Shock rendered her speechless. A kiss? Why on earth would he want a kiss? A kiss. She'd never been kissed. Would a wizard's kiss be different from a man's? Her gaze dropped to his full lips. His handsome features tantalized her imagination. She lied to herself if she claimed she didn't find the Keeper desirable.
A kiss, just a kiss.
He sat back in the rocker and toyed with the collar of his cape. "You're tempted by my suggestion."
Such gall. The wizard had an inflated opinion of himself. She narrowed her eyes. "I made a mistake in calling you here. I should close the book and send you on your way. I'll find some way to hide the diary without your help." But she made no move to follow through. Against her will, her gaze fastened upon his lips once more.
She shook her head. She held no fear of the act itself, but of the man who would be her first. What hold would he have over her should she satisfy his request? Was this some sort of preamble to a spell?
"What do they do with thieves in this time period? Is the Shepton Mallet Gaol still operating nearby?" he asked.
She frowned. He didn't play fair. If she didn't know anything else about his character, she knew he liked to manipulate things to his advantage. "One kiss."
"You wound me, lass."
"What do you mean?"
"Do you think you can kiss me and not want more?"
"Your very arrogance makes me hesitate, Wizard Villdemore."
"Call me Vin. In Alfheim Haven, we refrain from stiff forms of address. I forgot to ask your name the last time, lass. I suppose I should know whom I kiss." He sat forward. "By what are you called?"
She licked her lips, still staring at his. "Noreen. Noreen Willshire."
He pushed aside the cape, shot out of the rocker, and slammed both hands on either side of her. She reeled back, but the mattress sank lower when he leaned his full weight on his hands. "I retract my request."