No. When I was a girl, I wanted to be a pirate.” That brought up an all-too-pleasant image – Miss Marshall, the rich, dark red of her hair unbound and flying defiantly in the wind aboard a ship’s deck. She’d wear a loose white shirt and pantaloons. He would definitely surrender. “I am less shocked than you might imagine,” Edward heard himself say. “Entirely unshocked.” She smiled in pleasure. “A bloodthirsty cutthroat profession? Good thing you gave that up. It would never have suited you.” Her expression of pleasure dimmed. “You’d have succeeded too easily,” Edward continued, “and now you’d be sitting, bored as sin, atop a heap of gold too large to spend in one lifetime. Still, though, wouldn’t it solve ever so many problems if you married a lord? James Delacey could never touch you again if you did. — Courtney Milan
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