“I don’t want to be here.” No words could ever be truer. Jen didn’t want to be here to steal or have her heart stolen. “You can’t make me stay.”
“Hmm.” Purring his signature sound, Cameron Steward stationed himself at the door, arms crossed, a formidable barrier.
“Move.” She kept herself behind the desk, unwilling to place herself within his grasp.
“All right.” His gaze never left hers. “We’ll leave that particular subject alone for now, since you’re being obstinate.”
Obstinate. A word that had never been used about her before. She supposed she should be offended, yet something deep inside swelled with an odd pride. “Then I’ll stay. If we work.”
“Let’s instead talk about why ye were in my bedroom.”
His swift switch back to the topic she’d dreaded made her brain freeze.
His mouth curled at her silence. “Nothing to say once again. That’s interesting.”
“I was interested,” she blurted, grabbing onto his last words as inspiration.
“What?” His big body straightened, and the light of something she didn’t want to deal with flashed in his eyes. “What do ye mean by that?”
She couldn’t go backward. She couldn’t tell him she was snooping. The only way was forward. Sod it. Shrugging her shoulders, she pasted a bland look on her face. “I just was looking around.”
“In my bedroom.” His voice had gone silky, an implicit message rounding each word.
Jen’s heart trembled as the message wove around and around her. “I need to leave.”
“Ye do that a lot, don’t ye?” He didn’t move from his stance. “Leave when things get a bit rough.”
He had no idea what he was talking about. The opposite was true, so true it had almost ruined her life. Not until two years ago, when she had made her stand. Finally leaving behind a life fashioned for her far before she’d had the courage to say no. “Please move away from the door.”
He did, yet not in the direction she’d wanted him to go. Instead of pacing to the window bay, he prowled right toward her.
Her heart rose to her throat. What she saw in his eyes made her want to squeak and run. Rather than do those ignoble things, she started around the other side of the desk.
“No, ye don’t.” Chuckling, a soft, satisfied sound, he shot out his hand to snag her arm.
“Let me go.” Jen didn’t want to give him any more satisfaction, but it was hard not to wiggle.
He used this to his advantage, pulling her into his grasp in one short jerk. “I don’t think so. At least, not for now.”
The wool of his jumper—another of his inevitable black jumpers—scratched her hands as she pushed on his chest. “This is unacceptable.”
His chuckle turned into a laugh. The movement of his chest beneath her hands made her heart gallop. “I love it when ye get all English on me.”
The implied slur made her glance up into his face. “I’m English. What else would I be?”
“What else indeed.” His odd eyes gleamed with…interest. And something else, something that matched what ran in her blood against her will. “So you’re interested, eh?”
“I think you should let me go.”
“And I’m thinking I should be giving ye a wee kiss.”