“I am afraid you are sadly mistaken, Princess.” In a move too quick for Emily to anticipate he took her hips and slid her down the mattress before swinging one leg over and effectively pinning her beneath him. Ignoring her squawk of protest he lowered himself until their faces were mere inches apart. Her eyes were wide and startled, her lips slightly parted. “I’m every bit as mean and horrible as they say I am,” he whispered.
“Mr. Green this is h-hardly appropriate,” she stammered.
He felt her tremble, although whether it was with fear or awareness he couldn’t be certain. Their bodies were separated by both their clothes and the quilt, through which West could feel every line and curve of her body as he settled himself intimately against her. She gasped. He groaned.
“W-what are you doing? You said I wasn’t your c-cup of tea.”
“I lied,” he said simply.
Her dark brows darted together. “You seem to do that a lot.”
He lowered his head until his mouth was a hair’s breadth from her ear. Her curls tickled his cheek and the scent of her invaded his nostrils, a subtle mix of lavender and vanilla. “Want to know something else I do a lot of?” he murmured suggestively.
The sharp knee to his groin was as painful as it was unexpected. With a muffled grunt West cupped himself and rolled back against the wall. Throwing the blanket aside Emily scrambled off the bed and landed hard on her rump, tangled in the folds of her own dress.
“I have changed my mind,” she declared, fixing him with a glare. “You are mean and horrible and… and…”
“Castrated,” he wheezed, making no effort to disguise his current state of discomfort. “Did you have to knee me so bloody hard?”
Not looking repentant in the least, Emily sniffed and stood up. “It is no less than you deserve, taking advantage of me like that. You never should have put me in bed with you in the first place, let alone… well, you know.” Cheeks pink, she went to the corner of the room where she’d laid out her cloak and picked it up. Shaking out the wrinkles, she swung it around her shoulders and drew the hood up, effectively concealing her riotous mane of curls. “I am ready to depart with all haste, Mr. Green.”
“Well I’m not,” he grumbled as he stood up and stretched one arm and then the other above his head, twisting his torso this way and that until his spine popped with a satisfying crack. “You’ll have to give me a few minutes for my bollocks to drop back—”
“Aye?” he said, the very picture of innocence. He knew he shouldn’t keep provoking Emily, but it was nearly impossible not to, especially when she looked so adorable with her face flushed with color and her eyes spitting blue fire. It reminded him of when he’d been a boy pulling the braids of the girls he took a fancy to. Not that he had taken a fancy to Emily. She was a job. A means to an end. Nothing more. Except…. His jaw hardened. No. There was no except. He wouldn’t allow it. Not now. Not ever.
“I will have Max bring the coach round to the front.” Their shoulders touched as he picked up his coat from the foot of the bed brushed past her on his way to the door. West flinched from the contact as though he’d been burned, and there was a hard edge in his voice when he said, “Do not leave the room. I’ll be back to fetch you in a few minutes.”
Without another word he stalked out and it took every ounce of self-control he possessed not to slam the door behind him.
THE DUKE OF ST. GILES
COMING THIS APRIL!
Add it to your TBR list now!