The Duke’s Unspoken Vow – Extended Epilogue

Five Years Later

 “Are you sure you’re only having one baby, Charlotte?” Jennifer laughed as she gestured at her sister’s belly. “It looks like you’ve got more than one baby there.”

“As far as I know, there’s only one baby in my stomach.” Charlotte shuddered. “Imagine giving birth to more than one child in one sitting. That is scary.”

“People have done it long before us. I’m sure you’ll be fine if there’s more than two.”

Charlotte hoped that was the case. Even with a nanny looking after Alexander and Nicola, she had her hands full looking after them. Adding two more children in quick succession felt a little overwhelming. At least they did have a nanny and a wet nurse, and Alex would be making sure that she rested as much as she could. He was very sweet towards her after being in labor for several hours.

“I’m hoping that you don’t scare Carole with that,” Jennifer commented, sipping her drink. “She confided in me that she was scared about giving birth, and she had no idea how we managed to do it and want another child.”

“I’m sure she’ll be fine. She’s tougher than either of us.” Charlotte looked across the room at Carole and Simon, who were talking to Lady Eldrington and Paul. It was strange seeing her young brother-in-law at the age of sixteen and several inches taller than her when he used to be much shorter than her. “You would have to be tough to handle Simon over the years.”

That was true enough. Simon was still a pain, someone who drove Charlotte mad, but it was clear that he adored Carole. The pairing was a shock to everyone, and yet it just seemed to work. Carole was able to calm Simon down and remind him that he was not better than anyone else. He did whatever she told him, and he seemed to have mellowed out. He and Charlotte were still tentative with their relationship—there was a lot there that had to be dealt with before they could properly start fresh—but Charlotte was happy for him. Even Simon deserved some happiness, and now he was finally going to become a father.

Their circle was certainly growing, with Charlotte and Jennifer’s children, as well as Betty and Luke. After several miscarriages, they had finally managed to have a boy. Jasper’s christening had happened just a few hours ago, and everyone was cooing over the adorable baby. Charlotte had done it herself, and she could see how happy Betty was to finally have a baby of her own to hold. Luke had been hovering over them since the birth, not willing to leave his wife or son’s side. It was quite sweet.

Charlotte remembered Alex doing that for the first few months with both of their children. He would more than likely do that with the third.

She rubbed a hand over her swollen belly, feeling it wriggle inside her. Their child was getting restless. There were a couple more months before she gave birth, and it felt like the baby wanted to come out now. Hopefully, that wouldn’t be the case; Charlotte didn’t want to take the attention away from her friend.

A hand touched her back, and Charlotte turned to see Alex moving to stand beside her. He gave her a warm smile and kissed her temple.

“How are you feeling, love? Do you need to go and sit down?”

“I don’t need…” Charlotte began, but Jennifer spoke for her.

“She definitely needs to go and sit down. I don’t think she has the whole time she’s been here.”

Charlotte frowned.

“Would everyone stop telling me that I need to sit down?”

Jennifer sighed and took her arm, steering her towards a settee by the window.

“You’re pregnant, Charlotte. You are allowed to sit down as much as you want. Be selfish for once.”

“But…”

“The baby needs rest as much as you do.” Jennifer urged her to sit. “It’s better for you if you’re feeling refreshed, which you can’t be if you’re constantly standing up.” Then she turned to Alex. “Make sure she stays sitting, or you’ll be in trouble.”

Laughing, Alex held up his hands.

“You don’t need to worry about that. I’ll ensure that she’s seated.”

Charlotte frowned at him as her sister walked away. Alex chuckled and sat down beside her.

“That’s not fair. I was absolutely fine standing up.”

“You were beginning to sway a little bit, Charlotte.” Alex gestured at her feet. “And I’m sure if you looked at your ankles right now, they would be swollen.”

Charlotte wasn’t about to lift up her skirts to check, but she knew that her feet were hurting. She didn’t want to say that and admit that Jennifer and Alex were right about making her rest. She looked around the room, catching sight of Betty standing with her parents with baby Jasper in her arms. Her smile was big, and she was radiating happiness. Luke stood beside her, his arm around her shoulders.

“I’m glad Betty and Luke could have their own child now,” she said. “It was so hard for them to watch us with children when they couldn’t have one.”

“Now we’re going to be jealous that their baby is cuter than ours.”

“Alex!”

Alex laughed and put an arm around her.

“I’m just jesting, love. I love our children and they’re gorgeous, but you have to admit that Jasper is adorable.”

“He’s a baby. Of course he’s going to be adorable.” Charlotte leaned into him a little. “I wonder what’s going to happen when your sister gives birth. Do you think Simon’s going to be walking around like he’s the prince regent?”

“I wouldn’t be surprised. He always has to have the best, even when it comes to his own children.” Alex paused. “Do you think that Carole will manage? I know she loves him, but your brother can be overbearing at times.”

“She’s been coping with him for six years now, and they’ve managed so far. If she had a problem, she would tell us.” Charlotte leaned into her husband. “Don’t worry about her. She’s older now. She can take care of herself, and Simon wouldn’t do anything to hurt her. He might be a…well, you know, but he would never hurt Carole.”

“That’s one thing I can be sure about.” Alex sighed and kissed her head. “I’m still surprised that they fell in love, but I’m not about to argue with Carole about that. She knows her own mind, although I do question it.”

“I think we question everything we do now and then.”

“Do you question anything you’ve done in your life?”

“Only that I didn’t get to tell you how I felt before you went to America.” Charlotte smiled at him. “Maybe we could have married long before we did and I could have gone to America with you.”

“Same here.” Alex kissed her. “I should have said something first. But we’ve done it now, and I don’t regret it.”

“You don’t?”

“No.” He kissed her again. “I love you, Charlotte. It doesn’t matter if I told you before or after America, I will always love you.”

“And I love you.” Charlotte smiled, her hand resting on her belly. “Do you think I can get away with leaving shortly? I need to go and rest at home.”

Alex chuckled.

“I’m sure Betty and Luke won’t mind. Do you want me to come as well?”

“No, you stay for them. I’ll want to sleep, anyway.” Charlotte leaned her head on his shoulder. “But you are always welcome to give me a cuddle when you return home.”

“I’ll certainly do that.” Alex put both his arms around her. “I can certainly do that now, anyway.”

“Even in mixed company?”

“I’m a duke. I can pretty much do what I want, and nobody’s going to stop me from holding my pregnant wife.”

Charlotte smiled as she snuggled into his arms. Now that she could happily go along with it.

THE END


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13 thoughts on “The Duke’s Unspoken Vow – Extended Epilogue”

  1. Hello, my dear readers! I hope you truly enjoyed this heart-warming romance! I would love to know your opinion! Had you imagined a different ending for our couple? I am eagerly waiting to read your replies here! Thank you – always! ♥️🎄

  2. Nice wrap up for an engaging story. The book is exciting and this EE is a good reveal of all the young families. Well done!

  3. I loved the extended epilogue but I would have like to have closure on Blackwood and how it affected the families. So great to see that everyone found love and happiness. The whole was a great story with a lot of ups and downs but then got very exciting toward the end. It was difficult to put down. The last part of the story changed tempo and was even harder to put down. Another great reading experience. Thank you again, Bridget Barton.

  4. Couldn’t put my kindle down as I got into the book,got so frustrated as the battery ran out and I had to wait while it recharged. It kept my attention right to the end
    .

  5. I really enjoyed the story and characters. I would have loved to read Simon and Carole’s story as well. Thank you for writing a sweet tale for us; and the extended epilogue was lovely.

    1. Dear Beth,

      I’m delighted to hear that you enjoyed the story and characters. It warms my heart to know that the tale resonated with you. Your interest in Simon and Carole’s story is duly noted, and I appreciate your kind words. Thank you for taking the time to share your thoughts, and I’m thrilled that you found the extended epilogue lovely.

  6. I really liked this book. The characters and plots are getting more and more involved and interestinv

  7. I loved the story and was not ready for it to end so soon. I was surprised to see Simon and Carole together. I also would have liked to know what happened to Blackwood and his evil cohort spies.

    1. Thank you so much for your heartwarming comment dear Rachel! Blackwood got what he deserved! He was sent away to exile and stripped of all his wealth! His accomplices were either thrown to jail or managed to disappear!

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