Clayton couldn’t believe he’d mistaken the young lady for a child in the beginning, but she’d been so small and fragile looking underneath that big cloak. He had been a bit confused and lost for words for the first time in his twenty-eight years of life when she’d said she was payment for her father’s debt. What man gave away his daughter to a stranger as payment, especially to a rake like him?
Of course he’d had mother’s trying to force a match between him and their marriageable daughter’s, but this was a new one. So far he’d been lucky enough to avoid any sort of matches. He had no intention of being married until he was through enjoying life. He knew he’d have to marry and produce an heir one of these days, but he’d be the one deciding when that would be.
He had felt sorry for the child he’d thought she was. It had only irritated him further when he saw her small frame tremble. She must have been terrified as to what would happen to her. Her black cloak had been pulled up over her head, and hung to her feet covering every inch of her small body. Clayton had assumed it was to block the cold wind that had been blowing outside for most of the day. She hadn’t raised her head, so he had no idea what she had even looked like beneath the oversized garment.
He had been bewildered as to why Warren Thurlow would leave his child on his doorstep. Didn’t the man owe him enough already? He closed his eyes remembering her soft sniffles as if she were weeping. It was what had made him go to her in the first place. His body had reacted strangely to her as soon as he neared her. His cock had pressed against his trousers as soon as the scent of lilacs hit his nostrils. He felt the worst sort of letch yearning for a child. He had walked around her trying to figure out what had his body reacting in such a way. He’d never been interested in young innocent girls before. He had wanted to reach out and comfort her in a warm embrace to assure her that nothing would happen when he’d first gone to her. But instantly feared touching her in any way with the way his body was reacting. He had no idea of what to do with her. Where the bloody hell had her father gone?