The following is an excerpt from Until Their Hearts Desire.
May you Enjoy Always, T
My goodness, this is awkward, Tessa thought. She was sitting next to a man with whom she should converse, and yet, it felt as though they should be properly introduced, considering she hadn’t seen him since she was a child. Perhaps she was being overly prudish, but it was the way she was raised, and such ingrained manners were hard to overcome. Then again, perhaps such formalities could be dismissed, considering he was family.
She was staring down at her plate, contemplating her dilemma, when Mr. Beaumont leaned toward her and spoke in a low voice, “I realize our formal introduction may have been overlooked, but I hope that will not deter us from pleasant conversation. I’m Jacob Beaumont, Matthew’s brother.”
Tessa forced herself not to gasp. Mr. Beaumont’s eerily accurate insight made her wonder if she had spoken her thoughts aloud. She peeled her eyes off the asparagus sitting on her plate and looked up at him. Though the room was well lit, she couldn’t tell if his eyes were hazel or a deep shade of green, but they were deep set and soulful with a fine mischievous glint to them. He struck her as person easily amused by the world around him and his own private musings. Either way, his eyes appeared captivating and mysterious. His dark brown hair was worn brushed back from his face and there was a touch of grey near his temples, as if he had seen or done more than would be expected for a man of his age, which by her estimate put him near thirty. He was a captivatingly handsome man and Tessa had to force herself not to stare.
“Why, of course, I know who you are. We’ve been expecting you,” she said, trying to sound sophisticated and carefree. “I’m Caroline’s youngest sister, Tessadori. As you may know, I’ve just arrived from California with my Aunt Sarah.” Tessa wanted to pinch herself. She didn’t sound sophisticated. She sounded pompous. Was it just her imagination, or had the room suddenly grown warmer? She looked around the table, but no one else seemed effected by the elevated temperature, and yet an undeniable heat washed over her.