"Ow! Dunn, stop!”
Sin’s valet sighed and dropped a cloth into the washbowl.
“My lord, I was merely trying to clean the cut on your chin.“Sin sniffed the air suspiciously.
“That doesn’t smell like water.”
“That’s because it’s whiskey. It will clean the cut better than water.”
“I only asked that you shave around the scrape, not that you force whiskey into it. That stings like hell.”
“Then it’s working,” Dunn said without any visible remorse.
“If you get an infection, you will not need a shave, but a surgeon.”
Sin went to the mirror over his dresser. The scrape on his chin, while no longer bleeding, was beginning to turn bluish and was a little swollen. “Damn. I look like a prize fighter.”
“Yes, my lord. I don’t suppose you’d care to tell me how you gained such a wondrous cut?”
“I was helping Miss Balfour select a library book.” Dunn waited, but when Sin said no more, the valet merely added a dry, “I see. Do you anticipate a further visit to the library this evening? If so, I will suggest the claret waistcoat as it will obscure any future blood stains.”
Sin sent his valet a hard look. “I suppose you think you’re being humorous.”
Dunn’s mouth quivered faintly, but he managed to control it. “The claret waistcoat, my lord?”
“It doesn’t matter. Just bring me one and be quick about it or I’ll be late for dinner.”
“Yes, sir.” The valet brought the waistcoat and assisted Sin into it. “And now your coat, my lord.”
Sin nodded and allowed Dunn to assist him into the coat, wincing as he moved his shoulder.
"Your shoulder, too, my lord? Good heavens, that must have been a very heavy book.”
“You have no idea.” Sin took a final glance in the mirror, made a minute adjustment to his cravat that left Dunn murmuring with approval.
Miss Balfour had thrown down quite a challenge, almost daring him to seduce her by acting as if she didn’t believe him capable of doing so. She had a lot to learn, the impertinent chit. Well, he’d already shown his cards, so now it was time to show her how well he could shuffle the deck.
He smiled darkly. And shuffle it he would.
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