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By Lucia Grahame

Desirous to pay the guy who's blackmailing her, Fleur Deslingnere reluctantly marries Anthony Camwell, the good-looking yet formal aristocrat whose repressed hope for Fleur has ate up him for years.

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I used to be delighted on the likelihood to glimpse this livelier aspect of English lifestyles. yet when we made our approach into the eating place, and after my husband had stated a number of greetings from the Rifle diversity, we have been led upstairs to a personal room, there to take pleasure in our supper in quiet and intimate attractiveness. "Now inform me, did you benefit from the play? " my husband requested. "As a lot as someone can take pleasure in being attempted and condemned, in spite of the fact that amusingly," I responded. "That used to be what you meant, was once it now not? " My husband shrugged. "Perhaps I only desired to see you giggle. but when the shoe matches, of course... " "Even so," I acknowledged, "I couldn't support yet recognize the play. I take its deeper message to be a extra beneficiant one. might be it will probably remind us either one of the risks of any hardness of center. " "Indeed? " stated he indifferently. yet I observed his colour upward thrust. "For example," I persevered with a magnanimity which was once, unluckily, now not unmingled with spite, "it indicates to me that maybe I should pass judgement on you much less harshly for the vices that you hid from me so good and for thus lengthy. " back he laughed. "To which of my vices do you refer? " "To your recognized succession of mistresses. And the opposite pleasures of the demimonde that you it appears take pleasure in to the hilt with God-knows-whom. " I had no longer ignored the understanding, admiring glances my husband had garnered from the various bolder-looking ladies downstairs, nor the whispers, which i couldn't make out, nor the appraising eyes directed at me. My husband laid down his fork, and resting his left forearm and his correct elbow at the fringe of the desk, pointed his knife at my breast. "Oh yes," he acknowledged. "Those mistresses whom i've got at the least had the decency to not flaunt on your face, even supposing you've gotten by no means given me any cause to feel that you simply cared something approximately the place, as you as soon as positioned it, I went crawling. i will have you ever comprehend, the single time in my lifestyles that i've got ever crawled used to be in attempting to make you content. And what a thankless job that used to be. " My gaze fell, yet ultimately I lifted my eyes again to his. "Yes," I stated very slowly. "You have been discreet. And thoughtful. and i've been thankless. " My husband's expression didn't melt. "And for those who have been honest approximately taking the play as a warning opposed to judging folks harshly," he endured significantly, "there will be no use for me to show that I had each goal of being devoted to you till you proved to be such an unsatisfactory spouse. " "That's solely false," I acknowledged, my mood flaring back. "You be aware of in addition to I do this you took up together with your mistresses lengthy prior to you turned disappointed with me. " "But merely once you made it painfully transparent not just that you just took no excitement in our marriage mattress yet that you just have been completely happy with that situation and didn't desire to swap it," he retorted. "That account you acquired of me from Madame Mansard, even though actual in some other appreciate, exaggerated the haste with which I broke my vows. It took me a bit of longer than per week or to swallow my delight and admit to myself that i may by no means thaw your frozen center.

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