Ch. 10 (PG): The Kimball Ball, Part 1: Sincerity

Start from the beginning

Lady Knott: "Very well." Then I change the subject. "I hear from my granddaughter Maddie that you know the Viscount Lindsay, Lord Duncan." I am eager to hear more about the Duke of York's heir. And if I can promote some jealousy on Lord Christian's part with regard to my granddaughter Lady Maddie's marriage prospects, all the better. I do not give up easily, and mine and Lady Cathy's hopes are still afloat with our grandchildren's continued society with each other.

Lord Christian: I take a calming breath and reply to her through somewhat clenched teeth. "I do. We were schoolmates at Eton."

I am not certain why, but I bristle at thinking that my friend--the Viscount, Lord Duncan Lindsay--is now in Lady Knott's thoughts for Lady Madeline's matrimonial prospects. Whilst I am pushed aside, discarded as a potential suitor for Lady Madeline—when just last week our grandmothers were encouraging the match. My past tense fate is both humbling and humiliating.

Lady Knott: "We thank you for agreeing to introduce my granddaughter Lady Madeline to Viscount Lindsay. Were they to take a liking with each other, it would be a brilliant match!" My eyes sparkle with hope. Though my true hope for my granddaughter Maddie is not what I have lead Lord Christian to believe.

Lord Christian: "There is no better man than Lord Duncan. I commend you for your choice." What else can I say? Lord Duncan is a good man. And it is not in my nature to try to further my own goals at the expense of others. In that, Lady Madeline and I agree wholeheartedly.

Lady Knott: "Ah! Yes, thank you. Now it remains to be seen whether the Viscount is my granddaughter Lady Madeline's choice."

Lord Christian: "Indeed." I pause at Lady Knott's use of the word choice to describe Lady Madeline's matrimonial prospects. And I wonder who else Lady Knott might hope for her granddaughter to become acquainted with as a potential suitor? The list is becoming rather long—with Lord Duncan, myself, two other lords and a duke, and my brother Harold. Though Harold is out of the running, in my view.

***

And then our carriage ride with the Blounts comes to a stop at the Kimball's London Mansion with extensive grounds and my friend Lady Lizzie grips my hand like a vise before we exit the carriage. I turn to her next to me on the bench and say soothingly.

Lady Madeline: "Lizzie, Dear, it will be alright. We will have fun tonight, I promise. And your brother and his friend Lord Duncan the Viscount Lindsay will insure that we do not want for dance partners."

Lady Lizzie: "But that is the problem. I am certain that I will faint when I see Lord Duncan. I was only a child when last I saw him, but he made a lasting impression upon me."

Lady Madeline: "It seems that my Grandmama also favors him." I roll my eyes. "Come, Lizzie. Let us meet this paragon of manly perfection." Then I turn to Lord Christian with an impish smile as he assists me out of the carriage. "And to think that once you made me tremble with your handsomeness, Lord Christian." In truth, Lord Christian makes me tremble all the time. If only he would welcome my forming an attachment to him.

Lord Christian: My eyes widen as I assist Lady Madeline out of the carriage. "Did I, Lady Madeline? Was I not the granite mountain who knocked ices out of your hands?" I counter cheekily. She responds with the lightest of lilting laughter—quite charming.

Lady Madeline: "Ha ha ha ha ha! That you were--but you were my granite mountain, Lord Christian." I smile up at him shyly as I turn to gaze at him after reaching solid ground. Lord Christian is a good and a nice man. It is a pity that he sees me only as his sister Lady Lizzie's little friend. Because I do not view him with sisterly affection.

"Encouragement" (Book 1), A Regency Love Story, by Gratiana Lovelace, 2016Read this story for FREE!