~Genesee goes moonlight walking with the charming Alex Dunbar~
Next, they had gone into the set of a country dance. To take three dances in a row with the same partner was a breach of propriety that had set fans fluttering on every side.
They flaunted convention still further, and walked the circular path that ran around Aunt Kitty's garden. A yellow moon, past full, was clearing the woods on the crest of the eastern shore.
Their pace was a little fast, for the night was chilly and they were both, in spite of the dancing, full of nervous energy. Jenny felt ready to jump out of her skin. Alexander seemed to be in the same condition.
In the darkness, here and there, they'd catch sight of other couples, sitting upon garden benches, leaning against each other or unabashedly embracing. It was cold, early in the year for strolls in the moonlight, but there were a lot of blue and buff uniforms here, young men who were soon leaving to fight.
"I don't know what to say to you, sir," she finally said, ignoring the polite gambit he'd made about the beauty of the scene.
Alexander halted. She gazed up at him, at his thin handsome face in the moonlight, wondering what he would do.
In the next moment he'd clasped her in his arms, swept her close and kissed her. In the chilly darkness his mouth was warm and eager.
What temptation, the wanting to let her arms go around his shoulders, the wanting to let him kiss and taste, do what he'd done at her grandparent's house! Instead, she kept her palms against the rough wool of that uniform jacket, held him in check.
Feeling her reticence, he ended the kiss, although he kept his arms around her slender waist. "What's the matter?" he breathed.
"You mustn't just – just – kiss me like that," she protested.
His strong arms held her close. "Why not?" he murmured, his lips grazing her cheek. "Don't you like me to?"
"Liking's not the point."
"Since when is liking not the point of kissing?"
"Do let me go," she whispered, trembling. "I can't think of what I mean to say."
She saw him smile. He did, however, obediently relinquish the embrace, although not his hold upon her hands.
From another pair of lovers, hidden somewhere nearby, came a gasp. Below, fine golden scales of moonshine shimmered upon the bosom of the river.
"All right, Miss," he said. "Out with what you mean to say."
"That– I don't generally ... I mean – I haven't ever – I mean that no one..." Jenny stammered. "Ah – that you may not just – "
He pulled her close again. "Even," he whispered, "even if you haven't ever – even if no one has had the sense – even if I must not assume – I believe that a girl as beautiful as you must be kissed and kissed very often and very thoroughly. I look upon it as a duty."
"Rubbish," she gasped, attempting severity, though it wasn't easy with that hard young body pressed so ardently against hers. "Stop teasing!"
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`Action, Adventure and Romance during the Revolution~
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