‘What happened, lassie? Are you hurt?’ The kindly housekeeper reached out to help her from Keir’s arms, but the Laird’s almost warning glare made her drop them down by her sides again immediately.
‘I’m not hurt. I’m fine—honestly…I told Keir I was fine! I simply slipped on the wet grass because I was hurrying to get out of the storm, that’s all.’ Her teeth chattering, but on her feet once more, Georgia glanced at the other woman with what she hoped was a reassuring smile. ‘Can I ask you if you’d mind seeing to Hamish? He’s gone round to the back door. I just need to get out of these wet clothes and go and get a hot shower.’
‘Of course I will, my dear! You go and get yourself dry before you catch your death!’
‘Thanks…I appreciate it.’
Withdrawing from them, hating being the centre of attention, Georgia stepped quickly away from the protection of Keir’s warm, hard body to cross the chequered entrance hall and start ascending the grand winding staircase.
‘I’ve put your dinner in the oven to keep warm,’ Moira called up behind her. ‘You come down and have it when you’re ready.’
Even though the spray from the shower had been wonderfully reassuring and hot, Georgia sat in her towelling robe on the edge of the quaintly old-fashioned— brass bed and sensed her body shiver as though it might never stop.
What had possessed Keir to pick her up and carry her like that? As though he wanted to put himself between her and harm? The threatened storm might have secretly terrified her, but she was far more scared of the torrent of wild feelings that gripped her whenever he came near.
Staring at the wall, she recalled the look of surprise on Moira’s face when she’d reached out to help her and Keir had somehow dissuaded her with just a single determined glance. Things were beginning to get complicated,— she realised. As if some unstoppable force was having its way and there was nothing she could do about it…Unless, of course, she decided to leave…
Her heart racing, Georgia glanced across at the casement windows of her room, at the rain that was still rattling the little square panes. A disconcerting emptiness and a yearning that she didn’t want to name gnawed at her, and the depth and power of the sensation almost drove her to tears.
‘Georgia? Is everything all right?’
At first she was disorientated, not knowing who spoke, then in almost the same instant she realised that the extraordinarily compelling voice could only belong to Keir. Standing up to go to the door, she tidied the front of her robe, making sure she was adequately— covered, at the same time cursing silently that she hadn’t dressed straight away—because once again she was at an embarrassing disadvantage.
But there was no need to open the door, was there? Georgia could merely assure him that she was fine and he would quickly go away again.
‘Yes…everything’s okay. I’ll be down shortly. I’m just—I’m just getting dressed.’
‘Open the door, will you? I want to see you.’
So much for that plan! Feeling her breath grow tight inside her chest, she briefly wiped her palms down the sides of her robe before reaching for the door catch.
‘What is it?’
Her aim had been to simply open the door just a little—enough for him to see for himself that she was fine—and Georgia was unprepared for that decision being immediately taken out of her hands.
He swept decisively through the opening, then shut the door firmly behind him, and the sheer physicality— of the man simply overwhelmed her as she found herself staring up into his starkly handsome face, his searing blue eyes burning her with the force of intensity she saw glimmering there. Helplessly suspended in the tension of the moment, her limbs feeling peculiarly as though they no longer belonged to her, Georgia went very still. Her heart continued to beat but she didn’t know how…
Before so much as another word or even a breath had left her lips, she felt herself seized by Keir’s strong muscular arms and impelled almost roughly up against his chest.
‘I only needed a temporary secretary,’ he commented,— almost with disdain, as he glared down into her shocked face. ‘And now I can’t even think about work with you around distracting me! Just what the hell am I supposed to do about you, Georgia?’
HIS MOUTH WAS on hers before she could utter a word, and suddenly their breath was one breath. His kisses tasted of the Glens, with their intoxicating pure fresh air, and almost made her high. His body against hers was like tempered steel, hard and honed, with— an almost desperate undercurrent of need that wouldn’t be constrained.
He’d demanded to know what he was supposed to do about her, and Georgia knew the question was equally true for her. What was she supposed to do about her growing feelings for him? The spellbinding— magnetism that was created whenever they were near each other now indubitably held sway. It was as she’d observed…an unstoppable force that knew no bounds.
Helping Keir earlier, when he’d scalded himself with the coffee, Georgia had automatically acted to do what she could—but, as well as hopefully alleviating his agony, she couldn’t deny the intense pleasure she’d received at being able to touch him without question.
Now her gaze cleaved to his resolute jaw as he slid one arm beneath her knees and the other behind her back, then carried her across the carpeted floor to the sturdy, old-fashioned brass bed.
‘Be careful of your wound!’ she pleaded urgently, her— voice almost breaking.
A rueful smile touched the corners of his mouth as he carefully laid her down on the bed. ‘What wound?’ he joked. ‘I hardly feel any pain any more. The only ache that’s disturbing me now is my wanting you, Georgia…You know that, don’t you?’
Her heart skipped at his very serious concentrated expression. ‘I know that…But do you—do you have something to…’ She couldn’t help it. Her face flamed because she’d had to ask him the question. A question she’d never asked another man before in her life…
Wordlessly he removed a small packet from his jeans pocket. He laid it down on top of the small oak cabinet beside the bed, next to the suspense novel she’d brought from home to read. Then, stripping off his shirt, he held her gaze with his piercing blue eyes as a fierce shining star commanded and held the blackness of the night.
Georgia wanted Keir so badly that if a spaceship had materialised in the room during those electrifying moments, she wouldn’t have noticed. Her eyes ate him up as she watched him undress. The more he revealed of himself, the more her heart pounded with ferocious joy. Confronted with his breathtaking masculinity,— registering the impact of his strong, fit physique, she felt her senses utterly enraptured by him. Her gaze lit too on the stark white dressing on his arm, and she silently commiserated anew with the pain he must have endured.
Her breath was released on a soft onrush of air as he came to her, unfastening the tie of her robe with hands that were sure and strong, then peeling the garment easily from her body. Before he could say anything Georgia lifted her arms and wrapped them around his neck.
Hearing the ragged sigh that broke free from his lips at the contact with her bare soft skin, she whispered,— ‘I know we shouldn’t be doing this…but I don’t want to stop.’
‘If it’s what we both want, then there’s no reason to stop…Have you never given into pure naked desire before, Georgia?’
She didn’t want to answer that question lest it incriminate— her. She was walking a tightrope of tension, despite the heady rush of adrenalin and need pulsing through her body, but she did not intend to let fear or doubt rule the day. It would be all right… It had to be all right. For once in her life she was thinking of no one else’s needs but her own.
The sudden sensation of his firm warm silky skin next to hers made Georgia’s insides tighten with longing, but instead of fearing this new territory she was venturing into she found herself welcoming it. Her mouth slipped over his with unselfconscious eagerness, tasting moisture, heat and demand in one divinely erotic press, and her body knew no dissent only a deeply carnal hunger when he tipped her back onto the bed and covered her nakedness with his.
Readily allowing Keir’s hands to explore her, Georgia heard her own breathless sighs drown out the steady repetitive hush of the rain that accompanied— them. His mouth languorously tasted her velvettipped— breasts—taking his time, giving her pleasure and receiving it, sucking and caressing them until her whole being was consumed with fierce tingles of the most erotic joy. Was this how a flower felt…opening for the first time to the miracle of rain…the caress of sunlight? As if its very being was created anew by that seductive, addictive touch? Even Georgia’s quite considerable imagination had not prepared her for the river of hot sweet delight that poured through her veins at Keir’s touch.
Her hand brushed against his strong, hot erection with curiosity and lust, and she heard his almost painful groan in response. Inside, answering heat drenched her. Without another word he moved her hand away, and started to unwrap the little foil package he’d left on the bedside cabinet. When he’d sheathed himself in the contents, he started to slowly press himself inside her. Holding on to the broad, muscular— slopes of his shoulders, Georgia stared into Keir’s eyes and felt as if she was being consumed by electric blue fire so intense was the gaze that commanded— hers.