Wishing…for a Highlander.
Annie MacLeod needs to choose a husband before the king decides on one for her. Once she arrives at court, she begins searching for a suitable match, except she soon discovers the one man she’s always desired is the one man she can never have.
Highland warrior guardian Colin MacLean has long been captivated by Annie. She’s the girl he grew up adoring, and the woman who now holds his heart, yet he’s at court for a very specific reason. His mission is to free his chief from the king’s dungeons, not to taste the sweet temptation of a love that can never be.
When treachery abounds and Annie is kidnapped by Colin’s enemy, desire and duty war within him. Can he find a way to rescue the woman he loves…and save the chief he’s given his loyalty to?
Colin stormed down the steps and along the pebbled path twisting through the trees, his hold on Annie’s hand firm.
“Slow down, Colin.”
“MacDonald touched you.”
“That happens when couples dance.”
“You’re no’ a couple.” He strode around a thick trunk and thumped it with his fist. “He touched you, and I could do naught about it.”
“I’m sorry.” Breathing hard, she caught his other hand before he could hit the tree again. “’Twas just a dance.” She squeezed his fingers. “One single dance.”
“I said I’d aid you in choosing a husband, but it’ll never be him.” Hell, her soft touch scorched him like a brand. He pressed her against the tree and planted his hands either side of her head. Looking into her beautiful eyes, he allowed his anger to dispel. “I’d never hurt you, but I’d kill to keep you safe. Make no mistake about that.”
“This feud between the clans must come to an end. Times are changing and I have a chance to make a difference. Please, make no mistake about that.” She smoothed her hands over his chest. “I have no’ said aye to James, but only agreed to see where things might lead. I’m still very open to anyone you might suggest a match with. Give me some choices.”
“I need time.” He pulled her into his arms, tucked her cheek against his chest and breathed in her intoxicating rose scent.
“Something I’m running out of.”
“I’m well aware, but you need a husband who understands how much love you have to give, that you thrive when your clan remains close by. A MacDonald cannae provide that when we’re at war with them.” Gently, he stroked down her sides and over the soft swell of her hips. He shouldn’t touch her so, except he couldn’t help himself, not after what he’d witnessed on the dance floor. He wanted to rip MacDonald’s arms from his sockets and slice his head from his shoulders. Aye, and he still might.
“Colin?” She lifted her head and met his gaze, her eyes deep pools of midnight-blue he wanted to drown in. “I’m used to you touching me, but no’ quite like this.”
“I’m simply comforting you.” He had no control over his emotions right now. All he wanted to do was to lower his head, take her mouth with his and kiss her as he’d secretly desired for three long years. If only she didn’t tempt him beyond his endurance, except this day, she’d unleashed the deepest craving he’d ever suffered. Now, desperate emotions warred within him as everything about her called to him. “I’m your guardian and I will remain so.”
Words he needed to tell himself over and over to make certain they stuck.
“So you’ve already told me. Speak to me.” She reached up on her toes and brushed her soft lips across his cheek. Temptation warred within him. If he turned his head a fraction, their lips would meet.
“This is one issue I dare no’ speak of. For both our sakes.”