The prompt I'm using is "If I thought you would..."
December Tingles 3
Anne snapped her fan open and took a moment to recompose herself behind the ornate object. She’d seen him. She couldn’t be sure he’d spotted her but she knew he was there. It was hard to miss him. Tall and broad, his presence commanded attention. Then, there was the matter of his hair. Unlike the other men who wore it slicked back he chose to tie his long locks with a ribbon. A red ribbon. Anne swallowed. He did what he said he would. “I’ll wear a ribbon the color of your gown that night.” What would he think of her gown tonight? It was a pale golden hue, gathered at the bottom into small bows.
Her hair was pinned back with the ribbons he’d gifted her on the third day of Christmas. They were also red. On her ears, she wore his fourth day of Christmas token: a pair of matching red stone earrings. Oh, but the fifth day had been the best. She smiled. Her mother had almost had a fit when he’d presented himself on her doorstep, announcing he’d come to see her. Her poor mother had thought it was some suitor or another but she’d never suspected it was him.
“You’ve received my gifts.”
“Yes, my lord.”
“Did you like them?”
She smiled. “Of course—“ she hesitated.
“But?” he enquired with a smile. She tilted her head, noticing for the first time the small gap between his two front teeth.
“This is the best gift yet.”
Surprise fleetingly crossed his features and he shook his head.
“You don’t know me.”
She laughed. “You haven’t given me that privilege.”
“Yet, you enjoy my visit,” he muttered as if he couldn’t comprehend what she was saying.
Anne shrugged. There was no plausible explanation.
“Do you have the sprig of mistletoe?”
Anne’s eyes widened. He wouldn’t dare kiss her. Right? Not with her mother so close… She swallowed and nodded. His grey eyes lighted with playful intent.
“Annette Marie Wilksmouth, I have heard you are fast on your feet but I’d love a demonstration.” With a wink and a mischievous grin, he set off at a run. Laughing, Anne hitched her skirts and followed him into the gardens. Her mother’s shrill voice rang behind them, ordering them to stop. Her hairpins tumbled to the floor, the trail of her dress muddied as she skipped over a puddle and her lungs burned from exertion but she continued to run.
“Wait!” He was much faster, his legs longer, his clothes permitting more ease of movement. She ran into a part of the garden composed by her mother’s favorite fruit trees. It was empty.
“Daniel?” she called hesitantly. Was that even his name? He showered her with gifts and now came to see her but his name was still a mystery. He was still a mystery.
She cried out as long fingers wrapped themselves around her wrist and pulled. She crashed against him, her other hand making contact with the hard planes of his chest.
“Show me the mistletoe.”
Reaching inside the pocket of her gown, she pulled out the dry branch. Breath failed to reach her lungs as his smile lit up the cloudy skies above as if the sun shun on a bright spring morning.
“Don’t ever be afraid to call my name, dear Anne. I am Daniel Lewis Smith and I have been at your disposal since I spotted you on that dance floor.”
He didn’t give her time to frame an answer before his lips found hers.
“Trying to hide from me, my lady?” Anne lifted her gaze to search into a pair of stormy grey eyes. She shook her head and smiled, offering Daniel her hand. His fingers had barely wrapped themselves around her when a voice cut through the air.
“Anne will not dance with you tonight.”
Anne turned to face her mother, shock zinging every one of her nerve endings.
“I will not have my daughter dancing with a man who treats her like a mistress and makes her run and hide in her own house.”
Anne’s jaw fell. Treat her like a mistress? Was she referring to the gifts? The day they’d ran from her or… her eyes widened and she searched her mother’s face for the answer to that question she dared not ask out loud. Her mother returned her gaze. She knew. Oh God. She knew about Daniel’s other visits. For the rest of the week he’d come to see her only when her mother was absent or when there was no chaperone. Last night, he’d even climbed into her bedroom! Her mother knew and—Anne glanced up at Daniel. He looked as shocked as she did. However, he hadn’t released her hand and somehow that tiny gesture gave her strength. Lifting her chin, she turned her back on her mother and stood.
“I will gladly dance with you.”
As if reading her thoughts, Daniel didn’t lead her to the dance floor but to the terrace. A full moon shone from above giving the snowy fields around them a magical glow. She took in a deep breath. What had she done?
“Anne.” She turned to face him, her name on his lips like a balm to her tormented mind. “If I thought you would have to defy your mother to court me, I never would have—“
Standing on her toes, Anna planted a chaste kiss on his lips.
“Would you really have never chosen to court me?”
His eyes twinkled as his features lighted with a knowing smile.
“You know me so little and yet you know me so well. Come on. I have a seventh day of Christmas gift for you.”
To be continued...
More flashers? Click ahead:
Chris T. Kat m/m
Tali Spencer m/m
Cia Nordwell m/m
MA Church m/m
Victoria Adams m/f
Julie Lynn Hayes m/m