“Will you walk with me, milady?”
He is gallant, cultured, handsome in his gentleman’s velvet jacket, and slashed silk breeches.
From your position on the garden bench, you glance at him coyly. Beneath your sun bonnet, you bat your lashes alluringly.
His chest (or whatever) swells with ardor.
“Aye. But only to the rose arbor,” you agree, with stipulation. Eagerness in a noblewoman is unbecoming.
“You honor me, milady.” He bows, extends a muscular arm for you to take.
You rise, fluff your gown. You wish madly for his attention to be momentarily diverted so that you may pinch your cheeks surreptitiously. The sun is setting, but there is a lantern at the rose arbor. You want to be pink and pretty in the glow of its flame.
The walk begins with covert glances, shy smiles. This progresses into lovely conversation centered upon your grace and beauty. As you warm enough to grasp his arm more intimately, a sudden tug on yours startles you.
“What ever…?” You turn to find yourself facing one of your maids.
“Please forgive my bold intrusion, your ladyship,” she begs. “But I must speak with thee.”
‘Dare thee intrude…?”
“Your ladyship, please!” Your maid grasps your arm. “I beseech thee! The matter is urgent!”
Indignation flares your nostrils. This peasant! Who on the Lord’s green earth does she believe herself to be? Insinuating herself..pulling at you this way – the audacity!
“Unhand me, maid!” you hiss through clenched teeth. “Have you taken leave of your senses?”
“Er…milady. If I may…” Your gentleman removes his waistcoat, ties the dangling arms about your waist.
Your cheeks flame wildfire.
Grasping your skirts into trembling fists, you run.
Like the wind.
Because you know there is only one reason a gentleman would do such a thing. A supremely embarrassing, humiliating, scourge-of-the-earth reason.
You, milady, have morphed into a bloody bitch.
And you are leaving a scarlet trail of evidence of your affliction.