13.9K 371 12

Quiet Heartbeats

The viscount is much more appealing up close

Oops! This image does not follow our content guidelines. To continue publishing, please remove it or upload a different image.

The viscount is much more appealing up close. He stood beside me, casually searching the room for Daphne. His eyes keen enough to wander and comment on the men that decides to come near her sister.

Once in a while, he would shift his weight on his legs, with arms crossed. His eyes would even sometimes squint trying to focus on the direction his sister was. Judging from his body language, I can attest that he's definitely not at ease with the idea of entrusting his sister with the hand of another man.

"You love your sister so much, don't you?" I tried badly to engage in another conversation.

He didn't respond immediately which made me think he must not have heard. I didn't dare repeat the question because I felt embarrassed.

It has been a minute since he decided to answer. "When my father died, all responsibility was passed onto me. For years, it has been my job protecting my siblings, most especially my sisters. So, I think it's normal I'm quite on edge right now, right?" He looked at me with an unsure smile. "To answer your question Lady Calypso, yes. I do love my sister so much."

On that moment, I wanted to extend my hand to hold his but I know better. Such gesture from a lady could be misjudged in this society. So, I simply nodded. "Daphne seems like a smart girl. I'm sure she can take care of herself."

He shifted his gaze onto Daphne's. She was somewhere in the end of the room where glasses of lemonade were offered. "I hope you're right, Lady Calypso. I hope you are."

We stood in silence but only the melodious music from the orchestra heard. They started playing a rendition of a song that I haven't heard before. It sounded modern yet classical at the same time.

"Lady Calypso," he initiated another conversation. "Care to dance?"

From quiet heartbeats, they suddenly got louder with his proposition. "I'd love to, viscount."

His palms were soft, the kind you'd remember all night. Carefully, he led us both into the dance floor, his hold of my hand tight yet gentle. I watched his back as we pushed through the people who were blocking my way. It was as if I could memorize every curve of his body had I stared a second longer.

He turned and offered a bow, "It's my honor, Lady Calypso."

If my cheeks turned red, he didn't even notice. I smiled at him, and proceeded to place my hand on his shoulder as his placed his on my hips.

He wasn't a graceful leader, neither a lousy one. He just managed to dance. As his dance partner, I can sense that there's not a hint of fear in his body. Anthony Bridgerton is self-assured, confident yet a little tired. But with the way he presented himself in a crowd, it's evident he knows his ways with societal pressure.

We were dancing in circles, and he noticed I was staring at his face for so long. "Is there something wrong with my face, milady?"

His voice was deep, just the kind that makes ladies lose their cool. I tried to respond but his charms keep on taking my words out of my mouth.

He spoke once more. "Is my face not the kind a lady like you, with a gorgeous face like that, wants to be seen hanging around with?"

"Oh, no," I said, dragging every syllable to make sure that the message is delivered. "Your face is the kind of face lady would swoon."

He chuckled, with his dimples boring deep on his cheeks. Instantly, I just realized the compliment I have given him straightforwardly. If my face wasn't red before, I'm sure it is now.

"What I mean to say——"

Before I could retract my statement, he let go of my hands to place his index finger on his lips. "Shhh, it's fine Lady Calypso. No one's going to know."

He winked at me, which caused me to take a gulp. If there was anyone in the room who would make me feel like this, that would only be Anthony Bridgerton. And he is with me. Dancing with me right now.

"You humor me, Mr. Bridgerton," I said, cheeks tinted in cherry red due to my wild hormones.

He looked at me, eyebrows furrowed. "Mr. Bridgerton? Had we not engage in such an interesting conversation for you to address me simply by Anthony."

"Oh, I didn't..." I paused, then decided not to embarass myself any further. "Alright, Anthony."

I rolled my eyes at the mention of his name, which made him laugh. As we were dancing, behind him I saw Simon Basset, now the Duke of Hastings after the passing of his dad.

"Oh, the new Duke is here," I casually mentioned to Anthony.

"Where?" he asked, searching the room.

I pointed him to the direction, as we twirled around the dancefloor. Upon laying eyes on the Duke, our dance started to slow.

"Lady Calypso, I had a fun time dancing with you," he said, which told me that the dance was finally over. "But may you please excuse me. The duke is one of my friends and it's been awhile since we last saw each other."

"Oh, it's fine Mr——"

"What did I say?" He asked, smiling.

"You may be excused, Anthony."

"Enjoy the rest of the night, Lady Calypso!" He said, as he waved goodbye. He headed to the direction of the Duke who apparently was in the company of Anthony's sister, Daphne.

"You too, Anthony," I shouted, unsure whether he has heard it or not.

I watched as Anthony disappeard in the crowd. Despite his disappearance, the feelings he had made my heart feel lingers. It was euphoric. The chance to dance and laugh with a person you admire.

It was as if I was walking in a trance as I search for Stella. In my head, I kept replaying his laughs and the way his eyes light up whenever he smiles. He was too perfect in my eyes.

"Callie!" shouted my sister.

I glanced at my side then I saw her. "Stella, where have you been?"

"I was just exchanging stories with some of my friends I haven't talked to in years," she explained, her breath smells of alcohol. "A lot has definitely changed from when I was last here."

I nodded, still smiling like an idiot. It probably has weirded out Stella so she asked almost immediately. "What about you? I think you had a really great night."

"Oh, it was the best," I confessed, my heart still beating fast. "I can't wait to tell you when we get home."

Stealing Glances || Anthony BridgertonWhere stories live. Discover now