7 Casualty of love

Nesta nodded and took a few steps forward. "He's been here a day, and I think I may be in love with him.

Of course, I'm not sure. I just feel this sweet feeling within my chest, like I want to explode. For some reason,"

she backed her maid, "my title prevents me from throwing myself at him."

"And don't throw yourself at him, my lady. It could reduce your worth. Keep being outstanding, and continue to monitor the situation.

Being in love is one thing. Marriage is another, and you're ready for marriage. If he engages you, then it's certain it will lead to marriage. If he hasn't made such a move, yet, then, don't force it."

"A lord once told me never to try to control love. That whatever I feel, I should act on it."

"And how many children has he had with different mistresses? Such people act on infatuation, my lady. They don't really understand.

Let this feeling breathe. Let it develop and reach the point of explosion. Trust me, truth will erupt out of it. If he feels the same way you feel for him, he would let you know. If he doesn't, don't go looking for answers."

Nesta wasn't sure she could wait.


It had been two weeks since the Earl of Castleberry arrived in Devonshire, and each passing day Nesta spent with him was only but a fleeting moment.

She heartily enjoyed his company, and at the end of each day, she sought-after the next with eagerness.

These days, after all, her dreams made sense, and were closer to grasping than before.

The Earl had two weeks to spend with them before he returned to London, and since her dad was mostly busy seeing to business on the estate, Nesta did her best to play a grand host.

Lillian, her maid, had advised her against doing anything that may ruin her, like being alone with the Earl, but Nesta, willing to test how gentle he was, had exploited all avenues.

She spent a considerable amount of time with the Earl these days, and sometimes, she wished they could try some of the things they talked about.

The way he talked about certain things with passion, made her long and wish to be his. She felt more alive, more vibrant, and she knew Lillian feared it may all come to nothing.

After all, from multiple stories she had read, and people's experiences, whatever presented itself to you with perfection mostly always had flaws in it.

But the Earl was faultless. Nesta had watched him, and asked so much about him, and everything he said, or did, to her was more than satisfactory.

He was probably too good to be true, or he wasn't, this, all these feelings, things he said which had her dreaming more and more about him, were all real.

It was probably difficult to comprehend to someone like Lillian, and Nesta understood. Her maid was only looking out for her.

"I'm telling you, such a man doesn't exist," Lillian said.

Nesta checked herself in the mirror, slowly turning from side to side. "You think he would like this gown?"

Lillian sighed. "I'm sure he would. And I half expected you to be listening to what I said."

Nesta smiled. "I heard you. Don't worry. I know one month isn't enough to come to a conclusion about anyone, so I've decided to spend more time with him, and I also desire for him to have a memorable time here at Devonshire." She turned to face her maid.

Lillian had a worried look cast on her face, and this only seemed to ignite a smile on Nesta's face.

"Now, what?" Nesta asked.

"I don't want you hurt," Lillian said. "You haven't seen all sides to this man, and I can tell that you keep falling further in love every day. Men can be reckless, my lady. Do not be a casualty of love."

"Love, Lillian, never hurts. If the Earl does hurt me, then I'll know for a certainty that he never loved me.

Now, stop worrying. I'm big enough to handle myself. Go to the tailor, and send my measurements to her. I had given up on ever attending another ball.

But since the Earl has invited us to his home as his honored guests in this upcoming season's ball, I would look my best and shame other ladies."

Nesta was an unrivaled beauty, and an entrancing figure to behold. Whenever she took a walk out with her maid, you could find she held the air of suspense about her, gluing the gazes of both men and women to her graceful self.

She acted like she had been taught, and all the lessons she had tried to forget ever since her father's scandal, since she thought she may never get to stand in the presence of a royal again, they had come rushing back, and she had mastered them anew.

Quinn was waiting for her at the foot of the stairs as she descended, and she thought he looked dashing.

Those splendid reddish brown eyes were fixed on her with admiration, and she knew this because his smile also betrayed him.

"Lady Weaver," Quinn said. "You're truly a vision." He took her hand and kissed it. "Trust you had a beautiful night?"

Nesta grinned. "I did."

Quinn took her arm, turned, and began to walk.

Nesta was carried away with his dashing looks, and she inhaled his sweet perfume.

"How was your night?" she asked.

"It was wonderful," he said. "What would you like to do today?"

"Whatever you'd like to do." She looked at him with dreamy eyes.

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