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Authors: Karolyn Cairns

The Ghost Who Loved Me (29 page)

BOOK: The Ghost Who Loved Me
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The evening ended all too soon for her, not wanting to let Gavin Campbell out of her sight, unnerved by the possessive way she felt towards him from that moment on. It was as if he was hers, even if she knew him to be a stranger. 

Elizabeth was disappointed when young Claire began to droop in her chair. Her father announced they were returning to their Inn in the village. Elizabeth was mesmerized when Gavin took her hand before leaving, bringing her gloved hand to his lips.

“Until I see you again tomorrow, Elizabeth. I shall look forward to the outing.” Gavin’s amber eyes searched hers and seemed satisfied with what he found there.

“Yes, I shall be waiting for you at the stables,” Elizabeth said a bit breathlessly, her eyes clinging to his full sensuous lips a bit longer before dragging her eyes away, her heart beating erratically in her chest. “Say, around nine?”

Gavin nodded as he carried his young daughter outside to their waiting carriage, looking back at her. He was smiling warmly at her standing in the doorway before they departed. Her grandmother let out a long satisfied sigh as she watched them leave.

“What do you think of a late summer wedding, my dear? It gives us nearly six months to plan.”

Elizabeth eyed the meddling old woman in disgust and shook her head. “I think you put the horse before the cart, Gran. I have only just met the man!”

The old woman preened in delight. “Something tells me that this is what is meant to be, Elizabeth. He could hardly take his eyes off you, and you him, all during dinner. I may be old, but I’m not dead yet. Lord Cairnmore is positively besotted with you. He will make an offer before he leaves for Edinburg at month’s end, mark my words.”

~ ~ ~

Two months later, in the overflowing great hall of Camden Downs, Lady Elizabeth Surrey-Carlisle wed Lord Gavin James Campbell. They left the estate amid cheers of family and friends as the happy couple descended the steps to the waiting coach outside.

Claire and her new baby brother stayed behind with Lady Eldora and Lady Margot while the happy couple honeymooned in Paris. The two Surrey women mended their differences recently. Now they only fought over their grandchildren.

The couple would live at Westerleigh for half of the year and Cairnmore the other half. The decision was based upon Elizabeth’s determination that her son grow up in his ancestral home.

Her new husband agreed wholeheartedly with her decision. He took to rearing his baby stepson with an ease and naturalness that surprised and delighted Elizabeth.

Her son latched right onto Gavin from the start. Jamie now fussed to be ever handed off to his mother. She swore the child preferred his stepfather to her, mildly outraged and pleased at the same time to see the bond between them forming.

Elizabeth stared at her new husband seated across from her now, her heart in her eyes as the coach moved away from her childhood home once more in her life, this time happy of it. Their whirlwind courtship was the talk of the county. Lady Margot lamented another scandal. 

From that very first ride on the grounds of Camden Downs, Elizabeth felt herself hopelessly drawn to Gavin Campbell. He looked too much like James for her to look at him for too long at first, disconcerting her from the start.

Elizabeth also noted with growing wonder he had many of his ancestor’s same mannerisms. That way he smiled, his expressive hand gestures, the way he inclined his head when she spoke. She tried to tell herself she was imagining such fanciful things. She was merely wishing to see James in him. 

Their first kiss was initiated by Elizabeth. She desperately had to know if James lurked somewhere behind those teasing amber eyes that held such mysteries locked within their depths.

That haunting kiss and her heated response to Gavin made her increasingly aware of more intimate similarities between both men, her heart racing to think it might very well be possible.

Lady Eldora wasn’t the least bit disappointed the late summer wedding was planned for late spring instead at Elizabeth’s insistence.

Gavin brought her hand to his lips bringing her out of her revelry, his amber eyes filled with adoration. “Why do you look so sad, my love? Are you having any regrets?”

Elizabeth shook her head in wonder, her lips quivering slightly with emotion. Gavin had no idea something more was at work here. He never once questioned how they seemed to fit so perfectly. They fell into step from the moment they met. It was a familiarity that was instantaneous, and far too comfortable to not ever think to question. He accepted all too easily. She was sure they met before.

“I could be no happier, my love.” Elizabeth whispered softly, tears of happiness in her eyes. “I can’t believe this is all real.”

Gavin smiled gently at her heartfelt declaration. His hand reached out, his long finger caressing her lower lip softly. She was immediately startled at that so-familiar gesture. It stirred an older memory within her aching heart.

This man was real, Elizabeth argued with herself once more, not daring to have hope. Gavin was alive and hers to cherish. It wasn’t possible what she was thinking might be true. Those amber eyes met hers with a gleam in them, his slow maddening smile making her heart flutter madly in her chest.

Elizabeth was now convinced. She saw too many similarities between both men from the start to never question they were inexplicably the same. His next words confirmed what her heart already knew.

“Believe me, my love. It is all very real. I have waited an eternity for you, Elizabeth.”

The End

BOOK: The Ghost Who Loved Me
2.36Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub

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