Excerpt – Seduction, Lies & Betrayal

“Please, stop running away from me.”

“Why?” she asked.  “What can a man like you want with someone like me?”

He sighed heavily, his hand falling away from her.  Usually, he was so in control of himself, picking his words carefully.  Standing with this woman, he lost all sense of himself though.  There was no eloquence or practised speech.  All he felt was raw emotion.

“I need to know…what you said in the dining hall when last we met…” His words trailed off, unsure how to word the question he most needed an answer to.

She reached out to him, her hand on his chest, her trembling fingers stroking him through the fabric softly and so familiarly.  Leaning into him, she kissed him lightly on the cheek, before turning and stepping into her cabin.

His hand on the door stopped it from closing behind her.  “I need to know if you meant it or did you perhaps feel obliged after what has happened between us.”

She glanced back at him.  “I don’t do obligations.”

His hand fell away from the door, his fingers gripping the rounded curve of her hips.  “Is that why you’ve been avoiding me since that afternoon in your cabin when you begged me to stay with you?”

Her hand reached back, stroking his leg.  “I hoped with absence I could forget how much I ached to feel your skin touch mine.”

His grip on her hips tightened.  “Don’t play with me.”

Her hand fell away from him.  “I assure you this is no game.  When I boarded this ship, I didn’t go looking for the affections of a man, but then I met you…You filled me with such hunger that I found myself aching for the slightest touch of your skin against mine.”  She pulled away from his hold and stepped into her cabin, turning to face him with her hand on the door.  “After what happened the afternoon we played cards, I was certain you’d push me away, reminding me my illicit behaviour was inappropriate.  I honestly didn’t think you’d notice my absence if I just removed myself from your life.”

“I did though.”

“But why?” she asked.  “You are a handsome man who could have his pick of any woman.  How could my pathetic attempts of seduction keep your interest for so long?”

He was amazed this woman was so unaware of her effect on him.  “You told me I smelt like home.” “You do…which pleases and scares me to no end.”  With that, she shut the door.

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