Today I’m here with Brooke Banks as she discusses a gentleman she recently met. Good morning, Brooke. What can you tell us about that handsome stranger you met yesterday?
Hmmm, what do you want to know?
Whatever you feel like telling us.
Not much to say. A very handsome earl showed up unannounced yesterday to call on us.
And that doesn’t seem odd to you?
No. *shrugs* I know some people—mainly my sister Liberty—see something wrong with that, but as a regular rule-breaker myself, I see nothing wrong with it. There’s no reason that a man should have to be formally introduced to a lady before he can call on her.
I see. And I take it you liked this man well enough?
Of course. There wasn’t anything not to like about him.
Well, he didn’t seem to like your fabulously decorated drawing room very much. Did that not bother you?
Pfft. My “fabulously decorated drawing room”, goodness. *looks around the room* Actually, I see some rather unappealing similarities. Say, did you base that horrific drawing room on your house?
No. Well, sort of. See, I had this grandmother who decorated her house in some of the most clashing colors. Her house was decorated like that on purpose—I based Watson Townhouse on her house. I, on the other hand, have clashing colors—green walls, gold couch, cream curtains, blue recliner, white and wood glider and a hardwood floor—all thrown together in one room because all that furniture I’ve acquired for that room was given to my husband and me within the first few years of our marriage. Therefore it was that word every young newly married couple loves: free. I just haven’t gotten around to replacing it yet.
Well, see that you do! It looks awful in here. I’ve never seen so many contrasting colors in such a small area except on one of Madison’s painting palettes.
Enough on my horribly decorated room, let’s talk about you and this stranger. What did you say his name was anyway?
Oh for goodness’ sake, you know what his name is.
I do. But I just wanted to make sure you did.
And why wouldn’t I know his name?
Because from what I understand you seemed awfully smitten with him.
I was not smitten.
Uh huh. That’s what I gleaned when I heard about the painting.
Oh stop. That was all in good fun, not because I have any feelings for him.
Sure. See, I think you gave him that so you’d have an excuse to see him again if he didn’t call on you himself.
And why would you think that?
Because that painting doesn’t belong to you. It belongs to your uncle. Therefore, at some point you’ll have to see him again to ask for the painting back. Correct?
I could care less about getting that eyesore back.
Really? So then what will you use as an excuse if he doesn’t come back around on his own?
I don’t have to think of one. He’s coming by later for a ride in the park.
And your mother is going to let you go off with a stranger?
He is a gentleman, you know?
I know. But even gentlemen can do ungentlemanly things.
Not this one.
Oh. What makes you so sure?
I can just tell. I guess you could say it’s in his eyes.
Hmm. Well, I won’t try to dissuade you from your belief. I do hope you enjoy your ride in the park with him today and neither of you let things get too scandalous.
Scandalous? What scandalous could possibly happen during a ride in the park?
I don’t know. Perhaps nothing.
Exactly. You know, you’re worse than Liberty worrying about inappropriate behavior. Someone really needs to talk some sense into that girl.
*rolls eyes* I’m sure someone could say the same about you needing some sense talked into you.
Never. I am very sensible.
Yes, going on rides in the park with a complete stranger sounds very sensible.
He won’t be a stranger forever. Besides, how is he supposed to move from acquaintance to someone I can trust if I don’t spend time with him?
I thought so, too.
All right, you go enjoy your ride in the park and I’ll be here preparing for my chat with Liberty tomorrow.
*grins* Don’t be sorry. She and I won’t be having a conversation like you and I are having. I have something else to talk to her about tomorrow.
Not a chance.