Maid by Chance, Duchess by Fate – Extended Epilogue

Three Years Later

“Emma!” Maggie came out onto the terrace, looking around the garden. “Emma, where are you now?”

Adam looked up from the letter in his hand.

“Are you alright, Maggie?”

“I can’t find Emma. She’s disappeared again.” Maggie looked nervous as she wrung her hands. “You don’t think she’s wandered off again, do you?”

George laughed.

“She’s probably playing hide and seek again. You know she loves that game.”

“And I’m beginning to wish you hadn’t introduced her to that game, George,” Maggie replied. “She starts playing it when nobody knows she’s actually playing it. Then nobody knows where she is.”

“I’m sure she’s around here somewhere.” Adam raised his voice unnaturally loud, “After all, how difficult is it to find a small child?”

Just as he predicted, there was a giggle off to their left behind the huge oak tree. Maggie sighed with relief.

“Thank God for that. Emma!”

George laughed as Maggie stepped off the terrace and hurried across the grass, just as a little girl with long black hair toddled out from behind the tree, giggling loudly.

“You know that girl is going to be the death of her one day, don’t you?”

“She’s definitely going to be the death of me if she keeps jumping up on our bed every day,” Adam said. “I would like a night where I don’t have a little one crawling in wanting a cuddle. I love her, but you can’t beat sleep.”

“At least she’s comfortable enough to do that with you,” George pointed out. “You should be happy with that.”

“Trust me, I am.” Adam frowned at the letter in his hand. “Although I wish I was happy about the news I’ve just received.”

“What’s it about?”

Adam was about to answer when he saw Maggie and their daughter approaching them, Maggie carrying Emma as their child chattered away. Their daughter was precocious, very bright, and always getting into new things. She found everything fascinating. Adam could barely remember a time when their child simply sat still. She certainly ran the nanny ragged.

She still put a smile on his face.

“George, would you mind taking Emma to play hide and seek in the house?” Adam gave his friend a meaningful look. “I need to speak to Maggie.”

“Of course.” George stood up and held out his arms to Emma. “Come along, you. Let’s keep hide and seek inside the house, shall we? Show me your best hiding spots.”

“Can we ask Sabrina if she wants to join in?” Emma asked.

“If she’s finished her lessons, then we can ask.”

Emma beamed and Maggie passed her over to George. George tickled his goddaughter’s chin, which made Emma laugh.

“Mama and Papa will join us shortly. They won’t be long.”

Emma blew Adam a kiss with her hand, which Adam returned. He watched as his friend carried Emma inside. George was really good with Emma, just like he was with Eleanor and Sabrina. He would be a good father one day.

Adam hoped that would happen. George deserved some happiness of his own.

“What’s wrong?” Maggie frowned, sitting in the chair George had just vacated. “Has something happened to Eleanor?”

“No, she’s fine, and you need to stop worrying about her travelling to her friend’s. She’s fifteen now.”

“I still worry. I know she’s not my baby or anything, but I do worry.”

Adam smiled. He could understand, but Eleanor was growing up now. A couple more years, and she would be entering Society herself. Time seemed to fly by far too fast.

“Well, it’s not about Eleanor. It’s about Ben.”

Maggie blinked.

“Ben? Has he been released, then? I haven’t had any letters from him lately.”

“Yes, he has. Lord Bailey wrote to me about the update. Ben was released from jail about two weeks ago, and he was hoping that things were better between us and have been sorted.”

“But I haven’t seen him, and our parents would have mentioned something if they had heard from him.”

“Same here.”

“Where’s he gone, then?”

Adam sighed.

“I remember him saying something about going to live in Ireland with some old friends from the army. Perhaps he’s gone there to get away from it all.”

“Without seeing any of us?”

Maggie looked hurt about that. Adam could understand; this was her brother, and despite everything he had done, she still loved him. She would have wanted to see Ben and get him to meet his niece. Adam wished he could do that for her.

“I’m sure he’ll reach out eventually when he’s ready. It has been three years, and he probably needs some time to get used to being back in the real world.”

“Are you sure about that?”

Maggie looked uncertain, so Adam reached over and took his wife’s hand.

“He’s a tough, resourceful person, Maggie. He’ll be fine.”

“I just hope he doesn’t resort to crime again. Or that he’s going to target you because of what happened.”

“If he does, I’ll do whatever I can to keep it away from you and Emma. You two are my priority.”

“I know.” Maggie’s expression softened, and she squeezed his hand. “I love you, Adam.”

“And I love you.” Adam leaned over and kissed her cheek. “That’s never going to change.”

“I hope it doesn’t.”

“Trust me, it won’t.” Adam kissed her mouth before sitting back. “Anyway, if Ben turns up, I’m sure your parents will make you aware of it.”

“I suppose.” Maggie looked towards the house. “Do you think we should rescue George from Emma? He’s good with her, but I do worry that she’s going to wear him out.”

Adam laughed.

“He’s a grown man. I think he’ll be fine. Besides, Emma has him wrapped around her little finger.”

“She’s like that with all men, I’ve noticed,” Maggie said slyly. “Even Morrison can’t say no to her.”

“That might be to her advantage when she’s older.”

“Or detriment. I don’t want to raise another Lady Phoebe.”

Neither did Adam. Experiencing it once was bad enough. He hadn’t heard about Lady Phoebe in some time, but he hoped she had matured enough that she wasn’t the same person anymore. If she was still as horrible as before at her age, things definitely weren’t going to work well for her.

“Don’t worry. We would never do that to her. We’ll make sure of that.” Adam stood up. “Anyway, let’s go and rescue George before Emma shows him her favourite hiding spot and he realizes that he can’t get out.”

Maggie laughed.

“He’s not going to be daft enough to try and fit in it himself, is he?”

“You know what George is like. Of course he’s going to do that.” Adam held out a hand. “Shall we, Your Grace?”

“Of course, Your Grace.” Taking his hand, Maggie stood up, still laughing. “Let’s go and make sure Lady Emma is remembering what you shouldn’t be doing to impress a gentleman.”

Adam laughed at that. Knowing their child, she was doing more than impress a gentleman. And the consequences would be making them laugh for days afterwards.

THE END


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5 thoughts on “Maid by Chance, Duchess by Fate – Extended Epilogue”

  1. Greetings, my dear readers! I hope you enjoyed this delightful tale and the resolution of Maggie and Adam’s journey! I eagerly anticipate hearing your impressions! ♥️📚

  2. Alice Kirks just keeps getting better. A few of her earlier books were badly edited, with some awkward phrasing, but this book is well edited. The story is lovely, and unusual in that . . . But I won’t be a spoiler. If this is part of a series, I can’t wait to read the others. Hmm, Eleanor will be out soon.

  3. Loved the story , but would like to know what happened to Ben & Lady Phoebe. Should make interesting stories.

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