By Paula Marshall
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Additional info for An Affair Of Honour
I didn't expect to see myself here," returned Clare, as coolly as she could. " She spoke as. though the last five years had never happened, and Mrs. Norton-Norris was an old and valued friend. Ralph gave an inwardly sardonic grin at her savoir-faire. He wondered what piece of cattiness such a knowing comment might evoke. He hadn't long to wait to find out. "Ralph? Oh, yes, Ralph Schuyler," drawled Angela as though she were one of his oldest friends, instead of a mere acquaintance. "You're with him, I see.
Ralph pressed her arm as they climbed the wide staircase to where Mr. and Mrs. Norton-Norris stood to greet them after an impressively dressed footman had bawled their names out. Nonno, as Clare now sardonically thought of her, pressed her middle-aged powdered cheek against Ralph's hard, younger one. " She waved a careless hand as though she couldn't be sure of how many guests she had or who they were. Her husband, a small man, as retiring as his wife was brhsh, murmured kindly as they passed him, "I think that they are in the ballroom.
Clare began to laugh, then stopped to say mournfully, "It's not funny, you know. " Ralph wanted to take her in his arms and comfort her in the most time-honoured way he could think of. He tried not to think of it. He had no business lusting after Clare Windham, precisely because she was his business. "It's a most natural reaction, as Byron once said, " And if I laugh, 'tis that I may not weep". " Clare sounded dubious, so dubious that Ralph thought a little comfort was in order. " he asked prosaically.
An Affair Of Honour by Paula Marshall