She laughed, “Mrs. Dooley really did not wish to attend the dance last night, but your sister had the wit to persuade her. She said that it is good healthful exercise and chaperoned by every respectable female on board and that dancing is one of the few entertainments the memsahibs can enjoy in India. Your dear sister made sure I could go to the ball and I’ve very grateful to her.”
Adam’s self-conscious grin caught her attention. “You put Flora up to it, didn’t you?” she charged.
“I would hate to see you miss any fun, Britannia,” Adam said gently. Then in a musing tone he continued. “I have been reading up on our future home. Do you remember much from your childhood in India?”
Tania thought for a moment, then answered quietly. “I remember heat and insects and long hours spent in a stuffy room with a great piece of cloth waving back and forth overhead and sometimes my ayah throwing water on it to cool the air. Mama was always tired and lying down or having other ladies in for tea. And Papa was usually away somewhere with his soldiers. When he came home, he was often angry with Mama and me. He claimed the food didn’t agree with him and scolded Mama for being stupid about the accounts.”
Tania paused and stared a little wonderingly at the big Scotsman beside her. Why was she telling him these things when she had only now permitted them to surface in her own memory? Something about him seemed to invite confidence and assure her that whatever she told him would go no further and certainly would never be used against her. She had never confided thus in her schoolmates or her teachers. In fact she could not think of a single other person with whom she felt so much at ease. Surely that was wrong, for she was in love with Adrian.
Her heart beat faster at the thought of the charming captain. She glanced surreptitiously about, but still there was no sign of him. Well, that was good in a way. What would Adrian think if he saw her with Adam? He might think she allowed him liberties, too. But no, she wouldn’t give up her friendship with this comfortable man. It wasn’t like her relationship with Adrian. It was very proper.
Now Tania was getting upset. Did that mean her interaction with Adrian was not proper? She was in such a quandary she didn’t realize for a moment that Adam was talking.