Lily struggled not to float away while she prepared Mrs Brookes for her performance because her heart was still so touched by Evan’s thoughtfulness and her body still hummed from the wonderful kiss they had shared at the sea front. Almost as soon as she had waved her mistress proudly onto the stage, she had dashed out of the back door, eager to be with him again. With their last jobs of the day now completed, and a whole uninterrupted evening stretching before them, she couldn’t wait to get started on it.
His eyes drank her in as she climbed up on the perch beside him and he stole another greedy kiss simply because he could. “Where to, m’lady?”
“How about I treat you to dinner somewhere.” She patted her coat pocket where she had stashed all the money. “I’m feeling surprisingly flush.”
“How about I treat you to dinner somewhere?”
Lily rolled her eyes. “Are you telling me you’re really an old-fashioned boy beneath all that swagger? Or are you too proud or too stubborn to accept an honest thank-you.”
“A bit of both, I suppose.”
They ate like kings at an inn just down the road from the one they were staying at. That was his suggestion, likely because he was nobly trying to protect her from the sight of George spoiling her mood, and that touched her too. For all his cockiness, a heart of pure gold beat in Evan’s chest. She saw that now as clear as day. No matter how hard she tried, he wouldn’t allow her to pay.
“Oh no, you don’t.” He caught her hand before she could quietly slip the money in his pocket as they climbed the creaking stairs to the attic and laced his fingers in hers tight. “That’s all your money, Lily. For you to make some proper plans with. Some new plans that don’t include that wastrel George.”
“A few are already forming.” Not caring if it was proper, she caught him by the lapels and kissed him deeply, revelling in the sultry way it felt to have the power to make his breathing erratic and his body hard. As the timbre of the kiss became thoroughly decadent, she decided to embrace it, knowing that would be the perfect end to the most perfect day of her life. With the most unexpected perfect man. “Would you like to come in, Evan?”
“I very much would, Lily.”
In the candlelight, his green gaze was molten, the heat of it made her fingers fumble as she unlocked her door. Once inside, illuminated only by the moonlight, they fell on one another. Her hands tugging him out of his coat while his relieved her of hers, as they stumbled back towards the mattress. She giggled as she hit it with him on top of her, then something truly special happened as she gazed up at him and realised that not only was her heart mended, it was ready to love again.
He bent to kiss her then hesitated.
“I’m not part of your new plan, am I, Lily?”
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