I’m battling within myself so hard, it’s a wonder she doesn’t see right through me.
I know what my plan is with her. I know why I brought her here. Then why the fuck am I bringing her up to the main house, just so she can meet Mum and my sisters? I know exactly where I am, and I know I’m a bloody idiot, because I feel myself softening.
I brought her here to keep her safe, knowing full well the irony is that she isn’t at all safe from me.
Then why, when she woke in the middle of the night shaking, clearly in a panic, could I not help but hold her? Why does it matter to me so much to see her sleeping peacefully again, like a wee bairn, the worries of the world erased from her features, breathing softly beside me?
And why now, when I see panic written on her features, do I feel the need to soothe her worry and show her everything’s just fine?
Last night was fucking brilliant, and I won’t forget that.
I liked waking up beside her, and if I have my way, I’ll find myself inside her again, and fuck that worry right off her face.
I shouldn’t be worried about easing her concern or making her feel safe. I should be seducing her so she falls for me before I get the revenge I’ve planned.
But isn’t part of the art of seduction making her fall in love with me? And isn’t it important for a woman to feel safe, to really trust a bloke, before she can fall in love?
So I pull out all the stops. I give her everything I can think of, just to make sure she’s mine.
My conscience haunts me, though.
How close to the art of seduction is real love?
Do people sometimes feign feelings, only to find they’ve actually fallen?
How close am I getting to that edge?
“I wish I had my clothes,” she says, biting her lip with a doleful look at the small pile of clothes Cairstina gave her.
“Sweet lassie, you’d look lovely if you wore a burlap sack.”
And I fucking mean it. She flushes prettily, her cheeks turning pink.
“You flatter a girl too easily, Mac Cowen,” she says, but I can tell by the way she ducks her head she’s pleased.
“Too easily, is it?” I ask her. We’re in the bedroom after cleaning up the breakfast dishes, picking out our clothes, and the sight of her standing there wearing nothing but my tee’s got me all kinds of aroused.
“Aye,” she says. “The words fall right off your lips, all sweet and seductive-like.”
I can’t help but reach for her, turning her around to face me. I cage her in easily with my arms around her, holding her to me.
“Sweet and seductive-like?” I whisper in her ear. “Is there something wrong with that?”
“Ayyyye,” she groans, and I swear I can feel her almost melting right into me. She closes her eyes when I bring one of my hands down the length of her body to cup her perfect, pert arse.
“What is it, then, darlin’? You want me to be an arse?”
“I wouldn’t go that far,” she says with a little gasp when I squeeze her arse harder.
“Jesus,” she mumbles. “I just mean. Oh, for the love of God…” she’s groaning, leaning into me, and she finally pleads in a throaty whisper, “Let me… thank you for bringing me here last night and giving me a place to stay…”
My cock hardens, pressing into her, while her hands roam down my body, and before I know what’s happening, she’s managed to steer me toward the bed. I sit, and she kneels in front of me.
“Aye,” she says in a throaty whisper. “Thank you.”
She’s eying me hungrily, and within seconds, I know exactly what it is she wants to do, and Jesus God there’s no way I’ll be able to tell her no.