Please enjoy this Excerpt from The Princes Knighted, available now at LSBooks.com
She opened the door and stepped inside. “Hugh?”
There was no candle to light her way as she stepped farther into the room. A shaft of moonlight spilled through the window and fell across a figure lounging in the shadows.
“What are you doing here, Sara?” Hugh slurred the words.
She hurried to his side and reached for the bottle clutched in his hand. “Hugh, give it to me.”
“If you came to stop me from drowning my sorrows, you are too late.”
Sara ignored him and succeeded in wrestling the bottle from his grip. She set it aside and turned back to Hugh with a sigh. “I wanted to make sure you had not left.”
“I thought about it.” A harsh laugh escaped him. “Lord knows there is no reason for me to remain here where everyone I care about has lied to me for three years.”
Sara lifted her hand to cradle his cheek. “I am here, Hugh, and I have not lied to you.”
Hugh’s eyes glinted as he leaned forward, and moonlight fell across his face. “I have to leave, Sara. You are probably the main reason I should.”
“Why?” She ran her fingertips across his cheek and down the strong line of his jaw.
He growled low in his throat, and his hand came up to cover hers. “Why did you come here, Sara?”
“I told you, to make sure you had not left.”
His hand wrenched hers away from his face. “You should go.”
“No, I won’t. I have something I need to say first.”
“Then say it.”
Sara’s gaze roamed his face, the dark eyes hiding the pain he didn’t want to share with anyone, and the stubborn jaw that refused to admit he needed her.
“I love you.”
Hugh closed his eyes and softly cursed. “Sara…”
She covered his lips with the fingers of her free hand. “No, listen to me. I needed you to know before you leave.”
He turned his head and freed his mouth enough to speak. “I do know, Sara.”
“And?” she prompted.
Hugh groaned. “What do you want me to say, Sara? That I love you too? I can’t do that. I can’t be what you need me to be.”
“All I want is you, Hugh. I am not asking you to change.”
“No, but I would have to.” Hugh lifted the hand he still held to his lips and brushed a fleeting kiss across her knuckles. “Marry the duke. He can give you what I can’t.”
Sara wanted to cry in frustration. “I don’t want him. I want you.”
Without stopping to think, Sara leaned forward and pressed her lips to Hugh’s. He pushed her away, and a cry ripped from her throat. “Stop fighting me, Hugh.”
He surged to his feet, and she scrambled backward to keep from being knocked over. He wrapped his left arm around her waist and pulled her back to him. “I’ve tried, Sara. I don’t want to fight.”
Her breasts heaved against his chest as she dragged in a deep breath. She ran a hand up his chest and curved it around his neck. “Kiss me, Hugh.”
“Sara,” Hugh breathed. His struggle for restraint was visible on his face.
She lifted her face and stood on her tiptoes to bring her lips within inches of his. “Kiss me.”
“You don’t know what you’re asking.”
Her eyes remained open and focused on his. “Yes, I do.”
“God help you if you don’t,” Hugh said in a harsh whisper as his lips swooped down and covered hers.
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