An indiscreet moment later, to judge by the scowl of her new husband beside her.
And of course their swift, smiling recognition had been spotted. Dear Lady Gower’s hawk-like eyes, glittering beneath an admittedly outré bonnet, glanced back and forth between them from her perch aboard her high-flyer phaeton. When her glance swiveled his way once more, he kissed his hand to her and gave the twice-widowed and adorable predator his most seductive smile. The matched greys smacked the phaeton’s front wheel against the sidewalk’s edge before she returned to her own affairs.
And of course, by then the new husband had whisked sweet Dorcas beyond the Temple Bar. She might be a merchant’s wife now — since March, that was, and her new husband was no longer all that new — but as a former Wentworth-Gower, she was too well-bred to glance over her shoulder at another man while leaning on her husband’s arm, and her fading presence plunged the street again into a dull winter’s day. Ernst Anton Oldenburg, His Grace, the Duke of Cumberland sighed, but didn’t bother to hide his satisfied smile. Dorcas, now Mrs. Robinson, looked lovelier than ever, with her hand resting unconsciously on her almost-done belly, her complexion positively glowing, and Mr. Robinson glowering over her shoulder.
Well, he’d done what he’d intended for her. His Grace could honestly say, he’d made sweet Dorcas’ dream come true.
Leaving him free for a new adventure.
Who sat with her mother in the coffee house across the way.
In the table behind the window, the Honorable Anne Elizabeth Henrietta Kirkhoven, youngest daughter of Baron Wotton of Boughton Malherbe, Kent, sat straight as a sword blade over her cup. Her deliciously delicate face wore the most perfect rose-hued flesh and her eyes were downcast, but her Cupid’s-bow mouth curved in a smile both demure and knowing. Beside her, Lady Wotton chattered away in the superior manner some still-beautiful matrons claimed as a birthright. As well they should, of course, as much as their daughters’ mischievous innocence allowed.
And yes, there in the deepest shadows of the room’s corner, lurking out of Lady Wotton’s sight, sat the young solicitor the daughter admired and the mother scorned.
Time to play.
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