The Redemption of Julian Price
suggestively and then his gaze drifted lazily over her, making her suddenly aware of her state of undress. She wore her night rail, but no wrapper.
    “I couldn’t sleep,” she replied. “Millie snores.” She inclined her head to the maid, who was lost in deep and sonorous slumber.
    “As do I,” he confessed with a smirk. “Would you prefer that I bed down in the carriage?”
    “No,” she said. “I worried the entire time you were gone. Please come in.”
    “Worried? About what?”
    “About you,” she replied. “Or for you. I feared something untoward might happen.”
    He let out a harsh laugh. “Don’t fear for me, Hen. Didn’t I prove that I can take care of myself?”
    He stepped inside and closed the door behind him, suddenly filling the tiny chamber and looking more dangerous than the thug he’d bested in the taproom. Instinctively, she stepped back, hugging herself. Julian regarded her with a dark look. “Are you afraid of me, Henrietta? Of what you witnessed in the taproom?”
    “N-no,” she said. “I just caught a chill from the open door.”
    “You’re lying.” He grasped her shoulders and leaned in close, indecently close. His gaze dropped to her lips. “I can tell by your mouth.”
    “All right,” she confessed. “Maybe I was a little afraid.”
    “Of me?” he asked fiercely.
    “No,” she insisted. Although she’d found his actions most unsettling, she would never fear Julian. “I’m just unsettled by it all,” she corrected him. “I was worried that man had returned.” Julian still had not released her shoulders. His brown eyes were hazy and unfocused, and he reeked of spirits. “You’ve been drinking,” she accused.
    “I have indeed,” he replied with a smirk. “My bloodlust, once incited, is like the devil unleashed. Getting pissed is one of two remedies for it.”
    “What’s the second remedy?” she asked.
    His gaze dipped to her breasts. “The other isn’t available to me at present.”
    Her cheeks flushed with sudden understanding. “Julian, did you mean what you said down there? Would you really have killed him?”
    “Do you truly wish to know the answer?” he replied darkly.
    “Perhaps not,” she said, suppressing a tremor.
    “I’ve killed many men, Henrietta.”
    “That’s to be expected,” she said. “As a soldier, one must kill or be killed. It’s a sad reality of war.”
    “It is reality,” he said. “Thomas almost couldn’t bear it. He once confessed that every man he killed took a small piece of his soul to the grave with them. If that is truly how it works, then I have no soul left. Maybe that’s why I feel nothing anymore.”
    “Nothing, Julian?” she asked softly.
    “It’s true, Hen. Killing makes one less human.”
    “You appear perfectly human to me.” Unable to resist the urge, she reached out her hand to cup his bristled face. He drew in a sharp breath as she placed her other hand on his chest right over his heart. “It beats strong and steady.” She glanced up at his face. Hers was growing warmer as the heat of his body permeated through the linen of his shirt into her fingers. “Yes,” she said. “You feel perfectly human too.”
    “You shouldn’t touch me like that,” he warned, his voice low and gruff.
    “Why not?” she asked, growing a bit breathless. And reckless.
    “Because I’m a man. Because I’ve been drinking.” His pupils were huge, turning his brown eyes almost black. His gaze drifted slowly lower, as if burning through the thin linen of her shift. “Because that thing you are wearing is nearly as transparent as the shift you wore swimming.”
    Her chest constricted as if her stays were too tight, but she wasn’t wearing any stays. Her breasts were free of confinement beneath her night rail.
    “Do you remember what I told you before?” he asked.
    “That men are easily aroused by the sight of a woman’s body?” she replied. Her nipples tingled with awareness, hardening into tight peaks. Had

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