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    Summary

    "I would never pretend with you. I swear it, Bennet. You don't pretend with me," Bella points out. "You never have." There is a softness in her expression; is she remembering the once he paid Susan for her time, and then asked her forbearance to simply sit with him a while?

    Since then, he hasn't come to Long Susan's with money. Only with flowers, or a sweet, or such small courting gifts as he can afford. It feels wrong to think of hiring her time piecemeal when he has asked her to grant it to him freely.

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    Language:
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