“Of course.” Grace nodded to Rachel and reached out to place her gloved hand on Ewan’s arm. His warmth radiated through his coat and warmed her hand, causing her belly to flutter in response.
Rather than speaking, Ewan gently led her through the crush of people. When they needed to go around a couple, Ewan touched the small of her back with the softest of pressure, and then trailed his gloved fingers slightly down her dress before losing contact with her heated skin. As they maneuvered around another group of people conversing, he guided her by taking her hand and deftly interlacing his fingers within her own. It was only for a moment before he properly placed her hand once again on his strong arm, but not before giving her a flirtatious glance that let her know he was fully aware of each touch.
The flirtatious glance wasn’t one she had seen before. No, it was smoldering with a passion that was carefully restrained. But why? Grace couldn’t make sense of it. Her mind was blurry as she was lost in the simple sensations of Ewan’s gentle attention.
“I’m pleased you will be spending time with Miss Rachel.” Ewan cast her a clear blue gaze as they continued to walk.
“Yes.” Grace struggled to form a clear thought, though all she wanted to do was watch him and memorize the new expressions in his eyes as he watched her. “She seems very nice,” Grace offered after a moment of collecting her fragmented thoughts.
“Well, she certainly is very forgiving.” Ewan chuckled.
Grace laughed in response. “Ah, yes, I can see how that would be helpful in your current situation. How did you run into her anyway? Did you not see her?” Grace inquired, feeling more comfortable. She looked up and grinned at Ewan.
“No, I saw her clear as day and wanted to make a fool of myself,” Ewan replied with dry sarcasm. “Of course I didn’t see her! Do you really think me so clumsy that I’d run into someone even if I had seen him or her? You’re wounding my ego here, Grace.” Ewan grasped his heart in mock pain.
“Well, one never does know with you,” Grace teased back.
“Touché.” Ewan nodded with a wicked grin.
Ewan stopped and Grace took a moment to glance around her. They were outside of the ballroom and on a deserted balcony… alone. Her mind spun. Why had he brought her here? Yet, just as soon as she thought the question, she dismissed it. She didn’t care. All that mattered is he had.
Ewan’s grin faded slightly as he turned to face her. Grace’s smile faded as well, and she looked up into Ewan’s eyes as they roved over her countenance. Never had she been gazed upon like Ewan was presently doing. For just a moment, his eyes dipped to her lips, and then he forcibly shifted his gaze to meet hers once again.
“Grace, I…” His eyes searched hers. He grasped both of her gloved hands within his own, sending heat waves up her arms and intensifying her heartbeat. Ewan massaged small circles in her wrist with his thumb, and she felt her breath hitch with desire as she stared into his searing gaze.
“Ewan…” she whispered, leaning forward, swaying slightly and dropping her gaze to his lips.
Just as Ewan leaned forward, Grace heard footsteps click against the marble floor of the balcony. With a gasp, she stepped back to a proper distance at the same time as Ewan.
“Lady Grace! Here you are! I’ve been looking for you. I have someone you must meet!” came the very unwelcome voice of Lord Shiply. With a downward glance and a disappointed sigh, Grace closed her eyes and prayed for him to disappear. She instinctively knew that Ewan would have kissed her; that something intangible had changed between them. But gone was the moment.
With an apologetic smile she glanced at Ewan, losing her train of thought at the blatant desire burning within his eyes; desire and possession. Grace curled her toes in her slippers at the warm sensation his gaze gave her. Yes, there was hope, and she was not about to give it up.
“Later, Ewan?” she whispered, staring at him and allowing him to see just a portion of her heart in her eyes.
With a slight nod he grasped her hand and very gently kissed the back of it, then turned it over and pressed another moist and prolonged kiss to her wrist, sending shivers up her arm. After one long, lingering glance, she turned to meet Shiply.
Lady Grace Hashiver has perfected the art of hiding behind a sarcastic wit when it comes to dealing with the rakish Ewan Emmett Duke of Greys, her childhood tormentor. Her wit protects her from betraying the attraction and desire she feels whenever she is around him.
Ewan Emmett, Duke of Greys is perfectly thrilled to torment Grace at every opportunity, until an old acquaintance begins an honest suit for Grace’s hand. When Ewan begins to feel the pangs of jealousy causing him to question his reasons for his constant teasing of Grace, he discovers a depth of emotion he didn’t know he harbored towards the golden haired beauty. Suddenly he is no longer the tease, but on the receiving end of the torment as he wonders if he‘s to late too fight for her love.
You can find Redeeming the Deception of Grace at Astraea Press, Barnes & Noble, Amazon, and Smashwords.
Kristin Vayden is a stay-at-home mom of four children. She stays busy with homeschooling three of them and chasing the fourth around the house. Her inspiration for the romance she writes comes from her tall, dark and handsome husband with killer blue eyes. She loves to make soap, sauerkraut, sourdough bread and gluten-free muffins. Life is full of blessings and she praises God for the blessed and abundant life He's given her.