Sophie followed her aunt up the stone stairs to the entrance of the American Embassy the following Friday. The building was crowded with members of the ton, curious, perhaps, to meet their first American. Rumors and whispers had abounded for weeks that the savage people simply didn’t know how to dress. With, of course, the exception of the elegant Mr. Jefferson.
Would there be men in leather outfits? Indians in full regalia?
As she shook hands with the American Ambassador, an ordinary looking man in proper English dress, she realized she’d have to provide her own drama for the evening. She immediately began scanning the room for Jonathan.
“Who are you looking for?” her aunt Beatrice asked, leading her toward the cloak room.
They deposited their overgarments with the maids and returned to the main ballroom.
“Someone I thought would be here.” Sophie hoped her aunt wouldn’t pry.
“Who? You don’t know anyone in London.” Beatrice snapped her fan open. “I hope you’re not thinking of dancing with that man I had to kick out of the house a few weeks ago.”
“Jonathan is a peer. Why can’t I dance with him. He’s perfectly respectable.”
Beatrice tilted her head. “I seem to recall a rumor. Something about a marriage that had to be called off. A second family in Jamaica, I believe.” She collapsed her fan and tapped it on her forearm. “I don’t think he’s suitable at all, Sophie.”
“Will you give me a chance to disprove that theory?” Jonathan stepped from behind some foliage at the edge of the ballroom. “I can guarantee you I don’t have a second family in Jamaica.”
“Hrumph,” Beatrice muttered.
“Is your dance card open for the quadrille?” Jonathan asked Sophie.
Her heart fluttered when she looked into his blue eyes. Dressed in a deep blue cutaway coat and pale blue breeches, Jonathan looked every inch the peer of the realm he was.
Would Jane let her dance with him? Sophie shook her head. Enough of this thinking about Jane. She’d only dreamed the encounter in New York City, hadn’t she?
But she’d never been in the Americas. How would she know what it looked like?
“Two dances only,” Beatrice announced. “Then she must meet other, more eligible, young men.”
“I see I shall have to work hard to change your mind of me,” Jonathan said, holding out his arm to Sophie.