“I thought you weren’t concerned with scandal?”
“I wasn’t when it was someone else’s scandal! When it was”—she searched for the right word—“theoretical scandal! I have no problem with scandal when it is an amusing topic of conversation. But this is different.” She drained her glass and set it down. Inebriation had a huge amount of appeal at the moment. “This is our scandal, and we are up to our noses in it!”
“You should have thought of that before you decided to become a mistress instead of a wife.”
“Admittedly, it was a flaw in my plan!” She glared. “Not that I have truly become a mistress yet, have I?”
“You locked your door!” Indignation rang in his words.
“And one doesn’t seduce the woman one intends to marry!” she mimicked.
“Admittedly, that might have been a flaw in my plan!”
She stared. “This is the most absurd argument I have ever had!”
“Appropriate, then, as this is the most absurd situation I have ever found myself in!”
“And whose fault is that?”
“Mine!” He ran his hand through his hair. “I should never have assumed you would marry me simply because I asked.”
She huffed. “I would never marry you simply because you asked.”
“Then why would you marry me?”
“Because I can no longer imagine my life without you!”
“You can’t?” He stared.
“Apparently not.” She crossed her arms over her chest. “But it doesn’t change anything.”
He grinned. “It changes everything.”
“It simply…” She thought for a moment. “It simply changes the discussion, that’s all. Broadens it, if you will. And it’s not a discussion we should be having now.” She turned on her heel and paced. “Now, we need to think of a way out of this mess.”
“We could marry.”
“Unless we are going to wed secretly and in the next hour or so, that is not a solution.” She paced. “We should be able to think of something. We are both intelligent people, although I am starting to question your intelligence somewhat.”
She stopped in midstep and stared at him. “This is not funny.”
“No, of course not.” He struggled to suppress a grin.
“What do you find so amusing?”
“Nothing, absolutely nothing.” He set his glass down, stepped close, and swept her into his arms.
“What are you doing?” She glared at him.
He grinned. “You’re smitten with me.”
“Nonsense.” She sniffed. “You are the most annoying man I have ever met.”
“Nonetheless, you are head over heels.” He kissed the curve of her neck.
She shivered and tried to push out of his arms. “Stop that at once. This is not the time.”
“It’s always the time,” his lips murmured against her neck.
“You are as arrogant as you are annoying.”
“You’re mad for me.”
“I am furious with you.” Good Lord, what was he doing? “It’s your arrogance that got us into this.”
“I know and I feel a great deal of remorse.”
“I’m not sensing your remorse at the moment.”