“Do you want me to stop?” he asked, licking the tip of the other breast.
“No,” she all but whimpered.
“Forget about them, sweetheart. It’s just you and me.”
Millie nodded, but was already so far gone, she wasn’t sure what she was nodding about. His hands were like a piano player’s and she was the ivory keys he masterfully turned into a song so sweet she became lost in the music. A lullaby created by and for them. He took his time, and needing to smother her uncontrollable moans, she bit his shoulders, or the edge of the blanket, or her own hand, whatever was near. Then, when her time came, the moment his name wildly rumbled from her throat, he smothered her shout with a long and consuming kiss that left her both winded and fulfilled.
Seth eased off her, smiling at how adorable she’d been trying to refrain from being too loud. He’d tried, too, for even though the men surely knew—good men who wouldn’t make a comment—he didn’t want to do anything that would cause her undo embarrassment. As she nestled in the crook of his arm, he fingered the delicate feathers of her necklace with this other hand.
Guilt was a hell of a thing for a man to feel. It weighed him down worse than boulders tied to his ankles could have. Yet being with her, now and whenever she was near, Seth found other emotions covered the shame, made him forget that what he was doing was wrong. For it certainly felt right to love her. More right than anything he’d ever done.
He never called her Rosemary, nor did he ever admit he knew she was Millie, and that was wrong. There was no future in it. His plan was to come clean. Confess, and give her the opening to admit her true identity. He no longer cared why she was here.
Before they got to Washington, he would tell her, and once there, he’d see that his ties to Rosemary were cleanly severed, giving him and Millie the opportunity to wed. He’d been as strategic in this plan as any other he’d ever created. There had been times when he could have told her, even right now, snuggled together in the darkness, but he hadn’t, and he wouldn’t. An indescribable knot in his stomach wouldn’t let him. His men couldn’t know he was living a lie, and he hadn’t yet figured out how to correct that part.
He released the necklace and found her hand, lifted it to kiss the knuckles. “Are you sore from riding all day?”
“Not anymore,” she said, somewhere between a giggle and a whisper. “You have a way of making me forget everything.” Planting a kiss on his chest, she added, “Everything.”
He drew air in through his nose, held it. She opened up such deep, incredible things inside him, and he had to wonder if that wasn’t a part of it—why he couldn’t say anything. Why that knot in his stomach was coated with dread. In his heart, he didn’t want things to change. He could live his entire life letting everyone believe she was his wife, letting her think he didn’t know who she was. And that wasn’t like him. He’d never taken the immoral path, even when it was clearly the easier one, and that, too, made the pit of his stomach burn.
Furthermore, he still had a job to do, and needed all his faculties in order to convince the government the Indians weren’t fairing well with what was being provided to them. Having Per-Cum-Ske with him on this trip made it more vital that his thoughts—every last one of them—were in order.
The Indian wasn’t a chief, but he was leading the band right now. Eight years ago, when Per-Cum-Ske was just nineteen, he’d gone on the warpath against the white man. He’d made a fierce adversary, with followers throughout the Indian nation, and other tribes banding together to copy his actions. Thankfully, for the army, anyway, a year or so later he realized his actions were fruitless. White men were gaining ground and the Comanche barely maintaining, so he’d cut off his braids and enlisted in the Indian Scout Detachment. In that he’d succeeded, had been one of the best scouts ever, and soon became head of the detachment participating in the Kiowa-Comanche-Cheyenne campaign initiated at Fort Sill.
Seth remembered the crusade as if it had been yesterday. Indians had filled the Wichita Mountains, knew every nook, cranny and tree, and the soldiers, including himself, would have been at their mercy if not for Per-Cum-Ske. He’d not only reported where every last brave was located, he’d shown the troops where to camp, giving themselves the best protection for when the battle started.
Start it had, with a volley of gunfire like nothing any of the soldiers had expected. There had been more troops than Indians, and when the gunfire ceased Per-Cum-Ske had rushed forward, turning over the bodies of the fallen to look in their faces.