After watching—with a twinge of satisfaction—the letters burn to ashes in the fireplace, Evie felt sleepy. She went to the master bedroom for a nap. In spite of her weariness, it was difficult to relax while she was worried about Sebastian. Her thoughts chased round and round, until her tired brain put an end to the useless fretting and she dropped off to sleep. When she awakened an hour or so later, Sebastian was sitting on the bed beside her, a lock of her bright hair clasped loosely between a thumb and forefinger. He was watching her closely, his eyes the color of heaven at daybreak. She sat up and smiled self-consciously. Gently Sebastian stroked back her tumbled hair. “You look like a little girl when you sleep,” he murmured. “It makes me want to guard you every minute.” “Did you find Mr. Bullard?” “Yes, and no. First tell me what you did while I was gone.” “I helped Cam to arrange things in the office. And I burned all your letters from lovelorn ladies. The blaze was so large, I’m surprised no one sent for a fire brigade.”His lips curved in a smile, but his gaze probed hers carefully. “Did you read any of them?” Evie lifted a shoulder in a nonchalant half shrug. “A few. There were inquiries as to whether or not you’ve yet tired of your wife.” “No.” Sebastian drew his palm along the line of her thigh. “I’m tired of countless evenings of repetitive gossip and tepid flirtation. I’m tired of meaningless encounters with women who bore me senseless. They’re all the same to me, you know. I’ve never given a damn about anyone but you.” “I don’t blame them for wanting you,” Evie said, looping her arms around his neck. “But I’m not willing to share.”“You won’t have to.” He cupped her face in his hands and pressed a swift kiss to her lips.
It’s decided, then,” he murmured. “I accept your proposition. There’s much more to discuss, of course, but we’ll have two days until we reach Gretna Green.” He rose from the chair and stretched, his smile lingering as he noticed the way her gaze slid quickly over his body. “I’ll have the carriage readied and have the valet pack my clothes. We’ll leave within the hour. Incidentally, if you decide to back out of our agreement at any time during our journey, I will strangle you.” She shot him a sardonic glance. “You w-wouldn’t be so nervous about that if you hadn’t tried this with an unwilling victim l-last week.” “Touché. Then we may describe you as a willing victim?”“An eager one,” Evangeline said shortly, looking as though she wanted to be off at once. “My favorite kind,” he remarked, and bowed politely before he strode from the library.