Fingers crossed on the 15th of May.
Here is a peek into the sweet Regency short story that Steam eReads is publishing.
“I will wander about your village Miss Sommers and come back a little later.”
He turned to walk out of the shop when she called him back.
“No Mister Blakely, please. I need your opinion.”
He stopped himself from groaning aloud as he turned around and walked further into the shop.
“How can I be of assistance Miss Sommers? I am an old man and know little of fashions.”
He grimaced at his own word choice. He wasn’t an old man, but he needed to keep reminding them both of their considerable age difference.
Not to mention the fact he had decided never to remarry. Why did he keep forgetting that fact?
“But you are a man, Sir.” She fluttered her eyelashes at him and gazed up with her innocent brown eyes.
He clenched his teeth and half bowed at her to hide it.
“I am at your service, Miss Sommers.”
Ellie smiled and disappeared into another room with the dressmaker.
Robert waited, then stood up. After a while he turned to pacing up and down for what seemed like forever. Whatever could they be doing?
The dress maker came bustling out.
“Please, sit down Sir.”
Robert sat, his ankle crossed over his knee.
His jaw fell open when Ellie walked out in a ball dress of pale pink. She picked it up and stepped up onto the round step in front of the mirrors.
“I’m not sure about the colour. Robert?”
He slammed his mouth shut when she turned to look at him, her eyebrows raised in question.
“No, the colour is lovely.” He cleared his throat. Was that his voice?
“I’m worried about the neckline also.”
Ellie flushed a lovely shade of pink to match her dress and Robert shifted in his chair. Hunger was growing inside of him and he knew it would be hard to hide in his face. He looked down at his nails to disguise it.
“You aren’t a new debutante, Miss Sommers. You can get away with a slightly lower neck line.”
He risked a look up to see her face smiling in approval.
The next hours were a torment of the worst kind.
Time after time he had to watch Ellie prance around beautiful dresses, gloves, even look at stockings and pelisses. She asked him for his opinion on colours, textures, even on appropriate neck lines.
He was sweating by the time she had finished. She had followed every piece of advice he had given her, even ordered in a special version of purple fabric because he had said he liked it. He had never felt more special.
“Thank you so much, Mrs. Essex.”
Ellie kissed the elderly dress maker on the cheek and held her gloves in her hand, not putting them on.
Robert looked at the white gloves.
“Do you want to put them on, and we can perhaps go for a short walk before heading home.”
Ellie smiled and tucked them into a pocket in her day dress.
“No, I have recently learnt the pleasure of not wearing gloves.”
She waited for him and he offered her his hand. His naked, glove less hand. Hell.