It’s a dangerous game you set to play, Miss Corbett. One that can have far worse than deadly consequences!
In the midst of the struggle for America’s bid for Independence, Hannah Corbett makes a fateful decision, descending into a world of deceit. Spurred by revenge, she heads to New York, setting in motion a dangerous game for which there is no return. Searching desperately for the man who betrayed her family, she faces the cold and brutal reality of the life of a spy. Caught in a web of lies, living with betrayal, she is trapped. She has nowhere to turn except to a man it would be treasonous to love, setting duty and desire at war . Her heart is ripped apart when she must choose between the man who risks his career and life to protect her and the only thing that has remained constant in her life…her belief in her cause.
Within the early November morning air, Hannah had set to plant tulip bulbs outside her grandmother’s window. She wanted to surprise her grandmother in the spring with the emergence of flowers that had bloomed beautifully around her home in Williamsburg. She wondered how her home looked now. Her heart pained and with her manner in dealing with that pain, she pushed all it back within her. No, she told herself, she had a mission and had no time to grieve or her heart would rip apart.
Sitting upon the ground, she looked up. In front of her Marcus stood, dressed in clothing similar to when she had first met him. Was he going out again to deceive others into betraying their cause?
He smiled at her, a charming, disarming smile. He extended his hand to her. She pulled her gloves off, accepting his assistance. With ease, he pulled her up to him, much too close. She wanted to back away, but he held firm. His eyes lay intent upon her.
“I was looking for you. I didn’t mean to catch you off guard, but wanted a minute of your time.”
She dusted her skirt off and pushed back her unruly hair. “Of course not, but I’m sorry about my appearance, Marcus. I wasn’t expecting anyone this morning."
He didn’t reply. His fingers wiped her cheek where a streak of dirt lay. His hand lingered on her arm. She glanced up at him. He stared into her eyes. She wanted desperately to turn from his gaze, but wouldn’t show a sign of weakness. Her heart beat rapidly, but he said nothing.
“You’ve a purpose to this visit, Marcus,” she asked. “Or do you want to see Grandfather? I’m sure he’s within his study.”
“No, it’s you I wanted to see,” he answered under his breath. Suddenly, his hands went securely around her waist.
“Marcus,” she protested her hands against his chest. “Pray, what do you think you’re doing?”
“I find that I must once more depart. And I have only one question for you Hannah. Are you going to be here upon my return?” He drew her closer. His hand touched her cheek, easing behind her neck. “I wonder. I wonder if you will remember what it is like to have my arms around you as they are now. I wonder if you will dream of me while I’m gone.”
“Please release me, you arrogant man!” she pleaded. “Someone will see.”
“That’s no answer,” he whispered. She wanted to be able to jerk away and run, run far away from him, but she found she couldn’t move. His hand caressed her cheek, running down her neck. “You’re a strange one, Hannah Corbett. Why are you really here?”
“I have told you, my grandmother,” she murmured, finding it difficult to find her words.
He gently held her, but firmly. “I know what you told me, Hannah. How you wanted to leave before the invasion and would do so now if you could. It’s just…I imagine if you really wanted to leave, you would do so. I find it hard to leave you. I can imagine all sorts of trouble you could find yourself in.”
“I don’t believe it’s your concern, Marcus. I wish you well in your journey.” Her tone emotionless, she twisted, but his gripped only tightened. He pulled her to him. Her protests drowned as his lips came down hard upon hers. His mouth settled upon hers. She could feel a fire within him as his mouth claimed hers. And to her horror she found herself responding to him.
Her hands, which once pushed against him, trying to resist, opened freely and she pulled him to her. Her body betrayed her mind, melting into his, his touch, his kiss. His mouth kissed her cheeks, her neck, and back up to her lips again.
She couldn’t breathe. Her chest heaving, she finally broke away. Ashamed she responded so; she found she had no words. Oh what was she going to say that her body had so willfully denied with his touch. He caressed her cheek again.
“You make it hard to leave, Hannah Corbett,” he said softly. He gave her no opportunity to utter a response. He quickly kissed her lips once more. Then without another word, he departed.