Chapter 18

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‘Fallon, what are you doing in your chamber?  Why are you not downstairs with me?’  Emma’s eyes were filled with concern as she gently rested her hand on Fallon’s shoulder.

‘Oh I am sorry Em, but father has banished me to my chamber,’ her apology was made in somewhat of an enraptured tone.

‘”Banished?”  So why are you not brooding like you normally would?’

Fallon laughed as she spun her shoulders about carelessly.  ‘Papa and a certain patroness caught Hampton and I kissing and ___.’

‘What!  You and Lord Hampton ___!  Fallon you can’t even stomach the earl ___.   I don’t understand ___.  Good heavens!  The patroness saw you?  Oh Fallon you are so ruined,’ Fallon snorted riotously as she saw the flight of emotions on her sister’s troubled face.  Emma paced about the chamber in anguish.  ‘Lord Hampton is going to be a dead man tomorrow morning Fallon and I am certain you deliberately engineered that scenario. 

 ‘You allow Hampton far too much credit, Em.’ 

‘You loathe him that much that you would rob him of his life?’

Fallon smiled happily, none too concerned about her sister’s accusation or Braden’s fate.  She shrugged indifferently.  Emma’s eyes narrowed accusingly.  Fallon could not be bothered to justify that it was Braeden that had took her into his arms.  It was he that had initiated the kiss her, not she … although Fallon was guilty of not putting up any resistance.  On the contrary how could she have, when she shamelessly desired him as she did, when the attraction between them was so explosively volatile? 

‘Oh Fallon,’ tears filed Emma’s eyes.  The entire ton will be talking about you by tomorrow,’ she placed her hands restrainingly on Fallon’s shoulders, for Fallon was fiddling, uncaringly with her hair.  ‘You will not be able to show your face.  You know how cruel they are.  What are you going to do?’

‘Wed the rake,’ Fallon announced apathetically.

Emma’s eyes widened like saucers.  ‘You will wed with the earl?  I thought you had no desire to be married ___.’

‘Do calm down Em, before you die of heart failure,’ Fallon laughed.

‘”Calm down!”  And how can you be so calm? Do you not realize ___?’

‘Emma!  Papa gave Braeden an ultimatum.  Either he offer for me or face a duel at dawn ___ as you rightly predicted.’

Emma’s jaw dropped.  ‘”Braeden?”  You are that familiar?’ 

Emma’s cheeks turned a bright crimson and surprisingly not Fallon’s.  Instead Fallon smiled coquettishly, her eyes hinting at the extent of her intimate relationship with Braeden.

‘Good heavens Fallon!  When ___.  I am speechless!’

Fallon laughed heartily.  ‘You are anything but speechless Em.  You have been firing at me, a mile a minute.’

Emma smiled for the first time, since she walked into Fallon’s chamber.  ‘Are you telling me, you are ___ not a ___ no longer a ___.

‘Fallon chuckled softly.  ‘I have not told you anything ___ yet.’  She led Emma to her bed.

‘But yes, Em,’ Fallon draped her arm lovingly around her sister’s shoulder.  ‘I did lay with Braeden,’ she smiled dreamily, ‘and it was wonderful, spectacular, thrilling and ___.’

‘Fallon!’

Fallon chortled.  ‘You are such a goody two shoes Em.  Have you not been once tempted with Arthur?’  She teased.

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