As her first season continues, Claire finds it increasingly difficult to keep her distance from Ian. His charm, and ability to stir feelings inside of her she didn’t know existed, makes it hard to remember why she refused him in the first place. With his relentless pursuit and her weakening resolve, she desperately wants to give in to him. However, after seeing he hasn’t changed his rakish ways, how can she trust him not to break her heart, again?
“Ian, it’s hot. If we don’t stop soon, I will fall over.”
“As you wish. Here is as good a spot as any.”
Gratefully, she slid down, using a tree to balance her until making contact with the ground. She wanted to laugh at the change in herself. Not long ago, the idea of dirtying her skirts would have bothered her. Today, however, the cool dirt felt wonderful against her legs.
Ian followed suit across from her, bringing the bag he’d fashioned from her petticoat and laying it between them. After being deprived of food for so long, the idea of having another pear had her mouth watering.
“I don’t recall pears ever tasting so good.” She closed her eyes and sighed as she took a bite, savoring the juice on her tongue.
When she opened her eyes, she noticed Ian looking at her mouth strangely. He made no move to collect a pear for himself. Heat flooded her cheeks. Clearly, she had done something wrong.
“Don’t you agree?”
He grabbed a pear and turned to stare in the opposite direction. “Yes. They are delicious.”
Silence filled the space between them as they finished their fruit. She moved her aching legs, although making sure to keep them covered by her skirt. This trek was exhausting, and she wasn’t sure how much more she could take.
“How much longer do you suspect before we reach London?” She rubbed her aching neck thinking about how nice it would be to sleep in a bed.
“It’s hard to say. Anxious to get back to Lord Higgins?”
She snorted, uncaring how unladylike she sounded. “The only thing I could possibly miss about him is his dancing. That man sure knows the intricacies of the waltz.”
“The waltz? Surely he can’t be better than me.”
The cocky grin he shot her made her smile as she shook her head. Ian’s charm seemed to come as natural to him as breathing. Her lips tightened as the merriment wore away. She’d never seen a woman who wasn’t susceptible to him.
“Considering we’ve never danced, I’m not a good judge.”