He felt her tremble more fiercely. He pushed away from her, furious with himself. He rose. He saw her eyes widen with amazement. She sat up, quickly pulling on the ties of her gown.
He bowed to her, mocking himself as well as their sham of a marriage. "Pleasant dreams."
"You're leaving," she said quickly.
"You want me to stay?" he queried softly, leaning close to her, feeling the warmth of her once more.
"I--" she began but it seemed she did not know what to say next. She paused, moistening her lips. He could see her pride battling with her absolute relief that he seemed to have second thoughts.
"You need to remember what you want from me, Amorica. Bloody hell, I think I need a drink." He turned and started for the door.
To his amazement, a pillow hit him. "How dare you. How dare you seduce me and--" she began.
He did not give her time to finish. "And walk away? I will come back to your bed if you ask."
"You did this to humiliate me, to strip me of my modesty, to show me you could have me if you wanted. I am not at your disposal, Damian Andrews. I do not love you."
He walked back to her quickly, catching hold of her even as she protested, pulling her back up into his arms. "Amorica, I can't strip you of anything. You have agreed to be my wife. No one would think twice if I stayed here this night with you. Indeed tongues are all ready wagging about our sleeping quarters."
"And your mistress has done nothing to dispel the gossip."
"She has no reason. You have taken that which she once thought of as hers. I never wanted to humiliate you. You walked into a room where I forbade you to go and set all this in motion. God alive! I have tormented myself. But there is more to all this. You married me. You made your choices, and for the time you must honor that commitment. But for the moment, good night!"
He set her down. She sank back to the bed, her eyes huge pools of despair and perhaps anger. He had not meant to fight with her.
When he left her this time, she didn't say anything. Her eyes seemed to shoot daggers at him. Even as he walked away he could feel them slicing into his back.
Just who had taken whom tonight, he wondered. Almost taken, he amended. For Amorica might well lie awake questioning all that had transpired and how close she had come to giving herself to him. But he was suffering the tortures of the damned.
As he closed the door, he thought he heard her whisper.
"I will never be your wife."