He had broken every promise he had ever made her.... And her heart with them! A reckless promise, made in the glow of first love, now bound Lord Sebastian Benbury to the Lady Beatrice. But though her beauty still stirred his inner fires, nothing could burn away the far-off memory of her with another man! I do not hate you, he said. Liar, she said softly. Her mouth trembled as though she might start crying, but her eyes were cold, colder than he had ever seen them. Their chill bit through him. I do not hate you, he said again. He was angry with her, angrier than he had yet been, and he did not know why. I despise you. The words hung in the air - he could not snatch them back. She caught her breath and then nodded. So. She opened her hand, and rose petals fell to the ground like snow. We are good company after all. You cannot despise me as much as I despise myself. Beatrice. He had not meant to say he despised her. That was too simple a name for what he felt!
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