© 2011 by dqmwartist
He lay in bed still smelling the faint
scent of roses in the air. She was more beautiful and charming than he'd first
thought, and he marveled again at how perfectly his hands fit around her tiny
waist as they danced. Her smile was intoxicating and it took all his will power
not to leave the dance floor with her right then and there. Being able to dance
with one of the daughters of such a prominent family thrilled him to no end.
Winning her heart would be another matter. He rolled over, inhaling her scent
just one more time before letting sleep envelope him in its warm embrace.
The party had ended hours ago and still she could not sleep, as thoughts of him ran through her mind. She remembered how charming and handsome he looked all dressed in a suit; the sight nearly took her breath away. How she had longed to dance with him, but it was another who stole her onto the dance floor. A very nice man, in fact and one her mother would certainly approve of, but her heart didn't belong to him. She knew that and if her mother did she was too stubborn and proud to admit it.
For a reason he dared not admit to himself, he had stayed. The children had talked him into it, mainly Matthew. "You can't let him do this." Those words still echoed in his ears. With some reluctance he had stayed and forced himself to enjoy the beautiful party, it was after all his hostess’s birthday. Refusing her was not an option. He hated not being able to dance and seeing the women who stole his heart dancing out there with another man. But he was not going to embarrass himself and trip and fall again. In society that just wasn't done. Rolling over on his bedroll, facing the fire, he watched as the flames leapt in the air reminding him of how radiant she looked in red. Her beauty had almost knocked all of the breath out of him when he'd first seen her face flat in the mud, and now all the breath was knocked out of him. She was beautiful and he had fallen in love with her.
Morning sun streamed through the windows as William woke, using his arm to shield his eyes from the brightness. He could still feel the effects of the punch from the night before, but even more so, Michaela. She was a vision in red, and so beautiful.
Rubbing his eyes to rid himself of those thoughts for the moment, he rose from bed and rung for his butler to dress him. It wouldn’t do after all to stay in bed all day and dream of a lady that he could drop by and visit.
Michaela had risen early the next morning, still flushed with emotion as she put on her robe to go downstairs. Her mother would hate it that she was going to breakfast in her nightgown and robe, but hunger called and she didn't care.
She opened her door carefully as not to disturb anyone and tip toed out of the room and began her decent to food that her stomach craved. Just as she turned the corner to descend the stairs she froze at the sound of a door opening and before she could think to cover herself more, Sully stood there clad in his buckskins with a smile that made her heart skip a beat.
"I...I ...um...was just going to um breakfast," she stammered all the while trying to stay composed. She almost hated that he could make her so weak in the knees like this and yet the feelings always thrilled her.
"Mine if I join ya?" Sully asked without missing a beat. It took all his willpower just to look her in the eye and not down at the beautiful gown she was wearing.
"Not at all," Michaela replied before hastily moving down the stairs, least her face turn into a bright red tulip of color. She really didn't want Sully to see her like this at all.
Sully was baffled by her behavior; after all he’d seen her in much less clothing before. And even the times when she’d been in her nightclothes there hadn’t been any embarrassment on her part. But he secretly loved to see her blush bright red, that was a treasure he would love to recapture again and again in his mind.
Michaela sank into her chair, hands placed over her hot cheeks. “Oh dear me,” she whispered into the air wishing her color would return to normal.
Sully appeared moments later causing Michaela to suddenly sit up straight again and compose herself. He had to cough to stifle a laugh that nearly came out at the sight of her looking like a chicken whose feathers just got ruffled by a rooster.
William stopped to check himself in the mirror before stepping through the door. He wanted to make sure that he looked his best, not a hair out of place. It really wasn’t like him to do this, but Michaela had captured his heart and he didn’t want to disappoint.
With a nod to his butler he was out the door and heading to his awaiting carriage.
“Beacon Hill,” William called out with a tap of his cane on the roof to signal the driver to go. Seconds later he was nearly catapulted into his seat as the carriage began to move.
Michaela lay back in the bath relishing the warmth and grateful to be gone from the breakfast table. As much as Sully's company left her heart fluttering, she wouldn't soon forget her mother's face when she arrived. Pure horror would just about nail it on the head. "A proper young lady does not attend breakfast in her night clothes!" Thankfully she had been nearly finished with breakfast and made a hasty exit.
Now her room felt like a safe haven from the storm that had brewed below and one where she could freely think without interruption. William adored her, and Sully stirred things inside of her that she didn't think was even possible. Yet deep down she knew her heart was with this rugged man, and not with the kind gentleman who persisted in trying to win her heart.
William arrived sometime later at the Quinn home a little worse of for the wear. He took a moment before stepping out of the carriage to make sure he looked decent enough before alighting the carriage moments later and heading up to the door. Taking a deep breath he lifted his hand ready to knock, when it suddenly opened and he found himself starring into the eyes of three children.
Brian, Colleen and Matthew stood there for a moment looking at William, his mouth open like a fish with one hand raised to knock.
"I'm sorry, is your mother at home?" William asked once he found his voice and regained some of his composure.
"She’s busy. Would you like to come and picnic with us on the Charles?" Brian asked looking straight up into William's eyes.
"I, well, um..." William replied unsure of what to say.
"Come with us," Matthew chimed in, "Ma will be along shortly," he lied. He'd made a pact with Sully to get his brother and sister out the house while he and Dr. Mike did something special. Course he hadn't counted on William showing up, but it was worth a try to get him come with them.
"Oh all right," said William with some reluctance. He enjoyed their company and if it meant he had to wait for Michaela a little longer then so be it.
An hour later Michaela was sitting at her dressing table, dressed and brushing her long hair when there was a knock at the door. She froze in mid motion, "Come in," she called softly.
The door opened slowly to reveal Sully looking just as handsome as he had earlier. She could see him through her mirror and prayed he couldn't see the flush that was creeping over her cheeks.
"Sorry to bother ya," he said quietly coming into the room, “I was wonderin' if maybe ya would come out dancing with me tonight, it being Valentines and all." He wasn't real big on the holiday but Michaela was a special lady and he wasn't about to let anyone else steal her away from him.
Michaela nearly dropped her brush down on the dressing table, she’d forgotten it was Valentines and now the man she loved so dearly was asking her out. She took a second to regain her composure, turned to face Sully before speaking. “I would love to,” she replied quietly starring into his eyes as the heat in her cheeks rose.
Sully smiled as he stared into her beautiful eyes, “See ya at 7,” he said before exciting the room.