Keeper of My Heart
caught, pulse quickened, when Mackintosh’s companion entered
the room. The man was…beautiful. Tall and muscular, he had
black hair, high cheekbones. But it was his eyes. Even from
this distance they enthralled her, enticed her. She saw many
a braw Highlander every day in her busy keep—Alexander’s
friends, their clansmen—but never before had anyone drawn
her attention like this stranger. Even the red uniform of
King George’s bloody personal regiment looked good on him.
when she heard Angus speaking to her.
Lady Nessa. I did not realize you were here.”
She tore her
eyes away from the breathtaking man standing by the entry
door. “I arrived but yester-day. Alexander had to meet
someone, so he agreed to let me visit with Annie.” She
didn’t want to spoil Anne’s surprise by mentioning the real
reason for her presence.
An edge to
his voice, Angus straightened. “Where did your brother go?”
His tone set
a flutter of anxiety coursing through Nessa. Something was
wrong. Her brother left without telling her his destination,
something he never did. Now Angus questioned his
“I was so
excited about visiting with Annie I didn’t bother to ask.”
She knew not why she lied, but the need to protect her
brother overwhelmed her.
to accept her answer. He returned his attention to his wife
and wrapped his arm around her waist and drew her close.
Nessa’s eyes were drawn to Mackintosh’s companion across the
Great Hall. She blushed when realizing he stared back, laugh
lines around his eyes, the corners of his lips tilted in a
smile. Their eyes met and didn’t waver. Nessa felt a
breathless quickening. She wanted to walk over and…
words interrupted her flushed reverie. She looked past
Angus, hadn’t even noticed the other men. Her eyes were all
for the handsome stranger.
his introductions. “My lady, may I present Captain Roarke
Montgomery, Lieutenant Lawrence Pearson, and Sergeants
Gregory Applewaite and Edward Collyns. The king has bid them
work as adjunct with my regiment, and I have extended our
hospitality for the next few days.”
barely draw air. The black haired man’s name was Roarke
Montgomery. Such a lovely name. Such a beautiful man.
her hand, palm upward, toward Nessa. “May I introduce my
guest? This is Lady Nessa MacGillivray, my dearest friend.”
received acknowledgement from each man. Three bowed in
greeting. The fourth man—Roarke Montogomery—locked eyes with
her—those haunting eyes—and stepped toward her. She studied
the handsome man as he took her hand.
couldn’t draw a breath. Her black haired man. What made him
approach her? The others merely bowed. Why didn’t he do the
hand toward his lips, he brushed the back of her hand with a
light kiss. Nessa couldn’t take her gaze from him. Couldn’t
blink. Couldn’t breathe. His heated gaze raked over her as
he raised his head. He had the most beautiful eyes she’d
ever seen. Blue, the color of Loch Lomond on a spring day.
She thought she could lose herself in their depths.
meet you, Lady MacGillivray. Had I known Mackintosh had such
a lovely houseguest, I’d not have groused about riding here
from Inverness.” His eyes didn’t waver from hers, but he
released her hand. “I did not mean to embarrass you, but you
are even lovelier than a rose touched with dew when you
voice, though tinged with his cultured English accent,
caressed her like silk from a rare chemise slinking down her
body. Her mouth opened, but no words emerged. He must think
her a simpleton. Thank God Anne urged her toward the
circular stairway. Otherwise her feet never would have
top, Nessa glanced down. A flush crept up her neck when she
saw Captain Montgomery still watched her.
What was she
thinking? The man was English!
never felt such an immediate attraction to anyone. Had never
had anyone stir such emotions in her. Nessa felt the heat
rushing to her cheeks just thinking about him. He probably
believed her a silly twit, a simple Scots lass.
familiar with the Dunmaglass area.” Captain Montgomery’s
eyes held a mischievous gleam. “Had I suspected someone as
lovely as you lived there, I might have stopped for a bit of
your well known Highland hospitality.”
“Why must you
do that, sir? Say things to embarrass me?”
nothing, merely regarded her with those intense blue eyes.
His quirked brow revealed he knew he’d unsettled her. Bloody
Englishman delighted in it.
He held her gaze an instant longer, before returning his
attention to his food.
he realize she thought him handsome? How could she not? With
those bright blue eyes, wavy black hair, and broad
shoulders, the man was gorgeous. For the first time in her
life she met someone who interested her, and he was…English.
life be so cruel?
The Power and The Passion