Read Enchanted Online

Authors: Judith Leger

Enchanted (21 page)

BOOK: Enchanted
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He raised his head. Warm breath blew over her chest. She struggled to drag in air as she watched him nuzzle the edge of her dress until her breasts lay exposed to his dilated gaze. She moaned as the pressure grew from where his fingers caressed her. He licked between her breasts, a soft flick from his tongue. Electricity shot through her, the tingling racing along her skin. Deep inside, the coil of need tightened. Unable to control her reaction, a low whimper escaped.

Another swift flick on the swell of her breast, and she would explode. Eyes shut and no longer able to think, she let the pounding heat flow through her. This was Shay. He was touching her, making love to her. She wanted him. Only him.

The touch of his lips clasping, sucking her nipple sent her over the edge. White light exploded behind her lids, and her body squeezed the hard length of his fingers. Wave upon wave of exhilarating pleasure poured through her, between and down her legs. She reared back and cried out her delight.

Time stilled. She refused to open her eyes and face the world. Floating on wings of light, she had experienced heaven in the last few minutes and wanted it to last forever.

Shay rested his head on her shoulder. She threaded her fingers through his hair and inhaled deeply. The scent of wildflowers, the earth and the musky odor of her passion filled her senses. He brushed a light kiss on her collarbone.

His warm breath washed over her sensitive flesh as he murmured, “We must go. Time is short.”

She hesitated. She wanted to stay, but this was only a dream. It would end, and she wanted to spend every second of it with him. When he rose and held out his hand, she grasped it and wouldn’t let go once he pulled her up. With his assistance, she was able to fix her clothing so it appeared nothing had happened between them.

The need to tell him how she felt built inside her heart, but she refused to release it. This was a dream. Whatever she told him wouldn’t matter here. He wasn’t real.

Battling a wave of sadness, she smiled and pulled him to her for a swift kiss. “Lead on, handsome sir. I am yours to do with what you will.”

A deep chuckle rumbled in his chest. “Then come, my princess. We will visit other places.”

Laughing, he helped her straighten her dress before they raced across the meadow back the way they’d come. The sun drifted across the sky. He showed her everything in the wondrous place. Toward the end of the day, they walked hand in hand up the steep trail leading to her room. When they reached the gardens above, Caitlyn turned to face the magical land.

Movement from the forest caught her gaze. A solid white horse, a golden horn centered on its forehead, pranced from the trees. A dark-haired woman sat sidesaddle on the animal’s back, her lavender dress billowing out behind.

Caitlyn’s eyes widened. She grasped Shay’s hand and squeezed. “Is that a unicorn?”

He laughed low. “Of course. What else would it be?”

“Who is she?” Her breathing accelerated, and her heart pounded.

As the woman rode nearer to the buildings, several of the men and women came out and greeted her. The men dropped to one knee and the women threw flower petals in her wake.

A trail of flowers bloomed on the path the woman traveled. Caitlyn gasped in amazement. She repeated her question, tearing her gaze away and focusing on Shay.

A gentle smile brightened his eyes. He knelt on the ledge and bowed his head, placing his hand over his heart in homage.

She looked back at the woman. The unicorn pranced in a circle below. Its rider raised her face toward them and smiled. For the first time since she started dreaming, Caitlyn didn’t want to be here. Jealousy filled her.

“Who is she?”

He stood and brushed his thumb across her lips. “She is the Lady of the Forest. Our queen.”

“What is she to you?” Caitlyn pushed his hand away and frowned at him.

He chuckled. “Do not fear that she has my heart. That was stolen many years ago, and I find that I have none left to offer.”

“Even to me?” Her voice sounded hollow and empty. She tensed as she waited for his answer.

With his gaze locked on hers, he leaned nearer and touched her lips with his. “And who else would have it, but you?”

Joy filled and overflowed her heart. She grinned. “No one. You’d best remember that too.”

Their laughter echoed across the ravine as they turned and raced to her room. The setting sun cast magenta and orange-red shades over the horizon.



Chapter 24


Caitlyn came awake in slow degrees as the gentle patter of the rain on the window’s panes caught her attention. The chill in the air made her want to snuggle deeper under the wildflower scented covers. Dim morning light showed through her eyelids. She groaned. She wanted to go back to sleep and return to her dream.

A smile flitted over her lips. Her sweet, sweet dream. Tingling sensations traveled through her nerve endings.

The ringing of the house telephone on the bedside table forced her to sit up. Fumbling with the receiver, she mumbled a greeting.

“Catey?” Marcy’s bright voice sounded over the line.

“Oh, hi.” Caitlyn swiped a hand over her face as she braced her back against the headboard. The comfort the bed offered soon helped to lull her so she dozed off.

“Wake up!”

Hearing Marcy’s enthusiastic order, Caitlyn glanced at the clock on the bedside table. Seven-thirty blazed across the digital face in bright red. She blew out a gust of breath, not happy at being awakened, when all she wanted to do was sleep.

“Why are you calling so early?” She adjusted the receiver against her ear and slid into the depths of the bed.

“I thought I’d swing by and pick you up. Let’s go shopping. Shay will be down for a few days with his injury. So while he’s unavailable, let’s take in a few sights,” Marcy said.

She was on a job assignment, and Marcy wanted to go shopping. No excuse would be good enough for Kramer. Already he was furious with her for not calling him several times a day. Now, her best friend wanted to go shopping.

Of course, Marcy did have a point. For the next couple of days, Shay wouldn’t be able to do much of anything. Caitlyn might never get another opportunity to see the local area. Roaming around gave her a reason to research the castle’s background. Maybe even find some information about secret passages. The need to discover how someone entered her room and cleaned the bathroom still bothered her.

And, there were the locals. What did they think about their famous neighbor? Kramer had to understand. Technically, this all revolved around her assignment.

“Okay,” she muttered. For once, Marcy had given her time to consider and answer. They discussed what they would do, and Caitlyn hung up.

Yes, she needed to spend some time away from Shay. Over the past few days, she’d let him affect her emotions, waking and dreaming. Her feelings were torn, and she didn’t know what to do about it.

Fleeting images from her dream came to mind. She gasped at what he had done to her. Her cheeks heated at the thought of seeing him after that dream. Struggling out of bed, she hurried to dress for the day.

Once she finished dressing in casual khakis and a natural yarn pullover sweater, she headed to the foyer. Halfway there, she stopped and glanced in the direction of Shay’s room. Odds were he still slept. If he did, he would never know she had checked on him this morning.

She had to reassure herself he was fine before she left. After the dream last night, she had to see him even just for a moment. Determined, she hurried to his room. Standing in front of the door, she laid her ear against the wood. Silence came from the other side. She slowly twisted the handle and shoved the door open enough to slip through.

Her gaze glued to the bed, she inched forward. The second she found him in the dimness, a smile formed on her lips.

Sprawled on his stomach, the sheet twisted about his waist, he slept. With his mouth slightly open, his breath stirred a lock of hair spread on the mattress. The skin over his right shoulder appeared a darker purple-black than last night. The mark ran from the top to an inch below his shoulder blade. She winced at the ugly discoloration.

Caitlyn squatted by the bed near his head. One hand hung off the side, and she was tempted to move it but didn’t, afraid to wake him up.

He was so handsome. She wished she didn’t care so much, but she did. She admitted it. Every facet of Shay Evers pleased her, and she wasn’t sure she liked the way this pleasure felt.

What she had felt in her dream was different. The words she had wanted to say to him had refused to come out. Now she realized why. The man in her dream was just that. A dream. Loving him wasn’t real, but loving this flesh and blood man sleeping in front of her was true. She studied him. Out of the two, her fantasy lover lacked the vitality of the real life man.

She raised a hand to touch the dark hair on the back of his head. Her hand froze in midair. A sharp pain shot through her temples. She tried to take a deep breath, but the air stuck in her chest.

There, amid the dark strands, were hundreds of slender braids laced with gold and silver. She blinked several times, hoping the braids would disappear, that what she saw was just her imagination, but they remained.

Confused and afraid, she retreated to the door. Once in the hallway and after the door clicked shut, she couldn’t walk away. She rested her forehead against the wood, breathing deeply, trying to calm the thunderous pounding in her chest.

Last night had been a dream. Or was it? She squeezed her eyes shut. Of course, it was a dream. Shay probably had the braids in his hair last night, and she just didn’t notice. Yes, that explained it. During her dream, she must have remembered the braids in his hair.

Calmer, she stepped away from the door, turning to go downstairs. When she lifted her gaze, she found Rhys standing in front of her. She gasped, holding a hand up.

“Easy.” He grabbed her hand and held it.

“You scared me. Don’t you know it’s dangerous to sneak up on people? You could get hurt. That is if the person you scared doesn’t have a heart attack.” She pulled her hand free and stepped back, frowning at the man.

A low chuckle rumbled from his chest. “I am sorry. I thought for certain you heard me walk up. Had I known you hadn’t, I would have cleared my throat or made some other sound.”

The light dancing in his blue eyes infected her, and she responded with a nervous laugh. “I’m sorry. I was so lost in my thoughts,” she said then stopped. She stared at Rhys for a second before continuing, “I know this may sound strange, but does Shay have braids in his hair?”

The gardener returned her look, his face expressionless. When he spoke, his voice was low and calm. “I really haven’t noticed. Why?”

“He has some in his hair now. I didn’t notice them last night. I’m just curious why he would have them,” she said, as she tried to keep her tone and words nonchalant.

“Are you sure you saw braids? Could it have just been the way the light shone on his hair?” He tilted his head.

She lowered her eyes. Was he right? All she had to do was return to Shay and find out, but she wasn’t sure she wanted to. The braids might still be there, but they might be gone. Since assigned this interview, she found she doubted her sanity. “I don’t know. Maybe so. Listen, I’m going to the village this morning. Could you look at his hair for me? When I come back, I’ll check with you.”

“Of course. One thing, though. What is so important about the braids?”

Because the man in her dream had braids, and now, so did Shay.
“Just curious, that’s all.” She replied, stepping around the tall blond. “I’ve got to go. See ya.”

A few minutes later, she was waiting in front of the entrance as Marcy drove up. She climbed into the compact car and shut the door. She glanced up at the house as the car turned to leave. Rhys stood, staring down at her from an upstairs window. Shay’s room.

* * * *

“Wake up, fool.”

Rhys’s deep voice penetrated the thick fog in Shay’s head. He cracked open one eye and glared at his sovereign. Rhys stepped away from the bed and sat in a nearby chair.

He studied Shay for several minutes. When he did not say anything else, Shay closed his eye. Just as he started to doze, Rhys barked another order for him to wake up.

“I’m tired. I want to sleep for a bit,” Shay snapped. Throbbing pain radiated from his shoulder, and he dreaded having to move.

“Aye, much too tired to remove your glamour. She saw your braids this morning.” The sharp tone in Rhys’s voice increased the throbbing pain.

“What do you mean?” He squinted at Rhys.

“She came to check on you, and noticed the braids in your hair. I’m assuming they were there last night in her dream.”

Shay shut his eyes and groaned. He was such an idiot. He should have known she would come. “Why is she awake so early?”

“She’s going shopping in the village with her American friend. I’m sure that woman woke her up.” Rhys stood and paced back and forth. “Caitlyn expects me to look at your hair and tell her if you have braids.”

Shay glanced at him. “Tell her, yes, there are.”

BOOK: Enchanted
4.3Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub

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