Lord of Wicked Intentions(Lost Lords of Pembrook,Book 3)(23) by Lorraine Heath
She pulled herself up the grand staircase. At the top she turned in the direction of her bedchamber. As she passed a door, she stopped.
It barred entrance to his bedchamber. Last night, she’d heard movement in there as the maids had been undressing her and attempting to warm her quickly. Then it had grown eerily quiet.
Was a globe in that room as well? His bed was there, the bed she would share with him. She wondered what it looked like. Large. Thick sturdy wood. Dark wood. She supposed the canopy would be draped in the burgundy he favored. The room would smell of him. Sandalwood and bergamot. And Scotch. Although that was more taste than fragrance. On his tongue, in her mouth. Licking her lips, she could almost taste that devastating kiss that he’d bestowed upon her after they’d come to terms near midnight.
A tiny shiver swept through her. In that room, in that bed, he would do a good deal more than kiss her. She would be uncomfortable enough with him. She should be familiar with the room, be at ease within it. She reached for the knob—
Strong fingers wrapped around her wrist, pulled her to the side, and she found herself brushing up against Rafe.
“You seem to have lost your way,” he said. “Your room is next door.”
She swallowed down the lump of fear that had risen in her throat. “I’ve been touring the residence. I just wanted to see your room.”
“You’re never to go in there.”
Confused, she blinked. Dare she hope that he had changed his mind? “Then how will I get into your bed?”
“I’ll come to yours.”
No reprieve. Blast him. That knowledge pricked her temper. “But you said I would be in your bed.”
“It’s an expression, although technically your bed is my bed since I own it.”
“But you’re giving it to me, along with the residence and everything in it. Did I have that correct?”
He narrowed his eyes. “Yes, but not until I’m done with you.”
“Then it is to my advantage to displease you.”
The smile he gave her was one of a wolf on the verge of eating its prey. “You do not want to displease me.”
“You’re hurting me.”
He glanced at her wrist as though he’d forgotten she possessed one. Slowly he unfurled his fingers. “My apologies. Fetch your wrap. We’re going to the dressmaker.”
“I see.” Dear God, she was taking another irrevocable step. Once he bought her clothes—but what choice did she have? She turned on her heel.
Stopping, she spun to face him. He was concentrating on tugging his gloves. “As you are now familiar with the house, in which room did you wish Laurence to have your father’s portrait hung?”
She could do little more than stare at him. “You have it already?”
He gave her but one brisk nod. He was certainly not one to let moss grow beneath his feet. Compared to him, Geoffrey went through life much like a sloth.
“In my bedchamber, I suppose.”
“Do you truly want to see his face when you and I are . . . intimately engaged?”
Her heart nearly dropped to her toes. “Ah, no, you’re quite right. The front parlor? No, wait. That little sitting room that looks out over the garden. I should like it there.”
He studied her as though he could envision her in that small room. “I shall see that it’s done while we’re gone. By the by, bring your jewelry.”
“Because it would please me for you to do so. Now hurry along. I don’t like to be kept waiting.”
With that, he spun on his heel and headed down the stairs. She was tempted to open the door to his bedchamber, simply because he’d said she couldn’t. What was he hiding? It was only a room.
She also considered making him wait, but she had yet to discern how volatile his temper might be. For now she hurried into her bedchamber, gathered her jewelry, slipped it into a skirt pocket, and snatched up her wrap. Back in the hallway, she considered escaping down the servants’ stairs. Instead, she squared her shoulders and marched to meet the devil.
The skies were overcast. As the carriage rumbled along, Rafe watched the shadows weave in and out, dance over and around her as she gazed out the window. And blast it all if he didn’t envy their ability to touch her so lightly. She’d rubbed her wrist—the one he’d held with his powerful grip—a couple of times now, and it was all he could do not to take her hand, peel off her glove, and press a kiss to where he’d felt her pulse thrumming earlier.
He didn’t know why he’d reacted as he had. The door to his bedchamber was locked. She’d have not been able to enter anyway. His hold had tightened with the talk about beds and her in them. He imagined her there, sprawled over the sheets, her loosened hair spread out around her. How long was it? The braid she’d worn last night only hinted at its length.
He’d almost laughed when she’d given him the daring look and said that it was to her advantage to displease him. When was the last time he’d laughed? He couldn’t recall. He didn’t want to be intrigued by her. One moment she seemed vulnerable, and the next she was standing up to him. Displease him, would she? He doubted it very much.
“You don’t really intend to give me the residence, do you?” she asked in that raspy voice that seemed a bit rougher since last night.
“I said I would.”
She peered over at him. “But it and everything in it must be worth a fortune.”
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