“This room has been reserved for days for you, little one,” Simon’s deep voice came from behind her, as he entered the room noiselessly, making her jump with surprise and whirl quickly around to face him.
“Why, Stephen, whatever do you mean?” she asked and suddenly gasped as she recognized by his endearment and clothing who he really was. Her blood froze in her veins, draining from her face to leave it drawn and pale as he closed the door behind him.
Simon stood straight and tall, his long muscular legs spread wide, his hands resting on his lean hips as he glared at her. His wicked laughter echoed about the room as she cringed away from him in terror, for he was wearing his captain’s uniform, the very one he had worn that fateful day at Clairemont’s Keep. Leigha felt as if she would faint and reached to steady herself by the bedpost. Simon quickly came to her side and grabbing her arms cruelly in his hands, jerked her to within inches of his face, his steel eyes penetrating to the depths of her, piercing her very soul with their force. Leigha tried to free herself, tried to remove her eyes from his coldly blazing ones but found that his power was more than that of physical force. She was frozen in his arms, unable to tear away from him as he held her tightly. Sheer terror rose within her, forcing a piercing scream from her constricted throat as he sought to bring his mouth cruelly against hers.
“You may scream all you wish, little one.” He laughed after the harsh kiss and released her suddenly to send her sprawling on the floor. “No one will come to save you. Several of my men are here, and we will be leaving with them in the morning,” he hissed at her as he stood over her. “In a few days’ time, we will be leaving your precious Robert and this rugged country behind! I have great plans for us, my dear, and I’m certain that where we are going is a far better place than Scotland!” he growled, moving to the bed to remove his boots, keeping an eye on Leigha as she moved away from him on the floor. Boldly letting his gaze roam over her trembling body, he said in an icy voice, “Perhaps with time, you will forget that idiotic excuse for a husband as well and turn your heart to me!”
“Never!” Leigha shouted, her temper flaring within her, making her toss all caution aside as she got up and advanced towards him, her pale cheeks now flushed, her emerald eyes sparkling like the jewel touched by flame. “I will never, never consent to being with you! I hate you! You are the most evil and monstrous man in the world, and I would rather die a thousand deaths than to go anywhere with you willingly!”
“Watch your tongue or that may happen!” Simon warned her, his threat bringing her temper under control. Seeing a glimmer of fear return in her eyes, he reached out to caress a stray tendril of her shining bronze hair that had escaped its pins and tumbled down over her breast, causing Leigha to draw back from his touch, her anger still burning strong but her heart now sliced through with fear as he spoke, “This is not the way that you felt about me just a short while ago. I am the same man as always, the man that has tormented your soul since first we met and has won your heart, yes, your heart, right under Robert’s very eyes!”
“That’s not true!” Leigha cried vehemently, shaking as his words drew a sharp edge of truth in her mind. “I love Robert! I always have! You have played your game well, Simon, though I do not know how you were able to fake your death and come to Dagonmoor.” Her voice shook as she turned from him to stall for time to collect her wits. Hearing him rise from the bed and come up behind her, she took a few steps forward, wanting to elude but not anger him. “Why did you come after me, Simon? I am worth nothing to you!”
“On the contrary, Leigha, you are worth everything to me as I am to you! You say otherwise with your words but try to deny this!” he challenged her, his voice low and husky as he pulled her round to face him. Closing his hungry mouth on hers, he drew the truth from her lips as she struggled and then weakened within his embrace. “Come over here, little one, and sit with me,” he said hoarsely as he slowly released her. “I will tell you how I escaped death by your hand and came after you. As to why. . . you owe me and I will have my payment!”