Married to the Marquess had a very cute scene with involving a dress, but it didn’t add anything to the story, so it was cut. I loved that dress, and I wish I could have made it work. when Kate is learning to be different, she spotted a dress that she would have loved to have, but decided against ultimately. Later on, the dress makes a reappearance, and in a very cute way. Here you go!
First, the description of the dress:
A sight in a window gave her pause, and she stopped in her tracks. She looked up at the sign, which read Mrs. Ferguson’s Dress Shop, and then back at what had caught her eye. She had never heard of Mrs. Ferguson, but now she regretted her ignorance. The dress in the window was one of the most exquisite gowns Kate had ever seen. It was a rich cream color, with a deep burgundy ribbon dividing the bodice from the skirt. Above the ribbon, the fabric was plain, but elegant in its lines and styling, with just the barest hint of detailing along the vee shape of the neckline, and the same detail running across the high waistline where the ribbon lay. The skirt was no less lovely than the bodice; the cream fabric was dotted with small embroidered flowers in the same burgundy color as the ribbon, bringing the whole picture together with a subtle grace that was really quite stunning.
Kate could not remember ever wanting a gown as badly as she had this one. She could not even remember caring as much about one as she suddenly did. She was sorely tempted to go in and pay whatever she had to for it. But alas, she was still in mourning. She would not be able to wear anything so exquisite for a long time.
She could not do it. To do so would be shocking and inappropriate, and, though she was different now than she had been, her dignity was still important. With a longing glance back at the dress, Kate slowly moved on, and resumed humming whatever she had been before.
Now for the reappearance!
When she had mostly finished her breakfast, Derek very nearly hauled her to his study, unable to restrain the excited grin that was fixed on his face.
“I hope you like it,” he worried aloud as they entered. “The moment I saw it, I thought of you.”
“Then I am sure I will like it,” she assured him with a laugh, “providing it was not too expensive.”
“No, no, it was perfectly reasonable, and well worth more, I promise,” he said, raising a hand as if giving a solemn vow.
Kate did not trust that, but she sighed and folded her arms. “All right, then. You may give it to me, if you are of a mind to.”
Strangely enough, Derek suddenly looked just the smallest bit apprehensive. He reached around his desk and pulled out a parcel wrapped in brown paper and tied with brown string. He looked at it for a moment, then handed it to her. “Here,” he said bluntly.
Kate took it and gave him a questioning look, but he did not respond to it. His eyes remained fixed on the parcel in her hand. She untied the string, her fingers shaking just a bit, and pulled apart the paper, only to have her breath stolen from her in a sharp gasp when she saw what lay beneath.
It was the dress from Mrs. Ferguson’s. The one she had coveted beyond anything in her life. The one she had forced herself not to buy.
It was her dress.
“How did you…when did you…?”she stammered, unable to complete a sentence as she pulled the dress from its wrappings. She looked up at him in awe.
Derek shrugged lightly, though he looked rather pleased with her expression. “I saw it the day before yesterday, when I was running about to work out the details of the garden. I instantly wanted to see you in this dress. I know it will be some time before I can, but I couldn’t take the chance that it would be gone.” He stepped closer. “Do you like it?”
She nodded frantically, fingering it. “I saw it in Mrs. Ferguson’s window. I wanted it so, but I didn’t think…” She smiled at him with what she was quite sure was obvious love. “Thank you.”
He nodded, returning her smile. “I wish I could see you in it. I wish you were not in mourning so I could show you off in it. I knew it would suit you perfectly.”
A rather stray and errant thought popped into Kate’s head, and as soon as it came, she liked it. “I could…try it on,” she said slowly.
Derek’s eyes lit up and one side of his smile grew. “You could…”
“To be sure it fits, you understand.”
He nodded rather smartly, trying to look somber, but unable to. “It would be rather unfortunate to discover in a few months that it does not fit. Best to know now so alterations can be arranged.”
She fought a grin, and turned to go, but looked back at him. “I shall only be a moment.”
“I shall be right here,” he promised, his eyes twinkling.
The moment she was out of sight, Kate raced up the stairs, not caring that Derek would be able to hear her thundering her way up. She frantically called for Jemima, who scurried along after her, and the two of them worked as fast as they could to get her changed, slamming her door behind them.
In barely five minutes, she was descending the stairs, much more calmly than she had gone up, though her heart was pattering along as if she was still running. The dress was a perfect fit, as if she had been the model for it. The color suited her better than she had dared to hope it would, and for the first time in her life, including her wedding day, she felt like a princess from a storybook, who has just been magically transformed into something beautiful.
She approached Derek’s study, biting her lip to keep her teeth from chattering with nerves. She peered into the room, but he had his back turned. She took a silent breath in, then out, then stepped into view and knocked softly at the open door.
Derek turned and his jaw dropped in surprise. His eyes swept down her figure, then back up, then back down once more, all the while his mouth hung open and his head shook slightly from side to side. “Kate,” he tried, his voice hoarse.
“Do you like it?” she asked, echoing his question to her, knowing she did not need to, but wanting to hear his answer all the same.
He swallowed and took one step forward. “I never imagined…” he began, looking her over once more, his voice still rough. “All right, I did, but it was not nearly this good…”
“Derek, you are making me blush,” she said softly, her cheeks burning under his scrutiny.
His eyes met hers, and the passion in them sent her heart racing. “Isn’t that what a husband does? Make his wife blush?”
“I-I hardly know.”
He stepped closer and she had to tilt her head back a bit to look at him. “It is. And besides, you are a vision, Kate. You are making me blush.”
A sudden thrill of pride raced through her, and she found some wit again. “Isn’t that what a wife does?” she replied with a small smile of her own.
He laughed in a low voice. “Fair enough, you siren. If you don’t mind, I would like to hold my beautiful wife now.”