Excerpt from Loving Two Highlanders...

“I want you to convince my husband that this arrangement between the two of you will never work.”

“And what would you know about the arrangement between us? You’ve admitted to hiding all evening.”

“I have not!”

“Aye, lass, you did. Avoiding and hiding are similar endeavors. Besides, I saw you watching me from the window, tucked behind a curtain, spying like a child. If you were curious about me, you could have—”

“I’m not curious about you. The less I know about you, the better. What I do know is there is a strange man in my house. You’re living proof my husband is suddenly making ridiculous decisions.”

“Why do you think choosing me is a ridiculous decision?”

“Any reasonably healthy man could have offered what we need here. Why would he choose someone like you?”

“Someone like me? Meaning?”

Megan flung her hands toward him. “Well, look at you! We don’t need someone to defend the town against marauding invaders. We don’t need a knight-errant on a charging horse to save us from certain disaster. We need someone to bind books.”

“Do you have a problem with the way I look?” he asked with a smile.

“Of course not,” she said.

“So you like the way I look?” he asked.

Megan straightened on her chair. “You’re very…very…”

He leaned forward, and a lock of dark hair fell over his forehead. “I’m very, very… what?”

Megan shook her head. She couldn’t think with him looking at her. “I’m trying to point out that a man with assets such as yours is just not someone that should be…here. That’s all.”

“So where shall I be? In whose service? As you pointed out, fair lady, this little island of yours seems in no need of a warrior. ’Tis what I am. I’m built for it. I’ve known no other life, but when a man wakens on a battlefield to find himself in chains, is marched halfway through the British Isles and imprisoned in a church to starve, ’tis necessary to make concessions.”

“I had no idea what you’d been through,” she said softly. “I’m sorry.”

He waved his hand. “Doesnae matter. Durham Cathedral is best forgotten, and ’tis forgetting I am. I’ve been transported across a sea and granted a new life. If I must settle and be in some kind of service to someone, I’m happy to say I’m not in Barbados withering beneath the sun or frozen in a northern mine. Binding books seems like a fairly decent bargain.” He smiled at her again. “I know I’m big, strong, and out of place here, although, to be honest, Tinsdale is quite a bit larger than I am, and you seem able to accept him into your tidy little world.”

“Sam is my friend, and he’s always been in my life.”

“I could tell that. You’re not willing to accept others into this nice, tidy little life of yours?”

“Not a man like you,” she said.

“A man like me, and I’m very, very something. So there must be something else on your mind besides bookbinding. I’m very…very…what?”

Megan huffed. “You’re very well favored.”

“Meaning?”

She folded her arms across her chest. The man would pry it out of her. “You’re a fine-looking man, and surely you know it. Why make me say it?”

“Because I haven’t heard it a long while,” he said.

“So why would Trevor choose someone like you?” She raked her hands through her hair, waiting for an answer, her gaze darting to the dark corners of the room. She had to stop the erratic thoughts that swarmed through her head. She should never have come in here. Being near this man was not good for her.

“I don’t know his reasons, mistress, but clearly he has them.”

“I don’t know what he’s thinking anymore,” she muttered. “He seems so, well, this decision just proves he’s losing his mind. Surely he considered…I mean, look at you! Does he think I’m blind? Does he think I’ve no needs of my own? Does he mean to just drop you into my bed, give you to me as a gift? He must have thought about what could happen here.”

“What could happen here, mistress?” he asked softly.