid. He’d likely frighten her to death.

Born into money and privilege, the baronetcy he’d inherit one day loomed closer with each passing year. Thus the persistent pressure to step up to his duty and secure the line could never be forgotten for long. He supposed sacrifices would have to be made all the way round, and sulking about it served no good purpose. If he could just secure someone suitable and install her in his country house to serve up an infant or two, he could continue on with his libertine ways, with very little bother to either of them. Jeremy thought he would be an easy husband, demanding only the access needed to create the legitimate heir required of him. After one was produced, his lady wife could do as she pleased. She’d have her status in society and his money to make up for any lack in attentions from him. He wasn’t a monster…just a man.

As soon as Jeremy remembered how much he despised London society, his mouth turned down into a scowl that caused his lip to curl with a menace. He could barely tolerate society’s requirements now. It was an imposition to show at the few events he graced each season. The thought of attending more such tortures was unbearable. The cloying looks, the vicious backbiting and jockeying for positions of power all disgusted him. And don’t forget the plotting of eager society matrons trying to secure matrimony for their overbred offspring. He’d been avoiding every bit of it for years.

Now he supposed he’d have to take a serious look in order to find a bride, and force himself to attend more balls and dinners. He felt a headache starting.

“Greymont! Why so long in the face?” His friend, Tom Russell, loomed over him, his usual sanguine self apparently going about the predictable routines of drinking, wenching, and cards, not necessarily in that order, but typical evening fare for a gentleman seeking diversion.

“Am I?” Jeremy returned, taking a sip from his glass.

“God yes, man! You’re veritably eking waves of blue mouldies from your person.” Russell took a seat. “I hope it’s not catching,” he said warily.

Jeremy grinned at his friend. Russell had a clever way of turning any situation into amusement.

“I didn’t know you were in. Business demands?”

“You could say so.” Jeremy poured a glass and slid it to Russell.

“I’m surprised to see you in here at this hour of the night. It’s early, for you.” Russell eyed the bottle of scotch suspiciously. “No slippery pleasures to entertain you this eve?”

“Done that already.” Jeremy looked over and shrugged, thinking it hadn’t been all that entertaining, really.

“Well then, if you’ve had a dose of quim, you might look a bit more pleased, I’d think. What the hell’s wrong with you?”

“Oh, nothing that a suitable wife and heir won’t cure,” he remarked dryly.

“Is Sir Rodney tightening the noose? Giving ultimatums?”

“I’m afraid so, Russell. I need to embrace matrimony and get said partner knapped. The sooner, the better. That’s the gist of it.”

“I s’pose,” Russell said thoughtfully. “Don’t let my father get wind of your predicament though,” he warned. “He’ll have Georgina foisted on you before you realize what’s done.”

That got his attention. “Georgina, your baby sister?”

“Yessss, but she’s not a baby anymore, Greymont.”

“She is out?”

Russell snorted in the affirmative. “I’d say so. She’s already one and twenty, and her birthday comes January next.”

Jeremy conjured up his memories of her as Russell prattled on.

“Georgie’s never shown an interest in marrying though. She hates our father’s meddlesome pushes toward the altar. Pater is quite determined to see her wed though. Says she’s wild as hell, roaming about the countryside like a gypsy. He doesn’t approve of her sporting habits either. Thinks a husband and babies will settle her.” Russell shrugged. “But I think he just wants to be rid of her so he doesn’t have to be reminded…” Russell frowned and trailed off.

“Reminded?”

“Yes. I think so. She looks so much like our mother now that she’s grown a woman. She is a reminder of what he’s lost,” Russell said, eyes flickering left.

“Well, that’s not her fault she looks like your mother, is it? And what is wrong with her sporting habits?” Jeremy asked, suddenly interested in this conversation.

He recalled Georgina Russell as a young girl. She had always been there when he’d visited Oakfield, loved to ride horses and shoot at targets, for he had seen her do both on many occasions. He knew she liked to draw as well. He could envision her with sketchbook in hand, observing and then rendering nature skillfully in charcoal. Blonde, pretty, quiet, and fiercely independent was how he pictured her. Intelligent, not silly and empty-headed like most girls of society. It had been years since he’d seen her, and Jeremy had to admit he wanted to know what she was like now.

“Nothing. At least I don’t think so. Georgie is lovely—a free spirit, she’s not going to sit inside embroidering cushions all day long and be happy about it. Our mother died when she was still a child, and Pater never did pay much attention to anything after Mater left us. He’ll see Georgie married and off his hands whether she likes it or not.”

“Has anyone offered for her?”

“There is one, but he is odious. You know Lord Pellton?”

“Gawd! Please not him!” Jeremy did not temper his disgust. “A bloody degenerate that one, and far too old for her!” The thought of that reprobate slithering over the nubile body of Georgina Russell made him ill. What a deplorable waste of a perfectly fine woman. Jeremy actually shuddered at the vision that popped into his head.

Tom Russell chuckled. “She flat out refused. Caused a huge uproar in the household and has practically been kept under house arrest since. Our father and Pellton went to university together. Pater thinks she should be honored and keeps trying to convince her to agree to the marriage. He says if she won’t take Pellton, then she must do her duty and assent to another just as suitable, for he means to have her settled as soon as possible.”

“Well, your sister must have some sense if she refused Pellton. He is a sodding pig.”

“True that, Greymont.” Russell stroked his chin thoughtfully before his eyes lit up in inspiration. “I know! Why don’t you marry her? That would make us brothers.” He arched his brows at Jeremy, directing his gaze to below the waist. “You’d have to curb that whore-pipe of yours mind you. She is my sister after all. I don’t know how well she’d take to your proclivities—”

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