The longer he spoke, the more incensed she became. When he finally, finally fell silent, her teeth were grinding, her fists were clenched, and every muscle in her body was wire-tight with anger. She exploded up off the bench, pacing a few steps forward, then wheeling back toward the Duke.
“How dare you,” she hissed. “How dare you tell me what I can feel. Where have I asked of you that you love me too? You are a married man, you are a Duke of the realm. I do not ask. But you may not speak to me so casually of what I feel, what I may feel. God gives me free will, and though I have willing not to love you, He has given that I shall go on doing so.”
Humphrey raised his eyebrows. “I see, we are just as we were. We could fight just as when I skipped the hunt to take you to my bed. Remember that?” Humphrey stood up and took a few steps, thinking he should just leave her there. He had much bigger problems than a young girl he once used to love. But that was the thought that at the same time stopped him from leaving. He turned to face her. “You know I was just really being honest like I very rarely am. I did not mean to insult your feelings, what matter is it to me if you wish to put them on a pedestal and cherish. Yet I must warn you that I am not one to be put on a pedestal, I would disappoint. And now that I warned you, it is really up to you – live this miserable life with your lot who despise you or come and join my household. Maybe even come to Flanders with me. You could find other adventures and read new books and maybe find one much worthier than I. Tis really your choice and you deal with the consequences.”
“I remember all too clearly,” she muttered. “As you will, then, my lord. I will do as you wish and join your household and be your companion,” she twisted the word, sneeringly, “and not put you upon a pedestal.” Summer’s mouth bent at the corners, hard down, as she pressed her lips together in an attempt to control herself. “I suppose I should be grateful you condescend to remember one you cast aside at all, though I had hoped for a better memory than this.”