“Aren’t you in the least bit curious about what happened to your real folks?” Joseph pressed on, refusing to let her walk away. She stared straight ahead, her chin up in the air, and her spine so stiff that she had to be in pain. She continued up the stairs in silence, and Joseph followed several steps behind. He couldn’t help but notice the seductive sway of her hips, and the way the bodice of her dress hugged her slender back. Those cumbersome women’s undergarments she wore emphasized her curves, but he’d be willing to bet that she’d look even better without all those unnatural contraptions.
At the top of the stairwell, Joseph took the last two steps in one leap, and reached for her arm again. Apparently she was under the impression that if she ignored him, he would simply go away.
“You can’t run away from this, Sophie,” he said, pulling her to a stop.
She spun to face him fully. “My name is Sophia,” she spat. “I have asked you once to let go of me. If I scream for help, James will call for the constable.”
Joseph grinned. “Is that a threat? Or a dare?” He stepped closer, inhaling the fragrant flowery scent coming from her hair. He couldn’t understand his need to provoke her, but he enjoyed watching her spirited side emerge.