His mind screamed to stay rooted in his chair, but his body betrayed him. Standing, he reached for her hand. “I will escort ye to your chamber.”
She eyed him with curiosity and stood. “Nae. Take me to the north wall. I hear the view of the loch is one that steals the breath from your lungs.”
“Done.” When her fingers slipped into his, Desmond fought the urge to crush her to his chest.
Placing her soft hand in the crook of his arm, he led her quickly out of the hall and up the stairs. Bending to the left, he took her along a corridor and up a narrow circular pathway. The torches flickered as he approached the door leading to the north wall.
A cold draft blew by them, and she shivered. Instantly, regret filled him realizing he had not considered to bring a cloak for her.
Desmond paused by the door. “Ye should not venture out into the biting cold without a cloak.”
Her eyes narrowed. “I simply wish to capture a quick look, not spend the night sleeping out there.”
Shaking his head, he pushed open the massive oak door. Brittle air slapped at his face while they made their way up along the wall.
“’Tis cold,” she muttered, but chuckled softly and hugged his arm. “But ye are warm.”
“We shall not tarry long,” he assured her and placed a warm hand over hers.
“Oh, sweet Goddess. Look at the moon, Desmond. Her light shimmers over the water. I have now witnessed the charm of the loch in sunlight and moonlight. Though our rivers are stunning on their own, they cannae rival this view. As I have told ye, our island is shrouded in mists, so ye cannae see verra far out into the sea.”
Desmond’s focus was not on the moon, but the beauty standing beside him. To take what he dared not possess. He marveled at her delight of the striking scene.
Ailsa turned toward him. “Thank ye, Desmond, truly.”
Her nearness was overpowering, seducing him in a way he had never known. Desmond cupped her chin. Her eyes widened, and her lips parted in invitation. Moonlight and lust danced within her eyes. No longer did he battle with his mind and body, and he slowly lowered his head.
And under the silent whisper of a full moon, Desmond captured her soft lips within his own. He could taste her sweetness mixed with the wine, and desire shot through his veins. His hands shook as he placed them securely on her waist. As he deepened the kiss, she placed her hands around his neck. Desmond groaned, crushing her body against him.