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For Love of the Duke

By:Christi Caldwell

come back to me. Please. I love you, Katherine.”

The faint muscle at the corner of his eye twitched, the one indication of how very much that speech had cost Jasper.

Love for him coursed through her, potent and powerful.

“Katherine…”

She leaned across the carriage seat and kissed him. Her lips found his in an achingly sweet meeting of two lovers who’d at last found each other. Katherine pulled away. She placed a kiss at the corner of his eye, where that muscle throbbed.

“Without you, none of this means anything, Jasper. Not the gowns. The mindless amusements.”

“And Stanhope?” he asked, his voice gruff.

She shook her head. “Has always been and will only ever be, a friend, Jasper.” She touched two fingers to his mouth. “You are all I want. All I need. I will give up everything I have, all I am for you. I love you."

His throat bobbed up and down. “And you’ll never again leave me.”

Katherine knew he spoke of more than the mere parting of the now. She ran her finger over his lip. “And I will never again leave you,” she pledged.

“Oh, Katherine,” he whispered and gently pulled her onto his lap, folding his arms about her.

And there, in the confines of the carriage, as Jasper took her in his arms, Katherine realized how very wrong her sister Aldora and her friends had been.

Katherine didn’t need the heart of a duke.

She only needed the heart of this duke.

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