Chapter 8

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CHAPTER EIGHT

Braeden saw the hurt before she averted her eyes, still he did not shift his own cold, brutal eyes away.  He wanted to hurt her.  He wanted her to know, their laying together had been cheap and insignificant, like the shed she had chosen to gift him with her virtue.  Why?  Why had she surrendered her innocence to him?  It rankled him that though he had hurled that insult at her, the Lady Fallon was no Cyprian, like he had accused.  How could she be, if he had been her first lover?  Why, had she elected him?  It is not like when she always favoured him with pleasant words.

 ‘”Paramour?’”  She flinched, repeating the hurtful insult.  ‘You are neither betrothed nor with wife!’

A cruel sneer filled his face.  ‘And how would you know, my lady?’ His eyes flickered with what might be construed as anger, but it was controlled not allowed to flare to life.

 So she was “my lady” again.  Could he have offered for another?  Who?  Why had no mention been made of it in the ton?  Then why did he agree to meet her here?  Perhaps like he proposed, he planned on keeping a mistress after he wed.  So he was like every other rake, then.  It was good then that he was marrying another. She would not consent to the gentleman she married keeping a mistress, that would be a prerequisite before they wed.

 Fallon was shivering with some strange emotion she did not understand, without another word, she swung her spencer over her shoulders and hastened away from Braeden’s presence.  She wanted to swear an oath, words that should not have been a part of a gentle lady’s lexicon, let alone that she would think to give utterance to such inappropriate words.

She walked with haste, ignoring the muscles that still seemed to throb at her core.  Sensitive muscles so appeased, they resisted her command, slowing her progress but Fallon dragged herself forward, blinking furiously at the moisture clouding her eyes.

‘My lady,’ Louis ran to keep up with her mistress.  ‘I am sorry, he did not arrive.’

‘Oh but he did,’ Fallon gritted, not slowing her pace.

‘He did?’  Louis stopping walking.  ‘But no carriage arrived.’

  Fallon marched on with great speed.  She ignored her maid’s ramblings about the lateness of the hour or the fact that Fallon would not have much time to prepare for the supper the Fulham’s were attending that evening at the home of one of the Patronesses.

Fallon stopped with much effort and looked over her shoulder.  ‘Do run ahead then,’ she instructed.  ‘Prepare some hot water for me.’

‘Yes my lady,’ she acknowledged, ‘and shall I lay out the peacock blue gown for you?’

Fallon nodded absently.  She did not care if her maid draped a cotton sheet over her body

Fallon sat at the window and stared out into the distance.  She had returned home, ignored her mother’s courteous enquiry on how her afternoon walk had been.  Louis had washed out her hair and brushed it, keeping it opened tonight.  Fallon had not dressed yet, refusing Louis’ help to assist her into her evening gown.  She was still only wearing her under garments.

‘My lady you are going to be late,’ Louis spoke patiently.  The baroness will be most displeased,’ she cautioned.  ‘You know she does not like arriving late at any function.

 ‘Tell my mother, I am not joining them tonight.’

‘My lady!  The baroness will have strong words for you ___ and I.  Please, I beseech you to re-consider.  Whatever is the matter?  Please, let us put your gown on.’

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