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arms. Her heart beat very fast and the blood in her pulses rose.

"How much do you care for me?" she whispered; her voice trembled.

"More than for life itself," he whispered back.

"And I … I …" He felt her trembling in his arms as if with fear. He loved and hushed her with ineffable tenderness, his control keeping pace with his rising blood. "My love, my love, I will take care of you. Trust yourself to me. I love you perfectly, beloved."

He had an exquisite sense of honour and a complete ignorance of womanhood. A flash of electricity from him and all would have been aflame. But she had said once that until the decree was made absolute she did not look upon herself as a free woman.

"My little brave one, beloved. It will not be always like this between us. Tell me that it will not. I count the days and hours. You will take me for your husband?"

She could feel the beating of his pulses, her cheek lay against his coat. But her heart slowed down a little. How steadfast he was and reliable, the soul of honour. But she was a woman, difficult to satisfy. She had wanted from him this evening, this moment, something of that she won so easily from Peter Kennedy. The temperament she denied was alight and clamorous.