On the ride back to the townhouse, Gabrielle chatted with Annette and Margaux. She didn’t think about her brother or his lies. She didn’t think about any of that. If she wanted to continue to fool the sisters, she had to keep up the pretense of this life.
But the moment they dropped her off with promises to see her the next evening for a dinner party, Gabrielle stormed into the house. She was going to murder her lying, scheming brother.
“I take it,” Theodore said the moment the butler closed the door behind her, “your day with the Fortier sisters was pleasant?”
The butler moved as slowly as he could from the room and still look as if he moved. Gabrielle waited until he’d gone from earshot, an excruciating wait, before answering. She started to confront Theodore, demand to know why he lied to her, but stopped herself before uttering a sound.
If she admitted to Theodore she’d seen Eric, he’d barricade up this house tighter than a besieged fort. No, Gabrielle knew why he’d lied—he hated that she had ever been a member of the Hellfire Club, hated that life, the sexual promiscuity, the political alliances made and broken over an evening in bed.
Taking a deep breath, she smiled up at him instead. “Yes, Theodore,” she said pleasantly, “we had a lovely afternoon. And I’ve had news.”
Studying him carefully, she saw the barest flicker of fear cloud his blue eyes. There and gone in an instant. If she hadn’t looked for it, Gabrielle would have missed it.
“What news?” he asked nonchalantly.“General Fortier is to return within the month.” She smiled at that and hoped her reaction—her forced happiness—at her intended’s return showed clearly. “I’m sure you’ll be glad to finally have me out of this house.”