Amber Lynn Perry

“What made you come back?” Kitty jerked at his sudden question. She sputtered for a moment then laughed. “What made me come back? What do you mean?” He shrugged with one shoulder, never moving his gaze away from her. “At Eliza’s and Thomas’s wedding last year you were convinced that returning to Boston and living with your aunt was the best course to take. But it appears you have changed your mind. So, what made you come back?” “Is that why you followed me? To ask me that?” Her face burned, but she feigned composure and looked at him with as much ease as she could marshal. “Boston is too dangerous, you know that.” “’Tis true, I am well aware of what Boston and its residents suffer. But I cannot believe that was the only reason you returned.” Training her mouth to reveal nothing more than a slight grin, she strained to keep her pulse quiet. She stepped toward the fire, resting her hand atop the chair, acting more casual than she felt. “If there were any other reason, do you think that I would share such information with you? Surely, Nathaniel, I cannot share all my secrets.” “Secrets? Well, now I am curious.” Kitty rubbed the lace on her gloves and emitted a warm, genuine laugh that eased the strain in her voice. She offered an impish smile. “I came back for several reasons, if you must know. As I mentioned, ‘twas for matters of safety that Henry Donaldson insisted I return as well as—”  “Donaldson?” Kitty peered over her shoulder, hiding the grin that surged at the undeniable question in Nathaniel’s eyes. Could he be... nay, not possible. She kept her focus. “Aye, Henry Donaldson. You remember him, do you not?” “Aye, of course. I just... I just hadn’t known he was still... around. He was always a good friend and I admire him, despite his poor choice of allegiances.” Nathaniel’s interested expression stayed lifted, but the light in his eyes went flat. “Are you... have you been seeing much of him of late?” “I have,” she said. “He’s a close friend and I admire him very much.” Nathaniel’s expression didn’t change, but his Adam’s apple bobbed and he cleared his throat. “I see.”  She once again toyed with the fabric of her gloves, unsure what else to do with her hands. Quickly focusing on the subject of their conversation, she stared back into the fire. “Henry said it was too dangerous for me to stay despite my protestations. With Father gone and Eliza here—and since our home was destroyed that December… well, my home is here now.” The scent of smoke wafting from the fireplace in front of her snatched the horrid vision from its hiding place in her mind. Instantly she witnessed anew the roaring flames that devoured her treasured childhood home, taking with it all her cherished memories and replacing them with ash. She turned to Nathaniel, his face drawn as if he too relived the tragedy. The bond they’d shared that night had forged a friendship that could never be shaken.  Nathaniel stepped forward, the look of tenderness so rich in his eyes it wound around her shoulders like a warm cloak. “I can well understand that, Kitty. Donaldson was right in advising you to return.” Then, as if the heaviness were too much, he shrugged and sighed with added gaiety to his tone. “Well, I will admit that Sandwich didn’t feel the same with you gone, that’s for certain.” She tipped her head with a smirk. “You pined for my return?”  “With the pains of an anguished soul.” “Lying is a sin, Nathaniel,” she teased. Nathaniel laughed, his broad smile exposing his straight teeth. “All right, if you want the truth I pined more for your cooking, and more specifically for your carrot pudding. Are you satisfied?” “I knew it.”

Amber Lynn Perry, So True a Love
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So True a Love (Daughters of His Kingdom #2) So True a Love by Amber Lynn Perry
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