Authors: Margaret Bennett
Tags: #Nov. Rom
“Just a few more steps,”
he insisted and practically dragged her toward the back wall where there was less light.
They could still
hear the strains of the waltz, so he drew her into his arms and began to dance. She resisted at first, before letting him lead her around the geometric shapes of balls, cubes and tapering spirals. When the music stopped, he drew her into the shadow of a towering obelisk, and immediately she protested.
“I should return to Lady Stainthrope. She will be looking for me.”
In a moment.” Wrapping his arms around her, he drew her closer. As she drew her palms up against his chest, he rested his chin on the top of her head. He was encouraged when she did not push away. “There is something I must tell you, Rosalind.” He reveled in the feel of her curves pressed against his body and closed his eyes. Breathing in her light lavender scent, he was suddenly struck by a thought. “Do you like me?” he asked softly. Rather than answer, she squirmed in his arms, making him even more aware of her curves, and he tightened his hold on her. “Do you?”
He heard her sigh as s
he rested her cheek on his lapel. Surely, she heard his heart pounding. “Yes, my lord, I do like you. I believe you are courageous and strong and noble. And you saved my life, for I surely would have drowned that night we swam to shore.”
“You make me sound like a heroic knight?”
There was a long pause before she said softly, “You are my heroic knight.”
?” Dare he hope . . . . He took her small chin in his hand, lifting her face. “Look at me,” he said when she wouldn’t meet his eye. She did, and he said, ““We are to marry, Rosalind. I want to be your husband.” She started to protest, and he dipped his head down, covering her lips with his own. She tasted so sweet and quickly he deepened his kiss. When a small groan escaped her, he forgot their surroundings and completely gave himself over to the feel of her.
Despite the overwhelming need she felt for him,
sanity told Rosalind that she had to stop Melvyrn’s advances.
She pushed her hands against his broad chest, but he tightened his arms around her even more. She turned her head to the side, breaking the kiss, and said, “Melvyrn, we are in a public garden.”
He was panting, as though he were trying to control himself. “I’m sorry, my love,” he said, drawing in a deep breath.
“Your scent, your sweetness, your very touch . . . I’m sorry I crave for more.”
They were quiet for a few moments, standing in each others arms. She kept thinking that he’d called her his love. She wanted
it to be true, for she knew she loved him, though she’d tried to deny it. She’d been trying to push him away from the very first moment they’d met, yet she could no longer ignore her feelings for him. “Melvyrn--”
“Call me Martin,” he said.
“Martin, do you love me?” she asked boldly.
“More than life itself.” She smiled at him, and he pulled her to him again. “I hope that you’ll come to love me,” he said, gazing into her eyes.
Still smiling, she said, “I already do.”
His soft smile turned slowly to a wicked grin. As he bent his head to kiss her,
Lord Denholm’s voice called out, “Melvyrn?”
Melvyrn groaned, then whispered in her ear, “We can be married by week’s end?”
She pulled away enough to see his wicked smile had turned serious as his eyes devoured her with desire.
“Melvyrn?” Denholm’s voice was much closer.
“What of the scandal?” she asked, but not truly caring about what people would think. Or of having a London Season as she’d led her aunt to believe.
He shrugged. “A nine day wonder, but never say m
y lady smuggler is worried about scandal?”
With her heart singing with joy, Rosalind laughed and
, putting her hand behind his head, drew it down to meet her lips for a scandalous kiss.