The thick crowd parted in front of him like the Red Sea, bows and curtseys and whispers spreading before his path along the assembly room’s long wall. His chosen pathway, beneath the line of massive chandeliers, threw the brilliant candlelight fully onto his face and dress, doubtless highlighting the fine woollen swallowtail, the silk of his white breeches, the subtle gleam of the signet ring on his left hand, his only jewelry. Carefully he’d instructed his valet regarding his evening’s attire, and perfectly had that worthy man heeded and obeyed. That night, Beau Brummell wouldn’t cut a finer figure.
Just as he’d intended.
The long wall of the Hanover Square ballroom was long indeed. By the time His Grace reached Miss Beryl’s corner, there could be no doubt that he commanded the attention of every person within. All eyes had traced the last steps of his path, and the assembly stilled, watching and waiting.
Hoping to ascertain the identity of his next victim.
Far be it from him to disappoint them.
The remainder of the assembly’s noise died away. The Hanover Square ballroom fell still.
One heartbeat. Two. Three.
In a single second, five hundred hands produced five hundred fans — there, the rustle and flutter of fans flipping open, and the increasing, increasingly excited babble of discreet murmurs, surely behind those genteel covers. The gentlemen would simply have to make do as they could, should they decide to join the gossiping.
The blood rushed to Miss Beryl’s face, brightening her complexion to the most amazing scarlet. Then she whitened to ivory, equally astonishing against her coppery curls.
Her eyes never left his. And of course, his never, ever left hers.
She hadn’t realized what two dances with him meant.
She did now.
Tonight, my next Regency novella, Mischief on Albemarle, sequel to Scandal on Half Moon Street, reached the 50% mark. As His Grace would say, let the games begin.