Read OnlyYou Online

Authors: Laura Glenn

OnlyYou

BOOK: OnlyYou
10.83Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

An Ellora’s Cave Romantica Publication

www.ellorascave.com

 

 

 

Only You

 

ISBN 9781419914843

ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

Only You Copyright © 2008 Laura Glenn

 

Edited by Helen Woodall.

Photography and cover art by Les Byerley.

 

Electronic book Publication February 2008

 

The terms
Romantica
® and
Quickies
®
are registered trademarks of Ellora’s Cave Publishing.

 

With the exception of quotes used in reviews, this book may not
be reproduced or used in whole or in part by any means existing without written
permission from the publisher, Ellora’s Cave Publishing Inc., 1056 Home Avenue,
Akron, OH 44310-3502.

 

Warning: The unauthorized reproduction or
distribution of this copyrighted work is illegal. No part of this book may be
scanned, uploaded or distributed via the Internet or any other means,
electronic or print, without the publisher’s permission. Criminal copyright
infringement, including infringement without monetary gain, is investigated by
the FBI and is punishable by up to 5 years in federal prison and a fine of
$250,000.  (http://www.fbi.gov/ipr/). Please purchase only authorized
electronic or print editions and do not participate in or encourage the
electronic piracy of copyrighted material. Your support of the author’s rights
is appreciated.

 

This book is a work of fiction and any resemblance to persons,
living or dead, or places, events or locales is purely coincidental. The
characters are productions of the author’s imagination and used fictitiously.

Only You

Laura Glenn

Dedication

 

For my husband and best friend whose support has helped me
to become who I am today
.

 

 

 

 

 

Trademarks Acknowledgement

 

The author acknowledges the trademarked status and trademark
owners of the following wordmarks mentioned in this work of fiction:

 

Calvin Klein: Calvin Klein Trademark Trust

GQ:
Advance Magazine Publishers Inc.

Timberlands: The Timberland Company

 

Chapter One

 

“Five minutes until closing.”

Kaitlyn McCann raised her head and smiled her thanks as the
elderly librarian glided past her to place a book on the shelves behind her.
Glancing down at the open book on the table, Kaitlyn quickly scanned the
passage and sighed in annoyance. Once again, it was a reference to a Captain
Gabriel O’Connor who served under George Washington during the Revolutionary
War. Unfortunately, whoever recorded the information once again neglected to
mention his younger sister, Eileen.

Eileen O’Connor, one out of a handful of women Kaitlyn was
researching for her doctoral thesis in early American history, often defied
convention and dressed as a man in order to spy on British troops during the
latter half of the war. Several times, from the tender age of fourteen to
seventeen, this remarkable young woman seemed to have single-handedly saved
entire Colonial regiments from utter annihilation by providing them with vital
pieces of information on their enemy’s movements and plans.

However historians and record-keepers during the century
following the close of the war typically only bothered to mention Eileen’s
older brother, Gabriel. An upstanding citizen of the Pennsylvania colony who
had quickly risen in the ranks of General Washington’s army, Gabriel O’Connor
could be considered the poster boy for the “American Dream”. Born into a poor
Irish-Catholic farming family, he and his family worked and saved for many
years to send him to the University of Paris. After studying law, he became a
lawyer and returned to Ireland, eventually earning enough money for passage to
the colonies for his family. Once in Pennsylvania, he built a successful law
practice, supplementing his family’s income with the produce from his farm.

The book in Kaitlyn’s hands didn’t tell her anything she
didn’t already know, including the fact that Gabriel married a woman from
Pennsylvania with the last name of Macan. Most sources recorded her first name
as Katie, but all of them agreed that she seemed to have appeared out of
nowhere.

The similarity of Kaitlyn’s name to this woman’s was not
lost on her—especially after finding out that the woman’s father was a history
professor with the first name of Jonathan. Kaitlyn’s father, also named
Jonathan, taught history at several universities throughout New England and the
Midwest until finally gaining tenure at the University of Wisconsin in Madison
just as Kaitlyn turned thirteen years old.

Jonathan McCann had wanted his daughter to follow in his
footsteps and he got his way, pushing Kaitlyn at every opportunity to excel in
her studies. He sparked her interest in history and Kaitlyn had been more than
willing to win her father’s approval, especially since he was her only close
family member after her mother died while Kaitlyn was still a child.

Kaitlyn glanced at her watch. It was nearly nine o’clock.
She had spent over six hours hunched over her laptop. Yawning, she closed the
volume in front of her and stretched her arms up over her head. As she slumped
back down into the chair she sighed, staring at the mess of papers and books
strewn out on the dented pine table before her. She had prepared for this
moment for eight years and now her brain was threatening to snap if she
attempted to shove one more fact into it.

Well, tonight anyway. The library opened at eight o’clock
the next morning and, after a creamy latte from the coffee shop next door, she
was certain that she would be ready to dive back into her dissertation
research. Stuffing her notes and computer into her black canvas messenger bag,
she took a quick inventory of the books on the table and made a mental note of
those she had not had time to scan.

She carried the pile of books up to the front of the library
and quietly set them upon the librarian’s desk. Giving the elderly woman a
small, shy smile, she said goodbye before pushing open the creaky, oak door and
walking out into the cool, damp air. The musty smell of old books gave way to
the scent of damp earth and she gratefully filled her lungs with the cool,
slightly humid early spring air. It had been too long since she was last in New
England.

Her stomach began to growl and she glanced up and down the
street, hoping to spot a place still open for dinner. The street was lined with
charming souvenir and gift shops, all sporting brick facades and old lampposts
reminiscent of Colonial-style lanterns but not a single café or restaurant
appeared to be open this late in the evening.

Kaitlyn buttoned her chocolate-brown, corduroy jacket and
shivered as the cold wind threatened to blow through her. Glancing to her
right, she almost gave up hope of finding something to quell her hunger when
she noticed a soft light spilling onto the street just a couple of blocks away.

Hoping to find a restaurant in the lit building, she quickly
spun around as visions of a bowl of steaming clam chowder and a strong cup of
tea filled her head. As she walked along the cobblestones of the deserted
sidewalk, a misty rain began falling upon her. She quickened her pace, noticing
the fog rolling in from the hills to the north of town.

Eerie laughter sounded behind her and she stopped, turning
toward the sound.

The street behind her was empty. She shook her head and
quickened her pace, ignoring the shiver running up her spine. However, the
laughter seemed to follow her. Every few seconds she would glance over her
shoulder, just to make certain she hadn’t missed a group of people somewhere
behind her. But each time she was met with increasingly thick fog and not a
soul to be seen.

Kaitlyn pulled the collar of her jacket over her neck with
one hand as the damp air began to permeate her clothing. The fog surrounded
her, slowly shrouding the lights she was heading toward. Her shoulders tensed
as the laughter began pounding in her ears.

Suddenly she was surrounded by light gray mist, as though
she was deep in the middle of a cloud. The moist air condensed on her skin and
chilled her to the bone as the cold, northerly wind picked up speed. Her heart
hammered erratically against her chest. She stopped and frantically looked
around, seeing nothing but the dense fog all around her.

She took a deep breath, attempting to calm her nerves as the
little hairs on the back of her neck stood up straight. It was only a fog after
all. With the way the wind was blowing, she was certain that it would move the
mist out in no time at all.

Her gut began to tell her to keep walking. Not one to argue
with instinct, she plowed forward, her eyes desperately searching for lights
through the thick mist. She silently prayed that she wouldn’t accidentally
wander out into the path of an oncoming vehicle.

An eerie roaring wind began somewhere behind her and rushed
toward her ears. She whipped around in a panic and the shoulder strap of her
bag, which contained her whole life, slipped down her arm, landing somewhere
around her feet.

Kaitlyn stopped to grab it when the fog and roaring wind
began to fade.

A full moon hung over the hills in the distance, effectively
illuminating the disturbing changes in the scenery around her. Only a couple of
wooden buildings stood in front of her and the cobblestones on the street had
disappeared, revealing a simple dirt road beneath her feet with her messenger
bag disappointingly nowhere in sight.

Slowly, the fog began to fade. She could distinguish the
outlines of buildings but the lights were gone. Her shoulders began to slump as
the thought that her meal of chowder and tea seemed less likely with every step
she took.

The laughter increased in its intensity and Kaitlyn whipped
around again, her mind whirling in confusion. Her eyes landed upon four men
stumbling along the road about twenty-five feet behind her.

Strangely, it wasn’t their sudden, unexplainable appearance
that struck her the most—it was the fact that they looked as though they had
just stepped out of an eighteenth-century painting.

She stopped for a moment, tilting her head in confusion as
the unexpected change in her surroundings fully hit her. What had just
happened? She was supposed to be in Stockton, Massachusetts but this place
looked nothing like that town.

Where the hell am I?

“Well, look what we have here!” one of the men shouted in a
thick, British accent as all four came to a stop about twenty feet away from
her. He straightened his red coat and smoothed back the hair attempting to
escape from the ponytail at the nape of his neck.

Another man leaned forward, wobbling slightly in his
scuffed, black boots. He appeared to be squinting his eyes and staring at
Kaitlyn. “Is that a man?”

“He sure is pretty, if he is,” another slurred, slapping his
knee through his dirty, beige breeches in delight.

All four began laughing once again and Kaitlyn arched one
eyebrow, slightly amused. Who were these men? Were they hired by the local
tourism board to play characters for the amusement of visitors? If so, they
certainly were working at an odd hour of the day.

“Come here, good sir!” one of the men called out to her
while simultaneously making a lewd gesture. “Let us see if you be man or
woman!”

Perhaps it was the fact that one of the guys just grabbed
his crotch but something told her that no tourism board hired these men.
Kaitlyn’s stomach knotted in fear and she whirled around, sprinting toward the
thick patch of trees in the distance. She could hear the men shouting and
starting to pick up the chase, their feet rhythmically slapping the packed
earth of the street.

Unused to such strenuous physical exertion, Kaitlyn gasped
as the cool night air burned her lungs. She hadn’t prayed since she was a
child, but now nothing other than silent pleas for help whirled through her
confused mind.

From seemingly out of nowhere, a large, black horse skidded
to a halt only a couple of feet away. She gasped at the animal’s sudden
appearance, her eyes quickly traveling up to the rider looming over her with an
outstretched hand. Her breathing immediately slowed as their eyes met and a
surreal calm fell over her panicked mind. She straightened her back as all
thoughts of retrieving her messenger bag fell from her mind.

Her eyes traveled down his surprisingly massive body for a
split second, noticing how he was dressed similarly to the other men. However,
his coat was a deep, midnight blue and his breeches stretched tightly over his
solid thighs, neatly outlining every muscle in his legs.

The sound of the men behind her immediately snapped her back
to reality and her eyes darted toward the mysterious stranger’s face. His eyes
looked nearly black in the darkness as they fixed themselves upon hers, causing
her stomach to flutter.

He arched his dark eyebrows and extended his arm further
toward her. She glanced over her shoulder, noticing the drunken men closing in
and then grabbed the man’s hand, praying that she wasn’t getting herself into a
worse situation by allowing some stranger to carry her off on a horse.

He yanked her up with one hand and grasped her waist with
the other, effortlessly settling her on his lap. Kaitlyn’s heart leapt into her
throat as she wrapped her arms around the stranger’s neck and held on for dear
life.

Within seconds, they were galloping into the forest and the
men’s slurred shouts faded into the distance. She raised her head to look at
her rescuer, finding his face only a breath away from her own. A square jaw
neatly framed his striking, yet classically handsome features, including a
hawklike nose and angular cheekbones. Compelling, dark eyes stared back at her
with a gleam of interest.

He gently slipped one arm around her waist. “Are you all
right, madam?” he asked in an obvious Irish brogue, his voice deep and as
smooth as silk.

She nodded, feeling her breath catch in her throat. She
couldn’t be certain but she was fairly sure that her mouth had dropped open in
shock at finding herself in the arms of a man who could rival Adonis himself.

Kaitlyn’s pulse thudded loudly in her ears as she
momentarily froze. Certain that the man was probably too polite to mention how
she was still hanging onto his neck, she quickly pulled her arms away and shyly
cast her eyes toward the horse’s thick, black mane.

Much to her confusion, the man pulled her closer, plastering
her side against his chest and resting his large hand upon her hip. She jumped
slightly, acutely aware of the heat pulsing from his palm and into her body.
The tingling warmth spread to her thighs and she stiffened in his arms, unused
to experiencing such a quick, physical reaction to a man.

After several minutes, Kaitlyn felt the stranger shift
against her and then tilt his head toward her ear. His hot breath softly
caressed her cheek. “What is your name?”

Determined to play it cool, she swallowed hard in an attempt
to dislodge the nervousness stuck in her throat. “Kaitlyn McCann.”

“You have come to bring us information?”

Kaitlyn paused, her eyebrows rising quizzically at the
strange question.

His voice deepened even further and grew more formal. “We
were told a woman coming through Stockton was to bring us information about the
movements of the British in the area. Are you the woman I am searching for?”

British troop movements? Did she just stumble into some
weird American Revolution reenactment?

Something inside her told her to agree with his assessment
of who she was and so she nodded. Uncomfortable with lying, she decided to
change the subject. “Where are you taking me?” she weakly demanded. She pursed
her lips together in irritation at the sound of her shaking voice.

“We have an encampment about twenty miles from here.”

Twenty miles? Couldn’t they just catch a cab or something?

She took a deep breath and exhaled slowly. How could a mere
fog transport her to a totally different place? And why were all the men she
had seen looking and acting like they were from the colonial period of American
history?

BOOK: OnlyYou
10.83Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

Other books

Scotch Rising by S. J. Garland
Eden-South by Janelle Stalder
Hidden Heat by Amy Valenti
We Are Not Such Things by Justine van der Leun
Berlin: A Novel by Pierre Frei
Murder Came Second by Jessica Thomas