She scrambled over the rocky ground and dove into the depths of the copse where he lay. His body stiffened as she eased in beside him, but that did not dissuade her. The rain no longer touched her here and, aye, it did feel warmer.
Ramsay drew a breath even as the heat of his body wrapped around her. She could now catch the scent particular to him—spicy, fresh, and rampantly male, with the tang of Highland air caught in his hair and clothing. Would he push her away?
He sounded amused when he spoke, his voice vibrating deep in her ear. “I suppose this must satisfy some wish you have of lying with your Prince.”
It satisfied a wish, right enough, but had nothing to do with Charles Edward. Mara retorted, “My only intention is to lie out of the wet and grow warm. Will you complain about us sharing against the chill?”
“And about having my arms full of bonny lass? Nay.”
He thought her bonny. Or did he just tease as he had before? Mara ached to know, and desire rose to her head like a draught of her Da’s whisky.
She slewed round in her allotted space until she faced him, her mouth just below his. “I am no’ thinking of the Prince,” she confessed, “but still how I might thank you properly for your braw gallantry.”
“Och, aye?” Did he sound as breathless as she? “And what to your mind would make a proper thank-you?”
Without further words, she pressed her mouth to his. His lips felt warm and surprisingly soft, and their touch sent a spear of need through Mara, blazing in its intensity. Surely she had been born for this, for him.
He made a sound deep in his throat—protest or enjoyment? She could not tell. Again she expected him to push her away; instead his hand came up and cradled her cheek. His lips molded to hers, coaxed and persuaded them apart.
Mara, not in the habit of feeling helpless, found she had no strength to resist. She opened to him readily and his tongue plunged into her mouth in an act of reckless possession.
And oh, she could taste him—his essence, wild and sweet, flowed upon her senses and heat coursed through her body even as her heart took up a powerful, shuddering rhythm.
She could no longer breathe. She no longer wanted to. She would gladly starve for air if it meant she could stay here in his arms.