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An Unexpected Pleasure ~ Excerpt from 'A Code of Love'

Cord stepped into the hallway. “Lady Henrietta, what a pleasure to welcome you to Rathbourne House.”

She stood abruptly. By the astonished expression on her face, she hadn’t expected to see him. “My lord…” she mumbled, looking down at the floor. She fingered a necklace hidden under her pelisse, an anxious gesture, he was coming to recognize. “I’ve come to see your aunt.” Her chin went up in defiance.

He knew nothing of her friendship with his aunt. He glanced behind her to see if her maid accompanied her. She was alone.

She didn’t offer any further explanation but bit on her lower lip.

A very sensual lower lip, now that she had called attention to it. He found himself riveted to the pink plump lower lip. “My aunt is out on her social calls with Gwyneth. May I assist you?”

It didn’t matter what brought her here today. He wasn’t going to let her leave until he had time to probe the mystery of her unaccompanied appearance.

She stood motionless.

The air filled with expectation.

“Is your need to see my aunt concerning your uncle? I know they’re close acquaintances.”

It was hard to imagine that her large green eyes could get any larger, but they seemed to grow.

“What do you know of my uncle?” Her strident voice and stiffened stance challenged him. She was absolutely compelling with her fiercely determined eyes.

“I don’t believe I’ve yet had the honor of meeting the gentleman.”

She studied him, weighing his answer.

“I’m trying to understand what would cause you to arrive at Rathbourne House, seeking word with my aunt.”

“My visit is of a private nature.”

His impulse was to take her into his arms and console her about whatever problems she faced, to kiss away the anxiety furrowing her forehead. “May I offer you tea while we wait for my aunt?” He gestured with his hand to the marble staircase, which wound grandly up to the second floor.

A Code of Love

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