A Lady is Never Late
Drake did his absolute best to polish his usual kept look.
He shined his boots and picked out a freshly washed outfit. He even had his hair trimmed.
All for one girl.
He usually didn’t clean up his looks for a girl for they liked how he dressed. Manly was something they craved.
But Katherine was different. She was so polished and pretty that he felt like he should at least look his best for her.
Plus, looking his best boosted his confidence. Especially as he stepped out of his carriage and onto the marble steps of Lady Eleanor’s elegant estate, Blenheim.
And as he stepped up to the large wooden doors, his boost of confidence suddenly deteriorated, especially as the butler scowled down at him after opening the door.
“Follow me, master Drake.” The butler said.
Drake widened his eyes and nodded. He was in the point of no return. There was no turning back.
“Lord Drake?” A high pitched, unrestrained voice called.
He turned sharply and gave his most fake and widest smile, “Is that the darling Lady Eleanor I hear calling?”
The Countess blustered down the staircase towards him with her arms open wide, “I thought you were to caught up in business to come to visit me.”
He kept his grin wide, “Never too much for you, my lady.” He bowed to kiss her hand.
Lady Eleanor did his famous fan trick, swishing her fan in front of her face with the flustered smile, “How dashing. I must say your flirtations have become more noticeable. Have you, perhaps, tried it on my darling cousin?”
Drake raised his eyebrows, “You mean the beautiful Lady Katherine? I have, and I believe, with a little prodding, I could contain her under my wing.”
Lady Eleanor’s eyes lite up, “Oh really? Now is your chance, here’s the girl now!”
Drake’s heart stopped as he turned and met the eyes of her most beautiful woman he had ever laid eyes upon.
She wore an awfully tight cream and pink dress with laces and bows plastered practically everywhere. Her white blond hair was pinned up with some flowers pinned on the side. Her pale face was smooth and slightly pink, probably from walking such a long distance.
And her pink lips curled into a very fake smile, “Lord Drake, you decided to come to the party?”
He smiled a genuine smile, “I did, my lady.”
She let him take her arm, “I hope you do not mind, dear cousin. He wastes away in his empty home and I could not stand to spend another moment thinking about how he never goes out!” Lady Eleanor exclaimed.
" I do understand. Luckily for him, we always have something planned.” Katherine laughed nervously.
“Well, I guess I should come round here more often.” He winked at the ladies.
Lady Eleanor giggled and fanned her self again while Lady Katherine simply smiled. Her fake smile, at least.
They sat on the lawn chairs, facing the garden, along with the other guest that found themselves in Lady Eleanor’s lawn.
Drake found himself drowned in the sleepy conversation between the Marque and the Earl. But his eyes never wandered too far from Katherine’s.
He couldn’t get over how beautiful she was— how angelic, how perfected she was. There was no flaw on her. Especially when she...
“Excuse me?” Drake suddenly coughed, overhearing a word coming from the Earl’s anxious mouth.
“I dear say, pay attention boy. I said that a Countess’s cousin has no right to be living such a lavish life especially since her parents are with those Americans. She could be a deranged patriot!”
Drake glanced over at Katharine as the Marque replied, “At least she is not a street rat.”
Drake stood abruptly, his anger rising beyond control, “This is an outrage! Do you have no limits? She may be a woman, but she is not dumb. All these comments you make about her and her family- she hears each and every one. And yet, you continue as if she is... She is...”
He felt lost for words suddenly. He still stared down at those sparkling blue eyes that bore into him.
He couldn’t concentrate.
Lady Katherine stood, “Actually, I think I may have missed my lesson with...” she sighed, “Nevermind. Please forgive me, my Lords. My lady.” She curtsied and started towards the safety of the inside, with Drake closely following behind.
“Katherine!” He called, grabbing her silky arm.
She turned sharply and glared at him, “What?”
“I- I am sorry if I upset you. I was just trying to-” he started but she laughed.
“To help? Why would you possibly think I would need your help? Is it because I am an overly sensitive woman? Well, let me get one thing straight, Lord Duke. I can take care of my self!”
“Katherine, that’s not what I thought. I am sure you are perfectly fine with taking care of yourself. It was just that no man should ever speak to a Lady like that. Nor a man.”
Katharine sighed, “You are killing me here.”
Drake’s creased his brow, “I am killing you?”
She laughed, “That is right, you British do not understand expressions. It was another way of saying you have gotten down to my soft skin.”
She started to walk away from him when he asked, “Katherine, do you still think that we could... Court?”
He knew he shouldn’t have asked, but he did want her. So much, that he could feel the rejection stinging him. He wanted to end up with her.
For better or worst.
She turned around, “I am not sure. It was an impulse- something to just get you off my back quickly.”
He winced. That definitely hurt.
“Are you saying you want them to think it over?” he asked, becoming more hopeful.
Katherine shook her head, “I do not know.”
Drake smiled, “But a lady never says no, am I right, my lady?”
Katherine laughed as she started up the staircase, “And a lady is never late.”
And with that, she disappeared.