Defiant: 5 (Noble Passions)

Free Defiant: 5 (Noble Passions) by Sabrina York

Book: Defiant: 5 (Noble Passions) by Sabrina York Read Free Book Online
Authors: Sabrina York
Percy’s face broke into a grin. “Brilliant!”
he cried, bounding into the hall. He shot an impish look at Sophia. “This is
something of a grand adventure, isn’t it?”
    She couldn’t help but smile at him because his enthusiasm
was rather contagious. And yes, it was a grand adventure.
    Prudence Billingsly whacked Percy with her shawl. “They say
we’re not going to Italy,” she said in a peevish tone.
    “Oh, you can still go,” Percy said. “But you’ll have to
    His humor did not amuse Lady Billingsly. She attempted to
skewer him with a glare. Sadly, she lacked the consequence to make a dent. So
she turned her frown on Sophia. “Boy, come to my rooms and clean up the mess.
Herbert has been retching everywhere.”
    Something within Sophia roiled. It was probably revulsion.
With a hint of rebellion. She did not want to clean up Herbert Billingsley’s
accounts. Fortunately, she didn’t have to defy the old bat.
    Ned did it for her. “Sorry,” he said, catching Sophia’s arm
and tugging her toward his cabin. “The boy has other pressing work. You’ll have
to clean it up yourself.” He shot a wicked smile at his friend. “No doubt Percy
would be delighted to help.”
    With an eep, Percy ducked back into his cabin.
    “But…but…but.” They left Lady Prudence sputtering in their
wake. “But I’m a lady,” she wailed. Her cry twined with Percy’s muted laughter.
    When the door to Ned’s cabin closed behind them, Sophia did
what she’d been wanting to do for some time now. She threw herself into Ned’s
arms and kissed him. “Oh Ned, you saved me.”
    His arms closed around her and he kissed her back, which was
    “I’m sure you would have dodged the mast in time,” he said.
It was an absolute lie. She hadn’t even seen it falling. All her horrified
attention had been trained on him struggling across the pitching decks.
    “Oh Ned, Ned,” she laughed. “I wasn’t talking about the
    “You—you weren’t?”
    “No, silly. I was talking about Lady Prudence.”
    And then, when she kissed him again, he let her.
    * * * * *
    They really needed to stop with all the kissing, Ned thought
as he kissed Sophia. They were cuddled in his bunk, holding fast to each other
as the ship pitched. They had been closeted in there for two days, venturing
out only for food and water from the stores. The ship still rolled and pitched
alarmingly. Since the storm hit, there hadn’t been a moment of peace. Unless
Sophia was in his arms. And then everything else, even their imminent danger,
faded away.
    They really should stop kissing but he kept forgetting to
remind her they should.
    It was hell. She was so soft, so tempting, so blasted
innocent. That she wore his shirt—and nothing else—did not help. And while it
hung past her knees, he knew— knew —she was naked beneath it.
    Consequently, he was hard.
    She’d noticed his discomfort and offered to help—precocious
little vixen she was—but he’d demurred. It wasn’t proper , he’d said. We
shouldn’t have done it the first time , he’d said.
    And she’d ignored him.
    In the end, she’d taken him in hand again and he’d allowed
    Because honestly, they’d done that. It could not be undone.
What could be the harm in allowing it one more time?
    Or twice?
    But they couldn’t do anything more, he resolved. Most
especially not the tasting she kept whispering about. And lord, he
wished she would stop whispering about it because when she whispered about it,
it made him think about it. And when he thought about it, he weakened.
    As it was, they were heading for a dangerous precipice.
    So when she walked her fingers up his chest on the morning
of the third day, he frowned at her. “You shouldn’t be draped over me like this.”
    Her smile was devastating. She nestled closer. “I like being
draped over you.”
    His arms, unaccountably, tightened. He knew he should let
her go—should probably push her away—but he was too

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