- 25. The Dividing Tide – Episode 25
- 26. The Dividing Tide – Episode 26
- 27. The Dividing Tide – Episode 27
- 28. The Dividing Tide – Episode 28
- 29. The Dividing Tide – Episode 29
- 30. The Dividing Tide – Episode 30
- 31. The Dividing Tide – Episode 31
The morning after the ball, Morwenna stood by the long window in the library, listening to the rain. Her untouched coffee sat on Jago’s desk.
She gazed at the wet lawns and the drive, the gravel scuffed and disarrayed from the carriages the night before.
She had been grateful the weather had held off for the ball, but now she wished it hadn’t. If it had been raining, Jenna might not have taken advantage of Pasco the way she had!
Morwenna stifled a yawn. She hadn’t slept well. Her dreams had been filled with scenes of Jenna, radiant in white silk and lace, walking down the aisle to become Lady Pasco Buller.
Impatiently, she reached for the bell sash. Moments later, the door opened and a maid came in.
“Find Miss Goss and tell her to attend me here in the library. At once. Quickly now, girl.”
Five minutes later Jenna appeared, her face pale.
“You wish to see me, Aunt?”
“I do. Don’t just stand there, come closer where I can see you properly. Now then,” she said, “I assume you know what I’m about to say to you?”
She was gratified to see Jenna blush deeply. So she’d been right.
“What were you doing alone in the garden with Pasco Buller?”
“I’d gone with him to take the air, Aunt.”
“A likely story,” she scoffed.
“It’s true! The terrace was full and Mr Buller led me into the garden. I did nothing wrong, Aunt, I promise you.”
Morwenna looked at Jenna with distaste.
“You think making a play for a gentleman such as Pasco is nothing, do you?”
Jenna didn’t reply, which inflamed her anger more.
“How dare you set your cap at the man chosen for my daughter?” she demanded. Her temples began to throb as her voice rose. “How dare you? After all we’ve done for you?”
“I didn’t, Aunt, I promise you! I didn’t want him to kiss me.”
“He kissed you? Heavens, it’s worse than I thought!”
“I did nothing wrong, Aunt, please believe me.”
“Why should I believe you when I saw you with my own eyes coming out of the shrubbery?” A sense of nausea rose to her throat. “That is hardly the action of someone who is innocent.”
For a moment Morwenna felt she might have gone too far as Jenna’s face crumpled and her cheeks flushed, but she pushed aside the flicker of sympathy that rose.
Pasco could hardly be the one held to blame. He was superior in every way to the girl who stood before her.
The trouble was that the girl didn’t realise how utterly charming she was. She’d scoop Pasco up with no trouble at all, she thought bitterly, and just when Morwenna had set my heart on Lamorna having him.
“You’ve been nothing but trouble since you arrived,” she admonished, lifting her hand to massage the pain that was spreading across her forehead.
Then she stood up, pushing her chair back from the desk. But she had only taken a couple of steps towards the door when she felt the room spin.
Everything began to fade. She felt herself fall, her heart palpitating, until she felt her shoulder jar as she hit the floor.