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Love Beyond Measure

Love Beyond Measure

Book 4 of Morna's Legacy Series


"That was rotten, lass. I doona wish to discuss the weather nor the countryside with ye. 'Tis no why I asked ye to come here, no to speak to ye as I would a stranger. I know that I havena known ye but a few days, but it doesna feel that way. No to me. I doona believe it does to ye, either. I wish to know everything about ye, about what ye did as a child, about yer family. I want ye to tell me what ye want out of yer life and for wee Cooper's, and I wish to tell ye about meself, as well. I want to speak to ye about things that matter, but I canna do that just yet."

"Why not?" It was the only thing I could force myself to say in response to him. It was the perfect speech - exactly what every woman wants to hear - that a man wants to actually learn more about means of communication. Something that every man I'd ever known until now was very challenged at.

I don't think I would've believed such an exclamation from just anyone, but I knew that he told the truth. He was different; I could tell that from the first moment I saw him. He didn't play games, didn't pretend to be someone he wasn't.

It took him a moment to answer. I could sense his hesitation in the way he gripped my hand. He kept squeezing it, releasing it, squeezing it again, all the while running his thumb back and forth over the top of my hand.

"Because..." he exhaled loudly, and I slipped my thumb from underneath his hand, bringing it around to stroke his hand to comfort him. My mommy-gene, my inherent need to soothe, coming through once again.

"Lass, if ye told me those things just now, all of the important details about ye, I wouldna hear them. I can think of nothing other than what yer hair would feel like if I ran my fingers through it, how yer lips would feel against me own. So please, continue to speak to me about the weather and yer boss, Mr. Perdie, but remember that I do wish to hear everything else. I just canna hear it right now. No when I'm so bewitched by ye."

I replayed his words in my head over and over. Each time they sounded more swoon-worthy than the last. My heart beat in quick time, and I had to hold my breath because I knew it would come out shaky. I said nothing, only slowly pressed down on the brake and pulled the car to the side of the road.

He mistook my response. As I threw the car into park and unbuckled my seatbelt, he started to apologize. "Ach, I've behaved as a fool, Grace. Forgive me. I dinna mean any disrespect to ye. I meant it as a compliment. I dinna wish for ye to think that I was bored with ye. I know the conversation may have seemed that way. I'm sorry. Truly. I doona know...I am no verra good at speaking with women."

"Hush." I was certain my eyes were hazy with lust. I scarcely knew how to handle the emotion; it had been so very long since I'd felt it. My entire body trembling with my desire for him, I placed one finger on his lips, just long enough to silence him and then I pressed my lips against his.

It surprised him, I could tell by his short intake of breath, but he responded immediately. Groaning into my mouth, a deep, guttural noise that made my stomach muscles clench as his left hand moved to the back of my head, pulling me closer.

It was perfect, yet restrictive. I couldn't stand to continue kissing him with the barrier of the console between us. I wanted him closer, wanted to deepen our kiss. "Wait. I...." My words were shaky. I breathed deeply trying to catch my breath. "I did that too soon. I'm sorry."

He laughed a bit, but allowed me to pull away. "It was no too soon for me, lass."

"That's not what I meant." I started the car, throwing it into drive so that we could get back to the inn and resume our kissing outside the vehicle. "I want to be closer to you than I can be in the car. Let me get us to the inn."

I saw his grin from the corner of my eye as he moved to brush a strand of hair behind my ear. "Do ye? Well, I willna deny ye that."

I couldn't finish the remaining mile fast enough. After seeing lights still on inside the inn, I parked the car quietly, hoping Cooper wouldn't see us pull up. He'd rush outside to greet us if he did.

We exited the car in sync and, after a brief moment, I crushed myself against him once again, not hearing the front door of the inn open or the footsteps that approached us as I lost myself in Eoghanan's kiss.

"Mom, look who's here." I stilled instantly, mortified that my young son had caught me making out like some hormone-crazed teenager. I didn't even care who was there, nothing or no one could embarrass me more than I already was...or so I thought.

"Tough day of work, huh, Grace?" Jeffrey stood next to Cooper, smiling with shocked eyes.

Then Cooper's voice, all high and pitchy with excitement, "it's Dad!"

© Bethany Claire