|Alasdair held himself back from suffocating in the blue of her eyes, bright as the loch reflecting the clear sky. "You must have been avoiding the garden of late." And the kisses.
Her face flushed, but she held his gaze. "I would not wish to...cause a problem."
"'Twould not be a problem, lass." The only problem was that he wanted to kiss her again, but she'd made herself scarce. He longed for her cool hands to stroke over his naked skin, both inciting and soothing at once. He yearned to know what lingered in the depths of her thoughts. What did she want and need? What did she feel when he kissed her? Did she hunger the way he did?
She swallowed hard and stared at something behind him.
"Gwyneth." Just saying her name aroused him as it would have to trail his tongue up her neck.
Her eyes darkened when she gauged his expression. He knew his desire must be written on his face. It had been a long time since he'd invited a woman into his bed, and his body was rebelling from the lack.
"What say you?" he asked.
"About... what, Laird MacGrath?"
She was attempting to remind him of his place, but he didn't want to remember. He wanted only to be a man for a few minutes, and she a woman.
"What would you say if I locked the door andó" He inhaled a ragged breath, unable to vocalize what he wanted. So much.
She gasped. "No, you must not," she whispered. "'Tis not proper."
"Nay, not proper at all." The fantasies playing through his mind threatened to render him senseless. Images of her naked beneath him, on top of him...squirming, arching bodies. The slide of her bare smooth skin across his. He was famished for the sweet, female taste of her. He wished to fill all his senses with naught but her.
"But 'tis beyond appealing to think about," he murmured.
"Appalling, you mean."
"Oh, nay, m'lady." She didn't mean that; she couldn't. 'Twas obvious she'd relished those earlier kisses as much as he had.
She eased toward the door again, but he moved quicker and closed it in front of her. Hell. What am I doing? I should let her go.
His hand on the door, he tried to calm his need. Have I lost my mind? He wouldn't do anything except touch her face, kiss her. Then he would stop. He would not dishonor her. He but wanted to cherish her for a moment. One stolen moment in time...for him and for her, amid all the thousands of hours of duty that devoured his time. Did they each not deserve a moment to enjoy something exquisite?
"Sir, this is not...this would not be wise."
She was right of course. 'Twas foolhardy and reckless. Yet it was something he had to have, and whether she admitted it or not, something she also wanted.
"One kiss and you're free to go." By the saints, he did have the same blood as Lachlan running through his veins. Alasdair hadn't used his seduction skills in so long they were rusty as a sword from the sea.
He inched closer to her, but in an attempt to restrain his primal impulses, pressed his forehead to his fist against the door. He didn't touch her, though his fingers ached to stroke her silky skin. "The kiss in the garden," he said. "And the one in the library...I cannot get either out of my head. Do you ever think of them?"
Gwyneth couldn't look Laird MacGrath in the eye when he said such things, reminding her of the lascivious kisses they'd shared. He stirred up a cauldron of wicked feelings inside her. Desires she thought she'd experienced before, but hadn't. Her first seduction had been nothing compared to this.
Alasdair's clean, woodsy-musk scent teased the side of her that reveled in sensuality, tempted her to press her nose to his chest and breathe him in. Clearly, he had bathed this morn in a pleasant-scented soap.
He leaned against the door as if she might escape. She should've fled earlier, just as he'd entered. The rational part of her knew this. But now a battle waged within her, and her sensual side craved naught but being pinned beneath his strong body.
"I guess you've forgotten both kisses, then," he murmured. "They were naught, aye?"
Was he mad? She could think of little else. The kisses would remain her fondest memories. She had to leave this place, leave the enticement of this man.
Though her reputation and virtue were in tatters, she had tried to gather the mended shreds about her in these last few years. But he inspired her to set a torch to them. He drew her to him like iron filings to a lodestone, and when she looked into his eyes or stood in his presence, she questioned the value of reputation and virtue. They seemed cold, lifeless companions when she faced the brilliant, life-affirming heat of him.
"I remember the kisses," she admitted, pressing her back against the solid wood of the door. "Indeed, how could I not?" I relive them every night. And every time I see you during the busy, tiresome days.
His eyes, black as the depths of sin, trapped her. She couldn't help but trust him, couldn't help but put herself under his control.
"Why can I not turn away from you?" she whispered.
He released a ragged breath. "'Haps the same reason I cannot turn from you. 'Tis beyond my strength."
And clearly he had impressive strength, but whatever drew them together was far more powerful.
My Fierce Highlander copyright 2011 Vonda Sinclair
Close this window