A few lines from Mystic Mountains by Tricia McGill
"So, you're filling out a bit, I see." He tightened his grip just below
her breasts. "A full belly hasn't improved your temper though. Now, be
still, little bundle. I'm your master an' I have the right to do as I
like with you."
"Do as you like?" Isabella squirmed away from him. With violently
shaking hands she straightened her skirt. Her cheeks flamed when she
looked up to see he watched her every movement closely, as if it was his
right. The twinkle in his eyes made her temper rise. "I'
if you take what you see as your rights. Anyway, what would you want
with the likes of me when you have so many other women chasing after you?"
"Oho, so you've heard the tales of my exploits with the fair sex, have
you? I feel I must set you straight on that account. There aren't that
many. But you're right on one thing. I wouldn't fancy you in a fit. I
prefer my women to be amenable." He placed his hands on his hips,
returning her stare with the arrogance that set her teeth on edge.
"Then I'm saved from a fate worse than death, for amenable I'll never
be." Isabella stepped out of his reach. But to her horror he made a grab
for her, grasping her hand. She tugged but he refused to release it.
"Now then, which fruit did you want?" he asked, his tone now quite
pleasant. "Perhaps I can reach it without resorting to climbing the tree."
Isabella stared at him, then pointed to a bunch within easy
reach for him. "That one, and those there." She breathed a small sigh of
relief when he finally let her go then reached up to pluck them.
"Hold out your apron," he ordered, dropping the apples in. "There, will
that satisfy Thelma?"
Pulling free the cloth tied round his neck, he used it to wipe his brow.
As he retied it he watched her like a cat stares at a cornered mouse.
"I ... I think so." Isabella gathered her apron to her chest and turned
to flee, but he caught her by the arm again.
"Bella. Satisfy my curiosity, will you?"
His soft tone made her suspicious. She watched him cautiously. "How?"
"Are you happy here in my household?" he asked softly, those strange
eyes of his searching hers.
"As happy as any woman can be working for an Englishman." That was a
dreadful lie, for she'd seldom been happier.
She disagreed, but wasn't about to go into that argument now.
Mystic Mountains is available here:http://www.amazon.