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|Strings of the Heart(Runaway Train #3) by Katie Ashley|
As the waiter hurried off, I cocked my brows at Rhys. “Wow, that was impressive.”
“What do you mean?”
“Having someone at your beck and call like that. No standing in line with the other peasants. Not to mention, you get table side service.”
Rhys laughed. “It’s basically the same thing as ordering something at a restaurant. The wait-staff always know to keep my parents’ guests happy and give them what they ask for.”
“So he wasn’t falling over himself to give you what you wanted because you were lord of the manor?” I teasingly questioned.
“Maybe.” Then he shook his head at me. “I’m not lord of the manor. I told you my branch of the family didn’t have a title.”
I opened my mouth to tease him more, but the waiter arrived with our plates. “That was fast,” I murmured, after he left the table.
“And I’m sure the fast service was because of me being Lord McGowan?” Rhys asked, cocking his brows at me.
“You can’t tell me any different.”
“Whatever,” he replied, with a good-natured chuckle.
While I dug into the deliciously aromatic roast chicken, Rhys coaxed Ellie to eat a little. His efforts went to waste when two bagpipers in full regalia strolled past our table. Ellie dropped her fork and sat up a little straighter, her curiosity piqued.
“You weren’t kidding about celebrating Tartan Day, were you?” I asked.
He grinned. “Do you think I’d be rocking this kilt if we weren’t hardcore about it?”
“Probably not.” Reaching for my purse, I took out my phone. “I should seriously take a pic and send it to Jake.”
Before I knew what was happening, Rhys had snatched the phone out of my hand. “No f**king way!”
“Because he and the others will be ragging my ass for days, if not weeks, if they saw that.”
Since I’d often seen firsthand how Jake and AJ loved to tease Rhys, I knew I had to respect his wishes. “Okay, okay. I’ll put the phone away.” When I held out my hand, Rhys reluctantly slipped it into it. Once I’d put it into my purse, he seemed relieved. We sat back in our chairs to enjoy the rest of the performance by the bagpipers.
Once it had ended and the quartet started up again, Rhys looked over at me and smiled. Motioning out onto the floor filled with swaying couples, he asked, “How about a dance?”
While Ellie seemed content, I wasn’t sure about leaving her. I didn’t want to upset her by making her feel abandoned. I guess Rhys sensed my apprehension. “It’ll be fine, and we can keep an eye on her from the dance floor,” he reassured me.
“Okay, I’d love to dance with you.”
As Rhys rose out of his chair, he leaned in close to Ellie’s ear. “Allison and I are going to dance. We’ll be right back, and then I’ll take you back to Trudie.”
Once again, she didn’t acknowledge him. She just kept staring straight ahead with a serene expression on her face. She didn’t appear to be upset that we were leaving her. Taking my hand, Rhys led me away from the table. As we weaved in and out of the other couples, the quartet began playing Moon River, the theme song from one of my mom’s favorite movies, Breakfast at Tiffany’s.
We didn’t move far into the dance floor. Instead, we stayed on the fringes so that we could see Ellie. Once we had found the perfect place, Rhys pulled me closer to him. Of course, since we were at a society party, we didn’t dance like I was accustomed to. It was much more formal. I would have rather wrapped my arms around Rhys’s neck than to have had one hand in his and the other on his shoulder. It seemed like there was always something keeping us apart.
When the song ended, Ellie got up from the table. Both Rhys and I froze as we watched her carefully. She went just inside the door to sit at the grand piano. When she began playing along with the quartet, Rhys exhaled a relieved breath.
As we danced to the music, I tried not to think about how frustrated I was with how things were moving along. Then a thought popped into my mind, and I couldn’t help giggling. “What is it?” Rhys asked.
“Oh nothing,” I muttered, refusing to meet his eye. I couldn’t believe I had laughed out loud.
Rhys eyed me with a skeptical look. “Come on. You expect me to buy that? It was obviously something amusing, or you wouldn’t have laughed.”
At his imploring look, I decided to come clean with him. “Dancing as close as we are, I couldn’t help but wonder about Cassie’s question from earlier.”
Rhys’s brows furrowed. “What are you talking about?”
Lowering my voice, I asked, “You know, when she asked you about your kilt?” When he still looked clueless, I sighed. “Are you wearing any underwear under that kilt?”
“My, my, that’s awfully intrusive of you. What’s gotten into you tonight?”
“Nothing. I was just curious.”
He then gave me a sexy little grin that ignited the lacy panties I was wearing. “You really want to know for you or so you can tell Cassie?”
“For me,” I whispered.
“Well, you could always be daring and reach under there to see for yourself,” he taunted.
I stared at him unblinking and unmoving for a moment. For one, I was shocked that he had even suggested such a thing—it was so uncharacteristic of him. On the other hand, was he actually suggesting that I touch him so very intimately in the middle of a crowded dance floor? “I, uh,” I muttered incoherently.