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Authors: Jewel Adams

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Ice Maiden (8 page)

BOOK: Ice Maiden
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Falling to her knees beside the bed, Amy
sought the comforting reality of his touch. Clasping his huge hand
within her own she held its sleeping strength against her cheek.
The heat of the fever that she feared would strike him burned
against her coolness. “You will heal my rouge Lord, I don't believe
I could face my life in your time without your strength to guide
me.” The admission was one she would never speak should he be in
control of his faculties, but Amy lost the battles against the
truth.

She absently brushed back a fallen curl from
his proud brow. “Do you think God brought me to you through the
shifting sands of time? I reached out to hold to what you promised
in your kiss and in that moment I awakened from my death to life in
your arms.” Lowering her head against his own, she whispered
against his ear. “Ack, I did die, he killed me for greed! If only
you could kill Peter, the beast that haunts my dreams.”

Bern forced his mind and body to remain
dispassionate to her painful confession. The words she spoke were
so full of riddles. The confusion they delivered did not happen
because of the fever she believed he slept under. Nay, he neither
imagined what he listened to; he felt every burning contact of her
against his fired flesh as he strained in silence not to miss a
word she uttered. Ack! If only she would stop caressing him. Even
weak, he feared his eager body wanted to betray him and respond to
her nearness, allowing her to discover he was conscious.

Amy wished she could forget everything that
brought her to be beside this man. Tracing the powerful line of his
jaw, her fingertip moved to memorize his full haunting lips.

“Will I stay to fall prey to their ravaging
power? I believe I fear leaving you more than I do the possibility
of facing my own death.” Closing her eyes, Amy felt the cool trail
of her tears for the harsh honesty she secretly spoke. Looking upon
his still features she marveled over the hold he convened and
unknowingly won over her. “What a glorious state of conceit you
would fall into should you discover your vowed battles against me
are not necessary. And how shameful I am to admit so swift a
defeat?” Laughing softly to herself. “You are everything I avoided
in my past life. Domineering, proud more than conceited, but ack,
you do want to rule me and I am actually contemplating letting you.
Of course, finding yourself thrown back in time is in itself a very
valid excuse for my unusual behavior.” Studying him, she almost
wished he could hear her, “I wonder what you would do if you knew
that the woman you courted and held in your arms that morning,
became another in the breath of a kiss? That’s right, I am Amy
Bonner, not Lady Amelia. Our souls are not so different. I believe
Amelia truly played her part and a marvelous actress she must have
been not to expose herself before your siege, my handsome rogue. I,
of course, ruined all her good works under that mastering kiss of
yours. I suspect she would likely kill me for my weakness, but then
I have little doubt she hates me for trading her life for my
death!”

It took a tremendous amount of control for
Bern not to capture her to him when she pushed away and began
pacing about the room. Through his concealing lashes he watched her
frantic steps, feeling the need mounting in her to seek escape.

Cursing his present condition, knowing any
attempt he might try to stop her would fail and only expose his
knowledge, one he believed she would truly run from. Bern prayed
Craig and his men would stop the flight she might attempt. What he
just learned sounded unbelievable. But then she wasn't anything
like the woman he had been in constant company with these last
weeks! His own pride in thinking he breached her defenses almost
blinded him to the truth of it!

When she stopped and turned back to face him,
Bern's breath stilled in his chest. “Would you run from the truth
of whom I am and where I come from, my lord? Or would you slay the
imposter out of fear and the superstitions that run rampart in your
time? I am only a woman, no matter the century.”

He wanted desperately to deny her fears, but
his interference wasn't allowed. Especially when he was incapable
of battling her own fears for what she believed he would do to her.
Bern prayed she would not discover his awareness, but God what he
did know!

“Am I so wrong, so selfish, to hide the truth
from you? I wish I were her, if only because it would mean there
would be no secrets between us. Unfortunately, I can't be that
honest, you see I have suffered death, murdered by Peter. Greed, it
is a powerful motive. What I don’t know is if the beast still
stalks me. I choose you over death, my Lord. I fear my weakness
sealed our lives together at that moment and I have not the courage
to sever the tie. If I could I would beg your forgiveness.”

The painful groan that reached her from
across the room made her still at the door in indecision. She
should leave, now, before he could stop her!

Another moan made her body rock against its
reaching hold.

He counted every struggling step she made to
return to his side. The war she waged not to desert him proved
fierce and he cherished his victory in silence. Bern swore as her
hands returned to sooth his heated skin that she would never be
free of the hold he intended to use to keep her at his side. He
would conquer her fears, even death's beast, to keep her where she
now belonged!

 

 

CHAPTER 5

 

“Would ye poison me woman!”

“Nay, but I might let the boar finish his
havoc should ye persist in this vile temper!”

Amy faced a difficult time keeping her glare
on him, her relief too great that he survived. Only a week and
already he bellowed for freedom from his confinement.
Strong,
aye he was certainly that.

Before he tossed the bowl of broth across the
room she snatched it from the tray. “I need meat, red and dripping
in sizzling fat!”

“You need a better diet.”

His eyes rolled at her as if their thunder
could strike her silent. “Meat woman or I will find my own
substance to compensate!”

The threat beneath his lowering lashes wasn't
a new one. What devilishly sexy eyes he possessed.

God, but he gloried in her stamina to stand
up to him. And how she mellowed before his sensual threats, purring
like a frisky kitten, one he wanted to tame. “Come closer Amy me
girl or are ye afraid?”

“Afraid? Of you? Hardly. But I will not see
those stitches ripped open by your foolishness.”

Knowing she would naught relent, Bern sunk
back into the mound of pillows, refusing to give her the
satisfaction her scrutiny sought to confirm that he over did it,
again. “You are a hard one, Amy.”

“And you are too impatient. Let yourself
heal, Bern. Craig has everything in order, why, not even a dog
could pass the gates undetected. I really think he is overdoing it
a bit, he's giving the good Captain hissy fits with his
precautions.”

Bern smiled over her innocent revelations.
Under her orders that no one could disturb him, he'd been growling
like a lion over his inability to confer with Craig.

“And those night patrols, it's a good thing
Lansing hasn't gotten wind of those.”

“Aye, but ye did.” Night existed as her
demon. Nay, she rarely slept except for the naps he would catch her
in when she thought he was doing the same. Curled up in that chair
she looked like a small child. He wondered if she would sleep in
peace within the sanctity of his arms?

“Sweet Amy...”

“Stop right there, sweet talking me doesn't
work.”

“Are ye sure?”

Tossing him a smile over her shoulder.
“Positive, at least eat the fruit, you need the vitamins.”

“Vitamins, protein! You've some strange
convictions lass.” Bern checked his displeasure. These last days
together she began to relax in his presence. The drop of her guard
allowed her to speak freely. He caught her panic over her slips
that gave him glimpses into her other life.

“They are just other words for nourishing
foods.”

Aye, her words for the knowledge she carried.
Like the boiling of all cloth that touched his torn flesh. And the
sulfur powder she sprinkled on the wound to kill invisible bugs
only she could fret over. Bern held the belief these were only
minor peeks into the differences between her duel existences.

One thing they shared in common, whether she
realized it or not, was their common fear over the secret she
lived. Nay, telling anyone would be a danger he could never expose
her to. She was right, superstition would rule against her. Bern
found pride in himself that he kept those fears from raising their
suspicious heads. She was not a witch or demon, only a woman. Who
somehow cheated death?

“Are you alright, Bern?”

To hide what she saw in him. “Should I naught
be? You starve me and this infernal stitchery of yours is its own
itching torture.”

He reminded her of a small boy when he
scolded her. “Sweet man, you're mending very fast, but do give it
another day or two. I promise to relent on the meat if you
insist.”

“I do.”

“Alright then, I will go and tell Mistress
Tilly to send up a platter, but lean, no fat and some steamed
greens.”

Gritting his back teeth he swallowed his
argument letting his attention drift to the gentle sway of her
hips. “Ah lass couldn't ye sooth my pain before ye go?”

He knew only too well how to keep her with
him and he grew shameless in using his wiles.

She caught the grimace of pain he failed to
conceal, Amy felt guilty for the suspicious doubts she held over
his request.

“It is the stitches, they have grown too
tight.”

“You are healing, new skin is forming and
closing the wound.”

Bern did not move, letting her concentration
fall to his leg, waiting for her to move closer.

Amy's squeal turned to outrage over his trick
as he pulled her over him, pinning her in place with his good leg.
“Lie still lass or you will ruin all your good healing.”

“You tricked me, let me up!”

Bern's smile of denial was glorious. “I like
ye, where ye be.”

“Oh! You are horrible.”

“Is wanting to feel you against me so awful?”
He watched her press her lovely lips into a stubborn pout. She
couldn't hide her own enjoyment over her predicament and his
laughter filled the room. “Maybe I will lock ye in the tower.” Her
eyes grew enormous. “I have decided I do not like having other men
look at ye, selfish, aye, that is what you have made me.”

Feeling her body start to relax Bern eased
his own hold, knowing she would naught try to escape. She liked his
words, if only she believed them.

“When we marry I intend on holding ye often,
but without all these barriers.” His finger traced the neckline of
her gown enjoying the increased pressure her breast made against
his bare chest. “They are lovely.”

Amy couldn't smother her pleasurable moan as
his thumb brushed under her breast. She should protest the
liberties he kept taking, but his name sounded more like a plea to
her ears.

“Aye Amy, I am impatient, but not for the
reasons you believe.”

“Your leg.”

“Is healing, I want you lass as I have never
wanted a woman. I want to lavish your body with feverish loving
until you cry out my name and I hear you are mine, forever.”

Amy's hands pressed into his solid chest to
escape, but her defeat was swift, her fingers found and touched
what they craved for far too long. “Bern...”

“Aye lass, we will be glorious together.”
Having a fierce will he exerted its full power not to answer the
plea in her spellbound eyes. Nay, he would be whole when at last
they made love, for it would be a wild and passionate coupling.
“Sleep with me lass, in my arms, now.”

“But...”

His finger silenced her protest. She too
would be rested if he must force it upon her. “Now Amy, I need ye
beside me so I can sleep.”

She may be a fool, but Amy found no hidden
play behind the request in his eyes. “Alright, Bern.”

Kissing the tip of her nose. “Good, now help
me ease over so we're both comfortable.” He never released his hold
completely, insuring she'd not run away.

As she came to rest against his good side he
felt the tension gripping her body. “Only sleep, sweet Amy.”

Smiling into his bare shoulder, she thought
his request to be an impossible feat. Lying beside him was crazy,
what his mere touch did to her body felt unbelievable.

“Ye are as tight as a bowstring.”

“So are you.”

“I am built that way, ye are naught.”

Properly chastened Amy smothered her giggle
in his solid flesh.

Bern swallowed hard to keep back what she was
doing to him, deciding he might have made a mistake to think he
could do this and not more!

Tucking her head beneath his chin he ended
her tickling movements. She seemed to have discovered a sensitive
part of his body he never experienced before. Even her gentle
breathing sent tremors racing through him.

Trying to control his own responses to her
soft body molded against his brawn, Bern absently massaged her
temples. Slowly he felt her begin to relax. The silence filled with
her gentle breathing that slowly calmed into restful sleep.
Completely at peace in his arms, he carefully moved her closer
until she lay atop of his chest. Bern wrapped them in the blankets
locking her in his arms.

Hearing the door open he refused to stir,
fearing he would wake her.

Tilly fought with her shock seeing the fully
clothed Lady snuggled in his bare arms. Her amusement over his
shameful anguish quickly softened her heart. Lord Randall carefully
raised his finger to his lips and whispered. “She finally
sleeps.”

Smiling back and nodding in understanding
their gazes spoke volumes as she backed out of the room.

BOOK: Ice Maiden
11.51Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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