Peek Between the Pages
All aspiration toward sleep left me. I needed company. Now.
Bad idea. Far worse than waking up my sister. But he wouldn’t judge. In fact, he’d probably be glad to see me. Me, Ashling Donoghue, pariah and maven of mistakes. I’d made a million of them. What was one more?
I imagined the interior of Lorcan’s tent at Dun Aengus on Inishmore. Then I flexed my will and was there, surrounded by rich colors, sumptuous fabrics, and perforated hanging lanterns. The intricately patterned Persian carpet felt soft and soothing to my bare feet.
Was he in bed? There was one safe way to find out. “Lorcan? Are you here?”
“Ashling?” His silken voice, warm and rousing, flowed from the bedroom and washed over me.
“Yes. It’s me.”
A heartbeat later, he appeared between the drawn, red curtains that separated his bed from the main section of the tent. He wore a black velvet dressing gown and an expression of mingled surprise and pleasure. With relaxed strides, he closed the gap between us. “You’re the last person I expected to see tonight.” His heated gaze roamed over me.
Too late, I realized I was wearing a thin, white night shirt that refused to cover anything below my upper thighs. I grabbed the hem on both sides and pulled downward…in vain. “I never planned to come.”
“Why did you?” His shoulder-length black hair looked as luxurious as his robe. I stifled the urge to touch both.
“I needed a friend.”
“Haven’t we traveled beyond the bounds of friendship?”
My stomach trembled at the memory of our passionate kiss. Stop it! I huffed. “That never should’ve happened.”
“But it did, because it had to.” His ice blue eyes held my gaze. “You belong to me. We belong to each other.”
“Aengus would disagree.”
“If he were here, but he isn’t.” He reached for my left hand and turned it over. Gently, he caressed my palm with the pad of his thumb.
“You have an answer for everything, don’t you?” My palm tingled.
“You are the answer. Nothing and no one else.”
Sometimes, one excerpt just isn't enough, and Judith was kind enough to share a second. Enjoy!
Freeing my hand, Kian grinned. “Welcome to the fourteenth century.”
I lifted my gaze to the top half of the stone keep. A shuttered window caught my attention. Aengus is there.
Hugh had given us a good idea of where to go, but how I determined his son’s precise location, I can’t say. Maybe I knew because I needed to know. Or maybe our souls were bonded in a way that defied all logic.
I pointed to the window. “Up there, right in the middle. Let’s jump up and go through the wall.”
We leapt into the air and paused at the third-floor level. Like ghosts, we floated through stone and entered the medieval bedroom. Then we lowered ourselves until our feet touched the plank floor. Tapestries, oak furniture, and a crackling fire on the hearth made the chamber feel homey and inviting.
“Awesome,” Kian breathed.
Aengus’s sleeping form drew my gaze. He lay on his back, with his bare and beautifully sculpted arms and chest visible above the fur coverlet. His golden hair was longer, touching his shoulders. I couldn’t look away.
Fortunately, my brother could. “I think the manuscript is over there.” He went to investigate.
I crept toward the bed. Aengus. I’m so sorry. I love you.Compelled beyond rhyme or reason, I leaned over and pressed my lips to his.
I’d intended a quick kiss, but my mouth lingered, savoring an experience it might never have again. His lips were softened by sleep; his breath was warm with a trace of spices. Mulled wine? Maybe.
“Ash, I got it. We have to go.” Kian waited close by.
Regretfully, I ended the kiss and straightened. I’ll always love you.
Aengus stirred beneath the covers. “Caer,” he murmured. His eyes opened.
Crap! Any second, he might shift into the Otherworld and see me. I seized my brother’s hand as Aengus sat up in bed. “Hurry, Kian!”
The next instant, the room was quiet. The Otherworld twilight remained, as did the medieval furnishings, but the fire and the man were absent.
A sense of loss swept through me. “Funny how empty a room can seem.”
“I’m sorry, Ash.” Kian squeezed my hand, then released it. “It’ll be okay.”
I turned to him. “Will it?”
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