He remembered everything about the first time he saw her.
The way that those wisps of summery blonde hair framed her face, the way her lips moved when she spoke, the way she lifted her dress so the hem wouldn't touch the ground and get muddy.
"Come on, Blake, she'll see us."
It was Marcy tugging at his elbow, urging him to leave. She was small and sharp, and he knew that she had a thing for him. All throughout the summer, they had been flirting in that sort of, maybe, possibly way that fifteen year olds were prone to do, but he knew it was over in that moment.
"Oh, is that Cecilia Winchester?" Brinson came forward at this point. Recently, he had gotten the notion that being cool meant talking in a drawl that made one sound as bored as humanly possible, but even he couldn't temper his excitement in that moment. He clutched the bars of the fence and peered in curiously. "She's the same age as us, isn't she? Is she back from boarding school?"
It was Cecilia, and she was the same age as them. They all knew, even though neither Blake nor Brinson had ever seen her in person, and Marcy had only talked to her once.
"Come on, we better get going before she sees us," Marcy said warily, already turning to leave. She gave another tug at Blake's elbow, but the effort was futile.
Marcy wasn't stupid, though. Her eyes swept over Blake's face, and she saw the way that he was looking at Cecilia. "Don't be stupid, Blake, that girl is not for you."
It wasn't even jealousy that prompted her to say that. No, their flirtation that summer was as meaningless to the both of them as it was fleeting. Marcy was simply stating the facts.
Cecilia Winchester was not for him.
She would never be for him.
"Yeah, we better go man," Brinson sounded a bit nervous now. "We're not supposed to be near the fence after ten."
"She's not going to see us," Blake said, brushing off their concerns. The truth was, the moment he saw her, the feeling had hit him like a freight train. He knew he wasn't supposed to be near the fence at this hour, but he had to look at her for just a little bit longer.
Cecilia's steps were getting closer and closer. In the darkness, she couldn't see them, but if she walked any nearer...
"I'm leaving," Marcy hissed, deciding to go once and for all. "I don't want my ass on the line when she tattles to old man Winchester. Goodness knows, mum would kill me."
"Yeah Blake, you'll get in trouble," Brinson said, his voice already fading as he slid away from the fence, towards the safety of the shadows cast by the oak trees nearby. They were both leaving, but even as they disappeared from his sight, Blake stayed, still mesmerized.
It was then that Cecilia Winchester saw him.
At first, she simply squinted, but as soon as she saw that he was really on the other side of the fence, she bundled up the bottom of her dress in one hand and marched toward him with gusto.
Blake knew that he should run. For all he knew about Cecilia, she probably had no idea who he was, and if he left now, he could still leave without her ever knowing who he was and telling on him. But he stood, paralyzed to the spot, unable to even lift a finger.
"What do you think you are doing?" Cecilia asked haughtily as soon as she was within earshot of the fence. She kept marching until she was only a foot away, and he could see the flashing annoyance in her eyes as she surveyed him. "Don't you know you're not suppose to come this close to the house after sundown? Who are you?"
Her demands left him winded. That feeling of elation that he experienced when he first saw her was quickly dying down. The way that she was looking at him...that haughtiness in her eyes...it quickly deflated the infatuation that had bubbled within him.
Blake gave her one more glance. He took in her neatly braided hair, her upturned nose, and the dress that she was wearing. His family could scrape together all their money and sell their pots and pans, and still they'd never be able to afford a scrap of the material.
"What, you don't understand me or something?" Cecilia demanded when he didn't answer. "I said, don't you know you're not suppose to come this close to the fence at this hour?"
Blake felt his jaw tighten. She was beautiful, all right, but she was just as callous and cold-hearted as the rest of them. Just like the children of the last family his father had worked for. They could laugh together, play together, and grow up together, and still they would treat the help like garbage.
Thank goodness, because that meant whatever he thought about her when he first saw her was going to fade quickly.
They both knew what he was doing here. He was clearly trying to jump the fence-that demarcation between the Winchesters and their help. They were at a part of the barrier where the tree branches entangled in the metal bars made it almost easy to climb up and flip over so one could land on the other side. There was also an old telephone booth nearby. A step on this branch, a step against the telephone booth, then this next branch, and voilà! Easily scalable.
Blake opened his mouth to answer her. Sorry, I forgot I wasn't supposed to be here...No, you're absolutely right, I shouldn't have been anywhere near here, I'll be sure to remember that next time, Miss Winchester.
But then he looked at her again, and feeling the wave of bitter disappointment that someone who looked as ethereally beautiful as she did was really just snobby and horrible, said instead:
"Oh, who gives a fuck?"
The words just tumbled out, and as soon as they were out of his mouth, something strange happened.
Cecilia Winchester's entire expression changed. She lost that haughty expression, her eyes lit up, and she burst out laughing, doubling over as Blake stared at her in wonder.
When she finally got up again, she looked at him, her eyes still sparkling, and said, "Oh, that was bold."
She was grinning so happily at him that he wondered for a second if she was still the same girl who told him off just minutes ago.
Blake, who was in quite a state of confusion as to what exactly was going on, could only tilt his head and frown.
Cecilia wasn't deterred. "I haven't seen you before. You must be the new groundskeeper's son, aren't you? Peter Griffin's son?"
Her tone was entirely different. She seemed eager and enthusiastic. Her eyes lit up with curiosity and there was a light smile tugging at her lips.
Blake couldn't quite find the words to respond. In his moment of hot-headedness, he thought he had said enough to warrant getting his family kicked off the grounds. He thought he had said enough for Cecilia to go back and tattle to her father, and then they would be packing their bags for good. He was surprised she even knew his father's name.
"Er...yeah, I am," he said uncertainly.
"Well, I'm Cecilia," she said brightly, sticking out her arm in between the bars to reach out for his hand.
He took her hand uncertainly. "Blake," he said with a nervous laugh. "Blake Griffin."
She gave him an enigmatic look and a sideways smile, then she peered up towards where the fence curved at the top, which made the climbing extra hard. "So how exactly do you scale this thing?"
Blake briefly wondered if this was a trick, but he decided that there was nothing to do but to answer her.
"The telephone booth helps," he explained, nodding his head towards it. "You clutch on to the booth here, and here," he gestured towards the grooves on the booth, "and then you can put your foot here, and it's pretty easy."
His voice trailed off towards the end, because he had turned towards Cecilia, and the question of whether or not she was going to report him ran through his head for the umpteenth time.
But Cecilia wasn't looking at him. Her eyes, now full of curiosity, followed the path he had just traced over the telephone booth to jump the fence.
"It's easier than that," she said, turning back towards him.
"Huh?" Blake could only stare at her, completely taken aback. He had no idea what she was referring too.
"It's easier," Cecilia replied, and instead of elaborating any further, she bunched up her dress in one hand, pulling the white, satiny material up to her knees until her calves were showing.
For a second, Blake tried hard to avert his eyes. But the next second, Cecilia was no longer on the ground. She was scaling the fence.
He was so shocked that he had to blink a couple of times to make sure that this was real. Cecilia Winchester, the eldest daughter of the renowned and respected Winchester family, was scaling the fence like a practiced delinquent.
"There," she said with an elegant landing far better than anything Blake himself had ever achieved. She dusted off her hands and grinned at his stunned expression. "See, you don't really have to use the telephone booth at all."
Blake gaped. "What...how…?" He had always envisioned her to be some dainty girl who learned how to walk and eat properly at boarding school and then came back to spend her summers lolling indoors.
Cecilia shook her head. "Nuh-uh," she said, smiling. "A lady's got to have some secrets. But what are you trying to climb inside for anyways?" she asked, giving an apathetic shrug towards the large mansion where her family resided. "Everything interesting is out here."
He wondered if that's how she learned how to scale the fence in the first place. The Winchesters prohibited their help from coming inside the fence at night, and they forbid their children from going outside as well. The outside must have held as much fascination for her as the inside did for him.
"There's not much out here," he said sheepishly. "But your cousins sometimes leave things out in your gardens...things like rackets, tennis balls, or books."
Cecilia's cousins often stayed for weeks at a time at their estate. They were bratty, forgetful little things at the brink of adolescence, and Cecilia's parents showered them with gifts every time they visited. The gifts would intrigue them for an afternoon, and once the novelty wore off, they would discard them on garden benches here and there.
"You know how to read?" Cecilia asked, quirking her head.
It wasn't a malicious question, but Blake felt his face turn read. His father didn't know how to read, but he had taught himself, mostly by stealing the cousins' books over the years.
"Sometimes I read," he said, shrugging, "When they leave good books out."
He didn't look her in the eye, but he could see that she was looking at him curiously. Finally, after a long moment of silence, Cecilia quipped, "I propose a tradeoff."
"Huh?" Blake asked, turning his head to look at her. He had no idea what she was talking about.
"I'll bring you a book to read, and you teach me how to make one of those whistles your father has," she said. "You know, the one he uses to call the dogs in? He said you made it for him?"
And that was that. Blake could hardly believe he was getting such a good deal. He was hungry for books, a luxury that his parents couldn't afford, and to carve a stupid little whistle out of some reed was easy.
The next day, they met at the same time, same spot. He spent a good fifteen minutes teaching her how to carve a whistle, and she handed him Gulliver's Travels.
He didn't see her for another two weeks, at which point he ran into her one afternoon while she was sitting outside under a white parasol, another book in her hands, and he was helping his father de-weed the Winchesters' gardens.
Blake didn't dare stop by and say hi, but as he moved to work on the flowerbed next to where she was sitting, Cecilia turned towards him.
"Have you finished the book?" she asked.
He looked at her, and his breath caught. "I haven't," he managed to get out. "I'm one chapter away. I'll give it back to you as soon as I'm done."
"Okay," Cecilia nodded. She shut the book in her hands neatly and he saw the title - The Tempest - and was instantly curious. She saw him look, and leaned forward, putting her elbows on her knees. He caught a whiff of her scent, it was sweet and mesmerizing and he knew that he was in trouble, but he couldn't do anything to stop it.
"Tell you what," Cecilia was smiling again, her dimples more pronounced than ever. "I'll lend you this, if you tell me how to tell if a mushroom is poisonous or not."
Blake smiled back and agreed, and that's how it went for the rest of the summer.
As the weeks went on, he began finishing books at much faster rates, if only just to see her sooner. And as the weeks went on, Cecilia would request things that took up more and more time. Teach me how to play football, show me the best path to the top of the hill, let's climb the highest tree on the grounds, she'd say.
"What's the deal with you and Cecilia Winchester?" Marcy asked shrewdly at the end of the summer when they were both at the servants' quarters, the day before Cecilia was due to leave for school.
Blake's heart sped up, and he turned towards her warily. "What do you mean?" he asked. "Nothing's the deal. She's Cecilia Winchester."
Marcy rolled her eyes. "Oh, come on, everybody's noticed," she said. Then, when he didn't say anything in response, she replied. "You be careful, Blake. She's going to go back to boarding school and meet some scion of another rich family…"
She went on, but he couldn't hear the rest of what she said.
He knew that Marcy was only telling him the truth. He knew he should've been smarter than to get close to a girl like Cecilia, but he couldn't help it.
Cecilia left the next day, and he knew he wouldn't see her for another year. By that time, her parents might have already planned out her engagement to someone they thought suited her best, and she would forget all about him.
He still hadn't returned the last book she had lent him - The Count of Monte Cristo - and in his frustration, he read that book a good three times before he got the first letter from her.
It had only one line.
I wish you had come and said goodbye.
It was only one line, but he read it many, many times over until he had the way that her o's looped memorized. He knew the smart thing to do was to ignore it, but he didn't, and for the next year, they wrote each other. One line, two lines, half a page, three pages...she told him about her classes and he wrote about happenings back at her family grounds. She wrote about discovering a new passageway to the kitchens, and he wrote about how her cousins let the canaries loose in the gardens.
The letters got longer and longer, and the days that he spent waiting for each new one was torture.
Cecilia listed out all the books she thought he would enjoy. Dracula, Anna Karenina, A Tale of Two Cities, the Importance of Being Earnest...some of which he had heard of, some of which he had not.
He waited a year to see her again, and when the day finally came, just the sound of the horses bringing her carriage back made it impossible for him to focus on anything else.
That next summer, they spent all their free time with one another. When he didn't have to work, and when Cecilia didn't have her tutoring sessions, they would climb trees and discuss books.
Marcy and Brinson gave him weird looks every now and then, but they didn't say anything, and Blake could easily brush it off. He knew that by this time, everyone had noticed. If they were both children, perhaps it wouldn't have elicited so many whispers, but they weren't children anymore.
He was working on planting tulips on the side of the mansion one day when he heard Cecilia and her father arguing.
"...awfully close to that Griffin boy," old man Winchester said, his voice stern.
Blake froze, and he listened as Cecilia stamped her foot petulantly.
"We get along," she retorted.
"You should hang out with someone with more class," her father replied coolly. "The Winslows are visiting next weekend. Their boy is starting at Oxford in the fall."
"I think Blake has plenty of class, and I've no interest in Harvey Winslow," Cecilia complained, and Blake could almost picture her rolling her eyes. "He's a total bore."
"Now Cecilia…" her father's voice carried a warning tone, and Blake didn't dare stand there and listen to any more of the conversation than he had already heard. He quietly withdrew from the area as quickly as he could, feeling unnaturally agitated.
The next day, when he saw Cecilia again, he could tell that the conversation with her father was still on her mind. She was frowning slightly as she marched towards him, a book in her hand, and even though she tried to smile when she saw him, he saw how clouded her eyes were.
"Here," she said, handing him the book without much more of a forward.
Blake looked down. It was a new edition of The Three Musketeers by Alexandre Dumas, and he looked at her in confusion. "It's new," he said.
"It's a present," Cecilia said, pressing the book towards him insistently. "A birthday present."
He was taken aback. "How do you know when my birthday is?"
"I asked your father," she replied.
"Ce…" he began, not sure whether or not to take the book. "Wow, this is...my birthday's not for another week though."
He wished he didn't say that though, because when he looked up again, Cecilia looked close to tears.
"I know," she said, her voice quivering. "But father wants me to go back to boarding school early this year, so I'm giving it to you early."
His heart sank, but he knew exactly why she had to leave. "Oh," he said, and that was all he could muster. "Oh."
Cecilia was frowning. "Hey Blake?" she asked. "Are you applying to university next year?"
He was a bit surprised that she asked. For most of his life, he had assumed he would follow in his father's footsteps as a groundskeeper, but lately, university was an option that had crossed his mind but that he didn't dare say aloud.
"I don't know," he shrugged. "Why do you ask?"
"You should consider it," Cecilia said. "You're so smart. Maybe Oxford or Cambridge?"
He couldn't believe what she was saying. "There's no way I'd get in," he said, shaking his head.
But Cecilia shook her head back at him. "I wouldn't brush it off," she replied.
He did apply, and to his utter surprise, Oxford accepted him.
His parents were beyond ecstatic. He was the first person in his family to ever get into college. And Oxford! That was where all the privileged kids went.
Marcy and Brinson congratulated him and gave him smirks when they found out. After all, Oxford was where Cecilia was going. Blake couldn't tell her the news in person, so he wrote her instead. Cecilia wrote back five pages, and even though he couldn't see her, he knew that she was beaming the entire time she wrote the letter.
They left for Oxford together the next summer. The Winchesters supplied a carriage for the two of them. It was to be a three hour journey, and the entire night before, Blake couldn't sleep. Just him and Cecilia alone together for the entire ride.
Her dad thought more highly of him now that he had gotten into Oxford. Certainly, he was no aristocrat, but he had gotten in based on merits alone, which was more than he could say for the children of many of the Winchesters' friends.
But then, right as their parents were sending them off, right as Blake's mum was waving a teary goodbye, Cecilia's father leaned in and spoke.
"Winslow told me his son Harvey would be looking for you," he said. "I told him you were attending."
Cecilia had frowned, and Blake had said nothing, but all thoughts of maybe reaching for her hand during the journey to Oxford had vanished from his mind.
She was not for him, and no matter how much he had risen in her father's mind, he was still beneath them.
Cecilia, in her excitement, carried the conversation for much of the first half of the journey. Finally, at about an hour in, she tired of Blake's sullen mood.
"Oh come off it," she said, crossing her arms and frowning at him. "What's wrong?"
Blake looked at her. It had been three years since he met her, three years and he was still stupid enough to keep on hoping.
"Nothing," he muttered, turning towards the window. Then, just because he couldn't help it, he said, "I bet Harvey Winslow's waiting at the entrance for you."
It had sounded so bitter and so petty that as soon as the words were out of his mouth, he felt ashamed of himself.
Cecilia glared at him. For a long, long moment, she said nothing. When she finally spoke, he knew how displeased she was.
"Don't do that," she told him.
"Do what?" he pretended not to know.
Cecilia glared at him, but it was to no avail. The journey he had been so looking forward to was now ruined for the both of them.
Harvey Winslow was indeed waiting for them when they arrived. He was wealthy and handsome, and he immediately came forward to help with Cecilia's bags. When Blake stepped out of the carriage, Harvey turned towards him with a frown.
"Who is he?" he asked, looking at Blake but instead asking Cecilia as though Blake wasn't there.
Blake felt a twinge of annoyance. "I'm-
"Excuse me," Harvey cut him off without much of a second glance. "Cecilia?" he waited for her to explain instead.
Blake felt the anger rise up in his stomach, but he bit back his tongue. He knew, with the way he dressed, that he looked like the help. And he knew too that he couldn't snap back at someone like Harvey Winslow without consequences. Consequences that he couldn't afford.
So instead, he stood there, feeling stupid and waiting for Cecilia to explain their relationship. Blake is the son of our groundskeeper. He's part of the help at home.
He stood silent, and waited, and all the while Cecilia looked at him with curious eyes. She never said anything of the sort. Instead, she turned towards Harvey, who was still waiting haughtily with arms crossed and feet apart in what he obviously thought was a dominant stance.
"Blake is my friend from home," she said instead.
Her words left Blake standing there, his heart pounding. Stupid, stupid, stupid. Cecilia was not for him. But no matter how much he told himself that, his heartbeat remained erratic.
He wished she had said he was part of the help instead.
All throughout university, people commented on what a great match Cecilia and Harvey would be. The Winslows were very wealthy, perhaps even wealthier than the Winchesters. It would be a perfect match. A Winslow-Winchester wedding.
The more Blake thought about it, the more bitter he felt. He could tell himself over and over again that she would never be his, but he just couldn't seem to bring his heart to accept the fact. And so as the years passed, he tried his best to distance himself from her.
He could see how much it upset Cecilia, but he had to do it for both their sakes. He had to do it before he went ahead and did something stupidly irreparable. He had to step away and just wait for the day that Cecilia and Harvey would get together.
But Cecilia and Harvey never got together. At least, not in the first two years.
It wasn't till the beginning of third year that something actually happened.
It was after one of their casual autumn parties when, in a rare moment, Blake found himself alone with Cecilia. They were both at the dining room table, and for some reason, everyone else had left.
Cecilia seemed to realize the fact the same time that he did.
Blake could see the red wine on the table in front of them. They had both been drinking, perhaps a little too much, and Cecilia broke the silence first.
"Tell me something about yourself," she said, her eyes suddenly very intense. She looked distinctly unhappy, although for the life of him, he couldn't fathom why.
He managed to unglue his tongue from the roof of his mouth after a few moments. "I'm afraid of heights," he said uncertainly.
Cecilia laughed, but there was no joy in her laughter. She put her palm on the table, flat against the wood. Her fingers quivered. When she turned back to look at him again, the forced smile had slid off her face.
"Come on, Blake," she said, and he could clearly tell just how upset she was. "A good one. A better one. One you wouldn't tell me normally."
He stared at her, wondering if he should just brush her off and tell her to go to bed instead. They were both tipsy, and it wasn't okay. It wasn't okay that even when he left the Winchester Estate, he couldn't escape her. It wasn't okay that she was always around, because Cecilia Winchester was not meant for him.
"I think about you, every night, before I go to sleep," he said.
He didn't know where those words had come from, and neither, it seemed, did Cecilia. Her eyes widened, her lips parted, and for a long time, she was lost for words.
It was beyond inappropriate. It was an admission he would have never made sober, would have never uttered during the daylight hours. Blake didn't know what had happened, because even for him, that had come out of nowhere.
He wondered if she would file a restraining order against him. He wondered if her father was going to come to Oxford the next day with one of his famous shotguns and use him as target practice. He didn't know whether or not he had botched things up with Cecilia forever.
But Cecilia surprised him once again.
"I am so tired of sitting here, waiting for you to make a move," she said, her voice barely above a whisper. Her fingers quivered on the table.
Blake stared at her, and Cecilia stared right back.
He had this crazy urge to kiss her. To put his hands around her waist and tug her close. To press his lips against hers.
His heart pounded, and Cecilia waited, eyes wide, holding her breath.
The seconds ticked by, and neither of them moved.
"It's late Ce," he said instead, moving back so that the intoxicating feeling he got from being this close to her would abate slightly. "Let's go back to our rooms."
Cecilia's mouth was agape. For a moment, she could only look at him in surprise and wonder. Then her expression hardened.
"Fine," she said, her jaw clenched.
And that was how the night ended.
Cecilia didn't speak to him again for months. It was uncharacteristic of her to be this unreasonable, and try as he might, he could not fix it.
The next thing he knew, his fellow students were whispering in the halls of Oxford. Did you hear? Cecilia and Harvey, finally got together. Mind you, that took forever.
And it was true. And suddenly Blake couldn't see one of them without the other. He couldn't turn a corner without someone whispering about what a great couple Cecilia and Harvey made. What a fantastic party the Winslow-Winchester wedding would be.
Harvey Winslow would propose on graduation day.
By the end of the year, Blake knew that. Everyone knew that. He was pretty sure Cecilia knew that as well. It wasn't as if Harvey made his plans much of a secret.
Blake hadn't spoken to Cecilia all year besides the occasional nod if they happened to pass one another in the hallways. He hated it. He hated the way they were. He hated the fact that Harvey would propose soon.
He didn't know what drove him to do it, but on the last day of classes, he caught up with her outside of her Literature class.
"Blake!" Cecilia exclaimed in surprise as she saw him marching up to her. He knew she wasn't expecting him. They didn't seek each other out the way they used to anymore.
He wasted no time.
"I should have told you this a long time ago," he began.
She looked at him in confusion. "What are you…
"I'm in love with you," he told her, the words surprisingly easy to say. Cecilia froze, staring at him, paralyzed to the spot. He continued. "I'm in love with you. I should have told you six years ago, that summer when you first showed me how gracefully you could jump over the fence. Don't marry Harvey."
For a good minute, she stood frozen, eyes wide in incredulousness. So Blake went on.
"I know it's perfectly unreasonable of me to say something like this, but the truth is-
"Cecilia!" he was cut off from his speech by another call.
Blake looked up, past Cecilia's shoulder. Harvey Winslow was just around the corner, frowning at him.
"Cecilia, honey, let's go," Harvey waved impatiently.
Cecilia turned to look at him. Then she turned back to Blake. He waited, holding his breath.
"I have to go," she said instead, her voice quavering.
And she left.
Harvey Winslow did indeed propose on graduation day. He made a real show of it too, dressed in his best suit, holding a ridiculously large bouquet of the most expensive flowers in London.
The whole crowd of students had surrounded them. Girls giggled and shrieked in excitement, while guys smirked and gave whooping jeers in jest.
Blake watched too, the only one there not smiling. The only one there not excited at the prospect of a Winslow-Winchester wedding.
He waited for her to say yes, waited for her to stamp out the last bit of hope he was holding out for. At least this way, it could finally be over.
But Cecilia Winchester never did what he expected her to.
"No," she answered, her voice crisp and clear.
The crowd gasped in collective shock, and Blake couldn't believe what he was hearing.
Harvey seemed the most taken aback out of everyone. "But we're such a good match!" he replied, shocked.
"But I don't love you," Cecilia said. She wasn't vicious, just clearly stating a fact. "And in the end, that's all that really matters, isn't it?"
That was all Blake needed to hear. He left the scene, not wanting or needing to see the rest of it played out.
Right before sundown that day, Cecilia found him.
She had just turned the corner, and he knew that she was looking for him just as he was looking for her. They didn't even need to say anything to one another.
As they walked towards one another, he could tell that she was trembling. She looked more vulnerable than he had ever seen her, more vulnerable than even that drunken night at the beginning of third year.
But she was also beaming.
"It never works out," Blake said, one last perfunctory attempt that they both knew he didn't really mean. "Two people who were never meant to be...they never work out. Just look at Romeo and Juliet. Tristan and Isolde…"
He was about to name more doomed couples, but the way she was staring at him made it very hard for him to think.
She was smiling at him. A lopsided, one-dimpled smile.
He couldn't help grinning back.
"Your father's going to be furious, you know," he said, taking a step forward. They were only a couple of feet apart now. "Marcy, Brinson, your cousins...they'll give us so much crap." He took another step forward. They were only inches apart. If she tilted her head up, and he leaned over just slightly… "People are going to gossip about this for ages."
Cecelia only smiled. And then she tilted her head up, angling her lips toward his ear.
"Oh, who gives a fuck?"