He made a formal leg over Lady de Lisle's hand. “My lady, I knew you across the room from the elegance of your — bonnet.” Too late, he glanced at the top of her sausagey curls. A lace cap. Well, never mind; she wouldn’t. That was all that mattered.
But her smile thinned a hair, so he leaned closer, dropping his voice to a whisper. “What do you think of Beryl gallivanting about with Cumberland, eh?”
Her suspicious glare returned and aimed toward the sauntering couple. The crowd parted before them, closed in behind them, and surreptitious eyes watched them from all about the ballroom, mostly ladies peering provocatively over their fans. Beryl’s hand rested on Cumberland’s elbow, and they stared only at each other as they crossed the crowded ballroom floor, untouched by the mob. She was saying something, something long and seemingly involved, her eyes bright and her cheeks pink, and he nodded every so often, as if encouraging her to continue.
Such a romantic picture. Utterly disgusting.
Lady de Lisle sniffed. “In my day, no young lady would dare be seen with such a — a villain. Even if he is a duke.” Her lips twitched. “And handsome.”
Fitz wanted to groan. Another one falling under the ducal spell. “And rich,” he added helpfully.
Her mouth pursed. “And a good dancer.” Not quite as reluctant in her praise this time.
Dash it all, could he not coax just one single female into an anti-Cumberland frame of mind? “Lady de Lisle, he’s a rake. He ruined Anne Kirkhoven just weeks ago, Dorcas Wentworth-Gower, Beryl’s own cousin, before her, Lydia—”
A blistering glance stopped him. “Don’t quote names to me, lad; I know all the gossip, and much more intimately than any man possibly could. A rake he might be, aye, and a villain, too. But the woman who nails down his heart, or at least his hand atop the altar, will have made a catch indeed.”
Now there was a lovely image, and he’d hand the bride a hammer with glee. So long as it wasn’t Beryl.
The right man refuses to admit he's wrong. Until he does, the wrongest man in London is rather charming.
This one's not quite finished, but it should be soon. Unless I walk in front of a coach and four or something, of course.
Thanks for stopping by.