Margaret McPhee

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The Captain's Christmas Angel



“ ‘In nine days we shall be in Plymouth.’ She still had not looked at him, just kept her gaze fixed on the expanse of ocean.

‘There is much that can happen in nine days. He did not know why he was saying it, only that he could not help himself.

He could see the slight tensing of her body in response to his words.

‘You are mistaken.’

‘Am I?’

‘I am not the sort of woman who indulges in dalliances.’

‘I am not the sort of man who dallies with the woman who saved his life.’

She swallowed. ‘Nor am I seeking another husband.’ She gestured down at her dark skirt. ‘I am still mourning the first and always will be.’

‘I am not seeking a wife.’

‘Then we understand one another.’

He did not challenge her assertion. They understood each other too well, yet it served not to alleviate the underlying sensual tension between them, but only to tighten it.

She took a breath. ‘And I hardly saved your life.’ She glanced round at him.

did you do that day?’

She averted her gaze again.

‘Shall I remind you?’ He did not wait for her reply. ‘You were standing on this same deck, wearing the same cloak and bonnet, as dark a blue as to appear black. I thought I was dreaming, for what man cast into the North Atlantic midwinter is rescued?

I watched you run to Seymour. I watched you persuade him. I tried to swim to you but the current was too strong and my strength was spent. You reached for me as if you would pluck me from the water yourself. “Hold on,” you said. “Just a little longer. We’re coming.”’

She moved so that they stood facing one another squarely, one hand still anchoring her to the bulwark. ‘How could you possibly have heard my words?’ Her eyes were wide with shock, her voice, barely above a whisper.

‘I saw them shape upon your lips. I heard their whisper in my ear.’

Her eyes never shifted from his. Brown velvet, ringed in charcoal grey. Beguiling as the woman herself. Daniel forgot everything else. Forgot Higgs. Forgot the lies he was weaving. Even forgot Netta. All he was aware of was Sarah Ellison.

He stepped closer, never breaking his gaze. ‘Mrs Ellison, Sarah…’ And despite all that he did not intend, he lowered his face towards hers. And despite all that she had said, she moved her mouth to meet his.”

- Excerpt from The Captain's Christmas Angel within A Magical Regency Christmas and A Sprinkling of Christmas Magic

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