With those tumultuous thoughts running through her head, she faints at the dinner table
Brianna had heard stories of Lord John from her mother and was expecting someone tall and imposing; however, he stood a half foot shorter than her and with fair skin and large, beautiful eyes. He turns his considerable charm on her, admiring two of her paintings and telling amusing tales of his travels and news of Virginia’s politics. After listening to Mr. Bree feels herself lost in a sea of uncertainty, not knowing if Roger was alive, and if he was would he desert her or stand by her even though he hated her.
Forbes’ sister regale her with her brother’s importance, Bree simply wishes they would all leave her alone and why couldn’t Aunt Jocasta wait a few months, but realizes that as Scots, kind but practical and certain in their conviction it was better she marries before the birth of the baby
After, alone in the parlor, she stubbornly thinks that they were all coming back safe, and she would hold on to that belief. Lord John visits for a few moments to pay his regards as he’s leaving for Wilmington in the morning. He tells her that Jamie had written to him three months ago requesting his assistance in finding out if Roger Wakefield had been taken by a press gang and be serving on one of His Majesty’s ships. Bree realizes the lengths her father went for her.
Brianna tells Lord John what happened and where her parents and Ian have gone. He realizes she would have gone with them, but was unable to due to her pregnancy. She asks if he’s familiar with the Scottish custom of handfasting and if it is legal in the colonies. He admits he doesn’t know, but if a man and woman live together for some time, they are considered married by common law and handfasting would fall within that class. She says she’s obviously not living with Roger and while she believes herself married, Aunt Jocasta doesn’t, nor does she believe Roger is coming back and wants to handpick a husband for her and that Lord John is the latest candidate.
As she settles back into bed, she reflects that while Lord John always treats her with attention and respect, often with amusement and admiration, there was always something missing and that was his attraction to her as an attractive female
Lord John is amused and says he wondered about the odd collection at the dinner party, especially the attention Mr. Alderdyce was paying to her. Brianna snorts and says it won’t do him any good as she’s sure his mother won’t have her precious son married to the whore of Babylon, especially after her bold display of her pregnancy at dinner. Lord John laughs and says her plan might have backfired because he is sure the look in Mrs https://rapidloan.net/payday-loans-ar/. Alderdyce’s eye was granny lust. He implies that Mr. Alderdyce, at age forty and unmarried and could have had any single young girl in the county, is not overly fond of women. She breaks down at the hopelessness of her situation, and he comforts her and tells her he will remain at River Run to see if they can find some solution to her predicament.
One rainy night, Brianna wakes up needing to use the commode and then dons her cloak to carry the chamber pot outside. Despite the rainy gusts, Brianna enjoys the weather, feeling a sort of kinship with her parents who must be enduring even harsher weather in the mountains. She spies a light through the storm and sees Lord John leaving the slave quarters and going to the kitchen. Realizing she might get locked out, she rushes in behind him to his surprise. She realizes that Lord John is homosexual and wonders for a moment if her father knows, but dismisses the notion after his experience in Wentworth Prison Jamie couldn’t hold a man with that preference with such warm regard.