Bertie sat down, running her hands along the finery of her ivory skirt. The Mackenzie and McBride ladies had once again enjoyed themselves transforming Bertie from her plain governess attire to a Cinderella gown. Bertie lifted the layers of silk and tulle and the petticoats beneath, stripping off her stockings while she waited for her Prince Charming.
He came in not long later, closing and locking the bedroom door. He leaned against it, letting out a breath of relief.
“Thought I’d never get away. The Mackenzie and McBride men are all madly in love with their wives—you’d think they’d let me be alone with mine.”
“They love to tease, your family does.”
“They’re your family now too,” Sinclair said darkly. “I’m not sure whether to congratulate you or express sympathy.”
“I don’t mind. I’ve always wanted a big family.” Bertie rose, took hold of his broad hand, and placed it on her lower abdomen. “Which will become bigger soon.”
Sinclair gazed down at her in no surprise at all, his palm warm through the fabric. “I wondered when you would tell me.”
Bertie scowled. “Oh, blast you, I was hoping you’d fall down in a dead faint. Who told ya?”
“No one.” Sinclair’s shrug was maddening. “I’m good at observing people—I know what it means when a woman is ill in the mornings then eats like a horse the rest of the day.”
“A horse?” Bertie planted her hands on her hips. “What do you mean, a horse?” She deflated. “You’re probably right; I’m always hungry now. I’m going to be enormous.”
“I hope so. I want you and our son or daughter healthy.” Sinclair lost his smile and stepped close to her. “I’d forgotten what it was to be happy, Bertie. Truly happy all the way through. Thank you for putting the laughter back into my life.”
Bertie rested her hand on his chest, feeling his heart beating beneath. No flutters as when he couldn’t breathe, no strange pounding as when he’d been fevered. “When I first saw you,” she said, “I wanted more than anything to make you smile.”
Sinclair rewarded her with one now. “And you’ve been doing it ever since.”
Bertie let her hand stray down his abdomen to his kilt. “Looks like you’re doing more than smiling.”
“You think I can help it?” Sinclair rested his hands on her shoulders, fingers gripping. “I’m with my beautiful wife, in her wedding dress, on my wedding night. I’m drunk and happy, but not insensible.”
Bertie squeezed the very hard thing beneath his kilt. “I can see that. Feel it, rather.”
“No more talking.” Sinclair leaned close. “I make my living talking. Tonight, I just want . . . you.”
“You have me,” Bertie whispered. “Forever. Love you, Sinclair.”
“That you can say, over and over again.” He nuzzled her. “I love you too, Bertie.”
Bertie again told Sinclair she loved him as he slowly stripped off first her beautiful clothes then his. She said it when he lifted her to the bed and knelt in front of her to kiss his way down her body. And again as he leaned forward and drank her, firelight kissing his bare back and the gold of his hair.
Sinclair laid her on the bed, rising over her, his c**k hard against her thigh, while he took her breast in his mouth, licking, suckling. Bertie said I love you when he slid himself inside her, his eyes intent on hers, and she said it once more when he began the rocking motion that sealed them together.
She cried it when ecstasy lifted her higher than had the dancing and the fact that she was his wife. Bertie murmured it in a low voice when Sinclair collapsed onto her, gathering her against his sweat-sheened body. He kissed her face, her hair, her throat, and Bertie whispered it to him.
“I love you too, Bertie,” Sinclair answered every time. “I love you.”
They lay together, curled into each other, one.