Sophia sipped her wine. “It isn’t you in particular, it’s me, having—someone like you in my life. They’d rather I was a spinster devoted to nothing and no one but my work.”
“If I were a man…” Eden began.
“If you were a man, they’d feel the same way,” Sophia insisted. “They might not mind me marrying—when I’m forty and have a successful career.”
“They married each other,” Eden objected.
“It was different for them. They were as devoted to the cause of their school as they were to each other. They work together. They…understand each other.”
Eden frowned. “We understand each other. We may not know everything, but…” Eden bit her lip, thinking of all the things she had yet to explain. She reached over the table and picked up Sophia’s hand. “But you know me. And I know you.”
“Yes.” Sophia assented almost inaudibly. Eden knew her—knew at least a part of her that no one else did. And whatever details remained to be discovered between them, it was that part that mattered most.
“I want your parents to see it. How can I convince them to trust me?” Eden asked.
“Don’t let it concern you. It doesn’t matter to me.”
Sophia changed the subject. “Let’s go back to Eleanor’s before you take me home. I want to play for you.” And she smiled from beneath her eyelashes more like the heroine of a French novel than a Quaker college girl.