Chapter Nineteen

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Chapter Nineteen


It was a subtle game of seduction.

There were moments where their hands lingered, skin touching lightly on skin, when she passed him cups of water or Kailen wished to draw her attention to something. There wasn’t an opportunity that was missed where they would touch.

Innocent touches, easily explained away or gone unnoticed by the casual observer, but it felt like electric shocks up and down her skin, leaving her almost breathless with the feeling of it. It left her wondering what it would feel like to have those hands, so big and yet so gentle, combing through her hair or holding her close to him.

And once she started on that trail of thought she realised she couldn’t stop it.

There were times when Aurelia caught Kailen gazing at her with an unreachable look on his face. Whatever he was thinking at the time, it was intense and solely focused on her. What she would give to know what he was thinking at that time. Whatever the reason, it was a difficult look to return and she flushed under it. He made no attempt to look away, to pretend it was something else entirely to cover his thoughts. It felt like he was issuing a challenge, waiting for her next move, to match him step for step. It called to her, deep down, and she found she could not look away even if she wanted to.

She became hypersensitive to his presence. She didn’t have to look up at him when they were in the hut or when they were with other people in the village to know where he was. She felt the hairs stand up on the back of her neck when he was near. His presence was like a physical touch, always near, always radiating safety and assurances.

She was not so immune to his looks as she would have Kailen believe. She was, after all, not blind or stupid. She could see he was very good looking with thick dark hair and grey eyes that could pierce your very soul. He was tall, broad and wielded wicked strength like it was his very own armour. Looking at him made her fingertips itch with want to touch and her stomach swoop alarmingly. She was in danger of reverting back to her childhood self and giggle behind her hand.

Whenever they were in the company of each other, there was always an air of coiled anticipation, like the deep breath before the plunge. They were standing on either side of an invisible line, not yet crossing over it to join the other, but it was a very tangible thing. All it would take was to reach out and the line would be obliterated.

For Aurelia, the only thing holding her back from crossing it was letting go of all ties she had with Rome and her intended. Because that would be the cast to become the lover of a British warrior who was deemed a rebel in the eyes of Rome. To be completely cut off from her family, to never see her homeland again. To denounce the contract of marriage between her and Aquilla.

What would Aquilla think, if he ever heard of what she wanted to happen?

She would be branded a traitor, an even worse offence for a Roman to commit against the motherland than a foreigner who fights against her rule. Could she really forsake her whole life for one as a British woman?

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