Chapter 6

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~The apology~

A loud gunshot was heard from all over the large green fields and Eric watched as his best friend Gerald Clifton cursed, as he had missed the animal he was aiming at, and reloaded his gun. He took another shot and missed again, Eric laughed at his misfortune and Gerald scowled.

"I don't know what you're laughing at lover boy."
Gerald smirked, he thought his comeback was clever, but Eric just glared at him and reloaded his own gun before taking a perfect shot and getting the bird.
"I am not in love."
He said stubbornly.

"I don't know, you seemed to be when you and Lady Katherine were whispering to each other at the dinner party last week.

Eric shoved the gun down forcibly and took a swig of brandy that the servants had set out on a table.
"We were making fun at others conversations. There is nothing wrong with friendly banter."

Gerald raised his eyebrows and chuckled.
"Im assuming you meant flirtatious banter?"

Eric dared not look into his friends eyes and he mumbled in embarrassment
"Shut up Clifton."

However his friend do not shut up for he enjoyed riling up Eric and often made it a game which only he enjoyed and maybe the occasional bystander to his tormenting.

"I noticed that after our conversation during billiards, you ignored you little fiance and she looked quite hurt."
He exclaimed with an over enthusiastic and sarcastic tone.

"Oh if only you would have seen it, it would have broken your heart to see your true love in pain as her own heart shattered into a thousand pieces from your brutal betrayal!"
He gasped dramatically and clutched his heart and fell to the ground.

Eric could stand his friends readings no more and he placed his gun down and walked across the fields back to the house. He thought about what his friend was saying and in a way it was true. He shouldn't have ignored just because helps pride was hurt by Gerald's readings. He did see her hurt face and he admitted that he felt hurt just by her expression.

His heart beat fast as he approached the back door of the sumptuous manor and he was so depressed in thought that he could not hear his friend try to catch up to him yelling;
"Eric! Eric it was just a joke!"

Eric called for his carriage and immediately told the driver to take him to the address of the Barons townhouse. He realised as he got into his carriage that it would take a couple of hours to get there as Gerald's manor was on the outskirts of London and the Barons townhouse in central London, but he did not care for he needed to right his wrong.
Kat sat on the couch in the drawing room, pretending she could embroider but it was obvious she couldn't. The fully Lady Abigail left her alone and did not scold her as she still thought that Kat had no memory.

She had been feeling down ever since the dinner party and although she hated to admit it was because of Eric,  she knew it was true. His actions had truly hurt her and she knew that she had to come to terms with the fact that her feelings for him were growing. She hated herself for that.

So it was a complete surprise to her when the maid came in and announced that Lord Eric had called on them and as he stepped in the room and as all the ladies of the house  stood up to curtsey to him, Kat looked him up and down.

He looked dishevelled and looked as if he had rushed to get here. He was in hunting attire and his mousy brown hair was messy and wind blown. She had to admit she had the urge to just throw herself upon him, she was extremely attracted to him. He looked to her and their eyes locked before she looked down at her feet hastily and sat down, she could feel her face flush with embarrassment.

Eric cleared his throat and turned to Lady Abigail to talk to her. She sat with an expectant smile on her face,  she was pleased to see her future son in law. He opened his mouth to speak but as soon as he did, Lady Abigail interrupted.
"What a pleasure it is to see you! Would you care for tea?"
Her voice was high pitched and hurt the ear as per usual.

Eric shook his head.
"No thank you."

The room was awkwardly quiet as the Baroness continued with her sewing and Lady Adelaide gazed out the window in boredom. The only people paying attention to the young man were Lady Abigail and Kat who sat up in attention and expectantly waiting for someone to say something.

Eric finally broke the silence as he cleared his throat and gulped nervously.
"Actually I would like an private audience with Lady Katherine."

Lady Abigail tilted her head.
"Well you don't need to propose as you are already engaged!"
She laughed at her own joke but stopped when she realised no one else was laughing. She frowned slightly as she stood up.
"Well if we go girls, we are not wanted."
Baroness Eleanor and Adelaide both stood up and followed her out the door, leaving Kat sitting on the settee, staring awkwardly at her hands.

"I would like to apologize for my behavior the other night."
Eric's voice was quiet and she looked up at his face in surprise. She did not expect an apology,  she did not think there was the need for one.

He went on.
"We were having a good time at dinner and I let some of my friends comments get to me afterwards which caused me to ignore you. I know that I hurt you and I wish to rectify my mistake."

Kat felt quite awkward, she did not like serious moments, but she thanked Eric for his apology anyways.
"Thank you, I appreciate it and I accept your apology."

Eric smiled and Kat found herself smiling back, he was infectious.

"Now did you see the looks your friend was giving my sister at dinner!"
She interrupted the romantic moment with an awkward joke but Eric continued on with it and they continued to gossip for a good while before he took his leave, kissing the top of her hand.

Kat smiled as she held her hand. She had finally found the perfect man. Why did he have to be in the past? She felt herself becoming more and more connected to this place and it was beginning to feel more like her home.

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