The new earl of Dane comes home from London, glad to reacquaint himself with friends and family, including Philippa, a beautiful older woman he's known all his life and considers a good friend. She's about to remarry and in Dane's opinion, the man is all wrong for her. On a moonlit night Dane makes the case that he's the right man for her. Philippa turned away, facing the garden and the shadowed forms of the roses. Her shawl drooped to her waist in the back. He found himself staring at the bare skin of her neck and shoulders. Another green satin bow nestled below her shoulder blades. A tendril of her hair had loosened from the curls at the back of her head and dangled just above her nape. He stood behind her. Close enough to touch that so pale skin. Enough that he could see the curve of her breasts. âAsk me your question, then, and Iâll answer as honestly and politically as I can.â Philippa bowed her head, then faced him again. Her tongue came out and tapped her lower lip just once. Dane steadied himself. They were friends. Theyâd practically grown up together. There had never, in all those years, been so much as a hint of sexual attraction between them. Not once. âI think youâre my only friend.â Her eyes opened wide, and she was looking at him. Really at him, and he knew whatever she asked, he would give her the truth. âThe only one whose opinion I trust.â She came close enough to rest her hand on his arm. He breathed in the scent of her perfume. âIs it not peculiar that youâre the only person I can think of who understands?â âWhat is it you want to ask me about Captain Bancroft?â She sighed and for a moment looked so miserable his heart broke for her. âYou met him tonight. Spoke with him for a while?â Dane nodded. Her eyes surveyed his face. There was really no hope of him getting out of this. Sheâd always been able to tell when he was lying. âWhat was your opinion of him?â He steeled himself against a reaction that would betray him before he had a chance to understand why she was asking. âAnswer me this first, do you love him?â She looked away, and he put a finger to her chin and brought her face back to his. His finger had a mind of its own for it slid along the edge of her jaw from the underside of her chin to the point just beneath her ear. Such soft, soft skin. A part of him was aware that in touching her like this heâd begun a slide into intimacy that would take them well past friendship if he let it.
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|Title of Romance eBook: Moonlight (sexy Regency Historical Short Story)|
|Release Date: 04-09-2011|
|Publisher: (Indie Author)|
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Moonlight (sexy Regency Historical Short Story)
Table Of Contents
June 3, 1815, The ballroom at Frieth Hall, The Grange, North Baslemere, Surrey, England
By the time Alec McHenry Fall, who had been the third earl of Dane for a very short time, made his way around the ballroom, Philippa was by herself. She sat on a chair backed up against the wall, her chin tipped toward the ceiling. Her eyes were closed in an attitude of relaxation rather than, so Dane hoped, prayer.
Her position exposed the slender column of her throat to anyone who might be looking, which was almost no one besides him since the room was nearly empty. Her hands lay motionless on her lap with the fingers of one hand curled around an ivory fan, the other held a corner of a fringed shawl the color of champagne.
He continued walking, not thinking about much except that Philippa was his good friend and that he was glad to have had her assistance tonight. He stepped around the detritus of a hundred people jammed inside a room that comfortably held half that number. A gentleman’s glove. A bit of lace, a handkerchief, silk flowers that had surely started the evening pinned to some young lady’s hair or hem.
Dane stopped in front of her chair. “Philippa.”...