Once a month, I will share a piece of my current Work in Progress, and I arbitrarily decided that it will be the third Wednesday of every month. Because logic is over rated.
This is a scene from the Regency Romance I’m currently writing, tentatively titled As He Likes It. The scene takes place at a ball between our hero Nathaniel, the Marquess of Pensington and our heroine Angelique (Angel) Grafton.
It’s unedited as I’m in the middle of revisions.
Finally, he gave up and walked across the room to where Angel seemed to be trying to hide behind a potted tree while sipping some punch. Apparently Chettisham had seen fit to give her something to drink, but didn’t bother to stick around. She looked up as he came to stand beside her.
“Are you enjoying your evening so far, Miss Grafton?” he asked politely.
“Very much, thank you,” she answered just as polite.
“Is that why you’re hiding behind a tree?”
Angel choked on the punch she’d just been about to swallow and started to cough. “I beg your pardon?” she sputtered.
Her eyes were watery from the coughing, making them appear greener than before. Framed with thick, dark eyelashes they were one of her most attractive features. Her pink lips were slightly parted, as if she could not quite believe what he’d just said. Nathaniel was shocked by the sudden urge he had to kiss those lips.
“Lord Pensington?” Angel queried softly.
“It seemed to me as if you were hiding,” Nathaniel said, pulling himself together. “Lurking behind plants usually isn’t an activity of those who enjoy a ball.”
A faint blush crept up Angel’s cheeks, making her look even more adorable. “I don’t know what you’re talking about,” she mumbled, facing the ball room and refusing to look at him.
“It was not my meaning to embarrass you. Please accept my most sincere apologies.”
Angel gave him a quick look. “Are you making sport of me, Lord Pensington?”
“I would never dream of it,” Nathaniel said with a look of mock horror, causing Angel to laugh and finally relax.
“I fear I really am hiding,” she admitted with a sigh. “I’m terribly shy and all these people make me nervous.”
“Where is your Chettisham?” Nathaniel asked, looking out over the crowd trying to locate him.
“He’s not my Chettisham,” Angel muttered, only to add, “At least not yet.”
“Well, he should be by your side if he hopes to win your hand in marriage.”
That caused Angel to laugh again, though it had a hollow quality to it. “There is no winning involved. It is simply how it is meant to be. I’m to be his wife, and that’s the end of it.”
Nathaniel knew he shouldn’t ask, it was none of his business, but he couldn’t help himself. “Do you wish to be his wife?”
She fell silent, looking out over the people on the dance floor until she found Chettisham, dancing with a beautiful, buxom lady.
“That is an awfully personal question, Lord Pensington,” she said quietly. “Do you really think that we are acquainted enough to speak of such private matters?”
“I did sleep in your bed,” Nathaniel said with a straight face.
Angel gasped and turned abruptly towards him, her cheeks turning beet red. “That is an awful thing to say to a young lady, my lord!”
“It was merely an observation.” Nathaniel tried to look innocent, but failed miserably.
“You, my lord, are a rogue,” Angel said, but she was smiling now.
“I believe that considering that you have seen me in a state of undress that few can claim to, you can call me Nathaniel.”
She blushed prettily. “Then you may call me Angel. But I thought you told me we should never mention that incident again.”
“So I did,” Nathaniel agreed. “But that was before I realized I could not stop thinking about it.”
They fell silent, Nathaniel felt as surprised by his admission as Angel looked. His dark eyes locked on to Angel’s light green ones, and neither of them were able to break the contact. Unable to stop himself Nathaniel leaned a little closer.