At the last moment, Davie guessed Crissy must have heard him because she glanced up and frowned. Her
face was scrunched and splotchy from crying, but each time he saw her, she was more beautiful than he remembered. He wished he could sketch her, capture her angelic beauty on paper.
Before she could lift her skirts and run, he’d closed on her and gathered her into his arms, holding her tightly, and stroking her
long, brown hair. She’d gathered it into a knot on the top of her head, but in her distress, most of the hairpins must have come loose because her sun-streaked, brown hair fell in long streamers down
“Shhh,” he said. “Everything will turn out all right. It can’t be so bad. What can I do to
She sighed and nestled in his arms, surprising him.
He caressed her back and hair. Her female curves, fitted with his body like a tongue in groove joint, and he could feel his body
responding to hers. His groin tightened, and he grew hard.
Afraid she might react to his unseemly response, he kept hold of her shoulders while angling the lower part of his body away from
She gazed up at him, a flare of recognition, flooding her golden-brown eyes.
He half-cringed and stepped away, dramatically throwing his hands over his face. “Please, don’t hit me. Don’t hit me!”
She huffed and crossed her arms. “You can quit play-acting, Sergeant Donovan. And I’m not going to slap you.” She turned her face
away and sniffed. “I’m sorry I slapped you, but I’d never been kissed before and—”
“I’d already guessed, my Angel, but I’m glad I won’t have to dodge your blows.” His eyes twinkled, and he winked.
“Oh, you, you’re ridiculous. You know?”
“Am I?” He leaned forward and kissed her. Lightly at first, his mouth touching hers, barely brushing the softness of her petal-pink
lips. He drank in her clean and fresh scent, reminding him of the elusive smell of a newly-laundered shirt. “I’m glad to know you find me entertaining. Can I kiss you again?”
She sighed and said nothing. She turned her face up to him and closed her eyes.
He chuckled, glad he’d gotten past her obvious innocent naivete. With her silent acquiescence, he deepened the kiss, slanting his
lips first one way and then the other, cherishing her mouth.
She sighed again, and his blood heated. He licked her lips with his tongue-tip, running his tongue along the sweet seam of her lips,
hoping she would open to him. He didn’t know how she’d react, given how shy and evasive she was.
Slowly, she opened her lips and kissed him back, pressing her full, pliable mouth against his. He didn’t need more encouragement,
slipping his tongue between her lips and tasting her fully. Savoring the honey-sweet flavor of her, and the delicious heat of her mouth.
With their tongues tangled, she stepped closer to him, melding her body against his. She laced her arms around his neck and held on
as if he was a kite that might sail away.
She was tying him in knots and making him as hard as the stone he’d been sitting
She startled, like the fawn at the pond, and released a puff of her breath against his lips, while pulling back.
He refused to let her go. He held her in the circle of his arms and gazed into her face. He was an unchaste man and given his
wishes, he’d tumble her to the mossy ground and bury himself in her.
She turned her face away, and he saw her blush, turning as red as the ripening mulberries on the trees, lining the pond. A snippet
of the gossip about her mother flashed through his mind.
How could people be so cruel, as to start ugly rumors?
It was obvious she was pure and sweet—an angel. He wanted to pound Corporal Guerrin for spreading nasty
“Please, let me go. I’ve already broken my vow once… and now this,” she said.
“What vow? What have you broken?”
She shrugged one shoulder and looked down at the ground. “I shouldn’t have mentioned… I spoke out of turn. I was schooled at the
Ursuline Convent in San Antonio. I vowed to remain chaste, and if I have the chance, I can return there.”
“You want to be a nun?”
“No, I want to be a lay sister, to serve the nuns.”
“Why on earth would you—?”
“Because it’s peaceful and quiet and—”
“Yes, but being in your grave is peaceful and quiet, too.”
“That’s not funny.”
He sighed and hunched his shoulders. “No, I guess not. But I can’t begin to think of the waste, you burying yourself in a
“It’s none of your business. And I need to go home.”