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Without kissing her, Elliott's
lips brushed over her cheek and around the shell of her ear. His breath
was hot against her skin. Her eyes slid shut as he whispered in that
gruff tone of his, "What do you want, Miss Hallaway?"Nothing.Everything.
Oh, God, she was so close to falling into a trap that she daren't speak in fear of making this whole situation worse.
wasn't a sound to be heard, except those that occurred in nature. A
lone warbler chirped a soft song in the nearby shrubbery; gulls cried
in the distance, their wails carried in on the wind whistling through
the castle grounds. The constant chirp of crickets hummed around them
as they stood quiet and still against the wall.
Then there were
the even, deep breaths of Lord Brendall, awaiting the answer she could
not give. Refused to give him. She clenched her hands into fists so she
wasn't tempted to flatten them against his chest and feel the muscle so
taut and brawny and just within her reach.
"Why should you want me at all?"
"I've been asking myself that question since you arrived."
could she say to that? His hand glided firmly over her arm then around
to the small of her back. His long fingers spread wide, his arm strong
as he held her away from the cool stone wall.
Move away, she
told herself. Slip beneath his arms and tell him he should stay away
from her. Tell him that she wanted nothing to do with him, even though
it was a lie.
No objection made it past her lips. Her
fluttering, frantic heart did not beat in protest, either. Her mind, on
the other hand, insisted she do what was proper before she acted on
But right was relative, wasn't it? "I have to go back to the house."
a feeble excuse. The words were the right thing to say, her actions the
opposite of what she should do to follow through on that suggestion.
yet," he said, brushing his thumb over her right cheek and then cupping
it with his palm. At least she held herself back from nuzzling into the
rough feel of his hand. She looked up into his eyes; the blue was eaten
up by the black centers. They were so intense and full of lustful
hunger. Need. Want. It all mingled there. So many emotions, she
couldn't pinpoint just one. She shouldn't have looked so closely at
him. Because now she didn't know why she should deny herself something
she wanted. Deny herself something that felt so right to indulge in.
unfurled, she pressed them against his shirt and went up on her toes.
She'd do the kissing this time. Because there was definitely going to
be kissing. Lots of kissing if she could help it, since she liked the
way his tongue rolled around in her mouth. The way he tasted faintly of
coffee and brandy.
"Oh, damn," she whispered.
could think better of her hasty actions, deny herself what she wanted
most right now, her mouth pressed against his. She didn't start slow
and gentle. She didn't want any such thing. She took and took. Delving
her tongue into his mouth, thrusting her tongue against his, with his,
This was a very bad idea. But no one would know what
had transpired between them, except them. Mayhap it would be their
little secret. She nearly snorted with that thought. It was as though
she were reaching for a glittering shilling in a deep, deep well.
Instead of clasping it, she was tumbling over the precipice. Eventually
she knew she'd crash to the bottom, broken and dejected.
Yet she still reached for that shiny, tempting coin.