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The drawing will be held on August 28th.
Ian stepped into the room. "Smells as if ye crushed a whole bunch of those herbs ye have into that stew pot. And I am starved, nay, famished." Ian walked around Keely's hut, his eyes closed, savoring the delicious aroma emanating from the pot. His stomach grumbled hungrily.
"You were right," she spoke softly, but did not turn to face him while she mixed and swirled the stew. She straightened, her hands at the small of her back, and rubbed the muscles.
Whatever Ian had been going to say was forgotten beneath the impact of the supple reach and sway of Keely's body while she worked out the kinks that had been made by working too hard. He marveled at the gentle flare of her hips, and the sweet, evocative curve of her breasts. And he wanted nothing more than to give her a life of ease. She was made for finer things than living in a hovel away from all humanity--away from him.
"About what?" he asked, wishing he could see into her mind--read all her thoughts.
"You don't remember?"
"Nay." He paused thoughtfully, still watching her.
"I thought you would find trouble in the village. I thought that as the moon rose and you had not returned, I would have to trek into the village and rescue you."
He chuckled, then he cleared his throat, not wishing to give away his thoughts. "There was no trouble to find or I'm sure it would have found me. You need not fret about me. I have hidden talents. Come here," he said gruffly, watching her and wishing he could ease some of the pain. "This will help." He didn't give her the chance to come to him. In one large, quick stride, he was by her side.
Keely jumped when she felt Ian's strong hands knead down her spine to her hips and back up again, lingering at the curve of her waist, rubbing the muscles in the small of her back, then caressing her waist once more. When he discovered the knotted muscles in her shoulders, he pressed down firmly, smoothing away the knot, making her tremble beneath his touch. He felt her gentle shudder, and heard the soft moan of what he could only assume was pleasure.
"Oh, that feels good," Keely said huskily, her voice catching. "Yes, there. Ahh...You're unraveling me one small strand at a time. If you keep this up, I'll be a pool on the floor."
With a low sigh that could have been a moan of pleasure, Keely let her head slowly drop back until it rested on Ian's shoulder. His fingers paused as his heart thundered, sending blood sweeping through his body, making him feel both heavy and powerful. Inhaling a discreet, deep breath, he resumed the leisurely, gentle massaging of Keely's back. Each murmur of her pleasure felt like flames licking over him, hardening every muscle in his huge body, flushing him with sensual heat. Touching her, he knew, had been a mistake. But it was a mistake he wasn't about to correct.
He wanted her, had longed for her ever sense he first woke and saw her.
The lavender-and-thyme smell of Keely's hair intoxicated Ian. The curve of her neck above her clothes tantalized him. The tiny breathless sounds she made sent an inferno raging within him. He felt an urgent need to lean over and taste the clean skin along her collarbone. Then he wanted to peel her clothes away and taste soft skin that had never been kissed by the sun. Yet beneath his fingertips, she felt so fragile, almost frail. The thought of hurting her frightened him as nothing else ever had.
She healed you, nursed you back to health, Ian reminded himself harshly. Taking advantage of her gentle, giving nature was reprehensible. Loving her today and then leaving her tomorrow was the act of a villain.