“Thank you,” Annabelle whispered.
Ducking her head shyly she added,
“That was what my first kiss should have been like.”
Despite Colin’s attempt to distance himself from this beautiful marriageable female, he felt touched by her words. He’d never kissed a virgin before, had never understood the allure some men had to them. But looking at Annabelle’s beautiful face, knowing he was the first person she had happily been touched by made him more pleased than it should have.
“My carriage will be here any minute and it will take you home, just give the driver your address.” Colin told her, finding solace from his overwhelming feelings in the instructions. He felt bereft to part from her and couldn’t quite understand why. He knew it was better to sever the tie sooner rather than later and yet knowing something and wanting to do it were two different things.
His carriage pulled up outside of the gate bearing the crest of the Lincolns.
“Oh, is that a ducal crest?” Annabelle asked, stunned by the magnificence of the carriage that would be taking her home.
“Yes, my brother,” Colin murmured the lie unthinkingly.
He still occasionally forgot that he was now Lincoln and his father and brother were both gone. Easy to do considering he had spent 25 years in one situation and only 18 months in the other.
“Oh. Thank you so much, Colin. For everything you have done for me. I really have no idea how I could have survived tonight without you.”