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Realistic or Modern The Bronze Locket

Sub Genres
Adventure, Historical, Romance, Slice of Life

maddymew

Junior Member
Adelaide sighed shakily as Hugh sat her back against the pillows. His rough hands touched her face with that same aching gentleness and she was crying all over again. He brushed away her tears as they fell and murmured sweet nothings to calm her. When he asked how to help her, Adelaide lost herself in her thoughts for a moment. She placed one hand over his as they cupped her face and she leaned to his touch. "Could I, please, have something warm to drink?" Her throat was sore from singing for so long, and her scream had irritated it further. His hands moved, then, from her face back to the bed, and she squeezed them gently. Her eyes never left him, still full of anxiety.

Suddenly, the door opened and her dogs rushed in. They stampeded past Hugh and onto the bed, wagging their tails and whining fitfully. She was covered in them as they pushed at one another to lick her; her face, her arms, her neck. She let out a rusty laugh, and Oberon sniffed at her bandages before settling down on her right side. Tatiana greeted Hugh with a few fond licks to his face before moving to the foot of the bed and curled up there. Now comforted on three sides, she felt more at ease.

Charles stepped into the room, looking shaken and worried. With his hat in his hand he said. "My lady, are you alright?" He looked like a worried father, his brows knitted tightly and a frown under his mustache. "Charles, I'll be alright." She assured him, and the man seemed to calm. He turned to face Hugh and gave him a deep bow. "Sir, I cannot thank you enough for helping our dear lady again. You have my gratitude. Please, if you ever need anything, I am at your service." Adelaide laced her fingers through Hugh's, a small smile forming on her lips.

"Never have I felt so loved as in this moment." She whispered, almost to herself. Casting glance at Hugh, she continued. "Thank you, my angel..."
~

Duncan seemed in better spirits as he spoke, gently examining her hand. He spoke of making her a room and she smiled. "You are beginning to know me well, signor." She responded. "I will not be leaving her side." The door was knocked on and he left to get it. Fausta laughed heartily as Charles and the dogs rushed into the room, and felt her heart lighten at the quiet sound of Addy's laughter. Duncan returned, and she placed her hand on his arm, sweeping her skirts up again.

"Bella, I would love to, signor. It would be a waste not to be taking advantage of our fine cloths and a fine evening, no?" He lead her down the stairs and back out to the garden. Stopping along the way to fetch wine, they found a small stone bench among the low burning lanterns and settled themselves down. Duncan opened the bottle with a pop, and poured them each a hearty glass. Fausta raised it and clinked them together, saying. "To the hunt, Mr. Montgomery." Adding a crooked smile she continued "And your skills in dancing."

They sipped the wine in silence for a moment, Fausta let the flavorful liquid flow over her tongue slowly before swallowing. Placing down her glass, she peeled off her long evening gloves and shook her arms, the cool air feeling refreshing on her skin. Picking up her glass once more, she looked up at the stars through the trees. "This is not the way I saw the evening to be traveling."
 

BoneBrain

New Member
Hugh was about to stand and find a maid to get tea ready but there was a knock and soon he was covered in happy dogs. Adelaide's laugh made him smile grimly. Her voice was so hoarse, she needed so much rest. He found himself quite proud of the fact that even now she could laugh. It was clear there was much that had to be said and done from the look she had given him earlier but the hoarse laugh gave him hope. Hugh accepted the few licks from the dogs and pet each of them in turn until the settled around Adelaide. Hugh inclined his head to Charles and smiled at the man. He spoke as Adelaide laced her fingers with his.

"Thank you Charles. I do believe your presence here will certainly bring the ladies spirits up. Would you perchance be able to get us some tea? The maids will know where to get it." Hugh asked. The man bowed and left without another word ready to do his mistresses bidding. As he left Hugh heard the faint whisper of Adelaide. He didn't catch the first part but smiled when she called him an angel. He brought her hand up and laid a kiss upon her knuckles.

"If I am an angel you must be a goddess. You looked absolutely beautiful today Adelaide. You sang like nothing I have ever heard." Hugh shifted trying to get closer to her. His hands moved up to drift over her hair, setting the gold locks waving over her shoulders and around her face. For a long while he took his time brushing his fingers over her hair and drawing long soothing lines down her jawline and up across her cheekbone. There was a knock again after a while and Charles entered holding a tray of tea. Hugh thanked the man and once they were alone again Hugh got up and made himself busy with the tea preparations.

From the smell he knew that they had brewed a nice cup of green tea with jasmine. There was a container of honey on the tray as well and he put a healthy spoonful in the warm brew to sooth her throat. He brought her the cup and saucer and then made a cup for himself too. The night finally catching up with him. His hands shook a little and did his best to take a few steadying breaths. What on earth would Redstone have done to her, how could such a man hurt such a woman. It was impossible in Hugh's mind. He returned to her then and sipped lightly enjoying the floral fragrance of the tea.

"You will stay here however long it takes for you to recover." He told her. "It is the least I can do for not being there to protect you." He looked wearily down at her now. The disappointment in himself registering now. He had failed as her escort for the evening.

~

They were in the night air and seated, with glasses full and a toast on her lips that made Duncan laugh. He drank heartily and let the night air envelop him. In the distance the sound of the running water of the near by river flowed. The sound was joined by the night time hoo's of an owl and insects out and about. His eyes caught movement then and he watched as Fausta peeled off her gloves, revealing strong arms and elegant fingers. The torch light gleamed off her skin and his pupils darkened. She spoke softly, her voice lilting pleasantly.

"I did not think we would have such a turn of events either. I thought it had been going quite well up until that bastard showed up." Duncan said Edwards name then, cursed and spit on the ground. It was an old soldiers move, one that had been practiced on nights after battles hard fought and there was mourning to be done. "However I must say the time spent with you this evening has been nothing short of an adventure. I do hope we can attend less dramatic balls and make them gossip."

The smell of the garden filled his nostrils and Duncan closed his eyes. Here he had thought to only visit his brother for a week, and now he kept finding excuses to stay longer. "You surprise me, I would like to know more of the woman that shoots men with out a blink of her eyes, more the woman who know's how exquisite she is. It seems to me, you have quite the story to tell."
 

maddymew

Junior Member
She blushed a heady rose at him compliment, averting her eyes shyly with a small giggle. She settled down and let him tend to her gratefully. Adelaide sighed softly as Hugh gently played with her hair and pet her face, his fingers feathering through her tresses and over her skin. She leaned into his touch, feeling the last of her energy begin to ebb. Hugh's soothing was helping her relax, maybe a little too much. She struggled to keep her eyes open, and sat up a little more once the tea arrived. The drink smelled divine, a beautiful floral fragrance. She watched Hugh prepare it with the utmost care, even adding honey for her sore throat.

He sidled into bed next to her and settled down as they drank, a contented sigh escaping her as she felt the hot liquid soothing her aching throat. She caught Hugh's labored breaths and shaking hands, looking up at him in concern. He spoke softly to her, and she could see the guilt weighing down on him like an albatross. He looked into her eyes and she could see the exhaustion there. A small noise rose from her, and she placed the teacup down, reaching over to the side table. Moving closer, carefully, with her ankle, she plucked his cup out of his hands and placed it beside hers. Then, she wrapped her arms around his neck and drew the man into her, until his face was nestled into her shoulder.

Adelaide leaned her head atop his, gently, giving him a squeeze. "Angel...my dearest guardian angel." She murmured "You have done nothing wrong tonight. Edward is a viper in the grass, he knows precisely when to strike. We've seen hide nor hair of him in a month, there was no way to defend against him. There was nothing you could do." She hugged him tighter, submerging one hand into his soft hair. "I am so sorry for the heartache you feel right now. You have saved me twice now from that man, and opened your home to me often. I would never ask for a more noble protector." She pulled away a little, so she could look into his eyes. She desperately hoped her words would reach him. She cupped his face in her hands and pressed chaste kisses to his brow, one after another, until she needed to breathe.

Tears spilled from her eyes again as she looked upon him. "I have been more alive since you have come than I ever have, Hugh. I would not trade a single moment of our time together for anything in the world. It is too dear to my heart." Her eyes were full of an earnest affection, wishing only in the moment to bring him the peace of mind he seemed to need. "Tonight was magical for me. I felt like a princess in a fairytale. Nothing, nothing has changed that. Alright?"
~

Fausta tipped her head and raised her glass in thanks at his words, laughing a little. She put her glass down again and reached inside her clutch, pulling out a hair comb. Gathering up her locks, she twisted the hair elegantly into a bun atop her had, and used one hand to affix the comb in place. Once the hair was off her neck, she sighed gratefully, the cool air wiping the sweat from her skin.

"Signor, I will be anticipating the next time we can, how you say, ruffle feathers." The thought of dancing with him again and turning so many heads pleased her, and she smiled at him. "I am convinced now that you are a catch." She laughed at her own words, the wine getting to her a little. At his query, she shrugged, sitting back one hand hand and turning to look at him. With her hair up, her neck and shoulders looked different. Well muscled, and the way she looked at him in the dim light, sharply, like an animal.

"It is simple." She replied. "To be unfortunately born a woman is to be born prey. You do not trust. You survive." She considered her next words carefully. "I was...uncontented with that. I am wanting to live," She emphasized "Not only be surviving. So, I learned. I learned how to shoot, and fight with swords and fists. I am not having to be afraid of men, now. I am having the luxury to be trusting them." She cocked her head at him, her sharp brown eyes gleaming. "Am I making sense, Duncan?" It was the first time she had used his proper name. It didn't feel heavy on her tongue like most of the english words did. Solid, yes. But not heavy.
 
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BoneBrain

New Member
Hugh was taken into the arms of Adelaide and he treasured it, their cups of tea lay off to the side, the steam lightly wafting from each mug. Her warm scent around him, her hands moving through his hair causing his eyes to close. She seemed to know just what to do and what to say to ease his heart. Her words flowed soft like honey through his mind. His hand lifted to rest over her waist holding her to him just as she was. She was kissing his forehead then and Hugh sighed as the tension eased from him. While certainly it was easy to still find frustrations with himself the fact that she was with him now, safe and holding him he found he could forget. She pulled away then and their eyes met, she spoke earnest words and his heart warmed with each passing sentence. The hand that held her waist circled her now. He was careful to not touch any places that seemed like they hurt.

"Thank you Adelaide." His voice was gruff with emotion. "I know this is rather forward of myself but if I may I would like to stay here with you tonight. I do not think I can bear the thought of sleeping alone in my bed. May I please stay with you?" He took in her face, noting the swollen eyes from tears and the streaks down her cheek. Following impulse he leaned forward and pressed a kiss to one cheek, tasting the salty tears there. His lips moved to the next and he kissed away those tears as well.

"When I look at you, all I want is to see you smile. Perhaps tomorrow if you are well we can do an activity with Duncan and Miss. Ricci." He suggested softly before leaning in to kiss the corner of her mouth.

~

Duncan left the air leave his lungs when Fausta made even more motions to become comfortable. Her hair wound up now revealing a curved neck and soft shoulders. The comb glinted in the moon light and he thought it suit her. Deciding she was on the right track he loosened his cravat and pulled it off entirely, revealing his neck and pronounced adams apple. His jacket came loose then and he slipped it off his shoulders. Both items of clothing were dropped to the ground next to him. He sipped his wine as Fausta spoke. She was magnificent in the gardens, the glow of the torches and moon made her look like a forest nymph.

He listened to her tale and found himself nodding along with the choices she had made for herself. He respected her, there was something about her that he knew was absolutely powerful. She was her own woman and she would be fine with whatever situation life threw at her. She used his name then and he found he liked it.

"You make perfect sense Fausta." He said softly. "The world needs more women like you. Those that command respect and rightfully so." Duncan's head lifted to the night sky and after a moment his eyes caught the movement of a falling star. He made a noise of pleasure and pointed up for Fausta to see. "It seems the heavens are active today." He said as another fell.
 

maddymew

Junior Member
Adelaide's heart jumped into her throat at Hugh's intimate actions. His lips ghosted over her skin, wiping away the last of her tears. His piercing blue eyes found hers, and her heart raced even faster. She struggled to form coherent words, her body on fire from the tips of his fingers and the touch of his lips. "Hugh," She rasped, trying to catch her breath. He kissed the corner of her mouth and Adelaide became undone. Before he could pull away, she gripped the collar of his jacked and pulled him towards her, her lips coming up to meet his fully.

It had been a month since their first kiss, and the feelings that shot through her upon the contact were the same. Fear, joy, elation, through every nerve of her body. She kissed him softly, her lips savoring the taste of his. Adelaide kept the kiss light and slow, wanting to extend the moment as far as she could. Though she desperately wished to kiss him deeper, she pulled away, her aching lungs crying out for air. Her fingers untied the ribbon holding back Hugh's hair, and she cradled the back of his head with her hand. Pressing her forehead to his, she begged breathlessly.

"Don't leave me again. Please, Hugh, I-" her rusty voice shook with emotion. "I can't bear being without you tonight. Please." In that moment, nothing else mattered but his breath mingling with hers, his strong hands upon her waist. Carefully, she took one of his hands and raised it, placing it upon her neck, so his fingers rested on the scar. Not two hours ago Edward's own hands had lingered there. But when Hugh touched the marred skin, she felt calm. Her words were failing her now, and she wanted desperately to show him her trust. I feel safe with you. was what she tried to say.
~
Fausta's eyebrows rose as Duncan shed his own stuffy clothes, and she smirked a little. Turning her head away, she hid the smile in her glass as she drank again. He really was a handsome man. She mused. To see him so relaxed, his skin showing in the moonlight... she pushed those thoughts from her mind, though it was difficult. When he spoke her name in that foreign way, a little thrill ran through her.

She looked up at his beckoning, and laughed as the star shot across the sky. "Bellissimo!" She cheered softly. Looking back over at his profile, she hummed softly. Fausta moved a little closer to him, pretending not to notice. She turned her head back towards the sky and spoke. "I am wondering about you, too, Duncan. I have not seen a man being so full of life in many years. Yet," She looked for the words, taking another sip of her drink.

"You are being so jovial, but your eyes are always to be looking far away. How come?"
 

BoneBrain

New Member
He had every intention to be gentle and not to go too far with her, but as soon as her lips descended upon his he felt the fire within him burn bright. She was in control, her mouth slanting over his, she took her time and he sank into the kiss, enjoying the sweet taste of her on his lips. When they pulled apart for breath, he felt her hands move over to his hair sending it loose with the tug of the ribbon. His brown hair fell around her fingers and he loved the feel of her as she lay tight against him. She spoke then, not wanting him to leave and he felt elated that she would feel as strongly about this as he. Her hand moved his then to her throat where the lines of marred skin lay crossed. His finger tips moved over the scars gently, his eyes looked over the skin with a gentle gaze.

He was silent for a long while, he wanted to show her how beautiful he found her. How the marks though a terrible memory could still be loved. His hand found her chin then and he tilted her face up, he leaned forward then and kissed the spot on her neck where he pulse beat. He smelled her families perfume then and took in the scent. His mouth moved over the mark then and he pressed soft kisses along it.

"We should get dressed for bed." He murmured against her skin. "But I also don't want to move away from you."

~

Duncan's head was tilted back and he did not notice Fausta's closeness at first. Her exclamation over the stars made him grin and he listened with his eyes upwards as she asked about him. When she paused for a sip he joined her. His eyes noted then that she was much closer and he made a humming noise as the red liquid moved down his throat. He contemplated her question for a moment before settling on his answer.

"As a child Hugh and I were often apart. Being the oldest my father had a lot of stock in me to take over the family business. I had to travel to town often with dear old Dad, he left my brothers and my mother at home, often for months at a time. Dad would go to the pubs after a long day of work and take me, there was a lot of joy in music and dance in those places, I didn't realize it at the time but dad would often leave me there while he sought out female company and would return to pick me up when he had finished. When we did get to return home Dad would be very cold to mother, but my brothers and I would share tales of our adventures, Hugh and John of the magic forest we lived by and me of the bar fights and drunken conduct I had seen. I also taught them the dances that some bar patrons would do." Duncan paused to finish his glass of wine before he continued.

"My happiest moments have been with accompanying dance and music. People come alive when they hear a lively tune. I am learning now that I am older there are more moments to find joy in, it's been a great pleasure to seek them out."
 

maddymew

Junior Member
Adelaide made a noise between a gasp and a moan as Hugh's lips softly glided over her scars. What was he doing? How could he grace such ugliness with something so pure as a kiss? When he paused to speak, his head nestled into the crook of her neck, his breath sending shivers down her spine. Did he have any idea of what he was doing to her? How utterly at his mercy she was? Adelaide's emotions had reached a fever pitch, her body felt searing hot. Her chest was heaving and her head dizzy. One arm was wrapped around his shoulders, her other hand resting on his knee. "Y-yes." She croaked. "We should."

Adelaide remained still, the hand wound around his shoulders gently running through his hair. She was overwhelmed by the electricity coursing through her veins as their bodies rested against each other, but never wanted the contact to end. She took a quivering breath and spoke quietly. "I-I'm afraid I have nothing to wear." She told him. A blush bloomed across her cheeks and she asked him bashfully. "Could I borrow one of your night shirts, Hugh? I won't be able to sleep in this dress."

Adelaide was almost glad that he couldn't see her face. She so desperately wanted to kiss him again, to get lost in him as they had that night before the fire. She knew he would be able to see so written plainly across her face. When it came to him, she could never hide her thoughts or feelings. Her hand moved gently up his leg, resting on his thigh. Adelaide thought nothing of the action, she simply wanted to be as close to him as possible.
~

Fausta listened quietly as Hugh spoke, swirling her wine about in the glass. She reached over and placed her hand atop his, keeping her eyes steady on the sky. "I am sorry for your father's actions." She gave him her condolences. "That is no way to treat family." She finished her drink and sat the glass down, finally turning to look at him. Their faces were close, far closer than was proper.

"But I am gladened that you were finding joy there. It is hard, sometimes, to remain bright in the dark times." She thought for some minutes, her eyes searching his. He had not entirely answered her question, but tonight was not the time to press him. She leaned forward, her eyes fluttering closed as she pressed a lingering kiss to his cheek, leaving a red mark there. Fausta pulled away with a giggle and stood, dragging his arm with her. Kicking off her shoes, she looked down at him with a smile.

"Come, I teach you the dance of my family. We dance when our hearts are full, and mine is so now." She began to chant softly in her mother tongue, not quite singing, but enough to get a steady rhythm going. Her hips swayed back and fourth, the soft fabric of her dress brushing against his ankles.
 

BoneBrain

New Member
Hugh closed his eyes, she was trembling, her arm was around him and he reveled in the closeness. Her voice was hoarse and he thought that perhaps she might need another sip of tea. she confessed she had nothing to wear and he nodded into her shoulder and neck. Before he could speak her hand had slid up his thigh and it sent sparks along her contact, instead a soft groan fell from his lips and he pressed his lips to the top of her neck just under her ear. His breath was warm over her skin. It took him a moment to collect himself before he leaned back to look at her, his hand stroked up and down the small of her back, drifting over the dress and the ties that held it together.

"I will return." He whispered gruffly to her and pulling away. He was careful not to disturb the dogs laying around her, both of which seemed to have drifted off to sleep. "Finish your tea. I will return with some clothing for you." He said. The candle's in the guest room were lit and it allowed Hugh a moment to get his bearings in the night. He found the door and left the guest bedroom and walked down the hall to his own room. It was clear the rest of the household had stopped for the night, the house was silent and peaceful. In his own room Hugh stripped off his own clothes and put on a pair of loose pants and a shirt. He found a large shirt dark shirt for Adelaide before he left his room he peeked outside and saw two forms in the garden. He could not tell who they were but the sight of the two of them dancing made him smile. It seemed there was joy to be had in this evening after all. Tucking the shirt under his arm Hugh left his room again to return to Adelaide.

Hugh reentered the room quietly and shut the door, Adelaide was dimly lit by the candle light and he smiled at her. He stepped towards the bed and handed her the shirt. "Here you are, there is a room separator there in the corner if you wish to change behind it. I can leave the room if that would make you feel better?"

~

Duncan felt Fausta's hand touch his and he flipped his palm up to lace his fingers with her, without thinking. Duncan enjoyed touch, it was often a language in itself he found, so much could be said with contact. She was close to him now, her dark eyes gleaming with what he could only describe as life. There was so much life to Fausta, he had only known her for an evening but it felt right to sit with her like this, and to speak his mind freely around her.

"Yes." He said agreeing with her. "Music can be magic." She kissed his cheek then and he grinned widely. The life that he saw within her eyes moved to her body then as she removed her shoes and got up. Energy filled him and he took kicked off his shoes and joined her. She rhythmically spoke in Italian then, the words flowing over them and encouraging the motion of their feet and hips. Though the light was dim, it was enough for Duncan to see and follow along. The grass was cool against their feet as they danced among the flowers. Feeling a bit creative Duncan took Fausta's hand and lifted it, pushing her waist with the other hand encouraging her in a spin, she twirled back into him and they locked eyes.

They danced like that for a while, letting themselves feel free within the others arms. Above them the stars fell silently, adding to their dance. Light on their feet Duncan found Fausta's back to his chest and he wrapped his arms around her waist. They swayed together then, his head pressed against the side of her head. In his heart Duncan knew he would treasure this memory forever.
 

maddymew

Junior Member
Another soft moan escaped her as he pressed a kiss to her neck, her eyes fluttering closed. His hands found their way to her back and ghosted over her dress; she had a vivid flash of his strong fingers untying the ribbons there. Adelaide sighed wistfully as he departed, and finished her tea obediently after. He returned shortly and gave her that dazzling smile she so adored. She took the shirt from him and managed to crawl off the bed without waking the dogs, who were softly snoring.

Hugh looked magnificent. Even more so than in his formal attire, she thought to herself. All soft around the edges with his simple flowing garb, and his long brown hair loose about his face. Bare feet, his chest showing just so through the opening in his shirt. He looked perfect. Adelaide blushed heavily at all the thoughts that flooded into her mind, swallowing thickly. She was unable to tear her eyes from him.

"No, I'll be fine, Hugh. Thank you." Adelaide walked across the room and vanished behind the separator. She fumbled lightly with the ribbons with her bandaged hands, but managed to untie them and shimmy out of the dress, hanging it over the top of the divider carefully. She stripped off her stockings and slip, too, leaving them folded on the stool. Pulling Hugh's shirt over her head, she reveled in the smell that wreathed around her. His smell. Breathing deeply for a moment, she remembered herself, and called out softly. "A-alright, I'm coming out."

She stepped back into view, the candlelight illuminating her with a soft golden glow that made her hair shine. Hugh's shirt came down to the middle of her thighs, leaving her long white legs mostly exposed. The collar was much too big, and fell off one of her shoulders, her neck bare, the tunic-like opening in the front revealing the curves of her chest just a little. She rolled the long sleeves up so her hands weren't swallowed, her long hair falling about her shoulders. Looking up nervously, she asked. "Well? How do I look?"
~

Fausta laughed through her chanting as they danced merrily together, spinning out and back into his arms. The slick grass was cool underneath their bare feet and she lost herself in the moment. The night was breezy and soft, fireflies and falling stars dancing with them. As the dance drew on, they had no need for rhythm, so she fell silent. They moved together without direction naturally, like a bow across strings.

Eventually, he drew her into him, her back pressed against his chest as they swayed together. She hummed happily, moving her head to press her nose to his affectionately. A little trill came from her throat and she spoke. "Ah...Che bel modo di innamorarsi. Anche se solo per una notte." Fausta laughed a little, raising a hand to stroke his face, gently. "Duncan," She purred, her breath mingling with his "I am not knowing how much you are meaning to, but you have, how you say, entranced me this night. Such a wiley, wonderful man you are. I am being thrilled to have been with you like this."

She looked up into his gleaming blue eyes, alight with joy and content. He seemed made of magic, smiling kindly without a care in the world, surrounded by lights from the earth and the heavens. The warm summer air was more intoxicating than the wine, and as they moved together she asked the question burning in her heart. "I am wondering... will you still be finding me bella when the sun returns? Or am I another paramore who will hold you close only for a moment?" Fausta was curious of his answer, and couldn't tell what had made her wear her heart so openly.
 

BoneBrain

New Member
The two of them looked at each other for a long moment before Adelaide took the shirt from him and Hugh did his best to keep his eyes on the dogs while she got changed. He didn't sit on the bed yet, instead he chose to reach over and pet Tatiana as she rested at the foot of the bed. His hand pulled over her head and ears and the dog lifted her head to gaze up at him. Hugh could hear the shedding of clothes and could see out of the corner of his eyes when clothing was leaned over the top of the divider. He took a deep steadying breath, the tension was back, but this time it was for a far different reason. It was clear the both of them felt it, their hearts kept guiding them to this place and now here the both of them stood ready to take that first step. At the sound of her voice Hugh's head lifted from Tatiana and he saw her.

The breath was knocked out of him, the fates had been inspired during her creation. Her legs were bare and his eyes took in the slim pale curves and dips. Her shoulder was exposed and Hugh could imagine himself there pressing kisses and nibbling affectionately. He realized then she had asked him a question, with his eyes dark upon hers, his legs took up the distance between them in two long strides. He was in front of her then, desire burned bright through him.

"My god Adelaide." He whispered, his body moved on its own, his strong arms lifting her encouraging her legs to wrap around his waist. Without another word his mouth settled on hers and he sank himself into the kiss. Biting her lip gently and groaning. He took a few steps back feeling the bed at the back of his legs and sat down. Thankfully he had missed the dogs. His hands settled on the smooth skin of her legs and he broke apart their lips to rain kisses down her neck and onto her shoulder. "I can't seem to stop." He murmured. "I want you Adelaide."

~

Duncan enjoyed their dance, settling into the sway. Fausta whispered something in her language and he thought to ask her what it meant but she spoke again. He chuckled and pressed his face closer to hers, her hair tickling his face and filling his nostrils with her scent. She smelled of the wine and of power. It was intoxicating.

"This truly has been a splendid evening with you. You have certainly filled my mind with nothing but you. I do not think I will attend another dance again without being able to think of this." His hand found hers and their fingers laced again. She asked him a question then and it made him pause. Their rhythm was broken now, Duncan lifted his head, meeting her eyes and wondered what to say. "I will be honest with you Fausta, you deserve my honesty. I adore your company and would like to seek it further, forgive me if that is entirely too bold. My mind immediately thinks that spending time with you like this would be most enjoyable, I would like to dance with you more. I would like to make you laugh some more as well. However at this point it is only fun that I seek." He stepped back from her then and circled to face her.

"I am not the most traditional of men. But I will not do anything that might bring dishonor to you or your families reputation. I can see friendship being a beautiful thing between us."
 

maddymew

Junior Member
Adelaide felt his eyes burning into her, shivers coursing through her body. Then, he was across the room and he swept her up into his arms. She made a small squeal of delight, her giggle swallowed up by his fevered kiss. Lightning shot through her body as she wrapped her legs around his waist and she lost herself utterly to the kiss. It was passionate and endless; when he stumbled back onto the bed her hands came up and grabbed onto his face. His strong fingers sunk into the soft skin on her thighs and a moan escaped her. He broke the kiss, their chests heaving in cinque, and his mouth trailed down her neck, his kisses lighting her aflame. She sighed and gasped, her hands moving to his hair and submerging in his tresses and gathering into fists. At his soft, needing words, she pulled his head back gently.

Adelaide's mouth consumed his again, and she broke the kiss to look into his eyes. "I'm yours to take, Hugh." She replied breathlessly, her own eyes wide and bright with desire. "I want you, too, angel." She murmured, leaning down to return the affections to his own exposed neck. Between kisses, Adelaide continued to whisper to him, her hands roaming along his back. "You have set this fire in me, Hugh. No one else has stirred my heart so." She kissed back up his neck and cupped his face, fiercely kissing him once more. "I am yours." She repeated. "Heart, body and soul, I am yours. If I loved you any more I would simply burst from it."

She took fistfuls of his soft collar in her small hands and pulled his face into hers, pouring her passion, her desire, her love for him into the act. Twice now, she had confessed to him. Twice now, he had needed time. Adelaide was nothing if not a patient woman, but she would not wait a moment longer for his answer. Now, when she laid herself and her heart bare before him.
~

Fausta smiled brightly at his answer, watching him with her eyes shining. Clapping her hands, she bounded a little, doubling over as a laugh overtook her. Once she was able to stand, she moved towards him. Placing one hand along the side of his neck, she pressed one, two, three kisses to his cheek between giggles. Pulling away again she fanned out her arms and spun. Facing him once more she grinned and spoke. "Bellissimo, dearest Duncan." She replied "Thank you, thank you, thank you. I am being so thrilled by your honestly."

She came close again, grabbing up one of his hands and pressing kisses to his knuckles fervently. "You are being a fresh breath of air." She looked at the ernest man. "Let us start there, then signor, no? Friends. Let us laugh and dance and cause the mischief together. I wish to explore you, and you me. If we grow, we grow. If we do not," She shrugged "We still have a wonderful friend. I am loving having so much fun with you, Duncan."

Fausta came close and pressed her forehead to his, muttering a prayer in italian before releasing him. Her fingers hooked on his and she turned back towards the house, looking at him over her shoulder with a sly smile. "Come then," She beckoned. "Let us rest for our next adventure." Fausta began to pull him along, turning back and giggling like a child with a secret.
 

BoneBrain

New Member
She was everywhere, Hugh was overwhelmed with Adelaide. Her hands were in his hair pulling his head back. Her words were soft murmurs filling his brain with delightful sparks of pleasure. She told him she loved him again and for the second time his heart wrenched at the words. How bittersweet, how lovely she could feel so about him, but there was still something that held him back from saying the words in return. His hands stilled on the small of her waist feeling the dip of her hip bone beneath his fingers.

She was kissing him again and Hugh poured himself into the act. Delirious for her, but still wishing to give her some words his mouth tore from hers. Panting gently his hands moved up then circling her into a tight hug. The heat of his hands burned through the fabric of the shirt she wore. Cursing lightly Hugh looked Adelaide in the eye.

"You have awoken every sense in me Adelaide. Music is so much sweeter because of you, lunch in the gardens have never been the same since you've come into my life. At night I dream of you... Of this." He squeezed her to him and nibbled on her jaw line. His words warm against her skin. "I do not think my life will ever be the same again... becuase of you." He kissed her then, hoping the words would be enough for her. Passion overtook him then and they spoke no more.

~💛Fade to Black💜~

~

Fausta came alive with laughter and joy and Duncan was quick to join her. He was thankful his honesty had been received so well, he had known other women in the past who might have given him a slap for those daring words. Instead he received kisses, her lips soft against his cheek. She was dancing then, spinning around in circles before returning and kissing his hands then.

"Yes!" Duncan laughed. "Yes my dear I believe this is the start of something rather splendid." As he spoke she was close again, closer than before. Their foreheads touched and Duncan could feel the brush of her hair against his forehead. His eyes closed as she spoke Italian and his hands caught hers, they had both reached for each other at the same time. Their fingers linked and she moved away to pull him towards the house. Like an eager puppy Duncan followed.

"What sorts of trouble can we make in the morrow?" Duncan wondered out loud as they found their path towards the balcony. She was laughing and he joined her. "Ah perhaps we shall have to find a way to cheer up the lovely Miss. Lovelocke. I think we would be quite good at that." Duncan said. They were in the house now, moving past the ballroom and out to the hallway. "Though I suppose that isn't truly trouble." He mused after a long thought.

They were at the bottom of the stairs that led to the bedrooms upstairs, Duncan inspired by his friends jovial attitude and the wine that had been consumed decided to sweep up Fausta into his arms. Bending over he caught the back of her knees with one arm and caught her back with the other. He did his best to keep quiet but a few bubbles of laughter burst forth from him. Her dress flowed over his arms and even though they were similar heights she fit quite nicely there. He gave her a cocky grin and carried her up the stairs and set her neatly down at the top.

"I hope you have lovely dreams tonight Fausta." Duncan told her, "I believe the room that is yours is the open door down the hall there." Duncan pointed to the room to show her.
 

maddymew

Junior Member
Fausta whooped as Duncan swept her up into his arms, and had to stifle laughs of her own as they ascended the stairs. She wrapped her arms around his neck and giggled into his ear, delighted at the gesture. When he placed her down again, she gave him a flourishing curtsey, with a smile dancing on her lips. "Signor, you have been the perfect gentleman this evening. I cannot be waiting for the next time we can be dancing together." The alcohol was getting to them both, as was the hour, so when he pointed out her rooms, she nodded. Leaning forward, one fist full of fabric, she gave him one last lingering kiss on the cheek. "Goodnight, dearest Duncan." She murmured softly. "I wish you pleasant dreams, also."

With a sly wink, she started down the hall, giving a little twirl as she reached the door to her room. With a stifled laugh, she grinned again and opened the door, vanishing from his sight. Fausta collapsed onto the bed, not even bothering to undress. Sleep descended upon her and she dreamt of fireflies and falling stars.
~

Adelaide woke late the next morning. Remembering what had transpired the night before, a radiant smile lit her features. Combing back some of her hair, she turned and found Hugh still sleeping beside her. Her heart did a leap in her chest, and for many moments she just watched the steady rise and fall of his breathing. Finally, she reached out and drew herself closer, pressing a feather light kiss to the nape of his neck and letting her hand spider across his back. She curled closer then, pressing her bare chest to his warm, broad back. The smell of his skin was still intoxicating, and she breathed deeply as she nuzzled into him.

"Good morning, angel." She said in a raspy whisper. Adelaide ran her hand tenderly along his skin, savoring the feel of every scar and freckle there. He was magnificent. Every inch of the man was beautiful, and Adelaide was just as captivated in the morning light as she had been in the evening. As she waited for him to wake, her heart thrummed nervously against her ribs. Would he regret what they had done? Would he treat her differently, now? Like an easy woman? She bit her lip, then gently pressed a line of kisses long his shoulder as a sliver of sunlight peeked through the drawn curtains.

Though her nerves were alight, and she was not sure he could hear, she spoke again, her voice gravelly. "Thank you so much for staying with me, Hugh. Last night was the first in many years I slept without fear." The dogs had somehow ended up in a pile of limbs on the floor, laying atop the couple's discarded clothing, no less.
~

Fausta never slept in when she had a hangover. She woke with first light, and cursed every second of it. Charles was kind enough to bring over fresh clothing, so she sat out in the garden in a casual dress, her hair braided down her back. Makeup had helped cover the bags under her eyes, and she wore short lace gloves to cover the grass stains on the tips of her fingers. The butlers had made her breakfast, though the dishes sat empty now. It would soon be eleven in the morning, and no one else in the house had woken. She smiled to herself, sipping tea as she read a book of arias.

The sunlight was warm and the air cool, the garden alive with wildlife. It was so different here than her villa back home, nestled in the middle of the city. She could get used to the calm. She could get used to the empty house, too. At the villa all her siblings lived together with their parents. It was always busy, busy, busy. Do this, help with that. Here, Fausta could imagine a real life of her own. Duncan would certainly give her many fond memories while she visited. At this thought, she smiled.
 
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BoneBrain

New Member
Once in his own room Duncan took a moment to look himself over in the mirror. His hair was askew and there were many red marks on his cheeks from where Fausta's lips had pressed. He peeked closer at the marks remembering each and every moment and savoring upon the memories. The drink had made his sight a bit hazy but Duncan did his best to keep up his nightly routine. He washed his face, though a bit begrudgingly and stripped of his clothes. He fell into bed and slept the rest of the night away, unaware of the stars that continued to fall, some even seeming to dip into the forest beyond Westwood.

~

Hugh awoke to soft kisses along his shoulder, she was against his back, holding him close. He could feel the warmth not only her body but in the soul of her voice as well. She was speaking to him and Hugh's mind did its best to wake up and he made a low grumbling noise in his throat as Hugh twisted to face Adelaide, his arms coming up to wrap around her and hold her close. His eyes were still shut with sleep. He made another deep noise and nuzzled her in return.

"Good morning." He said gruffly. Slowly Hugh felt life return to him after his deep sleep and his eyes blinked open, he looked upon her then and in the morning sun she took his breath away. Her words came back to him then and he lifted his hand to rest it on the back of her neck, his thumb resting along her jaw line. Before he spoke he pressed a soft kiss to her mouth. Lingering there for a moment before pulling away. "I am so very glad you were able to feel safe. I will always protect you Adelaide." Hugh groaned again as he stretched, his arms and legs extending and the muscles catching. He sighed happily then and grinned at Adelaide.

"Would you like some breakfast? Perhaps we could eat out in the gardens." Hugh rose then and made a move to grab his shirt and pants off the floor but the dogs were in the way. He laughed and shook his head. He looked down at her again on the best and his gaze softened. He looked so happy to see her there, memories of their night together flashed through his mind and he smiled. "It feels like its going to be an absolutely splendid day." Hugh told her, finally taking his gaze away from her to look back at the dogs. He bent to pet them, and they woke with tails wagging. After a bit of coaxing the dogs were off their clothes and Hugh picked up the pile of fabric. He returned to Adelaide and when he saw it was only his shirt that she had been wearing from the previous night his brows lifted.

"I will see if I can find something else." He said laughing a bit, clearly in one of the best of moods. Hugh slipped on his pants and shirt and moved to the door, he turned the knob and peeked outside and saw a lovely blue dress folded laying on the floor in front of the door. Thankful for whomever had the foresight to leave Adelaide with something to wear Hugh bent and picked it up. He returned to Adelaide and set the dress on the bed. "I'm assuming if this dress was here than breakfast must already be ready, I do find myself quite hungry." Hugh said, he looked out the window then and spotted Fausta sitting in the garden with a plate of breakfast and a book.

"Shall we join her?" He asked, wondering if Adelaide would like to see her friend.

~

Duncan woke after one of the best sleeps of his life. His pillow was damp with drool and his limbs were heavy with sleep. The sun rested on his eye lids as he had not drawn the curtains before bed. He grunted and lifted his head the dull headache of a hangover coming alive now. Taking his time Duncan sat up slowly and though it took a lot longer than usual the man did eventually dress in a pair of simple black pants and a white shirt. Duncan did not bother with any of the rest and padded out of his room down the stairs towards the smell of breakfast. The butlers kindly offered him a plate piled high with food and a large glass of water. Duncan was then directed to the outdoors and he groaned a little at the thought of being in the blinding sun but was gently reminded that it would be rude of him as a host to leave their house guest alone.

He walked through the grass and when he reached the table where Fausta set he peered at her through squinted eyes and set the plate and glass down rather loudly on the table.

"You look entirely too put together after such a night, my dear." Duncan sank into his chair and regarded the food on his plate. He picked up a nice looking piece of ham with his fingers and took a bite. The flavour warm and wonderful in his mouth. He was quiet for a long while, focusing on the wood and water slowly making him feel human again. He knew it was rude not to make conversation but in this moment he could not be bothered. Chugging down some water Duncan finally sat back after a while and closed his eyes, the red of the sun shining through his lids. "Did you sleep well?" He asked.
 

maddymew

Junior Member
Adelaide smiled brightly as Hugh woke, giggling a little at his sleepy expression. He kissed her softly and she savored it, returning the gentle affection in full before he pulled away. He murmured the sweet promise to her and her heart jumped. Adelaide sighed softly and smiled, sitting up as he vacated the bed. She laughed as he convinced the dogs to move from their slapshot bed, and Adelaide watched him dress with a small, wanting smile. The soft fabric hid how toned his body truly was, after all he had been a soldier.

"Breakfast sounds lovely." She replied, clutching the comforter to her chest. Hugh seemed amused at the thought of sending her back out in only his shirt, but returned quickly with a dress for her. Adelaide smiled--Charles must have fetched it for her. It was one of her favorites. A blush rose to her cheeks as she shed the blanket to stand. She took the dress and padded over to the divider, feeling his eyes on her as she crossed the room. Taking a deep breath, Adelaide pulled on her slip and then stepped into the dress.

"Hugh," She called gently "Could you lace me up, please? I can't quite reach." She emerged from behind the divider with her hands already threading her long golden locks into a braid. She smiled as he mentioned someone up already, and knew it was her friend. Fausta was a chronic early bird. "I would love to join her, angel." She replied evenly, trying to ignore the hiccup her heart did as she called him fondly. Adelaide wondered what his reaction would be to hearing the little title she had for him. "I'm also hungry."

Turning to look in the mirror, she smiled as she caught Hugh's reflection behind her. He seemed to be glowing with happiness. She was overjoyed to see him so. When Adelaide focused back on herself to check her hair, her hand rose to her throat. She touched the scars and gasped quietly. "My necklace." She said. "Edward took it last night. Oh..." Adelaide felt shame color her cheeks red and covered the marks with both hands, her eyes cast downward.
~

Fausta laughed as Duncan marched out to meet her in his half-dead state. He commented on her appearance. He plopped down at the table and ate silently for some time. The food and drink seemed to revive him some, and finally he sat back in his chair.

"When you rise before dawn it is giving much time to look presentable, signor." She replied with another laugh, taking a sip of her tea. "I slept fine, for the hours I was catching. I do not sleep long after drinking much." An eyebrow lifted at him as he continued to wake himself, and she pushed her own glass of water towards him once his ran dry. "I am thinking you need this more than I." She told him in an amused tone.

Putting down her book, she snapped open her fan and fanned herself gently. "How were you sleeping? Well, I hope? Dancing can tire you out, I know."
 
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BoneBrain

New Member
Hugh obligingly moved to stand behind Adelaide and did his best to remember how to best pull the laces tight. His mother had often asked him to do the same. As he focused his brows dipped in concentration and his tongue peeked between his lips, she spoke as he was finishing, the endearment sending a warm rush through him. She turned to look at the sate of her dress in the mirror and Hugh could not help the hand that rose up to brush up and down her shoulder and arm as she gazed at them both in the mirror. She seemed just as elated as him until her eyes locked on the scars upon her neck. She told him that the necklace had been taken by Edward and Hugh felt a small bit of guilt rush through him.

"Oh Adelaide." He said sympatheticly. "I am so sorry. I know that necklace was important to you." He was silent for a while his hand still resting on her arm. She wasn't looking at him then, her eyes were down towards the floor but Hugh could clearly see this was quite upsetting for her. "I could find something else for you to wear." He said wanting to fix it for her. "Or I am confident that everyone in this house would not think you unsightly should you choose to wear nothing here." His hand had moved up then and he ran a finger down her neck. Wanting to soothe he bent his head and pressed his lips to the back of her neck.

"I think you are beautiful Adelaide." He murmured.

~

"Good heavens, awaking at dawn..." Duncan shuddered at the idea and accepted the water that she passed him and took a few more grateful gulps down. "Thank you dear friend." He said after half the glass had emptied. He liked the way her brows arched in amusement and the sublte curve of her lips and he wondered if she was pleased that she handled the day after better than him. She placed down her book and his eyes spotted the music book cover. She asked him how he slept and he grinned like a lazy cat.

"Like the dead. The sleep was wonderful, the waking however was not. I will admit my feet still smart a bit from all that wonderful partying last night." Duncan wiggled his toes and sipped some more of the water, this time more gentlemanly. "So you sing as well? May I?" He asked pointing to the book. His fingers picked up the tome and he flipped it so he might look at it upright. His eyes, though bleary still took in the lyrics and the notes that flowed over the page.

"Perhaps someday we should play a tune together." He mused looking up at her.
 

maddymew

Junior Member
Adelaide drew in a sharp breath as he touched her neck and laid a gentle kiss there. He murmured the sweet words in her ear and her blush intensified. His blue, blue eyes met hers and she managed a faint smile, her hands falling away from her neck. She turned to face him, placing her hands on his broad chest. "Hugh...thank you." She whispered back. Tears dripped from her eyes, and Adelaide leaned her head onto his chest.

"F-forgive me." She apologized. "I am still a little afraid. For so long, these marks have been my deepest shame..." She looked back up at him, wiping away her tears with one hand and giving him a shaky smile. "I still don't understand how someone could find me beautiful. Especially after everything you've suffered on my account." Adelaide took to her tippy toes and pressed a soft kiss to his mouth. When she pulled away, she shook herself, trying to brighten up.

"Come then, I suppose we shouldn't keep them waiting. Who knows what mischief those two will get into." Adelaide crossed the room and opened the door, holding onto the frame and looking back at him with expectant eyes. The dogs, upon hearing the hinges creak, jumped up and rushed out the door, eager to get into the fresh air. The couple could hear the animals' scurrying feet all the way down the house.
~

Fausta laughed at Duncan's sultry smile. She handed over the book when he asked, and as he read she replied. "Oh no, signor. I am a great admirer, but I am not having the talent to sing." She sat back and smiled at him as she fanned her face, smelling sweet flowers on the summer breeze as it tumbled through. The wind ruffled Duncan's hair and made him look terribly handsome--in a rakish sort of way.

"No, it is my mother that has the singing voice." She continued "Madonna Bria Ricci, of the royal Italian opera company." She recited. Fausta smiled at the thought of her mother. "I have been attending the opera since I was being very small, you see. It is where I had my loving of music and dance, you see." Fausta took another sip of tea, stretching out her long legs under the table. Her foot, bare, as she had discarded her shoes, gently brushed Duncan's calf. An evil smile crept across her features and she began to poke him playfully with her toes; trying to pull off his socks and seeing if he was ticklish. Fausta laughed.
 

BoneBrain

New Member
Adelaide nestled into him and Hugh enjoyed the feeling of her being there. Her insecurities fell from her mouth and Hugh found that perhaps he didn't quite understand. As a man his scars had always been celebrated, they were marks of valor, and now the woman before him stood ashamed. She wiped the tears from her eyes before he could reach them himself and she kissed him. It was a brief touch but loving and electric all the same. Adelaide led the way across the room and opened the door, the dogs were out before the both of them which made Hugh laugh. He followed after them and caught Adelaide's hand on the way out. Holding it they walked down the stairs and were greeted by both Charles and Joseph. Both of the gentlemen looked rather cheerful.

"Good morning." Charles began.

"Mr. Montgomery and Miss. Ricci have both taken breakfast out in the garden, would you care to join them?" Joseph said after.

"Yes, that would be absolutely lovely." Hugh said bowing slightly to the two men. "Thank you." The butlers bowed in return and gestured for Hugh and Adelaide to take the lead.

~

Duncan nodded understanding what it meant to admire from afar. He liked hearing her tales of home and the past and smiled. "That sounds lov-" He was cut off as her toes touched his leg and before he knew it his leg was jerking back as she found that sweet spot that sent his brain afire with a ticklish sensation. She was laughing at him and he could not help the high pitched noise that came from his mouth. "Hey now!" She found it again and sent him up in laughter his body coiling up in the sensation.

~

Once outside Hugh spotted Duncan and Fausta and lifted a hand in greeting as they drew close, hearing the sounds of Duncan's laughter. He grinned at the sight of his brothers sock on the ground and Fuasta's feet reaching for the poor ticklish man. Duncan moved to his feet and quickly out of reach of Fausta, his face red as he recovered.

"Hugh, excellent timing, we must throw this woman out immediately." Duncan laughed. "No wait. I can't have her telling the town and the world this weakness. I suppose we must keep her." Duncan's eyes turned to Hugh and Adelaide and there was a moments hesitation as he noted the healthy glow of an eventful evening. His brow raised and Duncan moved to pull out a chair for Adelaide, he looked over Adelaide's head and caught Fausta's eyes, he gave her a meaningful smile and then settled back down in his own chair Hugh also joining them paying no mind to his brothers antics.

Charles and Joseph came then with food for the couple and more tea for the whole table. They bowed and then took their leave, letting the group sit in peace.

"A very good morning to the both of you." Hugh said pleasantly as he dug into his breakfast. "I trust you both slept well."

"Certainly much better than you I imagine." Duncan said pouring more tea for both himself and Fausta. He coughed when Hugh kicked him lightly under the table and did his best to not laugh. "Adelaide my dear. You look lovely this morning. Thank you again for singing last night, it was such a joy to listen and dance. Don't you agree Fausta?" Duncan said pleasantly. He felt it appropriate to use her name now. After the nights events he felt quite close to this group.
 

maddymew

Junior Member
Adelaide smiled as Hugh caught her hand, and squeezed it as their fingers laced together. She curtsied to the butlers and gave Charles a find squeeze on the shoulder with her empty hand as they passed. She and Hugh made their way out into the garden and Adelaide took a deep breath of the fresh spring air. Her dogs were scampering about through the undergrowth and Duncan was laughing heartily. She giggled herself upon seeing the poor man at Fausta's mercy.

They sat at the table after Duncan managed to escape, the man pulling out her chair. Smoothing down her skirts as she sat, Adelaide thanked him with a nod and added sugar to honey to her tea. At Duncan's compliment she blushed a light rose, her hand automatically coming up to touch her locket. Upon finding her neck bare, her palm covered the scar for a moment. She caught Hugh's kind eyes and forced her hand down, a slight tremor there. Adelaide looked over to the sleep-ruffled man and smiled, dipping her head once more.

"It was lovely to sing for you all." She replied in her still raspy voice. "I'm so pleased to hear that you enjoyed yourself, despite everything." Adelaide liked that Duncan had used her name, now. He felt like an old friend. Though she secretly still loved the way Hugh said it, despite there being no real discernible difference. She sipped her tea as conversation resumed, picking up her fork after to eat.
~

Fausta laughed loudly as Duncan squirmed and squealed at her prodding. Messing with him just so was delightful fun. Finally, he managed to pull away from her, winded. She snickered at his joke as she opened her fan again. Hugh greeted them and she nodded as a hello. Whe Duncan pulled out Addy's chair, he gave her a meaningful smile and she returned it. Fausta was glad that her dear friend had found comfort in Hugh. It seemed to do her good.

Duncan posed his question and she smiled, sitting up again. "Yes! Oh, Addy, your music is something mother would be proud of." It was high praise indeed, and Adelaide looked delighted, though didn't respond because she was chewing. "You know, I was having a splendid idea while I waited for you to be rising." She continued. That sprightly spark had returned to her eyes, showing she had a scheme brewing.

"You all must be coming back to Italy with me. I will not be taking no for an answer. There will be Ricci wine, and we can see my mother at the opera. I am always getting the best seats. Come," She coaxed eagerly "Let me show you the beauty of Italy, as thanks for showing me England."
 

BoneBrain

New Member
Hugh noted Adelaide's reaction to Duncan's compliment and gave her a reassuring smile. He appreciated his brothers easygoing attitude in this moment and found he was quite relaxed in this setting. This certainly seemed like a group that felt comfortable with one another. He wondered if the group would need to have a conversation about Edwards actions but found that the two women seemed at ease. He was pleased when Fausta seemed so animated in her praise, what a luck these two women had found one another. When Fausta announced she had an idea all eyes turned to her, when the idea came forth Hugh found his interest piqued.

"I have never been to Italy. It certainly would be a joy to visit." Hugh leaned back, scratching his chin thoughtfully. "Your family would not consider us an imposition?" He asked. He reached over and placed his hand over Addy's and squeezed it. "What do you think? Would you like to go? Certainly sounds like an adventure." There was a spark in his eyes now, the idea of travel seemed to one that brought joy to the entire Montgomery family as Duncan was nodding enthusiastically. Hugh could see it now, the four of them in the rolling Italian hills, drinking wine and laughing, the nights in the city and late opera shows filled with song and applause.

~

Duncan did not wait to think of what Adelaide thought, he rushed to his feet and pulled Fausta up by her hands, sending her into a twirl. "What a marvelous idea!" He cried, "We absolutely must go!" The idea of adventure was so thrilling to Duncan that he could not possibly keep still. He pressed a kiss to Fausta's cheeck then. "You" Kiss. "Brilliant" Kiss. "Woman." Kiss. He pulled away and then turned his energy upon Adelaide.

"Can't you see it now? Fine shops, better food, and heavenly music." Duncan moved around the table and knelt in front of Adelaide, the dogs took notice of him and barked loudly but Duncan ignored them and beamed up at Adelaide. He knew now to the dogs were most protective of their master and he was not quite yet accepted. He did not touch her and that seemed to placate the beasts who had settled closely to Adelaide. "What say you, my dear?"
 

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