A Dream Come True

A Dream Come True by Barbara Cartland Read Free Book Online Page B

Book: A Dream Come True by Barbara Cartland Read Free Book Online
Authors: Barbara Cartland
Tags: Romance
    He made her feel uncomfortable and as if she should have worn something more modest.
    â€˜I despise men like him,’ she said to herself, as she moved towards the Grand Hall in search of refreshment. Edward and her friends had left the ballroom and she expected she would find them in the adjoining room.
    â€œLucia.” Edward called to her from his place by the French windows.
    â€œWould you care for something to eat? The buffet is excellent.”
    â€œNo, thank you. But I would like a glass of water – it is so hot in the ballroom.”
    â€œWho was that man with your stepfather?” asked Edward later, as he brought her a glass of water.
    â€œLord Winterton.”
    â€œI did not care for the way that he was staring at you as you danced with your stepfather. Had he persisted, I would have had words.”
    Lucia laughed.
    â€œOh, Edward, don’t be silly! You were mistaken.”
    â€œI know when a man is staring in an uncouth manner and when he is not,” answered Edward curtly.
    He took Lucia’s hand and held it for a few moments. She felt a little awkward, but allowed him the liberty.
    After a while, she went to withdraw her hand, but he held onto her fast.
    â€œWould you care to walk outside? I would very much like some fresh air.”
    Lucia nodded and put down her empty glass. A quick glance at her stepfather informed her that he was otherwise engaged and so she was happy to slip away from his scrutiny.
    The moon was not yet full as they made their way along the path lit with Chinese lanterns hanging from graceful weeping beech trees.
    â€œCome, there is a pond and fountain in the walled garden over there,” whispered Edward. “I have heard that it is illuminated at night.”
    They walked under a pretty wrought iron arch and through a gate into a walled garden. Lucia gasped in wonder as they moved along the path as the fountain was lit with electric lights from inside the pond.
    â€œIsn’t it wonderful?” she murmured, admiring the effect of the water splashing out of the dolphin’s spout in the middle of the fountain.
    She turned to look at Edward and was stunned when he suddenly lunged forward and attempted to plant a kiss full on her mouth.
    â€œEdward!” she cried moving to one side. “What are you doing?”
    He leapt back as if he had been scalded.
    â€œI’m sorry, Lucia. I did not mean to offend you. It was just that I was so intoxicated by the lights and your beauty.”
    Lucia pushed him firmly away and turned back towards the house.
    â€œI think we should go inside,” she said, hurrying back along the path.
    â€œLucia! Forgive me,” called Edward, as he tried to catch up with her.
    Back inside he found her by the buffet.
    â€œLucia, I am sorry – I – ”
    â€œEdward, we shall not mention it again.”
    â€œI thought you might not find the idea of kissing me repugnant.”
    â€œIndeed, I do not,” she replied. “But there is a time and a place for that sort of thing. We must take things slowly.”
    â€œOf course, dearest. I am sorry. Say you’ll come riding with me tomorrow otherwise I will not sleep tonight. I must know that I have not offended you so much that you will not continue to see me.”
    â€œShall we ride out on your horses?” asked Lucia craftily. She harboured a desire to try out the fine chestnut stallion he had ridden to Bingham Hall when he came to call on her.
    â€œOf course. My stables are at your disposal.”
    â€œVery well, I accept,” she replied a little haughtily.
    She had remembered what her French friend, Janine, had said to her about treating gentlemen coolly as it only increased their ardour.
    â€œThank you. Thank you.”
    â€˜It may be easier than I had believed to ensnare him,’ thought Lucia, as they sought out a place to sit down.
    She had barely taken a few mouthfuls of the prawn vol au vents when her

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