“Prue, I’m Jack Malloy’s only known child and heir, there was no other who could inherit the Malloy estate. I’m curious though to know why you told me all the earl’s possessions were left to me, Prue. You were his wife, madam; you shared his bed even if it were for such a short time, what was it he left to you?”
Prue quickly darted her eyes down to where her fingers were again fidgeting with the rings on her fingers.
“Your father only asked that I be allowed to stay living here so I might remain safe from any who might wish me harm.”
Gareth was still . “I still don’t understand, Prue. Why should my father insist in his will that I take you under my charge at this estate instead of at my own?”
Prue slowly raised her eyes up. “Your father’s will is several months old, Gareth. He wished for me to stay living here because he knew of the dangers that would fall on the estate and all who lived here should I leave. The earl just thought he was doing what was best for both the estate and me.”
Gareth quickly approached Prue, his annoyance obvious at her continued avoidance to answer his question. Stopping in front of her, he gripped the top of her arms painfully with his palms.
“Damn it, Prue. Will you just tell me what was written in my father’s will? What exactly is it he has left to me?”
Taking on a confident stance, Prue made sure her stare didn’t falter from Gareth’s intimidating one.
“You’ve been left the Malloy estate house and all its surrounding properties with the agreeance the current servants remain in your employ. You have the small amount of money from your father’s accounts, and…”
“And what, Prue?” he asked impatiently, his hands shaking her softly when her words drifted off.
Prue let out a short shaky breath, her eyes never faltering from his.
“And you’ve been left me, Gareth.”