“So, you want to see your future?”
The fortune teller wasn’t what at all what Amanda had expected. To begin with she’d expected the fortune teller to be a woman, not the young man seated before her. When she and her friends had snuck out of the townhouse to attend the séance in the bohemian part of town, she’d thought it would be a lark. Now seated across from a dark-eyed, young man of indeterminate birth, she was less confident.
He had the dark, with the handsomeness of Lord Byron – and she’d guess that he was just as dangerous to know. She felt quite silly asking him her real question, the one she thought all the women would be asking, but it was her opportunity to ask. She managed to stutter her question, keeping her eyes trained on the table, not wanting to see his reaction to her question.
“Give me your hand,” He said across the table.
She stretched her arm out and felt his warm fingers close lightly on her wrist. He turned her arm, so her hand was palm up. He traced his fingers over her wrist. Amanda fought back a shiver. The touch was intensely intimate to her.
She wouldn’t have thought something like the soft brush of anyone’s fingers on something as commonplace as her wrist would awaken such feelings. When he traced the lines in her palm, she did shiver.
He raised his gaze from the lines in her palm to meet her eyes. Amanda stared into the dark depths of his gaze. She’d never felt anyone had paid attention to her so deeply. She almost believed this man could see her very soul, not only her future. She bit her lip, as he continued to stroke her palm with his thumb.
“You will meet your future husband at Lady Ward’s ball,” he said. His finger burned across her palm, “this line,” he nodded at her palm, but never dropped his gaze from hers, “tells me that you have deep, hidden passions.”
Amanda felt the blush flood her face. She’d never imagined that something as simple as fingers on her palm could elicit such a response from her. Each soft brush of his fingers over her wrist and palm set her aflame with desire. Maybe he really could read palms and is correct in saying I have hidden passions, she thought, shifting in her seat. She tried to laugh, to brush off his claim, but instead, she said, “Oh you’d be shocked by my desires.” And then bit lip as his fingers tightened around her wrist and she imagined his strong hands pinning her wrists above her head as he lay atop her.
He raised an eyebrow and he smiled – almost daring her to speak. “Oh?”
Amanda cursed her sudden boldness but took a deep breath and leaned closer to him, telling him in shocking detail about her deepest, filthiest desires.
The fortune teller’s smile widened. “So, you already know this meaning of this line” his fingertip traced one of the blue veins in her wrist.
She sat back in her seat, “Oh?” Her reply, she hoped, echoed his own daring tone.
His fingers had taken on a stroking motion, one that she found was both soothing and sensual. “You have revealed far more than any line or vein could.” He met her eyes again, almost daring her to tell him more, to challenge him further.
But this time, she found herself embarrassed at having been so bold, at having told this stranger such filthy fantasies.
When she remained silent, he released her hand, laying it on the table top. Amanda drew a silver coin from her reticule. When he made no motion to take the coin, she took his hand, and ran her own fingers over his palm and set the silver coin in the center.
The next evening, at the Ward’s Ball, the hostess introduced Amanda to her visiting nephew and Amanda found herself face to face with the fortune teller.