When Lydia looked up, Edward and Mr. Bacon pushed open the glass door, their breath still huffing small clouds of frosty air until they crossed the threshold. Edward froze, his dark eyes roving over her, catching on her messy skirt but rising to her face. His eyes spread wide, as did Mr. Bacon’s.
Lydia, clutching empty silver spoons at her sides, laughed. What else could she do?
“I’m a fright with my egg-smeared
“You sound like Lydia,” Edward began, and then
his narrowing eyes lit with a low smolder. “But you’re
a different version of the woman I stole from the Blue
Cockerel. Who is this vision?”
Even Mr. Bacon’s bright blue eyes glowed with male appreciation. “Good afternoon, miss. You’relooking lovely.” He dipped his head in greeting, but his stare remained on her.
Lydia took a fraction of a second to register their responses to her, the subtle differences that went beyond the beautiful dress. Her hair was swept high off her face with only a few hot-iron curls falling artfully in the right places, since time was of the essence with Simpson. A thin line of kohl had been applied to her lower eyelid, and a touch of rouge to her lips. Simpson had plucked her brows into elegant arches, and ear bobs dangled from her ears, teardrop in shape and identical in color to the burgundy dress, cheap paste to
be sure, but pretty.
Of course, there was more of her to see: two plump, cream-white curves rose from her square neckline. Could those few changes make that much difference in male reaction?
“May I escort you to your seat?” Edward offered his arm to her in what also looked like a subtle crowding out of Mr. Bacon. His gaze lingered on her cleavage then strayed to the spoons. “That is, if you promise not to slay me with your spoons.”
His lips twitched with humor, and Lydia slipped her arm into his. She turned her face into his sleeve, hiding a snicker at his jest. The day, odd and exhilarating, just got better, because Edward was here and close to her.
Then he leaned his head near to hers, adding to the intimacy.
“I see my mother’s subjecting you to the same torture she exacted on my sister, lessons in graceful walking with eggs,” he said low enough for her ears only.
“My apologies to the Greenwich floors, my lord.”
“You and the eggs improve the place. Never liked it in here. Everything’s icicle blue, like being on a Nordic expedition.”
She giggled and leaned into his body warmth as they strolled to the seating area.
“Perfect. Lydia can practice her tea-service skills,” the countess crowed her pleasure across the room. Then she dismissed the servants with a quick clap. “That’ll be all for now, Miss Lumley.”
Edward delivered Lydia to a delicate white chair, bending deep with her as she took her seat. He dipped low and close, such that his warm breath fanned the top of her bosom. Some of her hard-earned decorum slipped. A rash brigand’s smile crossed his face, visible
to her alone, and the spoons dropped in her lap with a rattle.
No matter, the voices of the countess and Mr. Bacon floated in the background, engaging in social chatter. Edward set a hand on the back of her chair, a move that was possessive and claiming, and she wanted to sink into him. His lordship’s sculpted lips twitched,
and he looked pointedly at the sliver of dark space between her breasts as if he would like very much to explore what he could and couldn’t see.
“I find that I’d like to continue our discussions tonight, if that meets with your approval,” he said for her ears alone.
His voice vibrated over her skin, and her body turned puttylike by his presence. When she responded, her voice kept their quiet, intimate thread.
“You mean such as we had last night? Your talking with a woman
for no particular reason over no particular subject?”
One corner of his mouth hitched up at that. “Exactly the kind of discourse I had in mind,” he whispered.
Thanks for stopping by the blog today. I hope you enjoyed Lessons with Eggs an excerpt from Meet the Earl at Midnight, Book 1 in the series Midnight Meetings. If you’re curious about those eggs…
Book 1, Midnight Meetings Book 2, Midnight Meetings Available Now Available April 7, 2015