By Emery Lee

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The beleaguered Charles, wishing the world completely devoid of womankind, vowed to return as promptly as possible. Their excuses made, Charlotte and Charles then slipped away to the paddocks. Mortified at the thought of dancing with her brother, Beatrix renewed her hunt for the officer she had selected to lead her out for the first dance, but he was nowhere in sight. Surely he was even now seeking her in the crowds. She had worn her very best silk gown in shades of yellow and gold to match her hair, but perhaps she hadn't made herself conspicuous enough.

Indeed. Indeed. " The comte flinched at Sir Garfield's appalling French and responded, "Mais oui, I was most insistent to speak with the owner of this cheval magnifique, who claims such victory. " "Just so," Lord Gower agreed. " He eyed Robert curiously. Sir Garfield flushed, but Devington interceded, saving them both from disgrace. "Devington. Robert Devington," he offered with a deferential bow, thankful for having once aped Charles's lessons in etiquette and gentlemanly comportment. The gentlemen's reciprocal nods affirmed that his efforts had passed muster, but his bravado wavered when his lordship prodded further.

His second worry, if he made the weight, was that this race was sanctioned only for gentlemen jockeys. Although Robert had jockeyed in races for nearly eight years, these events had allowed grooms and hired riders. This was not such a race. He approached the weighing station with pounding heart. " inquired the clerk of the scales. "Wall…," he began but hesitated. Charles might very well be known to these gents. Much better to take his chances with the truth. "Name," the clerk repeated. "Devington.

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The Highest Stakes by Emery Lee

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