After dressing and touching up her hair, Lillian started her slow descent to the dining room. Although she met her family earlier, she would now be forced to endure hours of conversation with them. It wasn’t a problem for her, she was glad to get to know them, but she feared they would not want to get to know her.
She hoped she would be seated next to her uncle. He seemed to be the most prone to talking among the lot of them, and it had been quite awhile since she'd had a conversation with anyone.
Lillian berated herself for her thoughts. She should want to sit next to them all, she did live with them now, and they were her family. During the internal battle she was having, Lillian barely heard the man at the foot of the stair clear his throat.
She sucked in her breath as she gazed upon him. Her heart skipped a beat, and her hands that had been perfectly dry, now felt slick.
He was a breathtaking sight. His tall, lean body leaned charismatically against the banister at the foot of the stair, with one elbow placed on its top. His other long arm bent at the elbow, with a strong hand placed on his slender hip. Lillian couldn’t help but admire him through her lashes, not wanting to be too forward. Although a lean man, she could see in certain places where his trousers and coat clung, his muscles were well defined. His clothes were of the utmost style, his shirt, pants and jacket smooth and crisp, not a piece out of place.
His thick brown hair came neatly to tie at the nape of his neck. A small lock came undone and lay against his forehead, giving him a wicked look.
Ah, so he is human. Not so flawless.
He stood there for a moment in perfect stance, as if to let her look upon him. She crinkled her brow, and rolled her eyes, thinking him arrogant. He was most assuredly one of the handsomest men she’d ever seen, but there he stood so proud, so sure of himself. He seemed to expect her to look upon him.
“Good evening, my lady. Lord Dominick Wade, at your service,” he said with a sweeping bow as she stopped at the foot of the stairs.
She lifted her arm delicately as she’d been taught and waited for him to take her hand. His fingers gently gripped her hand, as his soft lips grazed her skin. She felt a tingle wind its way up her arm and into her chest.
“Lillian Whitmore,” she said softly, her breath still caught in her chest from the moment he seized her senses with his warm kiss.
“Whitmore?” he asked, looking up sharply, his brow furrowing.
“Yes,” Lillian said, willing the butterflies in her stomach to stop fluttering. She straightened her back, stunned at the man’s seeming incredulity for her name.
“I don’t understand. I know I have been traveling for some time, but I was sure His Grace only had two daughters, and both English. You are American.”
“How perceptive,” Lillian said under her breath.
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