Love Me Foreverby Johanna Lindsey
Still mourning her mother's death, Kimberly Richards is incensed by the determination of her father , the Earl of Amburough, to marry her off as quickly as possible--just to please the jealous lover he plans to wed. And since Kimberly harbors a deep-seated dislike of gold-diggers and the whole distasteful state of affairs, the feisty young heiress already despises… See more details below
Still mourning her mother's death, Kimberly Richards is incensed by the determination of her father , the Earl of Amburough, to marry her off as quickly as possible--just to please the jealous lover he plans to wed. And since Kimberly harbors a deep-seated dislike of gold-diggers and the whole distasteful state of affairs, the feisty young heiress already despises the worthy suitor she encounters at Sherring Cross Estate: Lachlan MacGregor, the dashing, newly impoverished Laird of Clan MacGregor.
A tryst with the handsome, haughty Lachlan seems dubious at--especially since the rogue has designs on the married Duchess of Wrothston. But strange turns and outrageous circumstances promise to lead a woefully mismatched pair to a wildly unexpected destination--where a hard, resisting heart can open to the true glories of love.
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"Lachlan, are ye still alive, mon?"
It was doubtful. It wasn't even desirable at the moment. Though the pain of his wound was more annoying than hurtful, as Lachlan MacGregor lay there losing his lifeblood to the sod, he realized it was his pride that had taken the killing blow. That the Laird of Clan MacGregor had been reduced to joining the ranks of common reavers was bad enough. That he'd been stupid enough to get wounded in the process ...
"Lachlan?" The persistent inquiry came again from his clansman.
"Faith, if I'm no' dead, I should be, so dinna be thinking of carting my body home for burying, Ranald. You'll be leaving it here tae rot as it deserves."
A chuckle came from his other side. "Didna I tell ye no' tae worry, Ranald?" Gilleonan MacGregor said. "It'll take more'n a wee lead ball from a Sassenach pistol tae hurt this great hulk of a body."
Lachlan responded with a snort. Ranald, who'd been prodding him for signs of life, sighed now. "Aye, and I knew that," Ranald said with an odd mixture of boast and relief. " 'Twas worryin' about gettin' him back on his horse that I was doin'. If he canna manage it hisself, then he will be rottin' here, 'cause we surely canna lift him, even wi' the both o' us tryin'."
"Och, now, I dinna see a problem in that. I remember lightin' a fire near his big feet once when he was a young'un. Amazin' how a men as big as the MacGregor will move real quicklike when-"
Lachlan growled low, remembering that time well enough himself. Gilleonan chuckled again. Ranald clicked his tongue and said in all seriousness, "I wouldna be tryin' that, cousin. A fire would alert thoseSassenach tae where we are, if they be foolish enough tae still be lookin' for us."
'True, and a fire wouldna be necessary if our laird had waited till we got ourselves home tae be fallin' off his blasted horse. But seein's how he didna wait, and here he lies, have ye got any other ideas?"
"I have one," Lachlan said testily. "I break both your necks, then we'll all three be rotting here."
The two kinsmen knew Lachlan was sensitive about his size, all six foot seven inches of it. Their deliberate goading was their way of trying to get him mad enough to get up on his own-but hopefully not mad enough to kill them.
It was not clear just how mad he was at the moment, all things considered, and so Ranald said, "If it's all the same tae ye, Lachlan, I'd as soon no' rot so near the Sassenach border. Up in the Highlands, now, I wouldna mind so much, but down here in the Lowlands, nay, I dinna like yer idea a'tall."
"Then a both of you shut up and let me rest a few moments, and I might oblige you by getting back on my horse under my own steam. Or what's left of it."
He got total silence to that suggestion. They were allowing him the rest he'd requested, he supposed. The trouble was, he didn't think he'd have any steam left for any effort on his part, rest or no rest. He was growing weaker by the moment, could actually feel his strength draining away with his blood. Blasted wound. If he hadn't felt the sting of the bullet going in, he couldn't say for sure that it was somewhere in the general area of his chest. His torso had gone numb long before he'd toppled from his horse, and the hard landing had added other aches to his body. Another problem with his size. When he fell, he fell hard.
"I'll wager his mind was a'driftin' again, and that's what got him shot," Gilleonan started in again when Lachlan still hadn't moved an inch after several minutes. "That's all he's been doin' for more'n a year now, moonin' over that bonny redhead the Sassenach stole from him."
Lachlan knew very well that his kinsman was trying to provoke him to anger again, just so he'd get off his duff and stop worrying them. And damned if it didnt work, because Gilleonan's remark was all too true.
When he'd been shot, he had been distracted in thinking about the bonny Megan with her flaming red hair and big midnight blue but he more lovely lass he'd never come across. But e thought about her every time they raided near the English border, because that was where he'd met her-and lost her. 'Course, he thought about her too much at other times too, but that was his problem and best left to him, not discussed in general, no matter what the purpose.
"I stole her from the Englishmon," Lachlan mumbled. "He merely retrieved her. There is a difference."
"Retrieved her and beat the tar out o' ye-"
That reminder deserved a good clout, and Lachlan's punch, even lacking strength, still knocked Gilleonan out of his crouch. Gilleonan grunted in surprise as he landed on his backside, even though he'd been expecting and hoping for just such a reaction from his laird.
Ranald, on the other hand, laughed. "Verra good, Lachlan. Now if ye'll just put that same energy into gettin' yer big self onto yer wee horse, we'll get ye home so Nessa can see tae that wound."
Lachlan groaned. Gilleonan, having that same thought, snapped at Ranald, "Are ye daft, men? I'd be runnin' in the opposite direction if I had Nessa fussin' o'er me tae look forward tae. She bullies ye tae wellness, she does-after she cries all over ye first. Och, 'tis a sickenin' sight, tae be sure."
Ranald lifted his brow. "Ye think she'd bully the laird?"
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