“Marsaili?” The undeniable concern in Callum’s tone, almost undid Marsaili. “What is it, lass? What’s vexing ye? Are ye afraid? I’ll protect ye, dunnae fash yerself.”
The emotions she’d been holding within her roiled. “Stop!” she barked, his concern shredding the invisible binds that held her together. “I kinnae—” She gulped. “I kinnae take yer kindness. I dunnae—” She shook her head, choking on her words. Gulping again, she continued, tears now streaming down her cheeks. “I dunnae ken what to think or what to do. Or what is truly right. I’m alone, all alone in this. I have to be strong.” She pressed her lips together on saying more, on saying too much.
Suddenly, she was being turned around to face Callum. His hands felt like fire pokers on her skin. Or perhaps it was her? Was she feverish? Her heart pounded a desperate beat, and that same frenzied desperation sent her blood rushing through her veins to roar in her ears. Her stomach felt hollow, and as his gaze pierced her very soul, he said, “Let me help ye. Tell me what ye fear.”
The truth clawed its way up, and she worried she’d not be able to hold it in, so she did the only thing she could. She rose up on her tiptoes and kissed him. Her heart lurched as he stiffened. He was going to push her away! But a growl seemed to come from deep within him, and he delved his hands into her hair to cradle her head and slant his mouth over hers. The kiss tore through every defense she possessed. It was violent in its passion and blissful in the way it seared her from the inside out.
Her hands had been clenched at her sides, but as his tongue slid inside her mouth and his heat consumed her, she could not hold back. She ran her hands up his thick arms to his shoulders and dug her fingers into the muscle there. Their tongues met, swirled, and retreated, as he ravished her mouth and her senses. Every memory she had worked so hard to repress flooded her. Each touch they had shared. Each kiss. The moment they had become one. She whimpered, when his lips found her neck, and then he stilled and jerked away.