Loving the Marquess(102)

By: Suzanna Medeiros

The only things about her that were still full were the curve of her breasts and her unfashionably plump mouth. His eyes flickered downward and he remembered with unexpected vividness just how those full lips had felt under his. He’d been with many other women over the years, but he’d never enjoyed kissing anyone as much as Miranda. Thoughts of how she could put that mouth to another use sent a wave of unwelcome heat through him.

He’d miscalculated. He’d wanted to set Miranda off balance, but being this close to her was having an unwanted effect on him.

“Thank you for accepting my invitation,” she said, cutting through the uncomfortable silence. “I know it is early, but I can ring for tea if you haven’t yet eaten.”

His wayward thoughts under control, he met her impassive gaze with one of his own. “I think we can dispense with the niceties. We both know this isn't a social call.”

Those luscious lips tilted ever so slightly at the corners. “I see you are still as direct as always.”

“And I can see you’ve taken to hiding behind social conventions. You were never one to dance around a subject. You asked me to visit, and despite my reservations I came. You clearly have something you wish to discuss with me.”

He was surprised when she stood.

“This was a mistake,” she said, taking a step toward the doorway. “Forgive me for inconveniencing you.”

After a brief moment of hesitation, he rose from the settee and moved to block her path. She stopped, but kept her eyes down.


She didn’t move. Against his better judgment, he placed a hand under her chin and tilted her face up to his. They stood that way for several long moments during which he was painfully aware of the small woman before him. The woman who, he now knew, still had the power to cause him discomfort.

He dropped his hand and kept his voice low, sensing she was a hairsbreadth away from bolting from the room. “Why did you wish to see me?”

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