You would not be familiar with it, he said dismissively.
But you are called Sir, Prince Alexei said.True, Harry replied, not looking at all concerned by his lack of status. But it does not make me an aristocrat.
Prince Alexei’s lips curved ever so slightly.Baronets are not considered part of the aristocracy, Olivia explained, giving Harry an apologetic look. It really was rude of the prince to hammer on about Harry’s lower rank, but one did have to make allowances for cultural differences.What is this ‘baronet’? the prince asked.
Endlessly in between, Harry replied with a sigh. A bit like purgatory, really.Alexei turned to Olivia. I do not understand him.
He means, or at least I think he means-she shot a peeved look at Harry because she had no idea what he thought he was doing, purposefully antagonizing the prince-that baronets are not a part of the aristocracy, and yet they are not untitled. That is why he is called Sir.
Prince Alexei still looked confused, so Olivia explained, In order of rank, beneath royalty, of course, there are dukes and duchesses, marquesses and marchionesses, earls and countesses, viscounts and viscountesses, and finally, barons and baronesses. She paused. Then baronets and their wives, but they are considered part of the gentry.It was all the permission he needed. He pulled her back for another searing kiss, his fingers finding the cloth-covered buttons at the back of her gown. They slipped easily through the buttonholes, and in seconds the fabric pooled and rustled at her feet.
She was standing before him in her chemise and corset, the pale fabric glowing softly in the moonlight filtering through the uncurtained upper half-moon of the room’s only window. She looked so beautiful, so ethereal and pure-he found himself wanting to stop and drink in the sight of her, even as his body burned for closer contact.He shrugged off his own coat, then loosened the folds of his cravat. Through it all she just stood there, silently watching him, her eyes wide with wonder and excitement. He undid the first few buttons on his shirt, just enough to pull it over his head and, with whatever last grasp on rational thought he had left, he laid it neatly on a chair so it wouldn’t wrinkle. She let out a little giggle, clasping her hand to her mouth.
You’re so neat, she said, looking almost embarrassed to be pointing it out.He glanced pointedly over his shoulder. There are four hundred people on the other side of this door.