What do you mean, Miss Darby, that after Tuesday you will be missing several balls?
Um… I look at Lady B and then look down at my belly, which looks more like 12 months pregnant than 9 months in this Regency gown I’m wearing. Shouldn’t it be obvious that I’m about to pop?
“I’m in imminent expectation of a happy event,” I say, trying my best to be delicate about something that is decidedly not a delicate matter.
Lady B shakes her head.
There was something in the water this year, what with Miss Willig, you, and soon Miss MacLean. As an aside, it is quite disconcerting to call you all misses when you are mothers or soon-to-be mothers.
The “miss” factor wouldn’t be an issue in modern society, but I don’t bother to point that out. And in any event, it is merely our authorly names that are eternal misses. Instead, I return to the issue at hand.
“I think it was the ratafia, actually.”
<< Squawk! >>
Lady B looks as alarmed as Albert.
While babies are all very well and good, I shall have to change the formulation immediately. I can’t have it become thought that my ballroom is a font of fertility. No one will let their young daughters frolic behind any of the potted plants, or linger in the dark of the garden anymore. And then what fun shall we have?
I ponder this for a moment. Is Lady B saying obliquely that she knows very well what kind of illicit activities happen in her garden and that she approves of them? It makes me wonder how daring one could be in the nooks and crannies of her home before she decided it was too much.
This year I’ve been entrenched in contemporary romance (although Private Research, my fall contemporary release, does refer in depth to the Regency world of On These Silken Sheets) but my current works-in-progress are all Regency-set. I am very tempted to add a few scandals to the Ballroom’s lore.
However, considering that we have had ships and pirates and all sorts of contretemps, I shall have to concoct something truly special. Any ideas? What do you think is the most outrageous thing ever to happen in Lady B’s garden?