The cool night air of the country was bliss compared to the sludge of London. I could not imagine a better way to spend the evening than out in the air of the night. Feeling refreshed, as if I had just taken a sip of cool lemonade, I opened my eyes.
He was off to my right, staring up at the starless sky, glass of sherry in hand, his profile illuminated by the moonlight. The sight of him made my heart flutter, just as it had when I first laid eyes upon him during my first Season.
“My lord,” I said quietly, walking closer over the uneven stone. The stone felt like ice through my slippers, but I cared not. I was finally alone in his company.
He spun around to face me, the look of surprise on his face slowly fading to one of recognition. “Good evening, Miss Langdon. To what do I owe the pleasure of your company?” he greeted with a bow.
I smiled. He remembered my name. “Just coming out to enjoy the night air and get away from the stifling ballroom.”
“Ah, yes. It is quite unbearable. I suppose you did not think to bring a chaperone with you. It is indeed improper for a young lady to go about without one. Or are you trying to find yourself compromised?”
I shrugged. “Ah, and shrugging one’s shoulders is unbecoming of a lady,” he admonished with a slight grin.
“And mentioning a body part in front of a lady is ungentlemanly,” I countered cheekily.
He barked with laughter. “It must be that American blood of yours that makes you so bold. So how may I be of service, Miss Langdon?”
I was only half by virtue of my American father’s blood. However, it was enough to enforce my headstrong demeanor despite the multitude of governesses Mama had employed. I preferred to think of myself as unconventional and exotic.
I pondered thoughtfully, “I would like a dance, if you please.”
He quirked his brow, “Is it not the gentleman’s priority to ask a lady for her hand to dance?”
“It is indeed, but you were taking far too long in the matter.”
He chuckled softly as he took a step towards me; my heart skipped a beat and my knees began to melt. He continued his advance, and my feet remained frozen in place.
We were inches apart when he finally stopped, his eyes silver eyes staring straight into the depths of my soul. That was when I knew. This was him, the man I was waiting for to sweep my off my feet, my true love.