Corrected by the Colonel
the day before. She had not even had an opportunity to respond. Hastily she took out pen and paper and dashed off a note to her sister sharing the news of her imminent marriage. Cassandra did her best to sound upbeat about the situation, though in reality she felt anything but.
     
    ***
     
              Blaise wore his dress uniform and Cassandra could not help but notice how well it suited his commanding presence and handsome features. The uniform gave him an even greater air of authority, if that was possible. She imagined what it was like to be one of the soldiers under his command, taking orders without question, placing complete trust in his authority.
              The idea made her knees quiver and a tiny tingle formed between her legs. Shamed at having such lusty feelings while standing next to a vicar, she lowered her eyes and did her best to focus on the words of the marriage ceremony.
             Married. It had been her goal, though this was not her intended groom. She had no doubt  Blaise was a better match for her personally, but her objective had not been felicity but prosperity, and in that regard, Blaise could never measure up to Owen Tyndall. Regardless, a marriage to Lord Owen Tyndall was unthinkable at this point.
               She glanced up as the vicar finished the ceremony that bound her to Blaise for all eternity. To love, honor and obey.
     
    ***
     
              The vicar and his wife kindly shared their breakfast with the newlyweds, though Cassandra only pushed her food around the plate.
              Later, riding in the Sinclair family carriage with her new husband, Cassandra's stomach rumbled. Blaise raised an eyebrow at her. "I noticed you didn't eat much this morning. Are you nervous, my wife?"
               Cassandra did not know what to say. Of course she was nervous. Her life was in total disarray. Not that it had been peaceful and calm before, but marriage to Colonel Blaise Sinclair had not been part of her grand plan.
               Instead of sharing her anxieties with her new husband, she simply stated, "It has been an eventful couple of days."
              Blaise squeezed her hand. "I think we have both had a few surprises recently." His chuckle and continued clasp of her hand sent warmth spiraling through her body. He held her hand in both of his, unbuttoned the closure of her glove, slowly removed the soft material. He placed a kiss on her exposed palm, then upon each finger, his eyes never leaving hers while he did so.
              She squirmed in her seat while his sucked her index finger into his mouth and swirled his tongue along the curve of her delicate flesh.
              By the time he finished attending to each digit, desire scorched Cassandra's nether region. A desire she did not know how to quench and didn't even understand, but something primal told her Blaise was the only man who could satisfy the pulsing need within her.
               He gathered her to him and kissed her. Hard. She buried her hands in his hair and relaxed into him. He kissed her mouth, her eyelids, the curve of her cheek then moved down the column of her throat. Cassandra moaned and crushed her body to his. He tugged at the neckline of her dress, kissed along the slope of one shoulder and then the other before revealing her breasts. Cassandra's nipples puckered and pulsed, whether from exposure to the cool air of the carriage or in anticipation of Blaise's touch, she neither knew nor cared. When he lowered his face to pay homage to their creamy curves, she arched into him, willing him closer.
              His fingers danced along her shoulder blades while his mouth ravaged first one aching breast and then the other.
              Her hips bucked and swayed and she yearned to ask him to touch her beneath her skirts, but even if she had the courage, she didn't have the words. How did one ask for such a

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