As he approached her side, he motioned to the brilliant red bloom and said, They’re lovely and somewhat rare in an English garden, but alas, with no perfume.
She nodded; the motion caused her hair to tickle his cheek. A ball, she said. At Lady Mottram’s.Anthony couldn’t resist the soft silkiness of her hair, and he threaded two fingers through it, letting it slide across his hand and wrap around his wrist. Do you know what I think? he murmured.
He heard her smile as she asked, What?I think I’ve never cared that much for Lady Mottram. And do you know what else I think?Now he heard her trying not to giggle. What?
I think we should go upstairs.You do? she asked, clearly feigning ignorance.
Oh, indeed. This very minute, as a matter of fact.
She wiggled her bottom, the minx, ascertaining for herself just how quickly he needed to go upstairs. I see, she murmured gravely.Kate scowled at their errant siblings, then shrugged in resignation as she started trudging up the hill. I suppose I can tolerate your company for a few more minutes if you can tolerate mine.
He didn’t say anything, which surprised her. It seemed just the sort of comment to which he’d have a witty and perhaps even cutting comeback. She looked up at him, then drew back slightly in surprise. He was staring at her in the oddest manner…Is—is everything all right, my lord? she asked hesitantly.
He nodded. Fine. But he sounded rather distracted.The rest of the trip to the shed was met with silence. Kate set the pink ball in its spot in the Pall Mall cart, noting that Colin and Edwina had cleared the course and put everything neatly away, including the errant purple mallet and ball. She stole a glance at Anthony and had to smile. It was obvious from his beleaguered frown that he’d noticed as well.