Amber Lynn Perry

“I saw him kissing you.” The blood drained from her face and settled at her feet. The dark barn began to spin. “What?” she breathed. “I saw you at the rally. I saw you running from him.” Bile crept up her throat. Samuel continued. “I tried to get to you, but Watson was there first. I followed you . . . I saw everything.” A pitiful hurt knit his face. Oh, Dear Lord, what have I done. He came closer to her and stroked her arms. “I know you love me, Eliza. We’re meant for one another. I can only assume he’s forced himself upon you and that’s the reason you refuse me, but I don’t want you to worry. When you and I—” “You’re wrong Samuel! He’s done nothing but help and protect me.” He continued his gentleness, tracing her face with his eyes and stroking her arms. “I heard you’d been hurt—stabbed. Is that true? Did he do it because you tried to escape him?” Eliza’s nerves pricked. How much did he know? How long had he been watching them? “No . . . yes . . . no!” The words wouldn’t come quick enough. “I was hurt, very badly, but it wasn’t Thomas who did it. It was the sailors, we saw them . . .” She shook her head and waved her hands in front of her. “It’s too long to explain, but Thomas rescued me. Samuel, he saved my life!” Samuel’s eyes brimmed with emotion. “And for that, I will always be grateful.” His arms encircled her and he brushed his nose against her ear, his lips tracing along her jaw. An icy chill wriggled over her spine as she tried to push away. “Stop, Samuel! Don’t!” He stilled, then stepped away and dropped his lifeless hands at his sides. His features went slack and the muscles in his face ticked. “I care for you Samuel.” Eliza straightened, pulling the shawl back around her shoulders. “But I do not love you. I’m sorry. I don’t believe I ever really did. And how could I marry you now, knowing what you’ve done?” She lifted her chin and straightened her posture. “I love Thomas. We’re to be married.” His face twisted and flooded with red as he stepped forward. Eliza recoiled as his shoulders heaved from his heavy breathing “No. Never! You’re mine, Eliza!” His voice boomed as he spoke through his clenched teeth. He took a step closer reaching his hands toward her, a wicked desperation spinning in his gaze. “I know you are frightened to make such choices in your life. You could never come to a decision this easily. He’s forcing you to do these things. You don’t have to marry him, Eliza. You’re acting so different from the woman I know and love, and it pains me to see it. I will take you away and help you think clearly again.” “I am thinking clearly!” Eliza leaned into her words and clenched her fists, holding her arms rigid at her sides. “Samuel, I love Thomas and I am staying with him. I will be his wife! I’ll not go anywhere with you!” Samuel’s face turned to stone. “Yes. You. Will.” Eliza”

Amber Lynn Perry, So Fair a Lady
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So Fair a Lady (Daughters of His Kingdom, #1) So Fair a Lady by Amber Lynn Perry
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