Reluctantly, Madison walked with her entourage to Chadwick’s private box. Anthony and Sarah took the seats furthest away. Madison silently cursed finding herself seated between Chadwick and Rankin. She tried to keep as far away from Chadwick as possible. Deliberately she engaged with Rankin and completely ignored Chadwick to her left. Madison almost shrieked out aloud when she felt a muscular leg press against hers from the left side. When she turned to glare at Chadwick, he was not even looking in her direction. He was softly whispering in Charlotte’s ear.
Madison found it difficult to focus on Alexandria’s singing with Chadwick’s distracting presence. The performance was sterling and the lady did have an amazingly beautiful voice, but Madison was too distracted. The performer lost all of Madison’s praise when she began serenading Chadwick. Her eyes were glued on Chadwick, and the devil was lapping it up, smiling back with flirtatious eyes. Son of lucifer!
Madison was relieved when it was the interval. She dragged Sarah outside for some fresh air even though Sarah was enjoying the romantic stale air in the corner with her betrothed. Sarah whined and groaned all the way outside.
‘Why could you not have taken Lady Charlotte? I do not require any air?’ Sarah groaned.
‘Perhaps you do need a distraction,’ Madison grinned.
‘Oh I cannot wait to be married,’ Sarah sighed. ‘I cannot wait to get into my marriage bed with Anthony.’
‘Sarah!’ Madison dragged Sarah outside and tried unsuccessfully to quieten her.
‘What!’ Sarah was annoyed. ‘I love him and he loves me. Why do we have to wait until the night of our wedding?’ Sarah moaned more loudly.
‘Good evening ladies,’ Lady Sophia Jersey greeted both girls with a friendly smile.
‘Lady Sophia, good evening,’ Madison smiled cautiously. The previous time they had met, Sophia was dissuading her from her intended betrothal plan to Rankin.
‘Good evening Lady Sophia,’ Sarah returned the warm smile.
‘You are here with a companion?’ Madison asked curiously. The son of lucifer was sitting next to her with his attention split three ways between her, Charlotte and Alexandria.
No, with my parents,’ Sophia answered. ‘They love Alexandria. They have watched her perform in New York and in Russia.’
‘She is rather talented,’ Madison offered. From her point of vantage she could see into the foyer where drinks were being taken. Her body seemed to recoil into safety mode when she spotted Chadwick and Charlotte sipping champagne. Madison took a step back into the shadows. She observed the two studiously. Charlotte looked smitten as she gazed into Chadwick’s eyes. He looked rather bored. Perhaps he would much rather prefer to be with Alexandria.
‘So you are spoilt for choice, Lady Madison.’
‘Our seats are opposite your rather spectacular box,’ Sophia smiled mischievously. ‘I observed you are flanked by two rather attractive gentlemen.’
‘It is not my box,’ Madison murmured, her eyes automatically darting to where Chadwick was standing. ‘I am here with Earl Swain,’ she dragged out defensively.
‘You are enjoying the performance Lady Sarah?’ Sophia included Sarah into the conversation.
‘Oh she is thoroughly enjoying her evening,’ Madison glared at her cousin.
‘I am,’ Sarah laughed unashamedly. ‘It is a lovely performance,’ her eyes challenged Madison’s.
‘Shall we go back inside? I think the show is about to start,’ Madison was in an irritable mood.
‘It was lovely meeting---.’
‘Lady Sophia, good evening.’
‘Mr. Rochester,’ Sophia smiled. ‘Lady Charlotte,’ ‘How are you this evening?’
‘Ladies,’ he casually included Madison and Sarah. ‘Splendid, my dear,’ Chadwick smiled charmingly. He lifted Sophia’s hand elaborately and kissed her wrist.
‘May I have my hand back?’ Sophia smiled. She did not seem to be too smitten by the devil.
With some reluctance Chadwick released her hand. ‘Why did you not join us in our box? We have more than enough seats?’