Today is a free for all. Post any excerpt of up to 600 words as well as your buy links or social media information.
Rupert tried not to grin as Wigman, his valet, plucked an invisible piece of lint from Rupert’s jacket. It was a ritual they had gone through every day since he was sixteen, when his grandfather Stanstead had insisted Rupert have a valet. Some gentlemen would probably become annoyed with such fussiness, but he believed in encouraging everyone to perform their duties to the best of their abilities. If that meant a few moments’ delay in dressing, so be it. “Am I presentable, Wigman?”
“None more so, my lord.” Wigman gave a small sigh. “I do regret that Mr. Brummell was allowed to hold sway over gentlemen’s clothing. There was nothing like a nice lace cuff or velvet jacket to show a gentleman to perfection.”
“I have no doubt you are correct.” Truth be told, Rupert thought the previous styles had some merit. “Though, I do have an aversion to wigs and hair powder.”
“I must agree with you regarding that particular affectation, my lord.” He handed Rupert his watch fob and quizzing glass. “You are fortunate that you do not require padding. One could more easily disguise additions to a gentleman’s physique before the styles changed so drastically.”
“Fortunate indeed.” Rupert clamped his lips together. If he didn’t depart immediately, he’d be subject to the litany of faults in Wigman’s previous employers. “I have no idea when I’ll return.”
“Yes, my lord.”
Rupert strode out of his Grosvenor Square town house to the waiting town coach. He’d considered walking to Robert’s home on Berkeley Square, but dark clouds had hung low all afternoon, and the scent of rain was in the air. Not to mention arriving at his cousin’s house for their first ball, soaked, was not a wonderful idea. Rupert settled on the soft brown leather seat, a footman closed the door, and his coachman started forward.
He attempted to tamp down the feeling that something momentous was about to happen. His parents and Robert were most likely correct that he wouldn’t meet anyone he didn’t already know. Still, he couldn’t help a surge of excitement when the carriage came to a stop. Somewhere the perfect lady was out there waiting for him. All he had to do was find her.
The coach door opened, and he caught a glimpse of pale blue skirts moving up the steps before they disappeared into the house. The urge to chase after her, whoever she was, was almost too strong to resist. Rupert could feel his pulse beating a tattoo against his cravat; still, he forced himself to calmly take his place in the line. What were the chances it was the same woman who had watched him as he traversed the Mount Street Gardens? Surely she wouldn’t wear the same gown to a ball, yet he had noticed that when a lady favored a certain color, she wore it more often than she did others.
He was being absurd. Even a bit mad. Rupert knew absolutely nothing about the woman, not how old she was, or if she was married, or what she looked like, or if it was indeed the same female. In addition, there were a great many people between him and the lady in blue. Yet there was some force pushing him forward, necessitating that he follow her.