“Darling, you have become positively unromantic,” Cressida declared, snapping open her fan and fluttering it just so in front of her face, eyes sparking mischief.
Never a good thing. Silver repressed a groan as he wondered what, precisely, his sister was up to now.
Seymour quirked a brow from where he was playing a casual game of chess with Pierce – who was losing, but charmingly, or at least Silver thought so. “I’m fairly certain I was quite romantic last night, sweet.”
“Pish Posh” Cress declared, waving her pink and gold lace fan dismissively in the air. “You do not write me letters anymore. I miss them. What of your sonnets?”
It was gratifying, the way Seymour suddenly looked embarrassed. Silver had begun to think he was the only one who ever felt that way amongst them. Certainly Pierce and Cress did not seem to know what embarrassment was.
“Sonnets?” Pierce asked, barely stifling a laugh as he placed a rook poorly, not caring in the slightest when Seymour promptly took it.
Seymour glared at his betrothed. “Pet.”
“I don’t get letters anymore, either,” Pierce continued, and Silver wanted to flee the room – or kill the both of them, because he could see all too clearly that Pierce had picked up on and joined in Cress’ confounded mischief.
He should have known the prat would not sit still and read quietly for very long. Oh, he longed for the days when he could shove her into a mud puddle…it was awfully tempting to do it anyway. Little sisters were nothing but a pain, honestly.
“Silver, you don’t write me letters anymore, either.”
Oh, the minute they were alone that confounding smirk was coming right off that handsome face. Silver silently cursed his cheeks, which he could feel growing warm. “There is no need, you nitwit. Why are we dredging this up?”
He’d written those letters with the assumption he’d never be found out. If he could just find the damnable things, he would quite cheerfully burn them. Pierce knew it, though, and kept them hidden.
Seymour looked at him, snickering in amusement. “I say, Silver – what did you write? Please tell me I’m not the only one here about to be hideously embarrassed by his beloved.”
His cheeks burned all the hotter to here someone more or less state that Pierce was his beloved. Stubbornly ignoring the look Pierce was giving him, he dropped his eyes resolutely back to the book he’d been reading. “I did not write sonnets if that is what you mean.”
Pierce laughed softly, fondly. “My letters were far more…bold than that.”
Silver’s head shot up. “Pierce!” he snapped, face burning. “That is quite enough.”
Cress laughed, trying and failing to hide her mirth behind her fan. “Darling, you never wrote me amorous letters.”
“Sweet pea,” Seymour said, and Silver was going to knock one or the other upside the head with a bookend if they did not stop trying to drive everyone crazy with the ridiculous endearments. “If I had written you amorous letters and your father or brother had found them, I would either be dead or minus a rather important part of my anatomy.”
“That’s for bloody sure,” Silver muttered, glaring a warning at the man who had better not be taking any liberties with his little sister until he had wedded her and even then Silver would tolerate only because the law said he must. He still thought father had been on to something with the idea of a convent, but mother had set her foot right down on that notion…
Cress laughed. “Dearest, you’re being indelicate.”
“Blossom, you started it,” Seymour replied, and briskly checkmated Pierce. “So you got to write all the fun letters, eh Silver?”
Pierce grinned. “Quite. I remember December 18th with much fondness.”
Silver choked, book tumbling to the floor. He glared at Pierce, who only smiled teasingly back. “If you do not shut up, there will be no December 18th for you for a very long time. Stop siding with my sister!”
“We cannot help but choose the same side,” Pierce said, still smiling in that way that made Silver want to simultaneously smack him and kiss him senseless. “Now that we are firmly caught, we have lost the fine letters which…”
“Set our hearts to pounding fiercely,” Cress said, giggling at the scathing looks the three men cast her. She raised her fan again. “Set something to pounding, anyway.”
“Cress!” All three men bellowed.
Cress dropped her fan and held her sides as she doubled over with laughter.
“This is why I don’t write you anymore letters,” Seymour groused. “The ones I did write are causing enough trouble as is.”
“Agreed,” Silver muttered, bending to retrieve his book.
Pierce chuckled and started setting the chess pieces back in place. “Well, so long as you love me, I suppose I can live without the letters.”
Silver flushed, but dragged his gaze up from his retrieved book to meet the warm eyes looking back at him. “You know very well I do, idiot.”
“Yes, my star, and I you.”
Cress giggled, but at the warning look from her brother settled for blowing Seymour a kiss before at last returning to her book.
Silver looked at the clock and gave it half an hour before she thought up something else to do.