Suddenly a Duke

Her blush remained, but her eyes nar­rowed. “You are still the arro­gant beast you were when I first made your acquaintance.”

Yes, I do recall you men­tion­ing I was arro­gant,” Daniel said cheer­i­ly, know­ing he got under her skin with his tone.

Being a duke has not changed that,” she not­ed. “In fact, I am cer­tain it has made you even more arro­gant than before. That is not a qual­i­ty that appeals to me, Your Grace.”

Lady Mar­garet, there is a fine line between arro­gance and con­fi­dence. I like to think of myself as mere­ly being extreme­ly confidant.”

She gave a very unla­dy­like snort. “Arro­gant and bold,” she observed. “Not exact­ly a way to endear your­self to me. And that is what it would take for me to even con­sid­er kiss­ing you.”

He was glad she was con­sid­er­ing it. It gave him hope. “Have you ever been kissed before?” he inquired polite­ly, as if ask­ing her what her favorite food or col­or might be.

Her jaw dropped. “You did not just ask me that!”

He smiled, a smile he reserved for when he wished for some­thing impos­si­ble. “I believe I did ask you that, my lady.”

You go too far, West­field,” she rebuked. “I know from what both Mama and Dol­ley spoke of that nice women do not go about kiss­ing gen­tle­men. Why, Dol­ley even bragged to me that the first time she was kissed was after her betrothal to Lord Bax­ter. That she had snagged a mar­quess with­out hav­ing to share any­thing of her­self at all with him.”

Pity,” he com­ment­ed. “Kiss­ing can be ever so much fun.”

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