No, he was going to kill Kate Sheffield.

No, maybe—

Anthony’s gleeful thoughts of vengeance were broken by Edwina’s sudden shriek of, “Newton!”

Anthony liked to think of himself as a man of decisive action, but when he saw that dog launch himself in the air and hurtle himself toward Edwina, he was quite simply frozen with shock. Shakespeare himself could not have devised a more appropriate ending to this farce, and it was all playing out right before Anthony’s eyes as if at half speed.

And there was nothing he could do about it.

The dog was going to hit Edwina straight in the chest. Edwina was going to topple backward.

Straight into The Serpentine.

“Nooooooo!” he yelled, charging forward even though he knew all attempts at heroics on his part were utterly useless.


“Dear God!” Berbrooke exclaimed. “She’s all wet!”

“Well, don’t just stand there,” Anthony snapped, reaching the scene of the accident and charging forward into the waters. “Do something to help!”

Berbrooke clearly did not quite understand what that meant, because he just stood there, bug-eyed, as Anthony reached down, grasped Edwina’s hand, and hauled her to her feet.

“Are you all right?” he asked gruffly.

She nodded, sputtering and sneezing too hard to answer.

“Miss Sheffield,” he roared, seeing Kate skid to a halt on the banks. “No, not you,” he added, when he felt Edwina jerk to attention at his side. “Your sister.”

“Kate?” she asked, blinking the filthy water from her eyes. “Where’s Kate?”

“Dry as a bone on the embankment,” he muttered, followed by a holler in Kate’s direction of, “Rein in your bloody dog!”

Newton had cheerfully splashed back out of the Serpentine and was now sitting on the grass, his tongue hanging happily out of his mouth. Kate scurried to his side and grabbed the lead. Anthony noticed that she had no pithy comeback to his roared order. Good, he thought viciously. He wouldn’t have thought the bloody woman would have had the sense to keep her mouth shut.

He turned back to Edwina, who, astoundingly, still managed to look lovely even while dripping with pond water. “Let me get you out of here,” he said gruffly, and before she had a chance to react, he scooped her into his arms and carried her to dry ground.

“I’ve never seen anything like that,” Berbrooke said, shaking his head.

Anthony made no reply. He didn’t think he’d be able to speak without tossing the idiot into the water. What was he thinking, just standing there while Edwina was submerged by that pathetic excuse for a dog?

“Edwina?” Kate asked, walking forward as far as Newton’s lead would allow. “Are you all right?”

“I think you’ve done enough,” Anthony bit out, advancing upon her until they were barely a foot apart.

“Me?” she gasped.

“Look at her,” he snapped, thrusting a pointed finger in Edwina’s direction even while his full attention was focused on Kate. “Just look at her!”

“But it was an accident!”

“I’m really fine!” Edwina called out, sounding a little panicked by the level of anger simmering between her sister and the viscount. “Cold, but fine!”

“See?” Kate returned, swallowing convulsively as she took in the disheveled sight of her sister. “It was an accident.”

He merely crossed his arms and arched a brow.

“You don’t believe me,” she breathed. “I can’t believe you don’t believe me.”

Anthony said nothing. It was inconceivable to him that Kate Sheffield, for all her wit and intelligence, could not be jealous of her sister. And even if there was nothing she could have done to prevent this mishap, surely she must be taking a bit of pleasure in the fact that she was dry and comfortable while Edwina looked like a drowned rat. An attractive rat, to be sure, but certainly a drowned one.

But Kate clearly wasn’t done with the conversation. “Aside from the fact,” she scorned, “that I would never ever do anything to harm Edwina, how do you propose I managed this amazing feat?” She clapped her free hand to her cheek in an expression of mock discovery. “Oh, yes, I know the secret language of the corgis. I ordered the dog to yank the lead from my hand and then, since I have the second sight, I knew that Edwina was standing right here by the Serpentine, so then I said to the dog—through our powerful mind-to-mind connection, since he was much too far away to hear my voice at this point—to change his direction, head for Edwina, and topple her into the lake.”

“Sarcasm doesn’t become you, Miss Sheffield.”

“Nothing becomes you, Lord Bridgerton.”

Anthony leaned forward, his chin jutting out in a most menacing manner. “Women should not keep pets if they cannot control them.”

“And men should not take women with pets for a walk in the park if they cannot control either,” she shot back.

Anthony could actually feel the tips of his ears turning red with barely leashed rage. “You, madam, are a menace to society.”

She opened her mouth as if to return the insult, but instead she just offered him an almost frighteningly devious smile and turned to the dog and said, “Shake, Newton.”

Newton looked up at her finger, pointed right at Anthony, and obediently trotted a few steps closer to him before allowing himself a full-body shake, spraying pond water everywhere.

Anthony went for her throat. “I…am…going…to…KILL YOU!” he roared.


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