“Ten.” He had no idea what she had been drawing, not that he truly cared. She could have drawn lines on the page, and he would have paid a small fortune just to make her smile.
“Stop it.” She circled around to the other side of a large marble column. “I am not selling it.”
He peered over the marble. “Just think of it,” he argued. “I could be your first patron.”
“You are a madman.” She was grinning, obviously enjoying their verbal sparring. “Perhaps I could pay you ten pounds to leave me alone.”
“You cannot afford my price, so you are stuck with me,” he teased.
“Lucky me.” Tempest moved to a pedestal that displayed a large vase.
With his arms crossed behind his back, he stalked her as she zigzagged from one sculpture to the next. She was not putting much effort in escaping him. He was not in a hurry to catch her.
The exhibit room was not so crowded as it had been when he and Thorn first entered it. No one stood between him and his quarry, and he lazily guided her to the far corner of the room, where a very plain-looking woman had been immortalized in marble.
Mathias noted Tempest’s eyes were gleaming with anticipation, and she was slightly out of breath because of her stays, though it was impolite of him to notice as much.
She hid the journal behind her back. “Nothing you can say will change my mind, Lord Fairlamb,” she vowed, but the smirk on her face dared him to try.
“Unpredictable and passionate,” he said, keeping his voice low and seductive. “Traits one expects in an artist.”
The description also fit most of his lovers.
It was rather perverse, but he liked difficult females. Without asking permission, Mathias slowly stepped closer and reached around until they were almost embracing.
“What are you doing?” Tempest whispered, caught between his body and the statue. There was no place for her to escape.
“Satisfying my—” The front of his coat pressed lightly against the front of her bodice. When he stepped backwards, he held her journal in his hand. “—curiosity.”
She bit her lip. The nervous gesture was innocent and enticing, and Mathias had to resist the urge to pull her back into his arms and kiss her thoroughly.
Instead, he opened the journal to where it had been marked by her pencil. His lips parted in astonishment. “You were sketching me.”
Or rather, parts of him. While they were talking, she had drawn his eyes and eyebrows at the bottom of the page. Another sketch was a profile of his nose and mouth. The third was the beginnings of a full-body drawing as he sat on the bench. There wasn’t much detail, but she had captured his casual slouch perfectly.
“Am I something you fancy, Lady Tempest?”
Copyright © April 2016. Excerpt from YOU CAN’T ALWAYS GET THE MARQUESS YOU WANT by Alexandra Hawkins. Published by St. Martin's Paperbacks. All rights reserved. This work is protected under copyright laws and reproduction is strictly prohibited. Permission to reproduce the material in any manner or medium must be secured from the Publisher or Author.
Can I see what you have been working on?”
Her hazel eyes narrowed and a mischievous grin brightened her face. “No.” She moved the journal so it was out of reach. “I do not believe I will show you.”
“Don’t be cruel, darling,” he coaxed, confident that he would get his way. “Art should be appreciated, and I am one of your most ardent admirers.”
It was the same tone he had used when he was a boy to wheedle extra sweets from the cook. As a grown man, he had similarly seduced ladies into his bed.
Sticking her pencil into the crease of the journal, she closed it. “Absolutely not.”
Tempest stood and Mathias mimicked her actions.
“A quick peek,” he said, relishing their game.
“I think not,” she said, strolling away.
She was not evading him so easily. It took only a few steps to catch up to her.
“What if I purchase the sketch from you?” he asked, choosing a different tactic. If they had not been in such a public place, he would have been tempted to kiss her until she surrendered.
“Don’t be ridiculous,” she said, continuing past the painting that depicted the judgment of the sons of Brutus.
A couple sitting on a nearby bench glanced up but lost quickly lost interest, since neither Mathias nor Tempest was looking to cause a scene.
Still, there was no reason not to revel in flustering a beautiful lady.
She expelled a ladylike snort. “No.”