Authors: Kat Martin
Thor pulled her into arms. “He is going to be all right. You helped save him, sweetheart. I will never forget what you've done.”
“I justâ¦I love him, too, Thor.”
He took a deep breath, looked as if there was something important he wanted to say, but couldn't quite find the words. Reaching out, he took hold of her hand and led her out into the sunshine. Standing beneath a brilliant blue sky, he looked incredibly tall and impossibly handsome, and her heart clenched with longing. His gaze found hers and where pain had been only moments ago, hot need burned, and something deeper, more fierce.
Lindsey tried to smile but she was too nervous, too hopeful of what he might say. “I'mâ¦I'm so happy for you, Thor.”
Instead of speaking, he cupped her face in his big dark hands, bent his head and softly kissed her.
“It is you who makes me happy, Lindsey. You and no other.”
The words wrapped around her heart and hope expanded inside her.
“It is time I spoke to your father. Much has happened. There is much to be discussed. Soon we will wed and all will be put right.”
Lindsey just nodded. They would marry as he had said. Her parents didn't approve her choice of husband. But they didn't know him.
“I suppose it is time. In a couple of days, we can speak to themâ”
“Today,” he said firmly. “Tommy will stay with Saber. I will go to my house and change into proper clothes. I will meet you at your parents' house. I will talk to your father as I should have done before.”
The fierce look in his eyes cut her off. “I want you in my bed, Lindsey. I am tired of sneaking about as if what we do when we are together is wrong. I am tired of hiding what I feel for you.”
She looked up at him, a soft pulse beating in her throat. “What is it you feel for me, Thor?”
His gaze remained fierce and intense. “I love you, Lindsey Graham. More than my own life.”
As if at last, he had found what he needed to say, the tension faded from his big hard body and his mouth curved into a smile so filled with love, her heart simply melted.
“You are sweet and you are kind,” he said. “You are smart and you are determined. You are the most courageous woman I have ever known and though you are sometimes pigheaded, in your own way you are wise. You are my life-mate, the woman the gods have chosen for me, and I will love you for all of time and beyond.”
Her eyes welled. “Thorâ¦” Tears rolled down her cheeks as he hauled her into his arms and very thoroughly kissed her. “I love you,” she said softly. “I love you so much.”
There were problems to solve. She shuddered to think of the coming confrontation with her parents. She prayed that in time they would accept Thor as a member of the family, but it was really of no consequence. Thor loved her and she loved him and that was all that truly mattered.
Thor nibbled the side of her neck. “For a time, I did not have the courage to tell you the way I feel, but no more. I love you, Lindsey, and I promise to be the husband you deserve.”
Lindsey looked up at him, into those blue, blue eyes and knew that this man she loved with all her heart was a man who would keep his word.
Two months later
he house echoed with the clink of glasses raised in toast, the sound of laughter and well wishes. After their wedding, a simple service attended by a small group of friends in the chapel of St. Mary's Church, Lindsey's parents had provided a wedding feast at their home.
Her father still grumbled, but in the end, he had accepted Thor as the man she would wed. Her mother was gradually succumbing to her husband's not-so-subtle charm. Thor was, after all, an extremely handsome, very masculine maleâone even her mother could not remain immune to for long. In his own way, he was sweet, and he was caring, and it was clear how much he loved their daughter.
As for Rudy, her brother practically worshipped him. Thor had helped prove Rudy's innocence. Without that help, he might well have hanged.
Other problems had also been solved. Lindsey had explained her situation to Michael, apologized and asked him to forgive her, which amazingly, he had. She had helped Krista find a new editor for the women's section of
Heart to Heart,
though she hoped to continue writing articles from time to time.
Lindsey's husband of four brief hours tugged on her hand. “I have waited long enough. It is time for us to leave.”
She looked back at the cluster of people laughing and talking in the drawing room. “At least let me make my farewells.”
He nodded grudgingly. “I will wait here. Do not take long.”
She cast him a look. He was still not completely comfortable at social gatherings but she didn't really mind. Lindsey gave him a last warm smile and made her way across the room to the circle that included her friends.
She spoke to Krista and Leif. “Thank you for everything. You are both the dearest of friends.”
Krista squeezed her hand. “I am so happy for you.”
Leif bent and kissed her cheek. “My brother is a very lucky man. Welcome to the family.”
Her eyes misted. “Thank you.”
She turned to Corrie and Gray. “Tell Samir we will always be grateful for what he did for Saber.”
“We'll tell him,” Corrie promised.
“And I want you to know how thankful we both feel to have you as our friends.”
Gray lifted his champagne glass. He flicked an affectionate glance at his wife, who had discovered two weeks ago she was definitely carrying his child. Gray had been over the top, which was obvious by the protective way he kept Coralee by his side.
“You married a good man, Lindsey,” Gray said, “though I'll deny it if you tell him I said so.”
She laughed, glanced to where her husband impatiently waited, his eyes dark blue and hungry. She knew he was thinking of the night ahead and her stomach lifted in anticipation.
“I have to go. I shall see you all in a couple of weeks.”
Leif chuckled. “You'll be lucky if my brother lets you out of bed before the end of the month.”
Thor joined her for a few more brief farewells, including a quick goodbye to her parents and Aunt Delilah, who had returned to London for the wedding.
“What did I tell you?” Aunt Dee whispered with a conspiratorial glance at Thor. “I knew it would be impossible to remain
with a man who looked like
Aunt Dee's escort, Colonel Langtree, arched a silver-blond eyebrow. “How difficult do you think it is going to be, my love, to remain merely friends with me?” He slanted Delilah a possessive glance that made very clear his intentions; Aunt Dee's cheeks went pink, and Lindsey thought there would probably be another wedding soon.
Thor took Lindsey's hand and they walked away smiling. A few minutes later, they were finally able to escape.
“We are still more than an hour's ride from home,” Thor grumbled. “I intend to consummate this marriage in our own bed.” She couldn't miss the heat in his eyes and her body warmed at the promise of what was to come.
They hadn't made love in weeks, Thor insisting they be properly wed before he claimed his husbandly rights.
Lindsey wondered if he would truly make it as far as the house before he took her.
But Thor remained stalwart as the carriage rolled toward Greenbriar, the property in the country he had purchased to start his Thoroughbred breeding farm. His control was admirable, except of course, that he touched her, caressed her, teased and kissed her all the way home, and by the time they got there, Lindsey was consumed by a fever of lust.
“It isn't fair,” she muttered as she tried to coax him into making love to her on the plush velvet seat.
“Soon, my love,” he promised, kissing her deeply again. “This is one night I mean for you to remember.”
Lindsey inwardly groaned. She had never endured such torture. Yet every hot look, every heated touch, promised pleasure she would never forget.
And so when they finally reached the lovely manor house and he led her inside, she barely noticed the rose petals strewn across the polished wooden floors, trailing up the staircase to the master's suite. She scarcely saw the soft pink petals strewn over the white linen sheets on the big four-poster bed, or realized the fragrant scent of lilacs came from the pillows.
Instead, the moment Thor carried her over the threshold into the candlelit bedroom, she reached up and pulled his mouth down to hers for a deep, scorching kiss. Thor made a sound low in his throat and returned the fevered contact. In minutes, he had stripped her naked and then himself and carried her over to the big bed they would share from this night forward.
“I meant to undress you slowly,” he said between burning kisses. “I have a strong will, wife, but I am only human.”
Lindsey laughed as his lips moved from her mouth to her breasts. Searing kisses ringed her navel and traveled lower, teased the inside of her thighs. He ran a finger through the tawny curls above her sex and she gasped as his mouth found her most private place and he began to taste her.
Pleasure washed through her. Lindsey peaked in moments, gripping his powerful shoulders, crying out his name and convulsing wildly. Thor did not stop. He had promised her a night she would remember and it was clear he meant to keep his word, continuing his tender assault until another climax shook her.
She was limp and sated by the time he moved above her, kissed her hotly, found her softness and guided himself inside her. Her body responded with a will of its own and desire surged to life once more.
“Pleaseâ¦” she whimpered, beginning to writhe beneath him. “Thorâ¦pleaseâ¦”
A sound of triumph rumbled from beneath the muscles across his chest. He bent his head and suckled her breasts, then he started to move, taking her with penetrating strokes that had her gasping for breath. Pleasure rushed through her, wild and intense. Deep thrusts carried her higher, urged her toward the pinnacle of sweetness and light.
“Thor!” she cried out as she reached fulfillment, wrapping her legs around him, her head falling back at the fierce sensations pouring through her. Thor reached release a few moments later, his muscles tightening, his jaw clenched as waves of pleasure rolled through him.
For long moments they seemed suspended in a world without time. Then he eased himself down beside her and drew her into his arms.
“You belong to me, Lindsey. You are the wife of my destiny, and my heart.” His eyes found hers in the flickering light of the candle. “Tonight, if the gods will it, I will give you a babe.”
Lindsey thought of Samir's potion, lying unused in a drawer, and the woman's time she had missed some weeks back.
A soft, secret smile curved her lips. “There is a very good chance, my darling, that is a task you have already accomplished.”
I hope you enjoyed
Heart of Courage,
the third book in the Heart Trilogy that started with
Heart of Honor
, Leif and Krista's story, followed by
Heart of Fire
, Gray and Coralee's. If you haven't had a chance to read them, I hope you will look for the books and that you enjoy them.
Up next for me is
the first in the all new Bride's Trilogy, tales of the three handsome brothers and the fiery women who win their hearts.
Hope you'll watch for
All best wishes and happy reading,
HEART OF COURAGE
Copyright Â© 2009 by Kat Martin.
All rights reserved. Except for use in any review, the reproduction or utilization of this work in whole or in part in any form by any electronic, mechanical or other means, now known or hereafter invented, including xerography, photocopying and recording, or in any information storage or retrieval system, is forbidden without the written permission of the publisher, MIRA Books, 225 Duncan Mill Road, Don Mills, Ontario, Canada M3B 3K9.
This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places and incidents are either the product of the author's imagination or are used fictitiously, and any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, business establishments, events or locales is entirely coincidental.
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