Thirty-Eight

Mercedes made her way down the stairs to the dining room the next morning. Angry voices rose from the study. William’s voice boomed louder than the others, sounding panicked. Her heartbeat quickened.

Lifting her dress to her ankles, she hurried toward the room. William and five of his servants cluttered inside his study. The door stood ajar, so she peeked inside. All the men held the same worried expressions of drawn brows and sorrowful eyes. William’s lips pulled together, his hands balled at his side. William stalked to the liquor tray and poured a glass of bourbon—something he rarely did. He tipped it to his lips and gulped as if it was water.

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