Carte Blanche (Camille Anthony in Charming the Snake) – Chapter Twelve

Chassy arrives at the Duchess Pettibone’s place and meets a stereotype of a butler. He treats her condescendingly, but quickly leads her to the room where the duchess is. But it’s not the duchess greeting her – it’s her father. She “[flies] into her father’s embrace”.

In his arms, the constant fear and dread she’d lived with since his injury fell away. [Did you notice the fear and dread? Must have gotten lost somehow between the orgasms and the carte blanche.] Only now did she realize how heavy the burden of wariness had weighed on her. Feeling light enough to fly, [she just flew into her father’s embrace, apparantly, it’s not only a feeling] she laughed aloud, hugged her father, and burrowed closer as reaction finally set in.

Her father looks fine, healthy. Therefore, Chassy can begin to question him. Why Liana didn’t write anymore and why he didn’t stay at her uncle’s place and whether her uncle was involved in the murder attempt. [No, he wasn’t.]

Then Cedric goes right in medias res. He needs Chassy’s help: she needs to marry, but not Dare.

She frowned in confusion. “How will my marrying some man advance your program?” [I’m wondering, too…] She thought a moment. “You know who it is. You’ve always known.” [And that explains the whole thing now … how?]
“Yes. However, I am not at liberty to disclose the person’s identity…” [How convenient!] He glanced over at the rotund duchess. “A prior promise constrains me.”

Finally, Cedric tells Chassy that she needs to marry the Earl of Chesley. Aka Dare’s father.

Basically this exchange follows [paraphrased]:

Chassy: But I don’t wanna! He is so mean!
Cedric: But you will have to.
Chassy: But he’s an asshole!
Lucynda: Chassy’s right.
Cedric: Okay, then you don’t have to.

WTF? First, it’s essential for his plan that Chassy marries him and then some feet stomping makes him change his mind just like that?

Anyway, Cedric says that she doesn’t have to marry him but she has to pretend that she does until the ceremony. And she can’t tell Dare anything about it.

Chassy has the intelligent notion to say that she has to tell Dare. But her father tells her:

“Does your Dare love you enough to forgive you?”
“What are you saying, Dad?” she whispered, tears clogging her throat. She didn’t want to hear whatever it was. The thought of makingDare believe she would dump him for another… seeing the hurt betrayal in his eyes… She closed hers. “I can’t bear to hurt him.”
“If Dare learns the truth, his reaction will not be authentic. Our prey has eyes and ears among society. They will know if something, any little thing, is amiss. We’ll lose this opportunity. I’m not the only target. My would-be killer has to think you are in my confidence. You have now become an equal or greater threat.”

Okay, WTF? Dare made the whole world believe that he’s an asshole, even though is innocent and pure of heart. Don’t you think he could act that out? And why is Chassy a threat and why doesn’t she ask her dad why she’s a threat and doesn’t the “killer” think that Cedric’s dead and does any of this even start to make sense?

No, it doesn’t make sense. But Chassy agrees to do it anyway.

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