He seemed to have trouble expressing his thoughts. He actually tugged at his neckcloth. Liversedge would have wrung his hands at the sight of his employer ruining his latest masterpiece, named in London circles as the Rotherham Fall. He cleared his throat.
“One of the reasons I have decided to make these changes is that there might be an alteration in my personal circumstances in the near future.”
She remained silent. He meant to become engaged and married to Miss Fanshawe. She felt an odd sadness, a sense of loss, although why she could not say. After all, she disliked the arrogant, insufferable man immensely. She would be glad to leave. Helena picked up her needle.
Rotherham coughed again. “Of course, I have not made a final decision.”
Helena held the needle poised and waited.
“I must give the matter more thought. One cannot rush into decisions without looking at things from every angle.”
She noticed a strange expression in his eyes, as if he wanted her to say something. Determined not to give him the satisfaction of a reaction from her, she folded her mending, placed it in her workbasket, and stood up.
“I shall look in on the children and see how far they are with their letter of apology to Miss Fanshawe.”
“There’s no hurry,” he said abruptly.
“I think the sooner Miss Fanshawe receives an apology, the better.”
“No, I meant your leaving. It’s not been decided.”
Helena raised her chin. Annoyance bubbled inside her. The conceit of the man to assume she would wait about while he made up his mind. How dare he behave as if she didn’t have her own home with friends waiting for her in Oxford?
“I am sorry to inconvenience Your Grace, but it would suit me to leave as soon as possible. I agree with you; my time here is up. The children need to learn they are Wroxbys and to embrace the responsibilities of their heritage.”
Rotherham’s mouth should have fallen open from shock except he clenched his jaw. “Do as you like,” he said in a rough tone.
“I shall do exactly that, Your Grace,” she said tartly as she walked to the door.
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