By Mary Balogh
Omit Clara Danford comes to a decision that she has to be cautious approximately wasting her middle to Frederick Sullivan, the devilishly good-looking rake whose fantastic kisses and passionate wooing could masks a bent soul.
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His mother asked. " "A week, Mama," he said. "I met her here and fell headlong in love with her. It sounds out of character, I admit. " His mother's eyes lit up and she clasped her hands to her bosom. " Lord Bellamy said with a frown. "The East India Company Danford, Freddie? " his father asked. "Apparently, yes," Frederick said. "A nuisance actually. She is wealthier than I am. A man likes to feel that his wife will depend upon him for everything. " His father looked at him fixedly and shrewdly.
He looked at her intently from those dark eyes, which must have been felling female hearts for years. They looked anxious. She shook her head. "No, sir," she said. He closed the distance between them, leaned over her, and possessed himself of one of her hands. His hand seemed very large and very brown in comparison with her own, yet well-formed. And warm. She looked down at it and at her own thin, pale wrist. "Dare I hope," he asked her, "that you have any tender feelings for me, ma'am? " She wished she could just look him in the eye, tell him that she understood, and explain that they could marry each other in all honesty for their own very separate reasons.
He must go and talk with her, he thought. There was no time for a leisurely courtship. He must close his mind to his reluctance for the match and press onward. She was as unlovely a woman as his eyes had ever dwelled on. She was thin, probably from the inactivity caused by her condition. She was crippled and was always seated in a wheeled chair whenever he saw her. Her arms were trim and her legs, outlined against me light wool of her morning dress, looked as if they were too. Her face was thin and unnaturally pale.