A Dream Come True

A Dream Come True by Barbara Cartland Read Free Book Online

Book: A Dream Come True by Barbara Cartland Read Free Book Online
Authors: Barbara Cartland
Tags: Romance
    She rose, waited while Mary-Anne draped her white velvet coat with a fur collar around her shoulders and proceeded downstairs.
    â€œMiss Lucia, Mr. de Redcliffe is in the drawing room,” announced Moston.
    â€œAnd my stepfather?”
    â€œBriggs is bringing the Rolls Royce round to the front and he will follow you to the ball.”
    Lucia hesitated for a moment before entering the drawing room. Looking in the hall mirror, she pinched her cheeks and ran her tongue over her lips to make them dewy.
    â€˜There, I shall look my best.’
    She knew by the way that Edward’s eyes lit up when he saw her that she had achieved the desired effect.
    â€œLucia – how delightful you look,” he said in his understated fashion.
    He took her hand and kissed it.
    â€œI noticed that your Rolls Royce is outside. I would prefer that we travelled in my carriage. I do not really care for motor cars.”
    â€œThe Rolls Royce is waiting for my stepfather. He is also attending the ball this evening.”
    â€œCome,” he said quietly, holding out his arm.
    Lucia felt excited as they climbed into Edward’s brougham. It was highly luxurious and she admired the fine interior.
    â€œI hope it does not rain or your stepfather will find himself a trifle wet,” Edward remarked, as a chilly wind blew through the open window.
    â€œThe Rolls Royce has a hood that comes over and protects one from the elements,” answered Lucia.
    â€œNevertheless, you cannot make a comparison with the comfort that a good, old-fashioned carriage offers,” he asserted sliding the carriage window shut.
    â€œPersonally, I find driving a thrilling pastime,” replied Lucia with a smile. “If you love the speed of horses, the motor car can provide just as much excitement.”
    â€œI doubt it,” countered Edward with a confidence that bordered on arrogance.
    Lucia regarded him closely as the carriage pulled off down the drive. He was not unpleasing to the eye and he was intelligent.
    â€˜If only I did not suspect him of being a bit of an old fogey,’ she thought, taking in the hazel eyes and neat, dark hair. ‘But he is a good man of that I have no doubt.’
    The ball was taking place in the magnificent surroundings of Thorley House, a Queen Anne building that had been in the Thorley family for many generations.
    Carriages and one or two motor cars queued along the drive waiting to disburse their passengers.
    Lucia looked to see if she could glimpse the Rolls Royce as Sir Arthur had overtaken them some miles back.
    Soon, their carriage was at the front of the queue and a liveried footman was opening the door. Edward helped Lucia down and up the steps to the house.
    Lucia gazed up at the massive chandelier that lit up the hall. The Thorleys had been among the first to install electricity and it had cost a great deal of money.
    She noticed one or two people she knew and waited while another footman took their coats.
    â€œShall we go into the ballroom?” suggested Edward taking her arm again. “Or would you prefer to go to the Grand Hall?”
    â€œI should love a glass of champagne,” declared Lucia feeling full of excitement.
    They had not gone more than a dozen paces when they met a group of friends.
    â€œEmmeline,” cried Lucia. “How beautiful you look.”
    â€œAnd your gown. I have not seen this one before, have I? Is it new?”
    â€œIt’s from Paris,” answered Lucia. “Look, there is Tristram and Cecily.”
    â€œYes, I detect a whiff of romance there,” gurgled Emmeline. “Shall we join them?”
    As they moved towards the couple, Lucia reflected how much she would have hated to leave the County.
    As she took a glass of champagne, she noticed her stepfather standing in the corner of the room conversing with someone. She smiled thinly at him and only barely registered the man who stood next to him.
    He was tall and

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