Zach rushed out of the theatre and into the lobby. No sign of Lady Sophie. Looking out the door, he spied her getting into a hansom cab. The cabbie had taken her hand and was helping her into the coach.
He pushed the heavy glass door open and ran forward. “My lady, wait!”
Lady Sophie turned around, her face flushing a lovely raspberry color. She arched her eyebrows.
“If I may have a moment?” he said.
“I’m sorry. I am getting ready to leave for the Brighton estate, as you can see.”
“Yes, yes.” He turned to the cabbie. “You may go on. I’ll arrange for Lady Sophie’s transport in a few moments.”
“Yes, sir.” The cabbie tipped his hat.
“Mr. Newland”—Sophie cleared her throat gently—“what is this about? This is highly irregular, not to mention improper.”
“Yes, my lady, and I offer you my apologies. However, I could not let you leave without telling you how thoroughly I enjoyed your audition. I would like to offer you a leading role in the new musicale.”
“How are you able to offer me anything? You haven’t heard the other auditions yet.”
“I am familiar with all of the other actors and actresses who will be auditioning today. I know their voices. None of them can come close to you, my lady.”
Sophie fidgeted with her reticule. “I’m afraid, Mr. Newland, that I will be unable to accept a role in the production.”
What? Not able to accept? Did this woman have any idea of the talent she possessed?
Her pink lips trembled ever so slightly, and her cheeks deepened from raspberry to aubergine. Zach gulped, his pulse quickening. Had anyone kissed those lips? How they beckoned him. Sophie was of average height, coming up to his chest. He again eyed her dazzling blond hair swept up tight with only a few wispy curls free. How might it look flowing freely over her milky-white shoulders? Over her pert breasts?
“If you would be so kind, Mr. Newland…”
Zach stood, mouth agape. She had said something after his name, but he had heard no words. Only that voice, that voice from an angel, swirled around his head. He could not get enough of it. Still those rosy lips trembled, calling to him.
He couldn’t help himself. He gripped her shoulders, lowered his head, and pressed his lips to hers.