Sabrina Jeffries

“No,” she whispered. “No more.”
His breath came hot and heavy against her ear as his arm crept back around her waist. “Why not?”
For a moment her mind was blank. What reason could she give that would make sense to him? If she protested that they weren’t married, he would simply put an end to that objection by marrying her, and that would be disastrous.
Then she remembered Petey’s plan. “Because I’ve already promised myself to another.”
His body went still against hers. An oppressive silence fell over them both, punctuated only by the distant clanging of the watch bell. But he didn’t move away, and at first she feared he hadn’t heard her.
“I said—” she began.
“I heard you.” He drew back, his face taught with suspicion. “What do you mean ‘another?’ Someone in England?”
She considered inventing a fiancé in London. But that would have no weight with him, would it? “Another sailor. I . . . I’ve agreed to marry one of your crew.”
His expression hardened until it looked chiseled from the same oak that formed his formidable ship. “You’re joking.”
She shook her head furiously. “Peter Hargraves asked me to . . . to be his wife last night. And I agreed.”
A stunned expression spread over his face before anger replaced it. Planting his hands on either side of her hips, he bent his head until his face was within inches from her. “He’s not one of my crew. Is that why you accepted his proposal—because he’s not one of my men? Or do you claim to have some feeling for him?”
He sneered the last words, and shame spread through her. It would be too hard to claim she had feelings for Petey when she’d just been on the verge of giving herself to Gideon. But that was the only answer that would put him off her. Her ands trembled against his immovable chest. “I . . . I like him, yes.”
“The way you ‘like’ me?” When she glanced away, uncertain what to say to that, he caught her chin and forced her to look at him. Despite the dim light, she could tell that desire still held him. And when he spoke again, his voice was edged with the tension of his need. “I don’t care what you agreed to last night. Everything has changed. You can’t possibly still want to marry him after the way you just responded to my touch.”
“That was a mistake,” she whispered, steeling herself to ignore the flare of anger in his eyes. “Petey and I are well suited. I knew him from before, from the Chastity. I know he’s an honorable man, which is why I still intend to marry him.”
A muscle ticked in Gideon’s jaw. “He’s not a bully, you mean. He’s not a wicked pirate like me, out to ‘rape and pillage.’” He pushed away from the trunk with an oath, then spun towards the steps. “Well, he’s not for you, Sara, no matter what you may think. And I’m going to put a stop to his courtship of you right now!”


Sabrina Jeffries, The Pirate Lord
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The Pirate Lord (Lord Trilogy, #1) The Pirate Lord by Sabrina Jeffries
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