Damian pushed himself away from the door. "I couldn't sleep. I tried to engage Sir Richard in conversation or a game of cards, but he preferred Maggie's company. Sir Brody had already retired, and there was no one else about."
Elissa pulled the covers up to her neck. "Go away. How dare you enter my chamber without my permission? Have you tired of Lady Kimbra's company already?"
Damian approached the bed with catlike grace. "This is my home. I go where I wish. As for Lady Kimbra, I've had all I can take of her for one night."
"I hope you realize your lady's behavior will lead to trouble if she can't be curbed."
"Forget Kimbra. There is something I wish to discuss with you."
"Can't it wait until tomorrow?"
He settled on the edge of the bed, ignoring Elissa's murmur of protest. "We will talk now."
"Verra well. What is it?"
"I want you to know that neither you nor your family will be sent away because Lady Kimbra wishes it. No message she dispatches to the king concerning you or your family will reach London."
"Why would you do that? I would think you'd wish to please Lady Kimbra."
"Aye, well -- the lady doesn't please me. I will wed her because I must, but I don't have to like it."
Elissa blinked up at him. "I thought she pleased you very well. Lady Kimbra is a great beauty. You seemed to enjoy kissing her."
"She kissed me," Damian whispered in a voice suddenly grown hoarse. "Her hair is blond and there isn't a freckle to be found on her aristocratic nose."
Elissa touched her nose, well aware of the smattering of freckles she'd tried to bleach with lemon when she was a child. Her gaze locked with Damian's. His took on a seductive glint that irresistibly drew her into their glittering promise.
"Damian, nay..." She whispered the words so softly they scarcely stirred the air. She knew what he wanted for she wanted the same thing. But she couldn't... wouldn't...
"I haven't asked you for anything...yet."
"Then go, before..."
"Before you desire becomes as great as mine?"
"Aye...nay...I donna know, I canna think straight when you look at me like that."
Then they boned.