“Hensley!” Phillip looked startled for a moment as Henry walked into the parlor, looking immensely pleased with himself. “What the devil are you doing here?”
“Looking for you old chap.” Henry replied, shooting Phillip a wide grin which only served to deepen Phillip's scowl. “I couldn't very well allow you to go after the couple on your own. God only knows what you plan to do to them and I brought...” He caught sight of Penny standing frozen in the doorway to the room. “Miss Inglewood!”
Phillip swore under his breath and moved quickly, placing himself between Henry and Penny. But it was too late. Henry's eyes narrowed as he took in her face still flush with desire and the tell tale swell of her mouth.
“What the hell!” Henry exclaimed and faced Phillip, his grin quickly replaced by an angry scowl. “I trust you have a reasonable explanation for the lady's state?”
“That is none of your damned business.” Phillip growled, his eyes glinting dangerously. “And I do not care for your tone Hensley. I have no idea what you consider reasonable or not. Nor do I particularly care. At the moment you are intruding and Miss Inglewood is exhausted so you better start talking.”
“Miss Inglewood is soon to be my responsibility, so it is damned well my business. I warned you about this beforehand Newbridge, but fool that you are...”
“What is going on here?” Sir Inglewood cut in, his tone hard and demanding. He took a step forward, his gaze fixed on his eldest daughter who stood transfixed in horror.
Penny's face drained of every ounce of color. She had not noticed her father's presence until now. A wave of dizziness hit her and she swayed on her feet. She was vaguely aware of Phillip's arm snaking around her waist to steady her, but she could not tear her eyes from her father. “Papa? W-what...how did you...?”
“I set sail the minute I received your letter. Now tell me what is going on here? Has this man...taken ad..”
“No!” Penny cried, with a desperate shake of her head. She looked quickly at Phillip, heart sinking at the look of cold fury he leveled upon her. “Phi...Lord Farnsworth has been the utmost gentleman, Father.”
“I still do not like this. It is scandalous for an unmarried lady to have remained this long in the company of a man, however well behaved. If word gets out, your reputation will be severely compromised.” Sir Inglewood folded his arms across his rather massive chest and frowned down at his daughter. “You must leave this place at once. Go get your things.”
“Stay where you are Miss Inglewood.” Phillip ground out. Penny had turned to do her father's bidding but his voice stopped her cold and a dreadful shiver ran down her spine.
“Phillip! What do you think you are doing?” Lord Henry exclaimed in astonishment. “Have you gone mad?”
“Penelope, do as I say at once!” Sir Inglewood repeated harshly.
Phillip stared coldly at the man.“May I remind you sir, that you are in the presence of a duke. Barging in here and suggesting that I have dishonored your daughter is an insult I will not take lightly.”
Penny gaped at Phillip in shock. What was trying to do? Her father had made no such accusation, all he was simply trying to savage what was left of her already ruined reputation. Unless...Phillip was actually insulted because of the assumption that he would ever have anything to do with a woman such as she. The thought burned her heart and she gasped as the real truth sank in. He was not doing it for her...how could she have been so stupid to assume he had any true feelings for her.
She choked back a sob. The passion they had presumably shared just a few minutes ago was nothing but a lie, his words had been false, simply a means to get her to consent to his lovemaking. What a fool she'd been to believe him..if they had not been interrupted...she cringed to think about what might have happened.
She could feel three pairs of eyes trained upon her person, but at that moment, she did not care, feeling the sting of hot tears but she blinked them back and turned hastily, going into her room to retrieve the box which had thankfully not been unpacked.
|Josh Duhamel||as Phillip Farnsworth|
|Rachel Weisz||as Penny Inglewood|
|Chace Crawford||as Edward|
|Gemma Ward||as Lucy|