The rain was just beginning to fall lightly as the parishioners began to file out of the small church in Kympton. Each took a moment to comment on Mr. Dobney’s sermon and to congratulate him on his upcoming marriage.
Lucy remained in her spot, watching the man she would soon call husband. She had seen him greet people as if he had always known them for as long as she could remember. He was soft-spoken and welcoming. Even as children, he had been the one to which the others had looked to for guidance, and he had provided it without ever making one of them feel as if they were lacking in any way.
She smiled as he leaned his tall frame down to speak close to Mrs. Walcroft’s ear. Others might have raised their voice to speak to the woman, but he never did. He was so cautious to not injure the dignity of others. She had always admired that about him; though, not all had found the trait admirable. In fact, there were those who thought it a weakness and would tease Philip relentlessly.
It was not the only thing about which Philip was teased. He had been gangly as a young man. His arms and legs seemed to grow rapidly, much more rapidly than his ability to use them with grace and dignity. He had also been rather skinny until he had gone away to college. However, during those years, his body had finally righted itself. He had not added another inch to his height, and he was no longer skinny. She ducked her head as she felt a bit of colour creeping into cheeks when she realized just how fine he now appeared to her. He was still taller than most ─ he often had to duck to avoid a collision between his head and the door frame ─ but his clothes no longer hung on him. She turned her mind away from admiring how his jacket now stretched across his back and wrapped snuggly around arms that were well-muscled and strong.
She rested a gloved finger on her lips. She had chosen him for his admirable character, but since that kiss two days ago… She swallowed and rose from her seat. This was not the place to be contemplating kisses. She took one more look at Philip and ducked out the side door.