What do you do for Nigel Jennings?"There was no pause at all. "I'm his tailer," he answered immediately."You're nothing of the sort."Rupert gave her a cheeky grin. "Meant to say, he's my tailor."She cast him a thoughtful look. "Interesting that you would lie about it.""You call joking lying?""Evasion is a form of deceit.""Interesting that you would see it that way." He gave her back her own words. She almost laughed.While he hadn't answered her question any more truthfully than she had answered his, he surprised her by not pursuing his inquiry about why she had been on Wigmore Street. Fingering a white silk yarn within his reach, he said, "I'll take a vest in this if you run out of ideas to ply your needle toward."She couldn't help but grin. "Will you indeed? But that implies a gift-"He cut in, "Consider it an early Christmas present," and actually sounded serious."I don't make presents for mere aquaintances.""We're more'n that.""We aren't.""Of course we are,or do you make a habit of kissing mere aquaintances?"She huffed. "You did the kissing, not I."He was grinning again. "You fully participated,Becca. Don't even try to deny it.
She thought I should woo you into removing the mask I told her you were wearing."She'd managed to surprise him yet again, to go by his expression and the lambent look that entered his eyes. "That sounds entirely too interesting. You have my rapt attention. Woo away.""I wouldn't know how," she admitted, lowering her head and suddenly feeling embarrassed."Move a little closer,m'dear. I promise I'll get the message."Her head shot back up. "You're entirely too bold,Rupert St. John.""I know.It's wonderful,isn't it?"She rolled her eyes. She supposed this Rupert was much preferable to the dangerous one she'd briefly met in Nigel's room.But which was the real St. John?Aware that the dance was going to end at any moment,she said, "Now it's my turn.Are you really a spy?""Good God,do you really think I'd say so if I was?" he replied,aghast, which was obviously feigned."I thought we were being honest.""No,you are being honest. I'm merely being delighted by it."Rebecca gritted her teeth. He'd finally managed to provoke her ire with his evasiveness. She stopped dancing, pulled away from his hands,and walked away.But she heard him call softly after her, "Wait! You haven't heard my dire warnings!""Keep them," she shot back. "I wouldn't believe them anyway."DId he have to laugh at that?
She didn't get any further because he didn't just stand there letting her aim missiles at him. He easily dodged the first one, and the second went over his head as he dived at her, pushing her back down onto the couch with himself landing on top of her. After she got her breath back from the impact, she shrieked, "Get off of me, you clumsy clod!" "My dear girl, there was nothing clumsy involved in the position you now find yourself. It was quite intentional, I do assure you." "Get off of me anyway!" "So you can resume your spat of violence? No, no. Violence is not going to be part of our relationship. I could've sworn I already mentioned that." "And what do you call squashing me like this?" "Prudence, actually." And then he paused, his eyes getting greener by the second as he stared down at her. "On the other hand, I'd also call it quite nice." Her eyes narrowed. "If you're thinking about kissing me, I wouldn't advise it," she warned. "No?" "No." He sighed. "Ah, well." But then a half grin formed as he added, "I don't always take good advice."-Kelsey & Derek
Highwaymen?" she asked, and couldn't hide the hopeful note from her tone."In the middle of the day?""So they're desperate."Being robbed wouldn't be pleasant, but it would actually be preferable compared to an angry criminal running them down from his stolen property."That would be the logical assumption, Becca,if we didn't just leave the house of a confirmed mass murderer.""So you did find the evidence you were after?""It's in the book I asked you to smuggle out. Considering how quickly we left,my guess would be that Mary Pearson immediately mentioned to her husband that she'd put you in their bedroom, and that I entered it as well. Samuel would have gone straight upstairs in that case to check on the imcriminating ledger he'd carelessly left lying on the desk.""And found it gone," she said with a resigned sigh."Don't sound so aggrieved. We'll be fine."She could have screamed at him like a harpy for that ridiculous assessment. With two more shots fired at them, her fear was rising fast. It had been the same back at the Pearson house. The moment Rupert had warned that he'd disabled one of the servants,meaning they could be found out at any moment, her nausea had abruptly ended. Incredible. Did the sudden rush of fear do that? Not that she was going to seek out things to frighten her just to get through this pregnancy a little easier, but it as an interesting side effect. She could at least test the theory at home by having Flora try to startle her or...what the deuce was she doing thinking about things that might never happen when she could end up dead in minutes?
Rupert yanked Rebecca off her seat to the floor! If that weren't bad enough, he dropped down on top of her, not with his full weight,, but enough to make it uncomfortable.Rebecca had,of course, heard the gunfire that had prompted Rupert's actions. She wasn't deaf. Still, annoyed, she asked, "Do you really think a shot is going to get through the back panel of a coach this sturdily built? And fired from a moving vehicle? Anyone aiming isn't likely to hit us a'tall.""They're on horseback," was all he said."Even worse.Have you ever hit what you aimed at while racing along on a horse?""Yes."She snorted,but believing him at all.
In the same vein, Rupert knew that he'd found his own ideal match,too. He just couldn't imagine how he was going to convince her of it.But that wasn't what he was thinking about on the ride home. Unable to take his eyes off of his wife,he said, "There's something about riding in a coach with you that drives me crazy."Rebecca's dark blue eyes flared, but she didn't protest when he moved across to her seat and gathered her into his arms. Catching his wife off guard did have its advantages, which was fortunate, because she really did inflame his passions without even trying. One heady taste of her and most of his control was gone."Could it be because we nearly made love in this coach before?" he said against her lips. "Or could it be because I suspect you were sitting here earlier tonight thinking of me with my breeches off?"Rebecca gasped but he just thrust his tongue deeply inside her until she no longer seemed to feel like upbraiding him for that teasing remark. He loved teasing her. It was too bad she was rarely in a mood for it.Unfortunately,she didn't let his remark go unanswered, though they were nearly home before she pulled away from his arms to say breathlessly, "I was doing nothing of the sort.
Rebecca,why haven't you burned his wardrobe yet?"Rebecca turned to see what had provoked that question, then just stared. Her husband was wearing one of those horribly bright satin coats better suited to a costume ball, this one in a ghastly orange, with excesive lace at the wrists and the throat. With his long black hair and his soft cheeks so smoothly shaved,it made him look somewhat effeminate when she knew he was anything but.But he actually looked to be trying not to laugh when he said to his mother, "She'll do nothing of the sort. She likes my taste in clothes. It reminds her of when we first met."Rebecca continued to just stare, her mind in a whirl. It sounded as if he was just teasing, but she couldn't be sure. To imply that she had fond memories of their first meeting wasn't even remotely amusing. She had nothing of the sort."You can't seriously intend to take your wife out wearing something like that?" Julie continued."What's wrong with what she's wearing?""Not her,you fool.You! You're married now. Your old taste in clothes-""Marriage has nothing to do with taste, Mother," Rupert cut in. "Well, perhaps a little,at least in women, but nothing a'tall to do with one's wardrobe.Shall we go, m'dear?"The last was added for Rebecca as he put an arm around her to lead her out of the room. His hand on her hip was all she could think about.But his mother refused to be dismissed so easily. Julie actually shouted at him, "Find a new tailor! You're mortifying your wife!
Then I guess the only thing left is for you to prove that you're up to the challenge. Give me a smile that isn't a sneer."He wasn't expecting that, to go by his sudden surprise. But it was a reasonable request. She wasn't going to carry the entire charade on her shoulders alone. He had to do his share.But she wasn't expecting one of those amazing smiles he'd dazzled her with before that fateful night she'd spent in his bed. She sucked in a sharp breath. Her heart started to thump loudly. Good God,how could he still do this to her?"You don't need to be that convincing!" she snapped, and swung around to get her eyes off him. "Save your seductive smiles for you legion of conquests. I won't be one of those,so a decent smile will do,thank you."He actually laughed. "That was normal smile, Becca. If you don't believe me,turn around and I'll show you the difference.""No! Seducing me isn't part of this bargain.""Of course not.For now,this happy marriage is for show only and I have already promised to keep my hands off you, haven't I?""Then henceforth keep your lips off me, too," she said on her way out the door. "There's to be no more accidental kisses."She heard him laugh again before she closed the door behind her. Good Lord, what had she just agreed to? This was never going to work!
What is Chad short for?" she found herself asking out of pure nervousness."Short for?""It's a nickname,isn't it?""No,darlin',it doesn't get any longer."She heard the humor in his tone,which annoyed her.It had been a natural mistake. The name didn't usually stand on its own.And she should take him to task over that "darlin'," except she'd heard for herself how common the use of that word was out here,no different than the old-timers calling her "missy," or the train attendant calling her "ma'am." It meant nothing. There wasn't a speck of endearment in it."Thank you for clearing that up for me," she said a bit stiffly."My pleasure."She had a feeling he would have tipped his hat if he'd been wearing it just then rather than holding it in his hand. She'd like to tip his rocker over. He could be so damn irritating-no,it probably wasn't even him, it was her reaction to him,her nervousness, her-wanting him when she knew she couldn't have him.
You need to find yourself a new eye doctor. Trenton just happens to have one."Her eyes moved to him,then back to the cup she'd managed to get hold of. "There's nothing wrong with my vision," she replied indignantly."You're as blind as a bat.""What an unkind thing to say," she said with a humph."You get top honors on unkind remarks, Missy. I'm just stating the obvious.""Which isn't the least bit true.""Isn't it? How many fingers am I holding up?" When she said nothing, he added, "Uh-huh,I rest my case."She lowered her head a bit,conceding, he thought, until she replied triumphantly, "Three."He mumbled under his breath. "You were guessing.""And you have trouble admitting when you're wrong,don't you?