Sinful Confessions
grin broke across her face.
    “Refer
to me by my title,” he whispered.
    She
nodded, her smile expanding. “Why thank you, Lord Lockwood,” she replied, just
as loudly. “I do like to wear the latest fashions and thank goodness, they are
so very comfortable.”
    The
women stared at them before turning hastily away and scurrying off in the
opposite direction. If they knew anything of society, they should know his
name. He hoped they felt heartily ashamed of themselves.
    “Silly
cows,” he uttered under his breath. “Mrs Whittleworth packed a picnic,” Julian
informed her while they made their way back to the edge of the ruins. “Shall
we?”
    “Oh
yes, I’m famished.”
    They
made their way down the side of the mound. She gripped his arm when her foot
went from underneath her and he had to pause to ensure they didn’t both go down
on their arses. But as they reached the bottom, she slipped again and this time
her arm tore from his. She landed on her rear with a squelch.
    Julian
groaned. What a fine time he was showing her. First she had suffered insults
from strangers and now she was coated in cold, English mud.
    Then
the strangest thing happened. She looked up at him, slapped her hands down on
either side of her and laughed.
    He
stared at her for some time while tears of laughter began to form in her eyes
and trickle out onto her cheeks. The woman was utterly mad. She finally
gathered her breath and offered him a mud-coated hand. He took it and helped
her up, aware of the dirt squashing between their joined hands. He couldn’t
seem to stop himself from staring at her. It was as though his brain could not
quite process her. Did he laugh with her? Apologise for letting her go? Ignore
the fact she was now covered in mud?
    He
settled for an apology and drew out his handkerchief to offer it to her. “I am
sorry.”
    “Do
not be.” She stepped close and flicked a lock of hair out of her eye.
    A
smear of brown marred her cheek so he leaned in and dabbed it away with his
handkerchief.
    “This
has been wonderful,” she told him when he drew back, breathless and tense.
    Viola
flung her arms around him suddenly and flattened her lips just to the left of
his mouth. The movement took him so by surprise that he jerked and found his
lips pressed against hers. He froze.
    Warmth
and softness moved over his mouth. A groan rose from deep within him, and he
could not help but respond. He slipped his tongue into the moist recess and she
surprised him by responding in kind. Julian didn’t touch her. She had such a
hold of him, he wasn’t sure he could move his arms to do so. The vague thought
that the prudish women might spot them had him pressing the kiss deeper and
finally drawing out his arms to wrap them around her and bend her backwards.
Fiery need coursed through him, setting his senses alight. If there were people
watching them now, he cared not one whit. All that mattered was the sensual
taste of Viola Thompson.
    When
he drew back and righted her, her hat was askew and her lips were puffy. He
offered her his arm and glanced back to see that they had indeed had an
audience. Julian could not help but grin to himself. Tomorrow he’d likely
regret kissing Viola but for the moment, he revelled in it very much.
     

Chapter Eight
    Viola sank onto the chaise with relish.
The cushions accepted her body with a sigh of fabric and she could not mask her
own sigh of relief. All these new experiences—they had truly worn her out.
    Julian
dropped his newspaper and gave her an amused look as she sprawled dramatically.
“Tired, Miss Thompson?”
    “Exhausted,
Lord Lockwood.”
    “A
day of rest tomorrow then perhaps?”
    She
lifted her head. “Oh no, certainly not. A good night’s sleep and I shall be
raring to go.”
    So
far Julian had taken her all over the local area and into Stratford-Upon-Avon
where Shakespeare had lived. She had never seen so much history in her life.
The old Tudor buildings with their odd angles and

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