I’ve been tied up with life too much lately to be involved in Tuesday Tales but I am back now. With a different story. I kind of hit a dead end on the one I was sharing and am mulling over how to raise the stakes in it to make it better. In the meantime, I have started a new Regency story. The word of the week is tiger. Be sure to read the other great stories by clicking here.
Taking a deep breath before entering, Basil made the expression on his face into a semblance of welcome. “Good morning, Miss Van Eizenga. How are you today?”
“I am well and am here to invite you to a soiree.”
“Why act so shocked? Do you think no one would desire your company?”
“It’s not that. I am still very busy getting myself used to the duties of my title and have no time for such diversions. But should you choose to invite my sisters who are coming out this year, I would be quite grateful.”
“I’m afraid I cannot do so for you see, I am here to find myself an escort and I’d rather hoped that you would say yes.”
“Isn’t it normally the gentleman who seeks out the lady in these circumstances?” Basil knew he was being too direct but he needed to make clear to this young woman that he was never going to be inclined to be her escort. Wouldn’t it be better for her to face that now rather than later?
“You’re being difficult, your grace. You men are all alike.”
“What do you mean? Have you asked other men to escort you who have declined?”
“Of course not. I’ve only come to you because you are the only one I want.”
“Then I am exceedingly sorry.” Basil bowed but was firm in his denial of the lady’s request. He was not going to become embroiled in some relationship with a woman who he had no doubt would try to entrap him if she could.
“You sir, are the one who is exceedingly unkind.” She turned as if to sit on the settee but let out a screech instead.
Archimedes let out a screech of his own and bowed his back up. He hissed at Miss Van Eizenga and ears flat, didn’t seem about to cede his ground to her.
Basil bit back a laugh. Never would he have thought the creature would give him such pleasure. The cat had made his opinion clear of their visitor and would that a duke could do the same.
“Get that awful animal out of here.” Miss Van Eizenga pointed at Archimedes with an index finger that shook. Basil wasn’t sure if it was with rage or with fright but either way, he had no intention of making the cat leave.
“I’m sorry, that’s Saffron and Jonquil’s pet. He’s harmless.”
“He is not. He’s like a wild tiger or something.”
“Oh no. Tigers are much larger and more dangerous.”
“I don’t agree. This animal is wild. He must go.”
“I’m afraid not. I cannot disappoint my sisters by being unkind to their pet.”
“Then I must take my leave, sir.” Miss Van Eizenga turned on her heel and strode out of the room.
Once she was gone, Basil picked up Archimedes and cuddled him. “You were wonderful. I owe you a debt of gratitude.”