“Now… You have the remaining character I requested?” she said. “On your person, I assume?”
The abrupt switch surprised him.
“The one from my former mistress?” The only one Hastings hadn’t scrutinized, saying everything else looked to be in order and a man’s bedroom proclivities should remain private. It was about the only thing the two of them had agreed upon. “Aye. I have it.”
But Zeus made no move to retrieve the missive from his pocket. Let the secretive chit ask for it. Better yet, let her come and fish it out.
“Bare your chest for me, please.”
“What the—” While Zeus’ tongue floundered, his lower body speculated whether she’d desire buckskins be eliminated next. Unruly appendage!
Not that he minded disrobing, not when the urge struck him. Which it hadn’t. Not here, in this dismally cheerful room with its sweetly shabby furnishings and appallingly intriguing owner.
On second thought… “Why, if you please? If I’m to disrobe in front of someone I’ve yet to see, much less been formally introduced to, I’d like to be given a compelling reason.”
And he hoped she supplied a damn good one because his fingers were now itching to reach for the buttons on his waistcoat.
“I would… I would see the chest of the man I think to take as husband.”
Up to this point, only one person had been in control of everything—Lady Scandal. By way of Hastings, she had his name, his references, his financial worth…everything but the bloody measurement of his drawers. To be frank, she had his ballocks in her grasp, and what did he have in return? Only her deuced advertisement and the anticipation of Amherst. And an insatiable curiosity about the woman, one just begging to be appeased.
“As far as reasons go, it’s not the strongest,” he mused, fingers tapping along buttons, “but I could be amenable to an exchange of forfeits.”
Zeus contemplated. There were four items of clothing to be discarded before his chest was bare. What might she be willing to relinquish for each of them? “I’ll remove my tailcoat in exchange for one of your slippers.”
After an expectant moment, one dainty slipper sailed over the partition and landed at his feet. His fingers flew in their haste and his tailcoat met the back of the settee.
“Your other slipper for my waistcoat.”
“Ahh…I have but the one.” She replied in a whisper that only raised more questions than it answered.
“One slipper? Or…” Something he’d not considered… “One foot?”
To learn how Juliet informs Zeus she does possess both feet (and discover
what she trades next), buy the book!
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