George kept his eyes on hers, the wind tugging at his light hair. “I want you for my wife,” he said, voice nearly swallowed by the wind. “And I want us to live in my sister’s house on Essex Street. You won’t get a better offer from anyone. By this time, I’m sure you know what you want. And I hope it’s me.”
Mary froze. If I reject him again, he won’t come back, and a woman’s occupation can only be marriage. But if I accept Mr. Crowninshield, Father wins.
Mary clenched her jaw.
“Miss Derby—Mary, I know what you’re thinking. Don’t allow your desire to get back at your father influence the most important decision of your life. Make it for your own happiness. I promise you I will make you happy every day of our lives. Do you believe me?”
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