Despite her reservations, Sarah accepted the goblet that Gregory graciously offered to her upon his return. One sip confirmed her suspicion that he was trying to make her pliable by intoxication. Too bad he didn’t know that she was used to drinking with the boys. Sarah smiled as flattery began to roll off his tongue.
How different and yet similar things were here. Though a quarter of the things Gregory said barely made sense to her, he was still a player. Sarah laughed and shook her head as his latest comment made no sense at all.
“You do not think your eyes are like freshly plowed wheat fields?” Gregory asked, his face frowning in confusion.
Sarah eyed him. “I have plowed wheat fields, and I don’t think my eyes are that shade of brown,” she chuckled.
“You have plowed fields?” Gregory immediately took her hands in his own and examined them.
“And other women obviously eat up this crap that you feed them?” Sarah asked pulling back her hands.
“Crap?” he asked, clearly startled. “I only but tell the truth in the most poetic form I can.” He scooted closer, standing as she did.
“Do you?” Sarah asked looking into his eyes. “Perhaps you feel you are, but why,” she leaned forward placing her hand between his face and hers, promise ring glinting in the sun, “would you bother with such poetry upon me, your brother’s fiancée?”
“I would not think there is much hope of your Tri-Luna lasting,” he stated. “Presuming, of course, the betrothal even makes it through the ceremony.” He reached up and clasping her hand, kissed it.
“Really?” Sarah was indignant. “Do you really think so little of your brother?”
“I only know what happened last time.” Gregory moved her hand from between their faces. “The Gods have some lofty plan for him that would only leave you in heartache.”
“Is that so?” Sarah breathed deep to steady herself.
“Yes,” Gregory’s eyes flicked to her cleavage before seeking out her eyes. “After all what is the promise of engagement, but prelude to the torturous denial of pleasure during Tri-Luna. Surely one moment is but naught in the eternity you will spend with my brother.”
“You’re kidding, right?” Sarah stepped back only to find herself gently restrained by a hand in the small of her back. Shaking her head with a snort, she pulled her hand from his.
“Just a kiss, surely it can’t hurt. Perhaps you might see...”
Sarah didn’t wait for him to finish. Turning she grabbed the hand from her back and sent Gregory to the ground. She knelt beside him, pressing his arm into his chest.
“Do not think you can take advantage of me, for Jay and I go back a long ways. He gave me my ring and I know he intends to follow through with it even if our marriage turns us to paupers.”
Letting him go in disgust Sarah stood and began to brush off her skirts. Echoing against the house, three slow claps caused her to look up. Lord Robert stood at the door to the garden.
“Father, I...” Gregory began.
“Enough,” Lord Robert interrupted him. “Be glad the Gods did not see fit to have you marry her for I think it would do you good to be hen pecked.”
Sarah glanced at Gregory. “I don’t think it would work.” She shook her head. “Besides,’ she smiled at Lord Robert, “I love Jason.”
“Yes well,” Lord Robert snorted, “I hope Gregory hasn’t disorganized your thoughts. I would like to know why you think you are worthy to be considered suitable for my son.” He turned and bellowed into the house, “I want the family in the Sunroom now!”
“I told you not to try anything on her,” Mathew chuckled.
Sarah smiled sweetly at the smirking Mathew. “Well, I wouldn’t want you to feel lonely in the rejected department.” Smothering her mirth at Mathew’s glare, she tried her best to glide into the house.