Smart woman, he muttered. The men in my family are bullheaded idiots.
But he moved ever closer. Slowly, but without hesitation. Lucy, he said, his voice warm and full of purpose. Just tell me why. That is all I ask. I will walk away and promise never to approach you again, but I must know why.She shook her head. I can’t tell you.
You won’t tell me, he corrected.No, she cried out, choking on the word. I can’t! Please, Gregory. You must go.For a long moment he said nothing. He just watched her face, and she could practically see him thinking.
She shouldn’t allow this, she thought, a bubble of panic beginning to rise within her. She should scream. Have him ejected. She should run from the room before he could ruin her careful plans for the future. But instead she just stood there, and he said-You’re being blackmailed.
It wasn’t a question.
She did not answer, but she knew that her face gave her away.She gave her head a little shake. "I don't know how you know it's love. I think it's different for everyone.wwHow did you know?"
She chewed on her lower lip for several seconds before replying, "I don't know."wWhat?"She shrugged helplessly. "I don't remember. It's been so long. I just... knew."wSo what you're saying," he said, leaning against the windowsill and crossing his arms, "is that if one doesn't know one's in love, then one probably isn't."wYes," she said firmly. "No! No, that's not what I mean at all."wThen what do you mean?"wI don't know," she said weakly.
He stared at her. "And how long have you been married?" he muttered.wColin, don't tease. I'm trying to be helpful."wAnd I appreciate the attempt, but truly, Daphne, you—"wI know, I know," she interrupted. "I'm useless. But listen to me. Do you like Penelope?" Then she gasped in horror.wWe are talking about Penelope, aren't we?"wOf course we are," he snapped.She let out a relieved sigh. "Good, because if we weren't, then I can assure you I would have had no advice whatsoever."wI'll go," he said abruptly.wNo, don't," she pleaded, placing her hand on his arm. "Stay, Colin, please."