Gossamer in the Darkness – Fantasyland Read Online Kristen Ashley

Categories Genre: Alpha Male, Dark, Fantasy/Sci-fi, Paranormal, Romance Tags Authors:

Total pages in book: 89
Estimated words: 90426 (not accurate)
Estimated Reading Time in minutes: 452(@200wpm)___ 362(@250wpm)___ 301(@300wpm)

There were opportunities everywhere.

He couldn’t stay on top of it, no matter how many rats he recruited.

Edgar, of course, had contingencies in place, and he may not have advised his clients to do the same (for if they held money back, he would have less of their money to invest in his schemes, and in turn would make less himself).

But any man knew to protect his estate. It wasn’t Edgar’s fault they listened to him when he advised all in (and perhaps sometimes his advice could better be described as coercion, but he didn’t regard it that way).

Many of his clients had been ruined.

He was called The Dealmaker no longer.

Once, every door was open to him. He’d arrive, a cheer would rise, and a glass of the best whisky was placed in his hand. They’d be falling all over themselves to pat him on the back, sit close to his side and be warmed by his brilliant, unfailing light.

Now, he hadn’t had a dinner invitation in two years. Balls that were often held in his honor happened without him even knowing they’d been scheduled. Conferences that he’d keynote he was blacklisted from attending.

He was rich. He had more than enough money, he’d never be poor.

But he was a pariah.

And you couldn’t make more money unless people would accept your investments.

They wouldn’t even accept his letters.

He needed this alliance with the House of Dalton.

He needed his name linked with someone of such impeccable pedigree and reputation as Lord Ansley Copeland.

The doors would open to the father of a duchess, the grandfather of a future duke.

From the moment Edgar completed the flourish on his signature on that betrothal contract, he knew that was the next step to greatness.

That would be his legacy.

His blood would run through the veins of all future Daltons.

His daughter would sleep beside the Marquess of Remington.

She’d stand at his side when his father passed, and he inherited the Duchy.

She would first be called marchioness.

She would then be called duchess.

The only greater title was princess.

The only greater title than that was Queen.

And her first son, and every first son after—his grandson, would be Duke.

But now, no.

Simply because a useless six-year-old girl could not sit a horse.

For the last two years, he’d had his rats out scavenging in every corner in every city in Hawkvale, Bellebryn, Fleuridia, even all the way up to the frosty northern shores of Lunwyn and across the Green Sea to the continent of Triton.

There was no witch.

There was no sorcerer.

There was no cure.

There was no miracle.

Maxine, with her mother’s leonine hair and eyes, would be six years old…


And Edgar would never regain his standing. He’d never enter a parlor to smiles and cheers.

He’d never leave this Earth, his legacy being his vast wealth.

And the incorporation of Derryman into a Duchy.

* * * *

“Milord, sir…sir…sir!”

Edgar snorted, turned, and blinked through the curtains of his bed where his servant, Carling, had leant through, holding a candle.

“What the demon?” Edgar groused.

“At the back door…one of your…”—Carling made a face—“associates. He says he has something urgent to tell you. I told him to come at a decent hour, but he said you wouldn’t thank me to make you wait.”

Edgar made to turn his back on the man and resume sleep, murmuring, “Repeat he should come at a decent hour.”

“Sir, milord, he says it’s about your…”

He didn’t finish, and the manner in which he was speaking made Edgar return his attention to the retainer.

“My what?” he prompted.

“Your daughter,” Carling whispered, blame in his eyes, judgment in his tone.

Insufferable man.

It was rather a shame he was so very good at his job.

Edgar was still for but a moment, thinking on this, before he pulled the candle from the man’s hand. Wax dripped on his bedclothes, but he paid it no mind as he threw his legs over the side, shoving his feet in his slippers.

He shrugged on his dressing gown as he hurried, ignoring the fact that in the last few years, due to his life narrowing rather drastically, his bulk had become somewhat…ungainly.

He descended the stairs and took a trek he rarely took, into his servant’s domain, the kitchens at the back of the house.

There, in the opened door, thankfully not having strode over the threshold (he made a note to remember to offer a rare (very rare) commendation to Carling on seeing to that, and then immediately forgot that note) stood the filthy, unkempt person of Buttersnatch, one of his best little rats.

He felt his dressing gown billowing out behind him as he barked, “This better be good to pull me from my bed.”

“A word, master,” Buttersnatch begged, although it wasn’t a plea, that was simply how Buttersnatch always spoke.

The rodent glanced behind him to the servants’ alley before he looked back at Edgar.

“In private.”

Edgar examined Buttersnatch’s expression.

He had not been The Dealmaker solely due to his brilliant understanding of all things financial.