The Charm Stone

The Charm Stone by Donna Kauffman

Book: The Charm Stone by Donna Kauffman Read Free Book Online
Authors: Donna Kauffman
out almost instantly. Then he stalked back over to her. “What in the hell were ye doing in there?” he roared, his voice somehow even more riotous than the thunder.
    Anger, embarrassment, along with a goodly amount of delayed reaction, spurted forth. “Roasting marshmallows.”
    “What? The only thing ye were likely to roast was yer own hide. What were ye thinking, lass?” His long hair was a mass of thick, wet ropes that lashed his chiseled features, his eyes gleamed fiercely even in the black of the rain. “Do ye know what you risked? I've already lost one bride to disaster, I'll no’ lose another.”
    She gaped at him. “I almost burned a house and myself down and all you can think about is your stupid fixation on Destiny?” Anger easily surpassed embarrassment and latent fear. She poked a finger at him. “I didn't need your help. I didn't ask for your help. I could have taken care of it myself. But most of all, what I do or don't do has nothing to do with you. If I want to jump off a cliff, you can't stop me.”
    His jaw clenched. “Dinna test me, lassie.”
    “Dinna test me either… whatever it is you call boys,” she finished on a less-than-authoritative note.
    A jagged bolt of lightning lit up the sky, illuminating his face. In that split second she swore she saw his expression falter, a brief twitch curve his lips.
    “Lads,” he said sternly, making her wonder if it had been a trick of the light.
    She was still staring at him when the thunder literally rocked the ground at her feet. Connal's hand came up instantly to steady her. She tried to shrug it off, feeling silly for being so jumpy. Truth be told, he was making her more nervous than the storm was. But his grip only tightened as he stepped closer and tipped her face up to his.
    Even as the storm raged about them, something in the air between them went strangely still as she stared at his shadowed face. All she could think about was the last time they had been this close. Part of her wanted to lean into him, into the shelter he provided. Another part of her wondered what he'd taste like in the rain. She almost pulled away then, shocked by just how much of a part of her responded to that idea. But he chose that moment to trace a blunt-tipped finger down the side of her face.
    “Are ye alright then?” he asked, his tone gruff, yet oddly gentle. “Did ye burn yourself?” He reachedfor one hand, then the other, and turned them over so the rain washed over her palms.
    Fine, she wanted to say. I'm fine. But his touch caused a ripple of awareness so intense that it drenched her senses much like the rain had drenched her skin. What was it about him that made her so hyperaware? She could only answer him with a brief shake of her head.
    He ran his hands up her arms, then skimmed back the hair that was plastered to her head and face and cupped her face again as he peered down into her eyes. “I didna mean to roar at ye. When I saw the fire flicker behind yer windowpane…” He paused, then let out a shuddering sigh. “Ye took a lifetime off of me, lass, that ye did.” Then, surprisingly, he grinned, the slash of white illuminated brightly, as lightning streaked through the sky above. “If I'd had a lifetime to give, that is.”
    Josie stood there, trembling, overwhelmed. By the storm, the fire… by him. She was suddenly quite aware that she wore next to nothing… but despite being chilled to the bone, the shivers racing uncontrollably through her had nothing to do with the storm. Her nipples peaked, her knees wavered, her thighs clenched. Hyperaware, she'd thought. Yes. Hypersensitive as well. It made no sense, especially considering the circumstances, how she could only think of wanting his hands on her.
    Staring at the rain-lashed man standing before her, she knew the line between reality and fantasy had permanently blurred. And she wasn't so sure she cared any longer.
    His grin faded as she continued to stand there and stare at him. “Och, but

Similar Books

Saddled With Trouble

Michele Scott

Sunrise Fires

Heather LaBarge

Jack Higgins - Chavasse 02

Year of the Tiger

Seeking Celeste

Hayley Ann Solomon

Hit and Run

Norah McClintock

A Man Alone

David Siddall

Shadow Rising

Yasmine Galenorn