Mother always said charm was a dangerous thing, but I never saw how. When I was younger charming the cook usually meant I would get an extra lump of sugar in my tea, and there was no danger in that.
But now, as I watched a dashing British officer converse with my father, I understood exactly what Mother meant about charm. That officer had my father snared, and I knew that whatever I did nothing would change that.
As my father laughed at some humorous joke the redcoat had shared, he spotted me shuffling at the edge of the field and beckoned me over.
I scowled unpleasantly but obeyed, and walked over as slowly as I could wishing I could wipe that growing smirk off the British man's face. My father noticed my demeanor and sighed, motioning me to walk faster.
I quickened my pace and halted in front of the duo.
"Audrey", my father beamed, "This is my good friend, Lieutenant Colonel Banastre Tarleton."
The officer smiled at me wolfishly, "It's a pleasure to meet you", he said with a little bow.
I curtsied politely but did not return the smile. My father went on blathering about accommodations for the soldiers while I took in the scene around me. Soldiers were unloading trunks and unfolding tents and completely destroying the tranquility that had enveloped our land not an hour ago.
It angered me. This war should not have come here. I glared at the invaders, wishing them away. Then I noticed that my father's new "friend" was leering at me. I blushed, and quickly turned away. I prepared to leave when my father caught my arm.
"Did you not hear me?!" he cried exasperated, "I said to show our guest to his rooms.", he smiled apologetically at Tarleton, and glared at me.
I sputtered angrily at my father, "Can't he find his own rooms?! Our house isn't exactly a maze!"
I flung my arms upwards and stormed to the house. I knew my behavior was childish, but I didn't care. All I could think about was my disturbed peace.
Reaching the heavy wooden door that marked the front entrance to the house; I flung it open and let it slam behind me. Suddenly it occurred to me that I was supposed to be guiding someone. Oops.
I tentatively opened the door to find the Lieutenant Colonel sprawled on the porch, with a red mark printed on his face. Ha! I bit my lip to contain the laugh that threatened to bubble over.
"I apologize sir."I said stiffly, "Are you quite all right?"
He shot up and glared at me (people have a habit of doing that).
"I most certainly am not." he sneered.
I couldn't control it, I giggled. This earned me an even more hateful stare.
"What...is so funny?" he asked dangerously.
The giggle caught in my throat but still I replied, "Quite frankly sir, it's just that a brave British soldier like you is flat on his arse on my front porch. How Britain has an empire with men like you at its helm, I suppose I'll never know."
I bit my tongue, regretting every word I had just uttered. Terrified, I waited for his reply.
To my shock, he laughed. Not just a chuckle, but more like a belly laugh. God, even his laugh was charming. I leaned against the door frame and crossed my arms waiting for him to compose himself.
Finally, he stood and brushed off his sharp uniform, all the while looking at me.
"I believe you are to show me to my room." he said reverting back to his perfect manner.
I sighed and headed indoors. This was going to be a long day.
A/N: So this is my first fic on this site. Reviews would be much appreciated.