“What are you reading?”
He wrinkled his nose, turning the book over. “A history of the Anglo-Saxons. Mr. Summers has generously allowed me the use of his library, but I’m afraid his taste runs to…histories of the Anglo-Saxons.”
She beamed, drawing the little card from her bodice and handing it to him.
“This card entitles the bearer, John Toogood, to withdraw two books at a time from the Lively Library,” he read slowly.
“It’s good until Lady Day. They have more than a thousand books.”
He turned the card over. “Thank you, but—you bought it for the quarter? Libraries charge twice as much that way.”
Her smile wobbled. “I know, but I didn’t want to spend more than seven and six.”
He looked sick. “You spent seven and six on this?”
The light in her chest guttered. “Yes, because I thought you would like it!”
He looked at her, and his face cleared. “I do. I do like it.” Standing, he took her in his arms. “I hadn’t even thought of a circulating library.”
“You thought we were too small.”
“You’re too small,” he teased, leaning very far down to kiss her. “I’m sorry, I only—the difference in our wages—you ought not to be buying me presents.”
“With the difference in our ages, you ought not to strain your back carrying me to bed, but I don’t try to stop you,” she retorted.
He took the hint.