Page 39 of Merry Miss

Jack stepped aside, allowing his grandparents to pass. As they did so, his grandmother paused for an instant to squeeze his wrist.

“Sometimes we don’t need to go looking at all.” Her words were as cryptic as her smile. “Don’t scare my companion away. She’s come a long way to be here today, and I do believe I’m going to like her very much.”

Scare her away?

Jack waited nearly a full minute after they’d left before crossing the room to where Delia sat.

“Did you know who I was?” he asked.

She couldn’t have. Of course, she hadn’t. Delia was incapable of dissembling even if she wanted to. And yet, he had to ask.

She shook her head. “I never imagined… Not until Lord St. Vincent came down just before you arrived. You resemble him—your grandfather.” She frowned. “But I never even considered. I thought you must be a solicitor…”

“Or a highwayman?” he teased.

“Only at first.” She hadn’t relaxed yet, but remained sitting straight backed and…cautious.

“May I?” He gestured to the chair his grandmother had vacated.

“Of course.”

Jack turned it so he’d be facing her and then lowered himself onto the edge.

And merely stared at her.

“Do you want me to leave?” She clasped her hands tightly in her lap.

“Of course not.” Just the opposite, in fact. Jack pointed at the atrocious scrap of muslin covering her beautiful hair. “Do you mind if I get rid of this?”

“No.” She dipped her chin.

“It’s awful.” Her voice caught as he uncovered her hair.

“It really is,” he agreed, studying it, and then tossing it onto a nearby table. “I do believe I’ll have it burned.”

The ghost of a smile danced on her lips.

“I went back to find you,” Jack said. “Or where you’d gone, rather.”

“Why?”

“Why do you think?”

“I assumed the impossible once before. I’m not going to do that again.”

Jack swallowed hard. When he’d first been going to make love with her—when he’d thought she was a lightskirt, she had asked him if he loved her.

“You went back for my belongings?” She tilted her head.

“Yes.”

“Why?” she asked again.

“Because.” His heart swelled inside his chest. He was happy.She makes me feel happy.“I don’t want to go through the rest of my life looking for silver linings. I want the best scenario.”

Delia licked her lips. “And what is that?” she whispered.

“You.”


Tags: Annabelle Anders Historical
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