“Dinna hate me, Kyla. Ye have te understand thet nothin’ can e’er happen between us.” Ian’s words said one thing but his body was saying another. Why did he have his arm around her, pulling her closer, if he was trying to push her away?
Still, his words sounded so final and she wondered for a moment if she was just fantasizing again and there was really nothing between them after all. Mayhap her expectations were set too high and she shouldn’t get her hopes up. Not when it had to do with Ian MacKeefe. She was confused, but had to know for sure.
“Somethin’ already has happened between us,” she said, turning and looking up into his eyes. The firelight danced off his sun-kissed skin and the whole moment would have been special if only he would drop the walls between them.
“Nothin’ happened,” he said, as if he truly believed it.
“Ye kissed me, Ian MacKeefe, and if ye say ye felt nothin’ between us then I say ye are the biggest liar I’ve e’er met.”
“I didna feel anythin’.”
She blinked once, then twice, not believing he was really acting like such a dolt. She had to make him admit that he was lying. This may be the only chance she ever got.
“Prove it,” she challenged him.
“What do ye mean?”
She raised her chin and looked him straight in the eye. “Kiss me again, and if ye can honestly say thet ye feel nothin’, then I swear I’ll leave ye alone and ne’er mention it again.”
He laughed then, and the brightness of his smile as well as the deep, rich rumble in his chest vibrating against her, about drove her from her mind. Damn, why did he have to be so desirable?
He lowered his head and looked up from the corner of one hooded eye. One side of his mouth twisted wryly as he answered. “I dinna want te play games, lassie,” he said in a voice so soft it was almost a whisper.
And when he removed his arm from around her shoulders and started to move away, she decided she didn’t want to die without feeling Ian’s lips upon hers one more time. She daringly took hold of his shoulders and reached upward, pressing her lips firmly against his before he could object.
Then she pulled away quickly, her hand going to her mouth, unable to believe her own brashness, and she waited for his reaction. A sense of excitement surged through her and the exchange between them seemed to have set her mouth afire. She slowly lowered her hand and wet her lips slightly with the tip of her tongue, tasting his essence of whisky and pure, male power. Then her eyes intermingled with his, and she felt her heart hammering in her chest as she waited for what seemed an eternity for him to respond to what she’d done.
He didn’t speak at first, only studied her with his intense, smoldering eyes. She felt a delicious shudder wash through her as she recognized the way he was looking at her right now. It was the look of lust she’d seen every time he was with a woman he was about to bed. His hooded eyes drank her in, and he peered up through his long, black lashes that had no right belonging to a man. His hazelnut eyes turned soft and silky, then suddenly mixed with an intense fire that made him seem dangerous, yet too seductive for her to ever look away.
“Well? Did ye feel anythin’?” she asked softly, almost choking on her words. Her own emotions were spiraling out of control from just one kiss, but she figured he was going to lie to her again, and act like he didn’t feel the strong attraction that was obvious between them.
“I dinna ken,” he said, surprising her with his answer. He reached up and scratched at the side of his face, his hand blocking his mouth momentarily, but she didn’t miss the way his tongue darted out and flicked across his lips before he lowered his hand again. She wondered if he were tasting her essence as well. “It was too fast,” he said. “I’m used te kisses thet last a little longer.”
“So . . . should we try it again?” she asked carefully, hoping this was what he was hinting at and that she wasn’t misreading him. She found herself staring at his mouth in anticipation.
“Mayhap we should.” He reached over and lifted her chin gently and brushed his thumb along her bottom lip. She closed her eyes, feeling a tingle run through her as she eagerly waited. “But this time, we need te try it slower so we can both see if we feel anythin’,” he told her.