Swallowing, she asked the question that had caused her agony these two years gone. “Why did you stop writing?”
Again a flicker of something in his eyes. “I thought it best.”
“Did you?” Pain she’d thought buried crashed through her. It had hurt, so badly, when he’d stopped writing. Though she’d never wanted to admit it, she’d known it was because of those missteps she took, the idiotic troubles she’d gotten herself in, and now it would cost her his friendship. Even a return to London, a hope to begin anew, wouldn’t change it if he were ashamed of her.
She focused on the least painful. “Did you know how fiendish boring it was without you? Without your word of home and your briefs and what you were experiencing at the Old Bailey?”
He crossed his arms. “Apparently, you decided scandal was a judicious use of your time.”
She flinched. She hated that she was known for scandal, that boredom and circumstance pushed her to folly. Well, she would not let him see how his words affected her.
Squaring her shoulders, she lifted her chin. “I cannot undo what has been done, Thomas. I should never have agreed to those engagements, or any of the other hundred missteps I’ve made. But I…I had hoped—That is, I thought you might understand.” Breath shuddered through her. “Were you ashamed? That you knew me?”
“Nic, no.” Striding forward, he made as if he wanted to take her hands in his. “I was never ashamed of you.”