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His Wicked Heart(61)

By:Darcy Burke



His fingers stroked her upper arm. “I will follow wherever you lead.”

She looked up at him. “Did you enjoy tonight?”

“You’re trying to ask about my parents. I admit I was shocked by their polite behavior.”

“You didn’t really expect them to cause a scene?”

“Not particularly, but I’ve given up trying to predict Holborn. I’d like to think he has more sense than to cause the very thing he’s so afraid of, but he can sometimes be rash, as he was in my youth.” He’d told Olivia plenty of tales of his father’s cruelty, but her heart never failed to squeeze when she thought of Jasper’s childhood. It actually made her lack of a father preferable.

She’d come to accept that she would never know the identity of her father, but she also accepted that she’d spent fourteen somewhat happy years with foster parents who had given her kindness if not love. And she supposed Fiona had loved her in her own way. But now she had the love of a true parent in Louisa, and that was more than she could have dreamed. Instead of feeling as if her life were missing something, she felt full, complete. Loved.

She snuggled up against Jasper and pressed a kiss to his throat. “I love you.”

He clasped her tightly. “I love you, too.” He turned toward her and kissed her lightly. “And did I tell you how proud I am of you? How gratifying it is to see every other man in the room glare at me with envy?”

She smiled against his lips. “I know the feeling, though the women also bare their teeth.”

He laughed. “How ferocious.” He kissed a trail along her jaw to her ear.

“I was surprised you didn’t want to visit the Black Horse this evening. I know you want to see Sevrin and the others.”

He nibbled at her neck, just below her ear. “I thought I might go tomorrow, if you’re amenable.”

Olivia was fast losing interest in conversing. “Of course, they’re your friends.”

Jasper pulled back. “Have I told you how lucky I am, how happy you make me, how I couldn’t possibly deserve you?”

She tugged him closer again, directing his lips back to her neck. “Yes, yes, and don’t be ridiculous.”

He licked a path to the underside of her chin. “You say that, but before I met you my heart was cold, ruined, utterly wicked.”

She placed her hand on his chest over the heart that beat sure and strong—for her. “Your heart isn’t cold, nor is it ruined. But I hope you won’t mind if I prefer you remain the tiniest bit wicked.”

He grinned as he lowered his lips to hers. “Anything for you.”

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