by Susan Squires
$5.99 US / $7.99 Can. / $12.95 Aus.
It began in Sienna, with an illicit kiss stolen under a hot Mediterranean sun.
It made the blood sing in her veins, burn in her body in ways - in places - that she had never felt before. It was a pulsing need to be someone else; to be something else . . . something she didn't yet understand.
It was embodies by Davinoff. The dark lord was the epitome of beauty, of strength. He was feared by the ton, and even by fleeing to Bath, Sarah could not escape him. His eyes were ageless, held a sadness she could hardly fathom. They pierced her, struck so deep that she felt penetrated to her very core. What they offered was frightening . . . and tantalizing. Was it evil that lurked within this foreigner's unnatural kiss, or was the communion he offered something else entirely? All Sarah knew was that the sacrament of his love would either be the death of her body or the salvation of her soul. And she could no more deny it than she could herself.
Sarah's attention returned to Davinoff. She had never met a man who knew so much about the land, about what had happened here. They made their way back into the tavern in silence. There, Davinoff went to pay their shot.
The landlord was busy smoothing a paper over the bar, a copy of the crude line drawing the strange witness to the murders in London had made. He came out from behind the bar and pushed the sheet upon a nail next to the hearth, the lettering on the parchment proclaiming that the man in the sketch was wanted. There was a reward of a thousand guineas. Sarah shuddered. From the instant she'd first seen it, the drawing reminded her of Davinoff.
He clinked coins on the table behind her. He, too, was examining the portrait. "You are right," his deep voice rumbled almost in her eat. "It could be anyone. Even me." She turned, and he raised one eyebrow in a gesture she was coming to know well. His eyes were dark, darker than any she'd ever seen. "Shall we get on the road?" he asked.
Sarah's heart throbbed against her chest. He was right. The drawing could be anyone. But was it? She couldn't put her question into words, but he must have seen it in her face.
"I thought you hated to spoil mysteries," he chided, and strode to the curricle.
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