Her bad mood did not abate on the ride back to the hotel. Once through the door she began to throw things—her hat, her gloves, her purse.
“Look, it ain’t that bad,” Trace said, despite his instinct to leave her alone. “Just because they ain’t coppin to it don’t mean we have to believe ‘em—“
“Ain’t, ain’t, ain’t,” she mocked viciously. “Do you believe that boorish grammar makes you sound frank and unaffected? Because I know better, Mr. Tracy—and your attempts to brush off the issue as insignificant are insultingly transparent.”
Trace bit his tongue, grimly. “All right,” he said after a moment. “It isn’t insignificant. We are up against a wall. But it isn’t over yet. Neither of us is dead. If we can’t get this woman to help we’ll do it ourselves. We never expected to have help, anyway.”
“Gods, can you not—“ She pressed her hands to her brow as if she had a headache. “Bloody hell. This is just what I did not want.”
“What?” he demanded.
“You—managing me and coddling me and telling me all will be well!”
“Well what am I supposed to do? Throw my hands in the air and give up?”
“You can leave me alone for five bloody minutes so I can think. Go wherever it is that you go, when you men go to enjoy your freedom and privilege. I’ve been trapped in this room with you for three days and I cannot stand the sight of you anymore.”
Trace got up, struggling with his temper. “You know, if you want some privacy, all you have to do is tell me.”
“I’m telling you now. I cannot breathe with you here all the time. You smother me. Is that what you want to hear?”
“No, but thanks for bein so ladylike about it,” he said nastily.