Tangled Hearts

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Ewan’s tall frame bent around her and his hand cupped her face. His thumb strummed the sensitive skin over her cheekbone, and he pulled gently away. She kept her eyes closed. The absence of his lips made her frown, and she felt his thumb rub the lines on her forehead.

“Not happy?” he asked.

She opened her eyes. Her breath hitched for a moment at the concern on his face that melted into a half grin. Was he truly interested in her happiness? “Not happy that you stopped.”

“One of us has to guard yer honor,” he said and it was his turn to frown.

She reached up to rub his forehead. “Now you aren’t happy.”

His gaze connected with hers, mesmerizing, almost shackling. So intent on reading her, she almost pulled away. “Where did ye learn to kiss?”

She blinked, trying to understand the fierce intensity transforming him from soul-melting heat to lethal ice cold in the span of seconds.

He inhaled fully, his chest expanding. “Who have ye kissed like that?”

Had she done it wrong? “No one, not like that,” she whispered and the tip of her tongue slid out to touch her lower lip. It hadn’t felt wrong, not in the sense of fouling it up. Perhaps wrong from a nun’s point of view. She shook her head. “Not in that way.”

“But ye’ve kissed? Men?”

Her temper started to simmer, replacing the worry with annoyance. “Well I’m not in the habit of kissing women.”

“But men. Ye’ve kissed men before,” he stated, more than asked.

She couldn’t help the blush that rushed up into her cheeks, but she raised her head even. “I’ve done my part to help my family.”

“By kissing them?” he yelled.

“When necessary.”

“Did they tell ye that kissing them was the way to help them? This pirate family of yours?” Fists curled at his side.

By the devil! What grotesque scenarios filled his head? Did he think her the ship whore?

“I want the names of each and every man who has touched ye,” he said slowly, succinctly through a tight jaw.

“Touched or kissed?” she asked, matching his tight face. One kiss and he had her swinging in the hammocks with the Queen Siren crew!

“Both.”

“I don’t know all their names,” she taunted.

The words blackened his look even more. He grabbed her shoulders, and she instantly felt his soaring, rushing blood, his large muscles engaging as if in battle.

 “Tell me what they did to ye.”

Her breath caught at the intensity in his gaze. “Why?”

“So I know exactly how much pain to inflict on each bloody bastard as I slice them open for touching ye.”