Chapter Thirteen

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Benjamin tossed and turned in his sleep

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Benjamin tossed and turned in his sleep. He did not wish to dream of her. The fact that she could leave him, walk away without looking back. It drove him to madness. How could she not know what she would do to him? What cataclysmic results such actions would have?

Still sleep over took him once more and he was at the home of Lady and Lord Devonshire. 

_ _ _ _ _ _ _

So many times he thought to turn around. He had no right. What could he offer? But each time he thought of Banks and the smug smirk of that beef-witted womanizer, he saw red. Banks was beneath her touch.

She was sweet, kind, brave, adventurous, and when she kissed his lips, she had stolen his heart and soul.

They had been announced and made their way to the drawing room where people were mingling before dinner. His eyes searched the room, and there she was, his angel. She looked stunning in a gown of pale blue trimmed in white lace. She reminded him of a beautiful piece of Wedgewood, lovely, delicate, a true masterpiece.

"So you planning on painting a picture or are you going to walk over there?" Brummell asked, causing Benjamin to laugh. He leaned in and whispered, "Wish me luck."

"She has not taken her eyes from you since you entered the room. Who needs luck? Now go!" Brummell said, nudging him forward.

At that moment their eyes had met, he watched as her pale skin flushed to a pleasant pink at having been caught staring at him. He felt his smile widen. He could not stop smiling at her. She whipped out her fan and began to vigorously fan her face only to stop and coyly peer at him over it's edge.

"Oh Clara, what you can do to a man with one look," he thought. Then suddenly out of nowhere Banks arrives blocking his view of her. "My dear sweet Lady Bentley. How are you this evening?"

"Damn!" Benjamin detoured to two men he had seen on the way in. Recognizing one of them from his military days. General Rhawnhurst and Lord Devonshire were having a serious discussion about the possibility of George the IV coming into power.

"I pray you are wrong General as that man would be a menace on the throne. He is not his father that is for certain."

"I could not agree more," the General said, "Jefferson talks of suspending trade."

"With us? Is he mad?" Lord Devonshire asked.

"On the contrary, he has been trying to keep neutral but neutrality runs thin when your people are complaining that their sons are being pressed into service for his Majesty's Navy," Benjamin interjected.

"McAllister, how have you been?" General Rhawnhurst asked, shaking his hand.

"As well as any other," Benjamin offered nonchalantly.

"Lord Devonshire, may I introduce Mr. Benjamin McAllister, one of his Majesty's finest soldiers. We certainly could use more men like you fighting against Napoleon," General Rhawnhurst boasted.

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