Published by Lyrical Press
He kissed the tip of her nose. “I will not deny I came to London this season because I needed to marry to restore the money that my father squandered.” He kissed her cheek. “I had every intention of finding a rich bride to enable that plan.” He kissed her other cheek. “Then I met you, and you were the perfect solution to my problems.”
She tried to pull away, but he held her close and kissed her lips. It was only a peck, but the thrill of it traveled to her toes and hit everywhere in between.
His body filled all her curves as he hugged her and spread kisses along her cheek and neck. “I knew you were the one, Elinor. So beautiful, charming, and sweet, I could not resist you. I want to be worthy of your love, and in the weeks we courted, I found a way to get enough money to repair my country home and still have enough to make a good start of the marriage. I made the deal on some grain. It will take a bit of time for my plans to pan out, but in a couple of months, I should be able to show your father that I am worthy of you.”
His skin itched, recalling the feel of her curvaceous hips as he dropped her into the bed. Memories of hidden shapes, hips, and but- tocks flashed before him. Ranulf squinted at the maiden. Correction: make that woman, you fool.
His blood sizzled with the memories of accidentally brushing against curves that should not be on one fresh from the nursery.
Thanks to the pressure in his breeches, he rose on unsteady legs. “I—ah—believe you will have to tend to the binding after all.” He moved from the bed and brushed against a tattered piece of embroi- dery. Picking it up, he smoothed out the stiffened fabric, bloodied from the wound it had staunched earlier. The bits of thread formed a design he had seen before. What were they?
Frowning, he tucked the discarded bit of satin under his belt and turned for the door. “I’ll have Erwina return with a bite of food for you.”
“Wait!” she pleaded. “You . . . you cannot mean to keep me here.”
Ranulf stopped, his hand resting on the latch. Unwilling to let go of the door, he looked over his shoulder.
In her effort to sit up, the fur had slipped to reveal the gentle slope of creamy skin. ’Twas all he could do to keep from returning to her side and press a kiss to the nape of her neck. His resolve firmly in place, he looked closely at his captive. He could not ignore the truth. No longer was the patient a mere innocent. This woman, lying so invitingly in his bed, played a game of deception. And uncovering deception was what he did best.
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