One would think, he murmured, mostly just to egg her on. He shouldn’t do it; he should be far wiser by now, but there was something so…entertaining about Hyacinth when she was determined.
materialized at her side as if she'd conjured him by the mere tilt of her arm. A moment later they were gone.wWell," Lady Danbury said, after everyone had stood in reflective—or maybe stunned—silence for nearly a minute. "That was unpleasant."wI've never liked her," Colin said, to no one in particular. A small crowd had gathered around them, so his words were heard by more than Penelope and Lady Danbury, but he didn't much care.wColin!"He turned to see Hyacinth skidding through the crowd, dragging along Felicity Featherington as she barreled to his side.wWhat did she say?" Hyacinth asked breathlessly. "We tried to get here sooner, but it's been such a crush."wShe said exactly what you would have expected her to say," he replied.
Hyacinth pulled a face. "Men are never good for gossip. I want exact words."wIt's very interesting," Penelope said suddenly.Something about the thoughtful tone of her voice demanded attention, and in seconds the entire crowd had quieted.wSpeak up," Lady Danbury instructed. "We're all listening."Colin expected such a demand to make Penelope uncomfortable, but whatever silent infusion of confidence she'd experienced a few minutes earlier was still with her, because she stood straight and proud as she said, "Why would someone reveal herself as Lady Whistledown?"wFor the money, of course," Hyacinth said.
Penelope shook her head. "Yes, but you'd think that Lady Whistledown would be quite wealthy by now.We've all been paying for her paper for years."wBy God, she's right!" Lady Danbury exclaimed.wPerhaps Cressida merely sought attention," Colin suggested. It wasn't such an unbelievable hypothesis;
Cressida had spent the bulk of her adult life trying to place herself at the center of attention.wI'd thought of that," Penelope allowed, "but does she really want this sort of attention? Lady Whistledown has insulted quite a few people over the years."wNo one who means anything to me," Colin joked. Then, when it became obvious that his companions required an explanation, he added, "Haven't you all noticed that Lady Whistledown only insults the people who need insulting?"
Penelope cleared her throat delicately. "I have been referred to as an overripe citrus fruit."He began to move, his body falling into its rhythm of need. His desire spiraled, until he was quite certain he could not bear it any longer, and then she would make a tiny little sound, nothing more than a moan, really, and he wanted her even more.
It seemed impossible.His fingers grasped her shoulders with a force that was surely too intense, but he could not loose his hold. He was seized by an overwhelming urge to claim her, to mark her in some way as his.
Gareth, she moaned. Oh, Gareth.And the sound was too much. It was all too much—the sight, the smell of her, and he felt himself shuddering toward completion.