Christmas story part two
“You rushed off so suddenly,” Miss Kingston said. “I was… concerned.” Her brow furrowed. “What are you doing by that pear tree?”
"I - ah - I - " So this was what total humiliation felt like. How could the lady miss what he had just done?
"Mr. - Ryder, are you feeling all right?"
"Quite all right, Miss Kingston. Do let us go in, I'm afraid you'll take a chill in this weather."
She looked at him doubtfully, her heavenly eyes glinting in the moonlight. Had circumstances been different, had he not just disgraced himself, this would have been the perfect time to declare his interest, if not his love. He had no desire to scare her off, not this early in his decision to court her.
"What is going on here?" The strong, masculine voice made Ryder nearly bite his tongue. While Miss Kingston had announced her presence by cracking a few twigs under her feet, one of the other guests here, Lord Waverley, had crept as quietly as the damned panther society called him.
Whimsically called The Panther because of the creatures on his coat-of-arms, Waverley was one of the leaders of society, a Corinthian, his strong, tall body always dressed in the peak of fashion, his dark hair tousled in the latest style.
Ryder disliked him, though he had no idea why. It wasn't jealousy, since Waverley could only occupy one woman at a time, that meant there were plenty left for mere mortals like himself, but something about the man's cold arrogance rubbed him the wrong way. Less a panther, more an irritated moggy.
"Turtle doves is it?" Waverley's blue eyes twinkled in amusement, but as he drew closer he paused to sniff the air. "Is that - no matter. Shall I take you in, Miss Kingston? I fear this weather is far too cold for you to be out without a shawl."
He presented his arm and like a lamb to the slaughter, Miss Kingston took it.
Now Ryder knew. He was jealous, after all.
Lynne Connolly w/a Lynne Martin.
powered by performancing firefox