My Lord's Lady
“I hadn’t noticed.”
    “Knew you hadn’t. You’ve been too busy doing the same!” Amesley’s eyes sparkled with mischief. “Been friends since that day at Eton when you saved me, Forry. You have my ear if you need it.
    “What I obviously need is to better entertain my guests.” Downing this brandy he rose to his feet. “Come, let us find the ladies and plan a divertissement. Are they in the front parlour?”
    “Last I spied them, they were off to visit your children.”
    His lips almost curled into a rueful smile before he caught himself. What could be better than to confront the object of his torment than where it had begun in earnest!
    The children were bored. They’d been confined to the house for the better part of a week, and a certain restlessness was leading them to tease each other. Georgina, despite her determination to put
from her mind, was more amused than indignant over the fact Vane had so carefully avoided her. Truth be told, she didn’t want to see him either. And so she had told an inquisitive Amesley when he had remarked about his friend’s odd behavior.
    Of course, she had told no one, not even Tildie, the real reason she had not been herself since that night. Not even to herself did she wish to acknowledge the feelings that had burned through her blood in that moment they had swayed provocatively close. She had wished for his kiss as much as he had wanted to kiss her. It was deuced uncomfortable that they both were fully aware of it, and both fighting to pretend it had never happened.
    Suddenly the ridiculous specter of two mature adults acting like green youngsters tickled her sense of humor, and she burst into laughter.
    Leticia blinked up at her from the floor where she sat drawing designs on a sheet of parchment. “I’m so happy your eyes are smiling again.”
    Taking the child’s hands, Georgina swung them to and fro. “You’re right! We’ve been much too glum. I think we should do something truly delightful today, since you and Lawrence are so much better.”
    “What do you suggest, Georgina?” Tildie asked from the rocking chair where she mended linen just to have something to occupy her time.
    “Lawrence and Leticia must decide,” Georgina threw herself into the spirit of the moment, anything to take her mind off … “You must each decide what is your greatest wish right at this moment.”
    A wistful sigh escaped Leticia’s lips as she glanced out the window at the misty day. “I wish it was summer, and we could have a picnic. I love picnics ever so much. Father only lets us go on them in the country.”
    Her twin hesitated, still seeming a trifle uncertain of the merriment they had tried to introduce into the sickroom. Finally, he looked up at her. “I would enjoy playing a game of hide-and-seek,” he said slowly, as if the treat was beyond measure.
    “Oh yes, yes!” Leticia bounced up and down on the rug, her gold-red curls flying. “A picnic and a game of hide-and-seek!”
    “Then, so it shall be!” Georgina declared, standing and flicking out the folds of her favorite willow green satin day dress. “Follow me.”
    Laughing, Sabrina caught Leticia’s hand and helped her from the floor.
    “Lawrence, escort me please,” Tildie demanded, and immediately he presented his curved arm.
    They made a great processional down the front stairs, Sabrina making a mock trumpet with her hands and tooting, albeit softly. Foweley came into the front hall wide-eyed. He appeared shaken by her demands, but even he was not proof against the children’s gasps of pleasure as they heard what she requested.
    “At once, my lady!” he assured her, twirling on his heel to do her bidding.
    By the time they arrived in the vast ballroom, two maids and three footmen were moving the heavy carved chairs against the walls and spreading a veritable mountain of coverlets and pillows upon the highly polished wooden floor. Another footmen built up a roaring fire in the enormous

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