You disagree? she inquired.
He’d halved the distance between them. On you, he said softly.She knew what he meant, or at least she thought she did, but the last thing she wanted to do just then was acknowledge what had transpired in London, so she backed up a step-which was as far as she could go without actu-ally fleeing the room-and pretended to misunderstand. Don’t be silly, she said. Kilmartin is yours. You may come and go as you please. I have no control over your actions.
His lips curved into a wry smile. Is that what you think? he murmured.And she realized he’d halved the distance between them yet again.I’ll have a room readied for you, she said hastily. Which would you like?
It doesn’t matter.The earl’s bedchamber, then, she said, well aware that she was babbling now. It’s only right. I’ll move down the hall. Or, er, to another wing, she added, mumbling.
He took another step toward her. That may not be necessary.
Her eyes flew to his. What was he suggesting? Surely he didn’t think that a single kiss in London would give him leave to avail himself of the connecting door between the earl’s and countess’s bedchambers?Someone who wouldn’t what? she asked urgently, sensing that this was important.
For the longest time she thought he wasn’t going to answer, but then, just when she’d quite given up on him, he said, She died of influenza. You know that, don’t you?Yes, she said, since his back was to her and he wouldn’t see her nod.
She died of influenza, he repeated. That’s what we told everyone—Eloise suddenly felt very sick, because she knew, absolutely knew what he was going to say.