She wanted Ford, but she didn’t want to want him!

He must have sensed her shift in mood, because he brought their kiss to an end. By the time he lifted his head, a satisfied smile curved his mouth. “Now I feel married,” he said, a teasing light in his eyes.

And she felt dazed, and on the brink of surrendering to dangerous emotions. She glanced away, ashamed at her lack of control when it came to Ford.

His fingers touched her jaw in concern. “Hey, are you okay?”

She summoned a smile to match how weary she felt. “I’m just tired.”

His hands settled on the waistband of her skirt, his thumbs brushing along her slightly curved, firm belly, sending tingles skittering along the surface of her skin. “The baby?” he asked.

Slipping from his unnerving embrace, and away from his tempting touch, she rubbed her forehead. “It’s been a very long day, Ford.”

“Grace . . .” He let out a low, frustrated sigh. “I know we started off on the wrong foot, and I know you’re not happy with this situation, but I’m willing to make the best of our marriage. Will you agree to just try and compromise? For the sake of our child?”

She wanted to ask him if that kiss had been for the sake of their child, but bit back the petty remark. Her emotions and hormones were askew, her heart unsure of what she’d gotten herself into by marrying Ford—a man she’d known all her life, but a stranger she wasn’t quite sure she trusted nonetheless.

“I’d do anything for this baby,” she said, meaning every word, and giving him a silent promise to try and meet him halfway on marital issues. She grabbed her chemise, robe and toiletry bag. “I think I’ll take a nice warm shower, and turn in for the evening.”

He gave her a smile that was boyishly charming. “Would you like help scrubbing your back?”

That treacherous heat unfurled in her belly. “No, thank you.”

“Can’t blame a husband for asking, especially on his wedding night,” he said, backing toward the door. “If you need me for anything, I’ll be in my office down the hall working.”

Then he was gone, leaving Grace to spend her wedding night alone.

Chapter Six

“G ood morning.”

Grace turned from her task of making herself a second mug of hot tea to go with the toast she’d just ate, the greeting she’d been about to return dissolving on the tip of her tongue.

Her husband strode very deliberately across the kitchen’s hardwood floor toward her, giving her only a handful of seconds to register the fact that he’d just gotten out of the shower. His dark hair was damp and finger-combed away from his face, and he only wore a pair of soft, faded jeans that enhanced his athletic body. His feet were bare, his chest gloriously naked with dew drops of water still clinging to the light furring of hair that sprinkled its way down to his belly, whorled around his navel, and disappeared into the waistband of his low, hip-riding jeans.

The man had no right to look so sexy, so appealing, so downright tempting and gorgeously male! Especially first thing in the morning.

She dragged her gaze upward, too late in realizing he’d closed the distance between them. Without preamble or warning, he slid his fingers into her unbound, disheveled hair, lifted her mouth to his, and kissed her. Unlike last night’s slow seduction, there was nothing sweet or chaste about this possession. His strong, masculine body crowded her against the counter, his tongue took advantage of her gasp of surprise, and his fresh, mint-tasting mouth did deliciously wonderful things to hers.

She groaned deep in her throat and surrendered. It was all she could do.

Too soon, he let her go, stepping away from her as if they hadn’t just shared a very passionate kiss that left her dizzy and breathless . . . and wanting more.

“Uh, Good morning,” she finally managed, her voice husky.

The corner of his mouth quirked, and his gaze slid down the length of her, a slow, lazy perusal that missed nothing and visually stripped away her robe and chemise beneath. How did he do that—make her feel as though his hands had stroked where his gaze had just lingered?

“It would have been an even better morning if I could have woken up with you in my bed,” he said.