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Authors: Paula Quinn

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BOOK: Ravished by a Highlander
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“There is still time to pray that his young wife bears him a son.” She smiled, seeing the anguish in his eyes. He could not
bring himself to smile back at her.

And what of her duty to God? ’Twas her faith that molded her, not some stately English court. ’Twas God she knew and trusted.
He didn’t want to ask her. He didn’t want to hear her answer, but he had to know. “And if the king does have a son, would
ye defy God fer me, Davina?”

“I would not have to,” she answered softly, tilting her mouth to his. “Remember, it was God who assigned you to me.”

Chapter Twenty-four

N
o man in the three kingdoms or beyond would ever compare to the one in Davina’s arms. If she was married and widowed a hundred
different times, and each of her husbands loved her, it would always remain that her heart belonged to Rob alone.

Ah, God, You sent him to me knowing that I would love him beyond reason.

Her heart beat at a frantic pace as she closed her eyes to kiss him, praying that God would not have sent him only to ask
her to give him up.

Molding her lips to Rob’s fine ones, she knew her heart never would. She knew what she meant to him—not because of land or
her name, but simply because of her. He told her every time their eyes met. Rob was an intimidating man even when he wasn’t
brooding, but not with her. Never with her. She couldn’t recall a single time when he didn’t seem to melt at the sight of
her. He made her feel cherished, adored, and alive. Oh yes, she knew what she meant to him. He proved it when he brought her
to Camlochlin.

As she ran her palms down his sculpted arms, she marveled that a waif dressed in loose robes had won the affection of such
a magnificent man. When she dragged her fingertips over the belt at his hips, his body went rigid, his kiss, more passionate.

Only he could have picked the pieces of her heart off the floor and handed them back to her whole again. Only he could make
her forget everything and everyone in her life, becoming the most vital thing in it. She was his, and she wanted to give him
everything; her love, her trust, her body.

She lost her breath when his shaky fingers slipped beneath her earasaid and slid it off her shoulder. She did not think about
what they were doing, or would be doing shortly. She reacted to his hungry mouth, to the silky demand of his tongue, and the
raw need in his touch purely on instinct. She loved him and she wanted to share this deeper, sacred intimacy with him. Consumed
in his heathery scent, she let him intoxicate her further when he rolled her on her back—her bottom lip captured between his
teeth—and cupped his hand around her breast. Her nipple tightened between his thumb and forefinger and sent a fiery charge
to the crux between her thighs.

“Rob, I—” She squirmed beneath him as strange, titillating heat coursed through her blood.

“I want ye to be mine, Davina.”

She wanted it too. She wanted to watch his restraint fall away, the discipline he’d practiced every day at her side come undone.
She wasn’t afraid of what lay beneath Rob’s iron control. She wasn’t afraid of anything with him.

With a groan that snapped his muscles taut, she pulled his belt free and dropped it to the floor. He broke their kiss only
long enough to curl his mouth into a sinuous, sensual snarl that made her insides ache and her face grow warm.

But clearly, he liked her boldness.

The remainder of their clothes came off in a tangle of arms and legs that left them both panting, but when Rob took her nipple
into his mouth and sucked, she realized she had gone beyond the point of returning. He was going to take her. His hot, heavy
arousal pressed against her belly attested to it. A part of her that she did not understand quivered for it, even as her mind
began to protest. She didn’t care about laws—being with him felt too right, as if she was born to love him. She was frightened,
though, of his size and suddenly ashamed of her inadequacies.

“I don’t know what to do.”

His voice was a tight moan along her breast. “I will teach ye.”

“What if I don’t like it?” she queried with a bit more panic in her voice.

“Ye will,” he promised and he spread his tongue over her nipple, a slow, languid caress that made her spread her legs wider
before she could stop them. He didn’t mount her, though the sight of him, dark and wild for her, riddled her thoughts with
stallions ready for mating.

His eyes gleamed on her like blue-gold flames, basking in what he saw. Rising over her, his shaft hard and long poised over
her moist flesh, he lowered only his face to her mouth, her throat, kissing and licking down between the swell of her breasts
until he reached her belly.

Her body jerked at the intimacy of his kiss. She gasped at the forbidden touch of his fingers and then of his tongue as he
spread her and stroked her until she writhed beneath him. Fleetingly, she wondered if what he was doing was sinful, or if
winding her fingers through his hair and pulling his dark curls free was an acceptable part of nature’s dance. But even Solomon
from the Good Book delighted in his beloved. With each salacious lick of Rob’s tongue, he drove all conscious thought from
her head and left her trembling with a need that burned her to her very core. The gentle scrape of his teeth over her bud
sent waves of scalding spasms through her muscles, and when he sucked her into his mouth, flicking his tongue over her engorged
passion, she cried out on the brink of pleasure’s pinnacle.

They could both be killed for what they were doing, but Davina didn’t let herself think about that now, just as she didn’t
think about falling off the ship or over the jagged cliffs of Elgol. She was done with being a coward. She loved Rob and she
wanted more of him, all of him. Her heart would be forever bound to his and if she had but one night, this night only, to
give herself to him freely, fully, she was going to take it.

“Come here to me,” she whispered, her voice ragged and unfamiliar to her ears.

He went, lowering himself onto her and enfolding her in his arms. “I dinna’ want to hurt ye, my love.”

“I would forgive you a thousand times if you did.”

“Och, lass, but ye slay my soul with yer smile. I will become a pitiful blossom-wieldin’ slave to yer happiness.”

“But you will be happy too.” She smiled and opened her mouth to his.

He made love to her slowly, taking his time to ready her untried body to receive him. When she flicked her tongue over her
lips and arched her back, just slightly enough to rub herself over his swollen shaft, his patience left him. Snaking his arm
beneath her waist, he hefted her hips upward with a grunt of pure male demand. Spreading her wide beneath him, he surged against
her, from the tip of his glistening head to the thick, throbbing base, harder than steel.

She shuddered, afraid of what he was about to do, but she reached for him as anticipation blended with trepidation and searing,
shameless desire. She clung to him while he broke through her barrier with slow, tender persistence. Pain speared through
her like a burst of flame and she cried out, certain that he’d torn her open.

“Davina.” He was there, above her, his breath hot against her mouth. She opened her eyes to him, ashamed of her tears, and
then astounded to see them in his eyes as well. “I love ye, lass,” he whispered deeply, running his fingers over her cheek.
“Ye will always be first and foremost to me.”

She believed him. Oh God, thank You, thank You, thank You. “And you to me,” she vowed as he kissed her mouth, her chin, the
swell of her breast, sinking a little deeper into her with each tender surge.

The pain increased as Rob stretched her, but still he pushed, plunging inside her with slow, salacious strokes that began
to feel deliciously good. How could she ever be afraid of anything with this man? She trusted him fully, wholly, with her
life, her happiness, and with her heart. She loved being in his arms, the feel of his hard body atop hers, covering her, cherishing
her. He was more than she ever could have dreamed of.

Her muscles clenched around him and he groaned with pleasure and buried his length into her.

“I hope ye want this life with me, Davina.” His voice was thick and heavy with need.

Yes, yes, she did.

He pulled his length almost free of her tight sheath and rose up above her. “Because tonight…” He slipped his hand behind
her nape and dragged her toward his hungry mouth while he thrust deep inside her, impaling her to him again, and then again.
“I want to get ye heavy with my bairn, and tomorrow”—he drove into her harder, faster, staring into her eyes as he shot the
full bounty of his seed inside her—“I want to marry ye.”

Rob awoke from a dream and ran his palm over the soft indentation where Davina had fallen asleep in his arms. His dream faded
and left the terrifying sense of losing her in its wake. He sat up in his bed, ready to take her back.

Darkness replaced the honeyed glow of the dying hearth fire. Silence clung to the thick stone walls and seeped deep into Rob’s
marrow, drawing his gaze toward the only source of light in the room.

She stood at the window. Her face, tilted toward Heaven, was bathed in the pearly caress of moonlight. His heart accelerated
at the sight of her lost in his large tunic. Her arms were crossed over her chest, her hands unseen beneath his long sleeves,
as the wind whistling over the hills lifted her pale tresses softly off her shoulders. Dear God, she looked so vulnerable,
so alone, and so utterly beautiful standing there that he nearly leapt from the bed.

The need to go to her was maddening, but her silence was the comfort she gave to herself—the comfort no one else was able
to give her. Rob was loath to disrupt it, though he wanted to be the one to offer it to her.

He whispered her name, unable to control his own mouth, or the need to follow her wherever she went.

Hearing him, she turned her head, granting him full view of her face as she smiled. “I love when you say my name.”

“Aye?” Rob’s voice pulsed along with his heart as he tossed his legs over the side of the bed. Standing, he drew his blanket
around his shoulders and went to her. “Callin’ ye ‘wife’ is oot of the question, then?”

“Not if I have anything to say about it.” Her smile grew as wide as his when he reached her.

“Nor I,” he promised, stepping behind her and closing his arms around her beneath the blanket. He wanted to carry her back
to bed and make love to her until the morning, but she returned her pensive gaze to the world outside his window. Where was
she going? What was it that sometimes drew her away, leaving her so serious and withdrawn?

“I willna’ let any harm come to ye,” he breathed across her ear.

“I know that.” She covered his hand on her chest with her own. “I was just thinking about my father,” she said after a moment.
“I have done the like many times throughout my life. Wondering if he would know me, if he had ever felt the void at his feet
where Mary and Anne played. It is foolish to dwell on such things, I know…”

“’Tis no’ foolish.” He pressed his lips to the back of her head and closed his eyes, following her to a place where no one
had trod before him, and loving her all the more for allowing him to come.

“Do you know how difficult it is to know your family exists, living their lives every day without you, without wanting you
in it? I used to pray for him to come for me—him and my mother. But he never did. Later, I understood why, but it did not
lessen the isolation. I filled my days with dreams of being someone else. Someone not vital to the kingdom. Just me—out there,
living, loving, with no fear of tomorrow. I languished over how different my life would have been if I wasn’t the daughter
of the Catholic heir to the throne, until I finally hated that I was, and accepted my fate without a fight.” She turned in
his arms, the shadows gone from her eyes as she looked up at him. “And then you snatched me from the ashes and stirred my
dreams back to life.”

Rob smiled, pulling her closer. “Ye’ve nae need to dream anymore, my love,” he said, kissing her mouth. “I will give ye everything
ye need, everything ye want, and more.”

He swept her up and carried her back to bed. This time, they made love slowly, curiously, as if they had their entire lifetimes
to squander away on nothing more pressing than what made the other groan with delight, or smile in ecstasy.

But they didn’t have a lifetime. Rob knew her father would come for her eventually, and now, knowing how badly Davina had
always wanted him in her life, his fear that she would go with him to England to fulfill her destiny nearly overwhelmed him.
Nae, he would take her as his wife and help her forget all she lost, give her everything as he had promised, and pray that
the king never found them. Even if he did, James did not know her. He’d never visited St. Christopher’s. There was no one
left alive from the Abbey to identify her as the king’s daughter. No one but Asher… and that would be remedied in the morning.

Chapter Twenty-five
BOOK: Ravished by a Highlander
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