Este fragmento es relativamente largo pero me gustó mucho el momento, la pobre Penelope escucha por accidente como es rechazada por Colin Bridgerton pero saca valor y no deja que la humillación la deje sin palabras. Una de las tantas razones de porqué Penelope es uno de mis personajes favoritos de la serie Bridgerton.
It was a feminine "oh," and without looking up, Benedict somehow knew that he was about to experience one of life's most awkward moments. Heart filled with dread, he lifted his head and turned toward the front door. There, framed perfectly in the open doorway, was Penelope Featherington, her lips parted with shock, her eyes filled with heartbreak.
And in that moment, Benedict realized what he'd probably been too stupid (and stupidly male) to notice: Penelope Featherington was in love with his brother.
Colin cleared his throat. "Penelope," he squeaked, his voice sounding as if he'd regressed ten years and gone straight back to puberty, "uh... good to see you." He looked to his brothers to leap in and save him, but neither chose to intervene.
Benedict winced. It was one of those moments that simply could not be saved.
"I didn't know you were there," Colin said lamely.
"Obviously not," Penelope said, but her words lacked an edge.
Colin swallowed painfully. "Were you visiting Eloise?"
She nodded. "I was invited."
"I'm sure you were!" he said quickly. "Of course you were. You're a great friend of the family."
Silence. Horrible, awkward silence.
"As if you would come uninvited," Colin mumbled.
Penelope said nothing. She tried to smile, but she obviously couldn't quite manage it. Finally, just when Benedict thought she would brush by them all and flee down the street, she looked straight at Colin and said, "I never asked you to marry me."
Colin's cheeks turned a deeper red than Benedict would have thought humanly possible. Colin opened his mouth, but no sound came out.
It was the first—and quite possibly would be the only—moment of Benedict's recollection for which his younger brother was at a complete loss for words.
"And I never—" Penelope added, swallowing convulsively when the words came out a bit tortured and broken.
"I never said to anyone that I wanted you to ask me."
"Penelope," Colin finally managed, "I'm so sorry."
"You have nothing to apologize for," she said.
"No," Colin insisted, "I do. I hurt your feelings, and—"
"You didn't know I was there."
Benedict had been trying not to look, but he snapped to attention at that.
"It doesn't hurt his feeling when I announce that I am not going to marry him." She turned to Benedict, her brown eyes focusing on his.
"Does it, Mr. Bridgerton?"
"Of course not," Benedict answered quickly.
"It's settled, then," she said tightly. "No feelings were hurt. Now then, if you will excuse me, gentlemen, I should like to go home."