The Fleeing Heiress
Gayle Buck


Warm hearts, cold fingers

“I wonder, then, about myself,” Thea mused. “I lived the most secluded, protected life imaginable until Mr. Quarles abducted me. But in a strange way, I have enjoyed myself since then.”

She looked up at Lord Cardiff, feeling suddenly embarrassed. She wondered what he must think of such an idiotic confession. A smile hovered on her lips. “Isn’t that peculiar of me?”

Lord Cardiff took her hand and raised it to his lips, brushing her cold fingers with a brief salute. The expression in his deep blue eyes was intent as he gazed down on Thea’s fair countenance. Quietly, he murmured, “I would say, rather, that you are an intrepid and brave young lady, Miss Stafford. I knew it that first moment when your eyes met mine.”

Thea felt color rising in her face. Breathlessly, she turned away from his lordship. She hastily crossed the short distance to the wall.

What a ninny she had been! She could scarcely hope to ever discover another such gentleman.

“Shall we look at the pictures, my lord?”