Gentle Warrior
heard him tell her to hold him, and she tightened her arms around his neck. And then she heard nothing more. She could only feel.
    Escalating pleasure had taken control. She was racing with the wild beat of her heart into the center of the storm and her husband was guiding her, pushing her.
    "Now, Elizabeth," came his ragged whisper, "come with me." And she was there with him; she felt the separation of body and soul, felt the explosion as bolts of lightning ignited and burst into flame inside her with the forceful thrust from her husband. It was terrifying, and it was magnificent.
    She called his name and heard him say her own.
    It was some time before Elizabeth returned to reality. The gentle descent back to the present was made warm and safe by her husband's body covering her own. She opened her eyes to find Geoffrey smiling down at her. "I never knew…" she whispered. The sense of wonder and amazement at what they had just shared was impossible for her to put into words, but Geoffrey knew from her expression. He tenderly pushed a wet strand of hair away from her temple and kissed her there. She felt the wetness on her cheeks and realized that she had been crying.
    He smiled again-a pleased and arrogant smile, Elizabeth decided-and she wondered just who had enticed whom.
    She closed her eyes and smiled. Geoffrey rolled onto his back with a loud, contented sigh and Elizabeth immediately felt the cold sweep of air chill her glistening skin. Sleep demanded her attention, sleep and the warmth of her husband's body. She pulled the covers up and over both of them and rolled into his arms, nudging him until he turned to his side and wrapped his arms around her.
    She was just about to drift off to sleep when she heard her husband's voice. "You are mine."
    It was a quiet statement of fact.
    "Yes, husband, I am yours," Elizabeth acknowledged into the darkness. "And you are mine." Her tone challenged him to deny it.
    Elizabeth waited for what seemed to her impatient nature an eternity. Geoffrey did not answer. His deep, even breathing told her that he had fallen asleep. Her irritation turned to exasperation when he began to snore.
    Elizabeth refused to give up. He had demanded her pledge, and now she would have his!
    She shoved him as hard as she could and fairly yelled into his ear, "And you are mine, Geoffrey."
    Geoffrey still did not reply, but he did give her a quick squeeze and a hint of a smile. To Elizabeth, it was an acknowledgment of her claim. It was enough. The pledge was given.
    Content, husband and wife slept.

Chapter Four
    Elizabeth was awakened by the sounds of med at work in the courtyard below. In that instant before memory cleared, she thought she heard her father's deep voice yelling instructions to his soldiers. She pictured him strutting around the training men with his hands locked behind his back. No doubt his pride and joy, little Thomas, was just two steps behind, his hands also locked behind his back, imitating his father's every move.
    Roger's bellow jarred Elizabeth. She opened her eyes and took a deep breath. Nothing can ever be as it was, she realized, and the past could not be undone.
    Yet in the morning light, the future did not look as bleak, as forbidding. Until yesterday Elizabeth had no thoughts or cares for the future; her only concern was Belwain and planning her revenge. Now it appeared that she would have both: a future and justice.
    Elizabeth rolled over onto the spot where her husband had slept. The linen was cold beneath her and she knew her husband had been gone for some time.
    She was glad for the solitude. So much had happened so fast that Elizabeth hadn't had time to do more than react. Now perhaps she could sort out her feelings. She stretched and felt the soreness caused by her husband. Her husband! She was now married, and Baron Geoffrey was hers . In the light of day, the events lasting deep into the night before made Elizabeth blush. What a contradiction this man was turning out to

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