It’s Tuesday! I thought I’d share tue (I’m so clever) of my favorite characters…

Almost as if the devil had heard his name, Mirabelle saw him walk past the parlor door. She grinned wickedly. A little torture would be just the thing.
“He just walked by! Let me get him, he wouldn’t want to miss a chance to see the two of you!” Mirabelle jumped from her seat.
“His Grace is here?” Lady Hathewaite asked rapturously. Mirabelle rolled her eyes. Why did every woman have to be in love with him? She smiled over her shoulder. “We can’t seem to get rid of him.” Lady Gasden cackled.
“Your Grace?” Mirabelle called loudly, making her voice as sweet as possible. Lucien froze in front of the library door. “Lady Gasden and Lady Hathewaite are here! Surely, you wouldn’t want to miss a chance to say hello!” She heard him groan, he turned on his heel and scowled at her.
“Certainly!” He replied. His eyes shot daggers as he walked across the hall. He entered the room and bowed as the two elderly women rose and curtsied.
“What a lovely surprise to see you, Your Grace!” Lady Hathewaite gushed. “We’ve had the pleasure of meeting Lady Cambroke and now we hear there is to be a ball!”
Lucien took the seat next to Mirabelle. As he sat he stepped on her foot and ground the heel of his boot. She let out a squeak and had to pretend it was a hiccup. Silently, she vowed revenge.
“Lady Cambroke is a true delight. I wish that there were more ladies like her.” He smiled pleasantly at the women across from him but Mirabelle felt the barb like a knife to the gut. She considered the best tactic for revenge.
“Does that mean you’re looking for a lady, Your Grace?” Mirabelle leveled her sweetest stare over her teacup and held it to hide her smile.
“Indeed! Will you finally be looking over the field, Your Grace?” Lady Gasden asked as her eyes drilled into Lucien. Lady Hathewaite leaned forward. “It’s about time you stopped lifting skirts and did your duty!” Lady Gasden declared.
Lucien leaned forward to fill his teacup and renewed the pressure on Mirabelle’s toes. He looked up at the ladies as he spooned sugar into his cup.
“I am told that marriage is a long undertaking. Therefor, I do not feel so inclined to rush. Of course, it is not unusual for a man my age to be a bachelor…” He sat back and lifted his teacup to his lips.
“Turnabout, sweetheart…” He whispered. Mirabelle’s eyes widened as she realized her miscalculation. Lucien cleared his throat.
“Miss Mirabelle, you’re… six and twenty, correct?” She lifted her cup and cursed under her breath.
Lady Gasden and Lady Hathewaite both looked at her expectantly. She felt a flush rising.
“If you’ll excuse me, I just remembered that I was supposed to walk Lady Elise’s puppy! Poor Lucy must be quite distressed.” Mirabelle leapt to her feet and fled the room. Once out of sight of the parlor, she ran for the back doors. Tears were forming in her eyes and she couldn’t breath. How could he tease her about that? Mirabelle heard him call to her but she pushed the doors open and ran. The sun blinded her for a moment but she dashed towards the ornamental pond and found the tiny playhouse at the end of the path. She dropped to her knees and crawled inside. Mirabelle made herself as small as possible. Her knees were pressed against her chest and she hugged them to her tightly. She felt the walls of the tiny cottage pressing against her as tears rolled from her eyes.
Lucien’s head and shoulders pushed into the door of the cottage causing Mirabelle to jump. The tiny shutters rattled and Lucien laughed.
“Go away!” Mirabelle yelled.
“Not until you tell me what’s going on.” She could feel his breath against her ankles. Shivers raced up her spine. She knew he was laying on his stomach and must have looked ridiculous with his head stuck in the little playhouse.
“How did you know I’d be in here?” She pouted. Mirabelle thought about kicking him but decided it was too unladylike. Not that pulling oneself into a tiny ball and hiding in a toy house was ladylike.
“You always hid here when we hurt your feelings.” Lucien said softly. “And I know I hurt your feelings, I’m just not sure how or why.” He tugged playfully on the toe of her shoe. Somehow, it made Mirabelle want to cry even more. She sighed.
“I’m not a child anymore, Lucien.” She whispered. He suppressed a grin and took an exaggerated look at their surroundings. Mirabelle scowled. “It was the best hiding place I could manage at short notice.”
“One would argue that adults don’t hide. What’s going on, Mirabelle? We used to talk about everything.” His eyes looked so sincere, his beauty made her heart stop. What if she kissed him? She thought. How in the world would she manage, cramped like this? Her rational mind countered. But she knew she wouldn’t. She couldn’t face his rejection, if he rejected her. It’s why she never acted on her feelings. Better to always wonder than know that she was doomed once and for all.
Mirabelle smiled wistfully.
“We did talk about everything. But that was when we were young and things were simpler.”
Lucien brushed her shin with his knuckle. He meant it to be soothing but Mirabelle felt a fire spread through her. He looked up at her and searched her eyes.
“Things don’t have to be complicated. They can be simple if we choose to make them so.” He whispered.
Was he saying that he wanted her to keep them simple, for them to remain as they were when they were children, just friends? Or was he saying that it would be simpler if she just let go and moved on? Mirabelle wanted to scream.
She shut her eyes and shook her head.
“We don’t always get what we want, Lucien. I can’t talk to you about this right now.” She said softly. He stared at her for several minutes and then nodded. Mirabelle thought he was about to leave but he simply rolled onto his back and rested his hands on his chest.
“What are you doing?” Mirabelle whispered. Lucien shut his eyes and smiled.
“Remember when we stole the rolls from Ms. Hobbs and we hid in here and ate them so fast we thought we’d be sick?”
Mirabelle smiled and nodded.
“We had to sneak around for a week.” Lucien chuckled. “I still can’t look at a sweet roll.”
“I know.” Mirabelle said shakily.
“You do, don’t you. You always know.” He whispered.
“I can’t help it.” She sighed.
“And yet you can’t tell me why you’re upset right now and have been ripping up at me every time we talk.” Lucien said softly.
“I… I can’t.”
Lucien nodded.
“Then I’ll lay here and remember what it was like when we could tell each other anything and how you were the first person I’d choose when I felt the urge to cause a little mischief.”
“Oh, Lucien…” Mirabelle whispered as tears began sliding down her cheeks. She pulled a lock of his hair around her finger and toyed with it. He smiled and sighed contentedly and Mirabelle’s heart broke a little more.
They stayed like that for at least an hour, until it felt like it was time to head inside and get ready for dinner.

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It’s Tuesday! I thought I’d share tue (I’m so clever) of my favorite characters…

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