Seduced by His Touch(119)

By: Tracy Anne Warren

“What about food? Are you hungry?”

“Not after that huge plate of cakes and sandwiches I had just an hour ago. No wonder I’m as wide and round as one of those hot-air balloons Drake was talking about over the holidays. If I eat any more right now, I’ll probably ascend. Or else pop.”

He sent her a reproving look. “Don’t be absurd. You’re eight months pregnant, you’re supposed to be round. As for your appetite, you’re eating for two. So, no worrying about your figure—which is beautiful, I might add. Every morning, when I wake up and see you beside me, I ask myself how I ever got so lucky.”

Joy burst inside her, turning her as gooey as melted sugar. “You really don’t mind me keeping you up all night with my tossing and turning, or my having to get up every hour to use the commode?”

“No,” he said in a serious tone. “I really do not.”

“You could sleep in your old bedroom—”

“I’m not sleeping in my old bedroom. Never, ever again. Besides, you need me.”

He was right. She did need him, and loved him so very deeply.

“Now, can you use another pillow?” he continued. “Your ankles are swollen. Do you have them propped up enough?”

With a little tug on her skirt, she showed him the pile of pillows under her feet. “I’m wonderful. Pampered as a pasha.”

“Well, then, if there’s nothing I can bring you, could you do with a kiss?”

A smile teased her lips. “I can always do with a kiss.”

Standing, he moved close and bent down, bracing his hands on the chair arms on either side of her. Her eyelids floated downward, her heart thrumming with a quiet rapture as his lips met hers. Delight poured through her in a honeyed wave, a pleasure of which she knew she would never get enough. Every kiss was always as deliriously wonderful as the first, each touch somehow new and uniquely special.

Her senses were tingling, her skin flushed when he pulled away, carefully banked desire in his azure eyes.

Then their child kicked from within her with a force strong enough to draw Jack’s gaze.

“Was that the baby?” he asked.

She nodded. “He’s at it again. At least he’s not pummeling me under my ribs like he was last night.”

“She’s strong-willed, like her mama. Has a definite mind of her own.”

“What makes you so sure this is a girl? Don’t you want a son?”

He laid a wide palm over her belly and rubbed in a soothing motion. “Honestly, I don’t care. Either will do fine by me.”

“So, you won’t object if I give you nothing but daughters?”

“I can’t think of anything more delightful than spending my days surrounded by a flock of lovely Byron ladies.”

“A flock, hmm? I haven’t consented to producing a flock.”

“You will,” he murmured, dropping another long kiss on her mouth. “I’ll persuade you somehow.”

She knew he would, and that she’d delight in every moment.

A knock came at the door. “Pardon me, your lordship. Your ladyship,” said a housemaid as she bobbed a curtsey. “I’m ever so sorry to interrupt, but the post just come. And a messenger as well.”

“Put it over there on the table, would you?” Jack told the girl without looking around.

Grace rolled her eyes at him and bit her lip to keep from laughing.

“Now, where were we?” he asked as soon as the servant had gone.

“At a point where we should probably stop,” she said ruefully.

He sighed and straightened. “I suspect you’re right. Unfortunately. Shall I see what’s in the mail?”

“Yes. Maybe the messenger has brought word from Cade. I wonder if Meg’s had the baby yet? She’s due any day now.”

“Exactly,” he agreed. “And she’s safe and sound at Braebourne, where you should likely have stayed for your confinement, as well.”

She laid a hand over her stomach. “The circumstances weren’t the same at all. She and Cade live in Northumberland, and they were worried about finding themselves caught in a snowstorm during the birth. Or at least Cade was. Meg told me over Christmas that she would have been willing to risk it, but she worried Cade wouldn’t fare so well. Especially if the doctor couldn’t make it there in time. So a few months at Braebourne, it was.”

“I ought to have insisted too. You’d have had family around to help you.”

“I have family. I have you.”

“I meant female family.”

“You and Mrs. Mackie will be here, and the midwife. I know men aren’t supposed to attend the birth, but I want you with me.”

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