The Mysterious Mr. Heath

The Mysterious Mr. Heath by Ariel Atwell Read Free Book Online

Book: The Mysterious Mr. Heath by Ariel Atwell Read Free Book Online
Authors: Ariel Atwell
Tags: historical regency
body pressed tightly against his. She wasn’t small, but he was much bigger and very strong, and he made her feel safe. It was a good sensation.
    For a long while, he simply held her. “Laurence,” he said at last, pressing his lips against her brow.
    “Yes, Matthew.”
    “Please tell me what the hell is going on here.”
    She took a deep breath. “As you know, I was born and raised in London…”

Chapter Eight
    She lit a candle at his request, and he stared at her long and hard in the flickering light.
    “I cannot believe I didn’t see it before,” he said. “How could I be such a fool?”
    “In my experience, people tend to see what they want to see or expect to see,” Laurence replied.
    “I see a beautiful woman, which is not at all what I was expecting,” he agreed, and then possessed her lips in a kiss so deep and so sweet that she wanted to weep for the beauty of it. How good it felt having her nipples against his chest, her hips against his hips, with the taste and scent of him filling her senses. When he moved his hands over her back and shoulders, shivers of pleasure webbed through her body.
    It was only when he reached below the hem to caress bare flesh that she stiffened. The sensation of his skin against hers was welcome, yet strange and unfamiliar, and she was uncertain about what to do or how to react.
    It took him a few moments to realize she was no longer responding to his caresses. “Have I misread your intentions?” he asked. “For I will stop if this isn’t what you want.”
    “No,” she said softly, her reply unconvincing even to her own ears. “That is…” Her voice trailed off.
    “That is…” he prompted.
    She couldn’t look at him.
    He tipped up her chin and looked into her eyes. “How is it that the fearsome solicitor who has argued complicated cases against the most powerful of men in the courtroom cannot tell me the simple truth about what she is thinking in my arms?” he asked.
    It was a fair question. “I have not, that is, I don’t…” She was stammering now. Drat and bother. Why was this so difficult?
    Understanding dawned in his eyes. “Laurence, have you ever been with a man before? In an intimate way, I mean.”
    She exhaled in relief. “I have not been with a man before in any way,” she replied, gratified at how steady her voice sounded now.
    “How is that possible?” he asked, rubbing his thumb across her cheek.
    “Why would you think it would be impossible?” she shot back.
    “I do not know, for I am traversing territory that is wholly unknown to me, and I seem to lose my footing with every step.” He gave her a searching look. “Dare I hope that you have revealed your true self to me because you want us to be together as man and woman?”
    She took a deep breath. “I think so.”
    His smile was strained. “My desire for you is strong, but my regard for you is far stronger. I need for you to be absolutely certain.” His voice was as serious as she had ever heard it before.
    She swallowed. “I am certain,” she said, and as the words emerged from her lips, she knew in her heart she spoke the truth. He was good and honorable. If she was going to be with a man, she wanted it to be him.
    “There is trust in your eyes that I am not worthy of, but I am selfish enough not to care,” he said. “For I want you enough to cast all honor aside.”
    He pulled her close again, seeking her lips as if he had been starved of them for too long. When he thrust his tongue in her mouth, she returned the favor, reveling in his taste. She might have stayed there and kissed him forever, but he had other ideas, sliding his hands down to cup her bare bottom. His touch was warm, each place of contact sending sparks of pleasure through her skin.
    “You have done an excellent job disguising yourself as a man, but the softness of your skin alone reveals that you are all woman,” he said huskily, and for the first time in her life, Laurence felt both feminine and

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