“This is ridiculous.” Alexander shot the earl a murderous look. “Miss Jordan and I would never suit.” His gaze settled on her. “Never.”
Heat rushed to her cheeks and she blurted out, “Mr. Bishop is right. The whole notion is preposterous.” Though he needn’t be quite so adamant about it. For heaven’s sake, you’d think she was a two-headed monster.
Her father smiled and shook his head. “One thing is for certain. You’ll never get to know one another if you can’t dispense with the Miss and Mister. Isn’t that right, Bernard?”
“Miss Jordan and I–”
“Francie,” the earl corrected.
“Francie,”Alexander said through clenched teeth. He was on the verge of losing his temper. She knew it. His eyes narrowed to half-slits, his mouth set in a firm line. And the jagged scar, the telltale sign, grew silver-white. “Francie and I,” he began again, “are not in the least interested in developing a relationship of any kind.” His gaze burned her with the heat of his anger. “Are we, Francie?”
“No, Alexander, we are not in the least interested,” she forced herself to reply.
The earl raised his hands in the air. “Fine. Enough said on that subject. If you can’t be husband and wife, then we’ll have to settle for brother and sister.”
“I agree,” Bernard said. “Brother and sister. That should suit the two of them just fine.” He smiled then, a slow, lazy smile she’d grown accustomed to over the years. He reserved this smile for situations, usually in her studies, when Francie formed one conclusion and the correct answer was the exact opposite. The more impassioned she became while arguing her position, the broader her uncle’s grin.
But this was real life. And she was not interested in one Mr. Alexander Bishop. No matter how broad her uncle’s smile stretched, she was not interested. Most definitely not.