The wind rose to a shriek, sounding almost like a woman in travail. The sea heaved and churned. The ship leaned sharply to one side. Again, Cahira felt her feet slipping. She grabbed for the
rail, but her cold hands were too stiff. The rail slipped from her grasp, and she could feel herself falling.
Raul caught her in his strong arms and clasped her tightly. She placed one hand on his broad chest to brace herself and felt his heart beating beneath his tunic. At the touch of her hand, his
pulse leapt and raced.
Realizing his response to her, heat suffused her. She licked her lips and removed her hand. She was steady on her feet now, but he didn’t release her. His unfathomable black gaze captured hers
and they stood, clasped in each other’s arms for what seemed like an eternity.
He bent his head and his lips were within inches of hers. Her heart leapt, too, plunging in a mad gallop. Was he going to kiss her again? Without thinking, she leaned closer, willing him to kiss
her, needing his warmth and passion, craving the forbidden intimacy.
But at the last moment, he drew back. Her breath stopped in her chest and she remained perfectly still. Her shoulders sagged with disappointment. But with her disappointment, came the
sharp-edged stab of guilt. For surely, she was a wanton.
He, on the other hand, possessed iron self-control. She knew this because she’d felt his body’s response, sensed he wanted to kiss her as badly as she wanted him to.
She stepped back a pace and clasped the ship’s rail. “Thank you for stopping me from going overboard.”
He reached out, and his long, slender fingers cupped her chin, the touch of his flesh burning her chilled skin.
“No need to thank me.” His ebony eyes gleamed, the darker pupils narrowing. His gaze moved over her like a caress. “Your face is as cold as fresh snow,” he murmured huskily. Without
warning, his iron control reasserted itself, and he suddenly released her, clearing his throat. “You should go to your cabin. We can talk about the journey later.”
How dare he dismiss her? And his smooth words didn’t fool her, either. He hadn’t touched her again to learn if she was cold or not. Nay, the yearning she’d glimpsed in his eyes mirrored the
throb in her own body.
How much longer could they go on torturing each other?