Chapter 27, Part 2

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Author's Note:  My apologies for taking so long to post. To make up for it, I'll be making two posts tonight, and more in a day or two. Enjoy, and thanks for being patient.

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“Simon, what are you up to?”

Evelyn saw the impish little smile on his face. The expression was so delightful that she could not help smiling in return. But he would not answer her question, and she fought back a childish urge to fuss. Her sense of curiosity was overwhelming, almost to the point of madness.

Earlier that day they had set out on a tour of the estate, and Simon had introduced her to his tenants. At first, most of them had seemed rather timid. But she encouraged them to talk, and it did not take long for them to warm to her. Afterwards, they had ridden out to look at the livestock and horses. But when it seemed to her that they should be turning back towards the manor, Simon kept riding further and further. At first, she had thought little of it. But now, she was eager to know what he was planning, and she shifted restlessly in her seat. Simon, riding close beside her, looked at her with an amused expression. He teased her.

“Do you fear we are lost?”

She smiled. “No. I am certain you know precisely where you are going. And I believe you have planned this in advance.”

To that, he grinned. “How perceptive of you.” He turned his gaze forward, looking rather smug...and utterly adorable. And his attractiveness only made her more curious to know what was in his handsome head.

“So tell me. Where are we going?”

He shook his head. “Patience,” he replied.

A sound of frustration escaped her. “Patience has never been one of my strong suits.”

“So I am discovering.”

For a moment she failed to understand his meaning. But then she blushed as she realized what he was implying. He was such a model of discipline, even in matters of love. In their bed, he was a passionate but tender lover…so attentive, and a master of restraint. He often teased her that she had yet to discover the delights of patience, and just the thought of it brought a flush of pink to her cheeks. She smiled sheepishly.

“Impulsiveness is in my blood,” she confessed. “Mama says it is an undeniable trait of being a Gisborne.”

Simon chuckled pleasantly. “As always, your mother speaks wisely.”

Evelyn’s smile deepened. “I have always endeavored to master it. But I fear it is a wild thing that will never quite be tamed.”

“I rather enjoy the unpredictable nature of a Gisborne. My life would be quite dull if you were to be otherwise.”

He brought his horse to a halt, and seeing it, Evelyn did the same. As she looked around, examining the open meadow and surrounding wilderness in which she now found herself, Simon dismounted. He came to her side, offering his open arms to help her down. She went gladly, kissing him as she was set on her feet, and as her arms went around his neck, she gave him a little smile, beseeching him.

“Tell me where you have brought me, husband. I can stand the suspense no longer.”

His response was a crooked grin. Taking her by the hand, he pulled her along. As they moved through a thick cluster of trees, he spoke without giving clues to his intention.

“Of late, it seems that your habits are becoming mine. I have a strange desire to act on a whim, rather than planning everything as I have always done.”

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