He’s dancing with Cecily and looking at you, Sarah replied, sounding rather satisfied with her assessment.
Their eyes met, and she waited, breath held, but he only nodded and said, Miss Wynter. She nodded in return, then dipped into a small curtsy of respect. Mr. Granby.It is a fine day, is it not?
She swalowed. Very fine.Your afternoon off, I believe?He nodded once more, then said, as if nothing out of the ordinary had just occurred, Carry on. Carry on.
Wasn’t that what she always did? For three years on the Isle of Man, never seeing another person her own age except for Mrs. Summerlin’s nephew, who thought it good sport to chase her around the dining table. Then for nine months near Birmingham, only to be dismissed without a reference when Mrs. Barraclough caught Mr. Barraclough pounding on her door. Then three years in Shropshire, which hadn’t been too bad. Her employer was a widow, and her sons had more often than not been off at university. But then the daughters had had the effrontery to grow up, and Anne had been informed that her services were no longer needed.But she’d carried on. She’d obtained a second letter of reference, which was what she’d needed to gain a position in the Pleinsworth household. And now that she’d be leaving, she’d carry on again.
Although where she’d carry herself to, she had no idea.
The folowing day, Daniel arrived at Pleinsworth House at precisely five minutes before eleven. He had prepared in his mind a list of questions he must ask of Anne, but when the butler admitted him to the house, he was met with considerable uproar. Harriet and Elizabeth were yeling at each other at the end of the hal, their mother was yeling at both of them, and on a backless bench near the sitting room door, three maids sat sobbing.I hope they pour the bloody stuff over Marcus, he muttered.
Wel, he does look worse than you do, she remarked.He looked up, confused, and then a slow smile spread across his face. Indeed he does. She moved to the scrapes on his knuckles, murmuring, I have it on the best authority. He chuckled at that, but she didn’t look up. There was something so intimate about this, bending over his hand, cleaning his wounds. She did not know this man, not realy, and yet she was loath to let go of this moment. It wasn’t because it was him, she told herself. It was just that . . . It had been so long . . .
She was lonely. She knew that. It was no great surprise.She motioned to the cut on his shoulder and held out the handkerchief. His face and hands were one thing, but she couldn’t possibly touch his body. Perhaps you should . . .