Gwen turned her head to get a better view of the great James MacIntosh. She’d heard much about his fine features and delicious body. The rumours had not been exaggerated; he was tall and muscular with striking eyes and a sensual mouth.
As he moved forward to take part in the ceremony, another man came into view. With moss-green eyes, crinkled at the edges, he looked as though he had just heard a great jest. His lips curled into a grin, as his gaze followed the MacIntosh. That is, until his gaze locked with hers.
Gwen held her breath.
“That is his brother, in case you are wondering.” The steward, Andrews, stood beside her in the pew. She hadn’t realized he was there.
She spun toward him. “I am not wondering. I am merely observing.”
Andrews chuckled. “Aye. Well, observe away then, but remember he is a nobleman. You are but a servant.”
“I know who I am, Andrews. You do not need to put me on my guard as though I rise above my station.”
“I meant no harm, Gwen. I only wanted to be sure you didn’t harbour false hope.”
She eyed him for sincerity. The man had no business telling her whom she could or could not fancy. “You do realize I can turn you into a toad with a wave of my hand.”
Andrews rolled his eyes and moved to another pew. Be gone, odious man.
During the ceremony, Gwen stole glances at the stranger as often as possible. So the much coveted James MacIntosh had a brother, did he? Well, this was an interesting development.
As much as she hated to admit it, Andrews was right. As a servant, she would not be permitted to socialize with him. Yet, she still could not help glancing his way. Surely there was no harm in that. He was not quite as tall as his brother, and instead of sandy-brown hair, his was a dark, rich brown. He did have the same captivating green eyes, however, and Gwen simply couldn’t turn away from him. Her senses went on high alert when he turned in her direction and returned her curious gaze.
Perhaps it was a trick of the light, but she was certain a glow enveloped him. But that could not be. No, it must be the light.
Gwen kept an eye on her lady for any signs of distress, but at the same time was acutely aware of the distance separating the stranger and herself. For long moments, all sound in the chapel fell away, and only he and she remained. Her mind raced and her pulse quickened. He must be of Druid blood, for she was certain he cast a spell over her, preventing her from breaking eye contact.
Then he smiled. He held her captive with it, for it changed the lines of his face from handsome to outright mesmerizing.
Slowly, her mind returned to the present. With one last grin, he turned back toward the ceremony at the front of the chapel. Gwen also returned her attention there only to find the betrothal ceremony had concluded.
Lady Aileana and the MacIntosh were being directed toward the entrance of the chapel to create a receiving line for their guests. Gwen lost sight of them and was briefly swept along with the other guests until she found herself walking side-by-side with the stranger. Their arms brushed, and she swore the resulting tingle travelled right down to her toes.
“My name is Calum MacIntosh. May I have the pleasure of your name?” His voice was deep and silky smooth, his gaze never faltering.
Gwen watched his mouth move over the words and had a mad urge to trace the outline of his lips with her finger. “I am Gwendolyn McGregor; Lady Aileana’s personal maid.”
He lifted her hand to his lips. His gaze searched hers and he grinned when her cheeks grew warm.
“Excuse me, my lord, but I cannot be in this line.” If he did not stop, she was sure she would drag him into the nearest pew.