The Earl was silent for a moment.
"Who knows what will transpire," he murmured at last. He turned his head away and Jacina realised it was in an attempt to hide a grimace of pain.
Without thinking, she placed her hand consolingly over his where it lay on the counterpane.
The Earl started at her touch. Then, slowly, his fingers closed over hers. He turned back to her, his features relaxing. She tried to draw her hand away, but he held it fast. Her heart began to pound as he raised her hand to his lips.
Jacina felt she would faint with the sensation that swept through her body. If only her hand could remain in his forever! His grasp was so strong! She felt herself drawn closer and closer.
"Forgive this display of weakness before a trusted friend," murmured the Earl.
A trusted friend! That was all she was to the Earl, all she would ever be. Jacina closed her eyes. She reproached herself for imagining even for one second that she could be anything more.
Titles in this series
1. The Cross of Love
2. Love in the Highlands
3. Love Finds the Way
4. The Castle of Love
5. Love is Triumphant