Blue Bonnets

Blue Bonnets by Marie Laval Read Free Book Online

Book: Blue Bonnets by Marie Laval Read Free Book Online
Authors: Marie Laval
bloody hell I tell you to do. Understood?’
    The stick snapped in his hand and he threw the pieces in the fire.
    When he turned round again, he was surprised to see tears in her eyes.
    â€˜How dare you speak to me like this?’ Her voice shook. ‘It is true I misjudged the intentions of the post-guard and the coach driver,’ she carried on in a choked voice. ‘It is also true I’m not clever. I’m nothing like my mother or Harriet, my brother’s wife. I can’t read a serious book without falling asleep and if I don’t concentrate really hard when I help Akhtar with the accounts I get all the figures mixed up…’
    She was so pretty with her pink cheeks and her shiny blue eyes that he had trouble concentrating on what she was saying. Why was she saying she wasn’t bright? Hell. The woman could speak French, English and Arabic, and if that wasn’t clever, he didn’t know what was.
    â€˜But I’m not a spoilt brat,’ she resumed, ‘and I don’t crack the whip to anyone. We only have a few servants in Bou Saada and they’re like family to us.’
    Her words penetrated the thick mist of his consciousness. He shook his head.
    â€˜Hang on a minute… So what you said that first day about whipping your servants, it was a lie?’
    She shrugged. ‘Of course.’
    â€˜And you‘re not rich?’
    She shook her head. ‘Our estate was confiscated by the French army over a year ago and was only recently given back to us in a pitiful state. My brother offered to help us rebuild it, but my mother is a very proud woman. She would never accept charity from anyone, let alone her own son.’
    â€˜Does McRae know you’re not rich?’
    â€˜Of course.’
    â€˜Then why did he marry you?’
    Her blue eyes opened wider.
    â€˜He married me because he loves me.’
    â€˜Love?’ he sneered. ‘Marriage is a business arrangement, especially where McRae is concerned.’
    Her cheeks turned a deep shade of red.
    â€˜You are truly the most horrid man I ever met. How I wish you’d fallen off that cliff the other night or that your Merry Dancers had come to take you away!’
    She darted to the door, grabbed hold of the handle, managed to pull the door open onto the cold, stormy night, but he was right behind her. He slammed the door shut.
    â€˜Where do you think you’re going?’
    She spun round, her back against the door. He put his hands on either side of her head, caging her in.
    â€˜Outside. And I don’t care if I freeze to death. Anywhere is better than being stuck here with you. You hated me from the very minute I arrived at Wrath Harbour. It’s a wonder you bothered to come after me at all.’
    Mesmerized by her mouth, so tantalisingly close, he bent down slowly. His heart beat fast, driven by a need so powerful he was losing control.
    She was trapped between the hard, cold wooden door and his hard, hot body, and even though he wasn’t touching her she was completely at his mercy. His gaze skimmed over her eyes, her face, down to her throat and her chest which rose with every fast, shallow breath she took. She was no match for him. It would be so easy to kiss her and take her, here and now.
    He closed the gap between them until her breasts brushed against his chest and their hips made contact.
    She gasped and fear made her eyes grow wide. It was like a slap in the face. What the hell was he doing, forcing himself onto a woman?
    He pulled away, and stepped back inside the room.
    â€˜I already told you. I’m protecting my interests,’ he said, bringing a note of harshness into his voice. ‘As long as I have you, McRae will have to do what I say and call his bankers off.’
    â€˜So I’m just a pawn in your bitter war against my husband. That’s the only reason you came after me?’
    He nodded. ‘Of course, what else?’
    â€˜Then you really

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