Kissing Comfort

Kissing Comfort by Jo Goodman Read Free Book Online

Book: Kissing Comfort by Jo Goodman Read Free Book Online
Authors: Jo Goodman
regular to me.”
    Newt just grunted.
    Tucker pushed himself away from the desk and stood. “We’d better go back. If Comfort’s not with Bram by now, you look for her outside. I’ll look around upstairs. Maybe Alexandra’s cornered her and they’re planning the wedding.”
    And because Newt looked as if he wanted to kick the door again, Tucker hurried over and opened it.
    Bram went to Comfort’s side the moment he saw her on the threshold of the salon. Before anyone close to her could remark on her absence, he captured her wrists and held them out on either side of her. Smiling warmly, he cocked his head and made a thorough study of her.
    â€œYour gown has been repaired beautifully. Didn’t I tell you that Mary Morgan was extraordinarily talented with a needle and thread?”
    So that was the explanation he’d given for her disappearance. It was rather uninspired as excuses went but thoroughly serviceable. “Indeed,” she said, turning slightly to show off the sixty-five-inch train that was de rigueur for a proper ball gown. “I defy you to find the rend.”
    Bram chuckled. “You know I cannot.” He released one of her wrists and drew the other forward until he had her arm secured in his. With a brief apologetic smile to the guests closest to them, Bram led Comfort onto the floor and swept her into the waltz with a grace that made it seem effortless.
    Comfort smiled up at him. “I am always a better dancer when you’re my partner.”
    â€œI know. And I’m a better partner when I’m dancing with you.”
    Her smile reached her dark, coffee-colored eyes. “Have you always known the right thing to say?”
    â€œI think so, yes.”
    She laughed.
    The sweet sound of it washed over Bram like a cool, cleansing spring rain. For reasons he did not entirely understand, it sobered him. “I’m sorry, Comfort. I mean it.”
    She could have said that he always meant it. Underscoring that point seemed petty. “I know,” she said. “We’ll manage. It is only for six weeks, after all.”
    â€œEight,” he said. “That was the hard bargain you struck.”
    â€œI was merely confirming that you remembered.”
    Bram regarded her in a way he hadn’t done before. His last study had been for the benefit of his guests, and he realized he’d barely seen her. This he did for himself, taking in the upsweep of her thick black hair and the exposed vulnerability of the nape of her neck. Comfort did not meet any standard of beauty. Her mouth, especially her bottom lip, was too generously proportioned; her eyes, a fraction too widely spaced and a bit too large for her face. Her nose was unremarkable, neither turned up prettily nor refined in the manner of the blue bloods. Tall and slender, she had no curves to speak of except those that were compliments of the construction of her evening gown. Beneath the red-and-white-striped silk dress, a pannier crinoline exaggerated the definition of her hips and derriere, while the formfitting cuirass and décolletage gave the impression of fuller breasts than she’d been endowed with by nature.
    And yet, he thought, while no single feature would inspire the poets to put pen to paper, Comfort Kennedy could inspire a man to be better than he was. Newton Prescott and Tucker Jones believed that. They credited her with all their success. Looking at her now, with her darkly solemn eyes and slim, reserved smile, Bram realized he believed it as well.
    Who would he be, Bram wondered, if he were a man better than himself?
    And the answer came to him: Bode.
    It was like a blow, and Bram’s breath hitched. His timing off, he made a misstep and could not catch himself quickly enough to steer Comfort clear of the same mistake. She stumbled. He corrected their course by lifting her slightly and then steadying her on the downbeat.
    Comfort regarded him

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