Archer to Miranda: We aren’t ‘nearly wed.’ We are wed! Permanently.
Miranda: Yes, I know. Shhh.
Beau: [Looking censoriously] I am your host Beau Brummell--
Archer to Miranda: Why are we here again?
Miranda: Oh, stop. You know very well why. [Blushes] Because I lost that bet with Daisy and Poppy.
Archer: [Chuckling] You mean the one where they bet that you couldn’t –
Miranda: Hush! Now you’re just being vexing!
Archer: [Chuckles some more but affects an innocent tone] I have no idea what you mean.
Miranda: [Trying to hold back a smile] Beast.
Beau: Ahem! As I was saying, today we have Lord Benjamin Archer, Barron Archer of Umberslade and his extremely lovely—
Archer: Eyes up and forward, Brummell.
Beau: -- ah… wife, Lady Miranda Archer. Lord and Lady Archer, despite a number of rather unfortunate rumors surrounding…[Catching Archer’s glare] Never mind… But I really I must ask, Lord Archer, why do you wear that mask?
Archer: [Narrowing eyes] I find wearing a Carnival mask a much better opening to introduction than, ‘How do you do?’ [Inclines head graciously.] One must strive to be noticed these days, hmm?
Beau: [Befuddled] Er… Yes, I see…
Archer: Now, I must ask you. Do you talk to all of your guests this way, or only the ones you want to induce to murder?
Beau: [Pales] M-murder?
Miranda: I think he simply likes to annoy the men, Archer. There were quite a few disgruntled gentlemen in the anteroom, if you remember?
Archer: I remember. I wish I were in there with them now. [Leans in close to Miranda] Though he is quite fun to needle, is he not?
[Miranda suppresses a smile.] Yes, he is rather. But behave.
Archer: Only if you will.
Miranda: Of course I will! [Grins as she gets up from her seat] But I’m not the one stuck on stage. Ta, my dear!
Archer: Wait, what? Miranda! [Rises to follow as she walks away. Calls out after her] You’ll pay for this later, you know.
[Miranda grins over her shoulder.] Thoroughly one hopes!
[Archer clears his throat and sits back down.] All right then, Brummell, out with your questions. [Looks toward the door with longing, and his voice turns gravelly.] Be quick about it. I’ve a revenge to act out.
Beau: Yes, well then, have you shown your wife what lies beneath your mask?
[Archer stares at host. Awkward silence ensues in which Beau begins to squirm]
Archer: Next question.
Beau: Right… Uhm…. Is it true that you…No that one won’t do… All right, here is a good one. Lord Archer if your wife could change anything about herself, what would it be?
Archer: Other than not losing that bet? [Shakes head] I know what she would change, but I won’t say because I wouldn’t want her any other way.
[Miranda sticks her head through the doorway] Oh, Archer! I wouldn’t change a thing about you either, love.
Beau: You eavesdropped! That’s against the rules, madam!
Archer: [Rising] Not a surprise. She does it all the time. [Walks toward his waiting wife.] You ought to have a man guarding the door if that is what you are worried about.
Beau: Where are you going?
Archer: Revenge, remember? [Scoops Miranda up and holds her close] As promised, I intend to be most through.
Miranda: [Nuzzling in close] You always are good to your word.
[Beau smiling nervously to the audience.] Well then audience, if you have any questions for Lord of Lady Archer, I’ll be happy to send them directly along. I assure you, they will answer in due course. I think…
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