“Try…Lord Wilkes.” Her
words were clipped.
“Is everything all right here?” His protective instincts
tended to flare out of control when it came to Jo.
The two men with the
ladies exchanged nervous glances and he stepped closer, his
size larger than that of the others.
“Oh, stop hovering!” Jo
snapped. “I am fine! I am not in need of a doctor, nor am I
about to succumb to the vapors. Leave me alone!”
The men walked off but Trystan never took his gaze from her.
“Why would they feel you need a doctor?”
She did not respond until
the two men had gotten far enough away and were sure not to
overhear. Then she slapped her gloves against the side of
her forest green dress.
“Because men seem quite
content in believing women are incapable of being pushed
down and not needing one. I mean why not, hitting the floor
is so much more strenuous than say…oh childbirth.”
“Jo!” Clara placed her
hand over her mouth. The mustard yellow not really helping
her complexion in any way.
“Who pushed you?” The
question sounded more akin to a wild animal’s growl.
Jo tugged her gloves on
and speared him with an annoyed glance. “If I knew do you
not think I would be after him to get my sketchbook back
instead of standing here?”
Her sarcasm and fire lit
him from the inside. God, he loved her spirit. He despised
the thought of an uncouth man placing his hands on her.
“Jo,” he said with
“Do not dare, Trystan, to
put the blame on me. I did nothing wrong.”
Somehow, he doubted that. Jo had a way of finding
situations. She had never learned to curb her tongue. She
stared at him before her expression fell sending a dagger
into his heart.
“Of course you would
think the worst of me.”
Her features hardened
into a mask. One he knew exactly where she learned it. Najja.
The “show zero emotion” face.
“She is telling the
truth,” Clara broke in, shattering the eye connection he had
with Jo. “She had been sketching and when we got up to leave
this man shoved her down, took her pad, and ran out the
“No need to explain it to
him, Clara. Lord Wilkes will always believe the worst of me.
Let us go and offend him no more with my hoydenish
Fingers clenching around
the knob of his walking stick, he frowned at Jo, who
consequently had begun to walk away. Gesturing for Clara to
wait, he caught up to Jo and grabbed her arm, spinning her
back to him.
“Do not walk away from
“Why not? Because I did
not bob like a good proper woman would while I flutter my
lashes and call you Lord Wilkes?”
Something had her back up
and while he did not know exactly what it was, he knew it
was more than just the incident in the museum. The attack
had only riled her.
“Perhaps you would like
me on my knees awaiting your next command.”
He came fully erect at
that mental image her words painted. Her on her knees before
him, hair unbound, eyes full of passion. Waiting. For him.
For him to slide his length between her rosy lips.
“Oh, trust me, hellcat. I
would love you on your knees before me.”
Her blue eyes deepened as
her breaths came faster. She was aroused. He had expected
his words to embarrass her. I should have known better.
Her gaze darted about, as
if ensuring this remained a private conversation between
only the two of them. Then she stepped closer, head tilted
to maintain eye contact, and smiled.
“I would love to be
there. Something I suspect you know. Just like I know you
will not do anything about it.” Her gaze flashed to the
obvious ridge in his breeches and back to his eyes. “No
matter how much you want it as well.” Then she walked away,
joining Clara, and leaving the museum.
He stood rooted to the
spot for a while trying to comprehend and digest the fact
she had just come on to him.