From her high refuge she heard the chains that raised the gates, opening the fortress of her protection, the stronghold that guarded her heart. Spurs, scraping metal on stone as he took the stairs to reach her, rang out with his fierce intention. She knew he would not, could not, waste a minute more to hold her, bury his need in her until they both cried out in their joining. The scents of leather, sweat and musky male melted her bones and she leaned into him to keep from falling. Sapphire flames searched her face. Long fingers traced the line of her jaw and traveled to her neck, where her pulse beat in counterpoint to her panting breaths. "It has been too long, Muirnin." His whisper settled like a butterfly's wing on her ear. "I want you now, Katie..."
"Katie...Katie...wake up, sleepin' beauty. It's almost supper time."
Brandon sat on the side of the bed and brushed her hair out of her face. "I'm sorry. I meant to wake you sooner."
"Oh...oh, dear... I was having this dream." My God, what a dream. "I thought I was in that castle." She pointed out the window at the medieval fortress that was now a silhouette in the evening sky. "And you were there." How much am I going to tell him? "Well, it was...amazing."
"It's called Carraigdun." His fingers combed through her mass of curls. "Do you know you have such beautiful hair? It reminds me of a lioness--like you--wild and unruly."
Kate instinctively pulled the quilt up over her shoulders, a shield to protect her from his heat. "I've always thought it was a mess."
He ruffled her tresses. "I'll show you a mess."
She smacked his hand away, dropping the quilt and exposing the rise of her breasts. "Brandon, I'm not dressed." Kate tried to grab the quilt against her again.
"You might have forgotten, but I've seen you in less than this." He traced the line of her collarbone with one finger. "You still have a tiny stain of a bruise here." He touched the shadow where the shoulder harness had gripped her.