Yes, it would be more honorable to wait. Alec wasn't going to, though. He would slow their pace tomorrow as a concession, and that was all . His desire was fierce. And if she wiggled her backside just one more time, he wasn't even going to go slow.

"Alec? What do you know about Andrew?" she asked again.


"What is there to know?"


"Answer me."

His voice turned as hard as the look in his eyes. "Andrew never kissed me," she said. "We were pledged when we were very young. I've known him for the longest time. I care for Andrew, of course. It's my duty to care for him."

"Cared for," Alec corrected. "You cared for this man."

"Well, yes," Jamie agreed, hoping to soothe his frown away. "He's a good friend of the family, and since I was pledged to him, I was supposed to care for him, wasn't I, Alec?"

He didn't answer her. The scowl left his face, though, and he relaxed his hold on her. He was inordinately pleased with her. She hadn't given her heart to the Englishman. She didn't love him. Alec grinned. He didn't know why it mattered to him, but it did matter… fiercely.

"Andrew was always very proper," Jamie continued. "When he came to pay his respects, we were never left unchaperoned. I do believe that's the reason he never kissed me."

Jamie had been very sincere in her explanation. She expected a sincere reply.

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Alec laughed.

"Just what's so amusing to you now? The fact that Andrew never kissed me or that we were never left alone?"

"If he'd been a Scot, I promise you he would have found a way," Alec answered. "You'd probably have one or two of his bairns by now."

"Andrew is considerate."

"Not considerate," Alec contradicted. "Stupid."

"He's a noble Englishman," Jamie countered. "He understands a woman's tender feelings, Alec. Why, he constantly gives me compliments. He is —"


"Why do you insist on speaking as though the man were dead?" she asked.

"Because he isn't a part of your life now. You will not mention his name to me again, wife."

He didn't have to sound so irritated with her. Alec eased himself away from the tree, then stretched out on the ground. Jamie started to rol to his side, but Alec held her steady with his hands cupping her backside.

It was indecent, the way he was holding her, but it felt too good to ask him to let go.

The sun was completely gone now, yet the moon was bright enough for her to see her husband's face. He looked relaxed, at peace, and almost asleep. For that reason she didn't take exception when his hands eased up under her chemise again. She thought he probably wasn't even aware of what he was doing.

God, it felt sinful. Jamie moved her hands to his shoulders and rested the side of her face against his warm chest. His golden hair tickled her nose.

"Alec?" she whispered. "I really would like to know what it feels like."

His hands stopped their gentle massage. Jamie felt him tense under her.

"What exactly are you wanting to feel, Jamie?"

"When a man kisses a woman with the intent of bedding her. It's a different sort of kiss from the one you gave me."

She sounded as if she were instructing him. Alec had to shake his head. This conversation was ridiculous.

And thoroughly arousing.

"Aye, it is," he finally acknowledged.

"Daniel uses his tongue when he kisses."


"You needn't raise your voice to me, Alec."

"How would you know Daniel—"

"Mary told me. She said it was disgusting."

"You won't think it is." Alec growled that prediction.

"I won't?" She sounded out of breath again. "How do you know that?"

"Because you've wanted me to touch you since the moment we met."

"I haven't."

"Because I can feel the passion inside you. Because your body reacts whenever I look at you.


"You're embarrassing me."

"No, I'm making you hot."

"You're not."

"I am."

"You may not speak to me this way," she ordered.

"I'l speak to you any damn way I want to," Alec answered. "I want you, Jamie."

His voice didn't leave room for argument. Before Jamie could catch her breath, he'd cupped the sides of her face and claimed her mouth.

She deliberately kept her mouth as tightly shut as a locked door.

His hand moved to her chin; then she felt pressure when he forced her mouth open for him. As soon as she gave in to his silent demand, he thrust his tongue inside her mouth, deeply, swiftly, completely. Jamie was so startled she tried to pul back. Alec wouldn't let her move. His mouth slanted over hers, sealing her whimper of protest. He wasn't gentle now. His mouth was hot, hungry, his tongue thorough and wild as he learned the taste of her and forced her to learn the taste of him.

Jamie's last coherent thought was that Alec Kincaid certainly knew how to kiss.

She was a quick learner. Her tongue became as wild as his, as undisciplined. She tried to struggle when he gripped her thighs. He spread his own, then trapped her between his heavy legs. She felt his hard arousal, tried to move away, but Alec coaxed her into submission again by stoking the fire in her. His tongue slid in and out, again and again, until her whole body was straining for more of him.

God, she was sweet. Holding her like this made him shake with desire. The sexy little whimpers she made in the back of her throat were driving him wild.

Jamie didn't offer true resistance until he pul ed her hands away from his shoulders and slowly edged the straps of her chemise down her arms. She tore her mouth free then, thinking to rol away from him, but by the time her body responded to her mind's command, her chemise was already down to her waist.

Her br**sts were flattened against his chest, her ni**les hardened by the erotic touch of his crisp hair and hot skin against her sensitive skin.

"I want you to stop now," she" moaned.

Alec didn't pay any attention to her weak protest. His mouth moved to the side of her neck. His tongue flicked over her ear. Jamie tilted her head to one side, giving him better access. She gasped when he took her tender earlobe between his teeth. His ragged breathing was hot, sweet, incredibly exciting. He whispered dark, seductive promises that made her tremble with a need she'd never felt before.

"Alec?" She said his name in a ragged moan when he tugged her chemise down over her hips. "I don't have anything on under this garment."

"I know, lass."

"Shouldn't you stop now?"

"Not yet, Jamie," he whispered, his voice as soft as velvet.

He rol ed her onto her back. He kissed her neck, her shoulders, her mouth, again. Only when she was quivering with need did he move away from her. Jamie realized she was completely na*ed then. She turned to watch Alec. The shadows darkened his powerful form. She could hear the rustle of clothing, knew he was stripping out of the rest of his garments, and in that moment of separation, she became desperately afraid.

God help her, she wanted to run. Alec caught hold of her before she had even rol ed over. His hands grabbed hers, stretching her arms high above her head in one fluid motion before he completely blanketed her with his body.

The contact of his hot skin against hers made her gasp. Alec made a low groaning sound before claiming her mouth again. The kiss was openly carnal. He meant to have her surrender. When she arched up against him, he knew her passionate nature was overcoming her timidity. He let go of her hands at the same time he thrust his tongue inside her mouth, then let out a grunt of satisfaction when her fingers dug into his shoulderblades.

His chest rubbed against her soft br**sts while he stroked her. Jamie kept trying to edge away from the junction of his thighs, but when she felt his hardness against her bel y, she quit her struggles. A warm, tingling ache suddenly claimed her full attention.

Alec massaged her breasts, cupping the undersides with loving care. His thumbs rubbed her distended nipples. His ragged sigh told her how much he liked touching her so intimately. Jamie was honest enough with herself to admit she liked the chaos his touch evoked.

When his mouth replaced his hand on her breast, when he took the nipple inside and began to suckle, she thought she would go out of her mind.

The sensation was so overwhelming that she squeezed her eyes shut and let the wonderful feelings wash over her. She arched against him with need and her legs moved impatiently against his.

Alec took a deep breath to try to calm his need and braced himself on his elbows so he could look down into her face.

She felt the change in him immediately. Jamie opened her eyes and looked into his. She reached up to stroke his jaw. His whiskers tickled her fingers, but she didn't smile. Alec was the most frighteningly appealing man she'd ever encountered. The moonlight hadn't softened his features. He looked hard… and determined.

"Have you decided to stop, then?" she whispered.

"Do you want me to?" he asked.

She didn't know how to answer him. Yes, she told herself, of course she wanted him to stop. A bride should have a proper wedding bed, shouldn't she? "Not yet."

She hadn't realized she'd said that until he smiled at her. "You confuse me, Alec. I don't know my own thoughts when you're touching me like this. Maybe we should stop…"

"Not yet." Sweat dotted his forehead. His jaw was clenched, his breathing labored.

He didn't have any intention of stopping. Her eyes widened when that realization hit her. Alec must have read her mind… and her fear, for he suddenly pushed her legs apart with his thigh. The action was rough, demanding.

While he held her stare, his right hand moved down between them, low on her stomach. His fingers slid into the junction of her thighs. Jamie reached down and tried to pul his hand away. "No, Alec. You mustn't."

He wouldn't be deterred. His fingers stroked the tender folds. When he felt the wetness there, he almost lost his control. "You're hot for me, Jamie," he whispered. "God, you're so sweet, so soft…"

His finger slowly penetrated her, then stretched up inside. "You're so tight."

Her mind wanted him to stop but her body didn't have any reservations at all . She raised her h*ps to keep him inside her when he started to pull away.

"Now are you going to stop?" she asked in a voice that betrayed her.

"Not yet," Alec repeated, smiling over the confusion he heard in her voice. He took hold of her hand, then pressed it against his hardness. Her reaction was instantaneous. Her whole body shivered and bucked against him. "Hold me," he instructed. "Like this." He forced her fingers to close around his shaft, then thrust his fingers inside her again to rid her of her fear.

He pul ed her hand away when he couldn't stand the sweet torture any longer. His mouth branded hers and his tongue thrust deep inside to the back of her throat. Jamie was soon as wild, as out of control as Alec was. He knew just where to touch, how much pressure to exert, how to make her melt in his arms.

He became rougher in his quest. "We aren't going to stop, are we, Alec?"

"Nay, love, we aren't."

He withdrew his fingers, then thrust them demandingly into her tight sheath again.

She cried out in pain. "Don't do that, Alec. It hurts."

"Hush, love," he whispered. "I'l make it easier for you."

She didn't understand what he was tel ing her. His mouth claimed hers for another long, hot kiss then and she decided he really was going to stop when his hand moved away from her most private place.

Alec kissed a slow trail down her neck, her chest, her stomach. When he moved lower, into the soft triangle of black curls shielding her virginity, she cried out again and tried to push him away from her.

He wouldn't be deterred, though. The taste of her was intoxicating. His tongue teased the sensitive nub of flesh, then pressed high into the soft, slick opening.

She became lost to the splendor he forced on her. She clung to him now, demanding more. The muscles in her thighs tensed against him in anticipation. She welcomed the rush of blazing ecstasy consuming her.

As soon as Alec felt the first tremors of release, he moved. He spread her thighs wide and eased into her.

He paused when he reached her maidenhood, then drove forward with one powerful surge.

Jamie cried out in pain. Alec immediately stil ed his movements. He was full y embedded inside her now, his possession complete. He tried to hold on to his discipline, wanting to give her time to adjust to his invasion. "Don't move just yet," he ordered, his voice a grating sound against her ear.

"God, Jamie. You're so tight."

She couldn't have moved if she'd wanted to. His weight held her in place. He cupped her face, then slowly licked the salty tears from her flushed cheeks. Her eyes were dark blue with passion, her rosy lips swol en from his demanding kisses.

"Does it stil hurt, Jamie?"

He sounded as though he'd just run a great distance uphil . But the worry was there, too, in his tone of voice and his intense expression. Jamie nodded, then whispered, "It will pass, this pain, won't it, Alec? Am I supposed to be this tight?"

"Oh, yes," Alec groaned.

When he started to move, to begin the ritual as old as time itself, Jamie thought he was finished. She wrapped her legs around his thighs to keep him deep inside her. "Don't stop, Alec. Not yet."

"Not yet," he promised.

Neither one of them was capable of speaking again. Alec did withdraw from her, then thrust deep inside once more. She raised her h*ps to meet him halfway. She wanted all of him to squeeze tight. Passion, like wildfire, raged between them. Alec buried his face against her neck as he slammed into her again and again.

He wanted to be gentle.

She wouldn't let him.

She didn't know her nails dug into his shoulderblades. Alec didn't mind. When the cl**ax was almost upon her, when she thought she was surely going to die from the incredible pressure building inside her, she clung to her husband and cried out his name.

"Come with me, love," Alec whispered. "Come with me. Now."

She didn't know where Alec was taking her, only knew she was safe in his arms. She gave herself over to the blissful surrender and found that surrender was also fulfil ment.

He'd known all along where they were going, yet never before had he been so out of control or felt such overwhelming passion. He wanted to show her the stars. He was the experienced one, she the innocent.

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