Lady Mira stood in front of the large library window looking out into the rain dampened garden. She folded her arms across her chest and shivered. The unusually chilly May afternoon had ruined her plans for an outing to the park. Her brothers had decided to visit their club, leaving her to fend for herself for the afternoon.
“Your tea, my lady,” Anna said as she set the tray down on the side table. “There’s also a gentleman to see you.” The maid bowed and left the room.
“Who could possibly…?” Her mouth shut as the guest in question appeared in the doorway. “Lucian, what do you want?” Mira stiffened at his presence.
Lucian Musgrave, second son to the Earl of Hennessy, notorious rake, and close companion of her brothers, stood in the archway, his eyes bright as the summer sky. “Where have your brothers concealed themselves on this dreary afternoon?”
Mira poured herself, and her uninvited guest, a cup of hot tea. She picked the saucer and handed it to Lucian. “They are at the club.”
He took a sip of the brew and smiled at her over the cup shaking his head. “No, my dear, they are most certainly not at the club.”
“Are you positive?” Mira set her tea down untasted.
“I was just there.” Lucian took another sip, his gaze never wavering from her.
She bristled at the impertinent expression on his face. “Well, they’re not here.” Mira snatched the cup from the saucer and sipped the hot brew, letting it add to the heat already suffusing her body from Lucian’s presence. As much as she disliked the man, he always seemed to bring her emotions boiling to the surface dragging along desires that were better left buried deep in the recesses of her mind.
“Spending the afternoon alone, cooped up in the library, staring out the window.” He chuckled and set the china down.
As he crossed to the window, Mira kept her distance, uncertain of his intentions. She’d never been alone with him before, but in all the years of their acquaintance, he’d never once crossed the boundary of inappropriate behavior. Danced on the line, certainly, but never set foot over it. She sipped her tea, keeping a keen eye on the scoundrel.
He glanced out into the garden and then turned back to her. The lopsided grin on his lips provided the perfect insight as to how roguish the man truly was.
“You should leave. I’ll tell my brothers you were looking for them.”
Lucian stalked toward her with slow, purposeful steps. He stopped beside her, and she resisted the urge to turn both toward him and away from him. Keeping her gaze fixed on the wall before her, she shivered as he spoke, his breath brushing against her cheek.
“You don’t care much for me, do you, Mira?” The whispered question set her nerves aflutter. He brushed his finger along her jaw.
The cup and saucer slipped from her hand. Mira barely heard them shatter on the floor. She turned her attention to the man tormenting her. With a glare, she snatched his offending hand and pulled it away from her face.
“Whatever gave you that impression?”
He shrugged and then leaned close. “A gentleman can always tell.”
“You sir, are no gentleman,” Mira snapped.
“You are absolutely right.” With those words he closed the gap between them and kissed her in a way no gentleman would dare.
Decided to go with something Victorian today. Hope you enjoy it. Whenever I think of a gentleman, I always imagine the facade they maintain. Crossing that boundary of gentleman to rake always provides some fantastic conflict. What do you think?