I shake my head. No one does. Except you. And Charlemagne. Avery jumped to her feet.

This caught Lady Twombley‘s interest instantly. ―Do you really think so, Basil?" she asked.

She chuckled. I thought you were beginning to like him better.Harry supposed that he was. He still thought the prince was a bit of an ass, but he had fixed Sebastian’s shoulder. Or to be more precise, he’d had his manservant do so. Still, it amounted to the same thing.

And, more important, he had finally accepted defeat and ceased calling upon Olivia.Unfortunately for Harry, the prince’s infatuation with Olivia had been replaced with a friendly devotion toward Sebastian. Prince Alexei had decided that Seb must be his new best friend and had been calling daily to check on his recuperation. Harry made a point of being in his office during such visits and had been regaling Olivia with the details, as told to him by Sebastian. All in all, it had been quite amusing, and all the more proof that Prince Alexei was mostly harmless.Oh, there’s my mother, Olivia said, twisting to look behind her. She’s calling me from down the hall. I must go.

I shall see you tonight, Harry said.She smiled. I can’t wait.

By the time Harry arrived at the ambassador’s residence, the ball was in full swing. He couldn’t quite determine what aspects of Russian culture were being celebrated; the music was German and the food was French. But no one seemed to care. The vodka was flowing freely, and the room echoed with peals of laughter.

Harry immediately looked for Olivia, but she was nowhere to be seen. He was fairly certain she would have already arrived; her carriage had left her house over an hour before his had departed. But it was a crowded room. He’d find her soon.Edward shook his head.

I’m going to try to find her.Harry decided that it was useless to attempt to conduct a conversation with his brother with so many young ladies flitting about, and he moved away, trying to see above the crowd as he walked over to the opposite side of the ballroom. There was a small knot of people near the punch bowl, Prince Alexei at the center, but he did not see Olivia. She’d said she would be wearing blue, which would make her easier to spot, but it was always harder for him to distinguish colors in the evening.

Her hair…Now, that was a different story. Her hair would shine like a beacon.He kept moving through the crowd, looking this way and that, and then finally, just when he was starting to get frustrated, he heard from behind him:

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