A Most Intriguing Governess

Rochester continued to torture the piano as his thoughts turned once again to the damned governess. He had wanted to push her, to test that inner strength that he had seen when she had bewitched his horse. Push her until she broke or survived.

And she had made him smile, damn it. Pulled those muscles around his mouth that he had thought were cold and dead.

"Were you waiting for your people on that lane … for the imps and elves and little green men."

"Sad truth is they are all gone. Your land is neither wild nor savage enough for them."

She had looked him straight in the eye, all seeming seriousness, yet it was a joke, playful and light. And an end to his teasing. And so he had changed the subject to her paintings, wanting evermore to dig.

She had been frightened of him. He had seen her wariness on that lane, confronted with his frightened horse and him in all his anger, and yet even then she had forced him, with no words to speak with a sort of sarcastic semi politeness. And then she had played his game, played his game with 'no tale of woe' and talk of imps, and he had a feeling he had only won because he was master.

She was a witch. There was no other explanation.

He slammed the lid of the piano down and stalked out, grabbing his gun and calling for Pilot on the way.

She was a good governess, he allowed grudgingly. He would have never have thought Adele capable of the improvements she had made, and yet she had. Some witchcraft had to be involved. There was nothing in that head but fluff and dresses.

If only he could understand this governess, this Miss Eyre. Understand why the fieriness she kept hidden pulled at him, demanded he pull it out and let her show it to the world.

Damn it, he had only had one conversation with her! She was neither alluring nor beautiful. She was intelligent, but was limited by her limited experience. She was nothing that he would ever have found attractive, and yet she fascinated him.

He hit a tree. His aim was going off.

Well, at least he would have someone more interesting than Pilot to talk to in this dreary place.