“Damn it, Miss Holden, if you die in my company, there will be hell to pay.”
Despite her earlier feelings of comfort and contentment, his irritation ruffled her pride. While
her legs dangled over each side of the horse, she twisted around so her nose came in proximity to
touching Lord Wesley’s.
“A shiver does not constitute the demise of one’s health. I-I…j-ju…”
Unable to finish her words, Kate buried her head into his chest and held the sneeze, a
consequence she didn’t consider until it was too late. Against her cheek, she heard the erratic
thumping of his heart, felt the inviting heat of his skin.
“You must get warm,” he said after a long moment, his tone vibrating against her right ear.
She lifted her chin, unsure of the man she’d find staring down at her, the carefree lord who
flirted with Claire so easily or the affronted nobleman whose features resembled a Grecian
statue, stoic and rigid?
In her company, she found the latter, of course. It perplexed her to know she caused such an
offensive reaction in such a short amount of time. He continued to glower at her, his jaw tense
and mouth tight. At the same time, a sense of feminine wonder overtook her. She disregarded all
consequence and reached up to touch his face, wiping at a trickle of rainwater as it trailed along
Fascinated by his raw masculinity, she continued to explore, her fingers gliding over his skin
until they stroked the softness of his lips.
This time she didn’t know who initiated the kiss, only that his mouth covered hers, breathless
and fierce. He brought her against him, both sharing an equal yearning and affection, void of any
mistrust or deception. Abandoning, for the moment, her doubts and insecurities, she grasped his
soaked gold waistcoat, pulling the lapels apart to sink even closer to him.
His mouth slanted over hers, crushing and possessive. He stole her breath and her will, her
limbs powerless to do anything but pull him closer. Dizzy, she closed her eyes, his satiny tongue
stroking her lips before sweeping inside in a fervent and rapturous kiss. She moaned from his
skillful seduction, the throaty sound shattering the connection and the intimate moment. He
pulled back, his face rigid with restraint.
When she turned away from him, he didn’t stop her but instead brought his arm around to
keep her from moving one way or the other.
He nudged his horse into a steady gallop, reaching the steps of Penndrake before she had the
chance to sulk over her imprudent curiosity toward him.