She smiled a siren’s smile, one full of knowledge and power. “Don’t kiss me.” Her hands flattened over his chest, circled his ni**les. “But I can kiss…” She dipped her head and her lips led fire down his torso.
He struggled not to move. Her mouth moved lower, tasting along her path. His breath caught when she dropped below his navel, nearing his raging need.
She won’t kiss me there. The thought escaped his mind and from the look on his face, he didn’t know it. His body shuddered.
“Mmm, what is this?” He wasn’t expecting it, she thought, all the better.
She let Duncan’s body want a bit longer, moved her lips toward the inside of his thigh. He went rigid, his breath caught in his chest when she brushed against him. Longing. Hoping. But not saying a word, either aloud or in his head.
Tara smiled before taking him into her mouth.
Surprise, shock and consuming pleasure poured from his mind into hers. She swirled her tongue in circles over the tip of his sex, long wet strokes over his length, and pulled a moan from him that sounded only remotely human.
Enjoying his pleasure, she took the bulk of him inside of her mouth and added pressure. She used her hands to explore the parts she couldn’t consume.
His palms came to rest on her head, whether to guide or to stop, she didn’t know.
Duncan read her thoughts and let her have her way. He didn’t stop her, didn’t want to, and didn’t have the power to do so. He rode on the pleasure of her teeth and tongue until he could stand it no longer.
He tugged her away before he exploded. He flipped her over, savagely pressing her back on the bed and took back control. His lips possessed hers at the same time he thrust into her core.
She clung to him, fingers raking flesh, riding wave after wave of pleasure until neither could hold off. Her release was so powerful his had no choice but to follow.
He poured into her, shouting her name “Tara!”
The sun was mid sky before they rode through the gates of MacCoinnich’s Keep. Half a dozen men in the courtyard readied their horses and armed themselves. All the activity stopped when Duncan and Tara arrived.
Duncan was laughing at something she said when he noticed the men. Alarmed, he pushed his stallion forward. “What is about, Gregor?”
Gregor shifted a glance at Duncan and Tara, then back again. A smirk crested under his full beard. “Nothing now.”
Confused, Tara watched as Duncan moved from one face to another. All hid grins before lowering their eyes.
Ian stepped into the courtyard, watched as Duncan lifted Tara from her horse, and raised his brow when Duncan’s hand lingered on her hip.
“Duncan!” he bellowed. He made long anxious strides toward the couple. Everyone watching gave him a wide berth. “Where have you been? I was about to send a search party.”
Duncan turned and answered his father. “We found shelter from yesterday’s rain in the cabin by the old tree.”
Feeling like a teenager who had been caught after curfew, Tara added, “We’re sorry to have worried you, Laird Ian. But my experience at riding horses is limited…and it took us longer to get back.”
“’Tis afternoon.” He scrutinized them both. “It stopped raining before the sun rose.”
“We over-slept,” Duncan said.
“Slept, is it?” Ian stared them both down, his face stern.
Tara’s face grew warm, and a tingle went up the back of her neck. None of the men looked her in the eye except Finlay, who smiled at his brother and winked at her. The rest of the family stood in the shadows of the Keep, staying out of Ian’s way.
I think we’re in trouble. She sent the thought to Duncan.
Duncan slid a hand around her waist in an effort to calm her fear.
“Aye, Father, we slept.” Duncan stared at his sire. He stood his ground. He didn’t look away even when the men started wrestling with quiet whispers all around them.
“Am I to understand, son, ye are speaking for Lady Tara?” Ian asked loud enough for everyone to hear.
“I am,” Duncan said.
What are you doing? Tara asked Duncan suddenly feeling trapped.
“Very well.” Ian turned to the crowd who had gathered. “Let it be known throughout our land this man,” he said and took Duncan’s hand, “has spoken for this woman.” He took Tara’s, and placed her fist in his son’s. “From this day forward they are handfasted, and known as husband and wife until a man of the church can be brought forth to commence the ceremony.”
Ian nodded to his son, clicked his tongue, and let a rare smile pass his lips before turning to a very shocked Tara.
“Welcome to the family.” Ian kissed both her cheeks and walked off.
Wide eyed, she watched Ian march away. “Oh, my God. Did what I think just happen, happen?” She looked down at her hand still cupped in Duncan’s.
“Oh, my God!” Her knees, suddenly weak, started to give. Duncan kept her upright, while a steady flow of men came and congratulated them.
She couldn’t form words or even thoughts. She didn’t even think to try and read Duncan’s. One by one, the men kissed her hand and pounded Duncan’s back.
Smile, he told her.
The edges of her mouth lifted up. Her eyes moved from one face to another. What the hell is happening?
“Congratulation’s, Lady Tara.”
“I’m sure you will both be very happy.”
“Duncan will make you a fine husband.” This came from Fin who kissed her cheeks.
Husband? Did I miss the wedding? Her breath started to come in waves, her fingers tingled. Oh my God! Oh my God! Oh my God!
She saw Duncan’s image swim in front of her, his face blurred a bit. The sun overhead made her eyes squint. It felt good to shut them. So very good to shut them…
Duncan caught her before she went down. His men cheered.
“Ah Duncan, ’tis just like ye to have the woman fall at your feet.”
“I thought it would be ye hitting the dirt.”
Gregor’s boast had the men laughing.
He took her to the main hall, laid her on a couch. Lora followed him in, sending servants to fetch water and a towel.
Tara’s eyes fluttered open almost the minute he set her down. Duncan leaned over her, stroking the hair out of her eyes.
“I fainted, didn’t I?”
“Aye, love, that you did.”
It came back to her in a hurry. “What was that all about, Duncan? What did your father do?”
“He handfasted us.” He watched for a reaction, saw none. “As Laird of the Keep it is within his right to do so for all who dwell on his land.”