"Excuse me, Mr. Lucas, I was, ummm..., admiring the small birch saplings near the end of the epergne."
What must he think? She caught Mama giving her a knowing wink and her insides shriveled in horror. Oh no, Mama probably thought she'd offered Mr. Lucas an opportunity to peek down the bodice of her dress. Why had she allowed her mother, of all people, to choose her attire for the evening? For one who claimed there was never enough lace on dresses, she'd whipped the fichu from her bodice within seconds of coming downstairs and told her she seemed too frothy. Frothy? No amount of cajoling budged her mother once she'd removed the offending scrap of lace, and so she'd spent most of the evening adjusting the shoulders of her gown in an attempt to pull the bodice up at least a modest half inch.
Mr. Lucas' eyes flicked downward before he snapped them back to her face. Dear God, how much longer could this meal go on?HERE