"Encouragement, A Regency Tale of Love and Romance",
Ch. 12 (PG): The Kimball Ball, Part 3: Understanding,
October 25, 2016 Gratiana Lovelace (Post #989) 

[From time to time, I will illustrate my story characters with: Richard Armitage as Lord Christian Blount Earl of Sussex, Kate Winslet or Emma Lady Hamilton as Lady Madeline Lucretia Sinclair, Dame Maggie Smith as Lady Lucretia Beckham Knott, Polly Mabrey as Lady Elizabeth Blount, Crispin Bonham-Carter as Lord Harold Blount, Dame Judi Dench as Lady Catherine Blount the Dowager Countess of Sussex, Rupert Penry Jones as Lord Duncan the Viscount Lindsay, and others as noted.]

Authors Content Note: "Encouragement" is a frothy love story with sometimes humorous and sometimes dramatic themes of love and relationships. It will mostly be at the PG and PG-13 movie levels. Specific chapters or passages may have a further rating of: D for dramatic emotions, and LS for love scenes that are tenderly sensuous and not explicit. And I will rate the chapters accordingly. If you are unable or unwilling to attend a movie with the ratings that I provide for a chapter, then please do not read that chapter. This is my disclaimer. And as is my habit, I will summarize the previous chapter's events at the beginning of each chapter.

Author's recap from the previous chapter: While Lord Christian and company attend the Kimball Ball on Friday February 9th, 1816—then him having his sister Lady Lizzie's presumption of his proposal of marriage to Lady Madeline—Lord Christian feels thwarted at every turn. And Lady Madeline feels that with Lord Christian seeming to distance himself from being engaged to her, that she has lost him forever. But the truth is somewhere in the middle. And the night is still young.

"Encouragement, A Regency Tale of Love and Romance",
Ch. 12: The Kimball Ball, Part 3, Understanding

The rest of the evening at the Kimball Ball continues with merely a ruffle of excited conversations about Lord Christian Blount the Earl of Sussex and Lady Madeline Sinclair--without a ruffle for the other attendees, perhaps. The two individuals at the center of everyone's gossiping conversations might have an alternative view of the matter.

It is toward the end of the evening--really, in the early hours of the next morning--as the Kimball Ball begins to wind down, that Lady Madeline finds herself at the refreshment table procuring ices for herself and her very fatigued Grandmama, Lady Lucretia Beckham Knott—but for that elder lady's surreptitious glancing in her granddaughter and Lord Christian's general direction [(2) right], when she thinks they are not looking. To Lady Knott, there is nothing so annoyingly recalcitrant as two well suited individuals who do not recognize that they are a perfect betrothal pair.

Musing while she waits patiently in the refreshment queue for the  ices in glass cups, Lady Madeline's thoughts tend toward the events of tonight. I danced with a dozen or more men throughout the evening tonight, but I could not tell my Grandmama who any of them were—though undoubtedly, she is keeping an inventory. For much like wine, suitors should be relegated to the cellars to age and ferment—waiting for their eventual selection in which to delight us—with the suitors not chosen relegated to becoming dusty and forgotten. For me, it was enough that these suitors were not Lord Christian Blount, the Earl of Sussex. Oh, why must I have feelings for him now, when he clearly does not want me for his wife? Then I feel his presence near me and I turn.

Lord Christian: "Lady Madeline, your Grandmama told me that you went to procure some ices." She looks at me quizzically. So I reply teasingly. "I thought that I might be able to assist you." I smile broadly.

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