To Make You Mine

One slight mistake in her calculations throws Grace into the arms of the very dark and dangerous Sebastian Blackwood, a man recently returned to London. He is in need of a wife in order to smooth his transition back into society and Grace makes for the perfect sacrifice when the two end up alone. Having lost her freedom, Grace swears that she will never belong to him and despises the man. But what happens when his touch turns gentle and she sees a longing in his eyes that could never be faked?

What exactly does Sebastian mean when he claims 'I'll make you mine. Just as I promised then.' Should she trust him when he speaks so kindly to her or is he simply playing her in order to obtain an obedient wife who'll warm his bed at night. What can she do when logic tells her she can' trust him, but her heart begins to react?

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3. Chapter Three


Grace sighed once more as she stood alone in the small room, enjoying her final moments of control while they lasted. She looked over at the standing mirror and couldn’t believe it was her she was staring at. Grace had always assumed that the first time she saw a white gown like this, it would be adorning her beautiful sister on a happy day. But today was neither her sister’s nor happy. The only thing that she could find somewhat amusing was that it was exactly how she would have wanted her wedding to be if she were actually in love with her bridegroom.

She was never one for flashy things or big show, probably another reason why society looked down on her. She would have wanted it to be just like this, a few close friends and family present as witness in a small church. She glanced at the reflection of her wedding gown and sighed as she looked over the white fabric that fell in easy folds, without any large adornments or lace. She had to admit that the gown was beautiful and the Earl had chosen in alignment with her own tastes. But she couldn’t overlook the biggest problem with today and that was the man waiting for her.

How was her life going to be now that she belonged to a man that she knew nothing about? It was going to take everything inside of her to get through this, but Grace was not a woman who would curl up and surrender without fighting until the end. She had vowed the night before that she would make Lord Blackwood regret his decision to force her into this. He had wanted an easy target to trap into marriage, but he had chosen wrong. Because there was no way Grace was going to willingly submit to a man that she didn’t love. Of course...she knew that she couldn’t deny him his ‘marital rights’ and would have to share his bed as his wife. However there was nothing more beyond the act and she swore she would take no pleasure in it.

A soft sound behind her snapped her out of her angry thoughts and she turned just as a bowed head of blonde curls came into the room. Grace smiled for the first time that day at the sight of her sister. The two hadn’t been able to see each other much since the night of the ball. Even when they did run into each other it was filled with awkward silence. Neither knowing how to start in a way that would take them back to where they had once been.

“Grace...I-I…” Annabelle started to speak, but her voice trailed off and Grace knew that the poor thing was trying to apologize, but wasn’t sure how to begin. The girl’s tiny frame was shaking as she clenched her fists against her sides. She smiled and held out her arms in invitation.

“Come here love.” She whispered and Anna let out a soft sob as she hurled herself across the room to be enveloped in Grace’s hold. She clung to her little sister just as tightly as the Anna was grasping onto her.

“Oh Grace! I’m so, so sorry! This is all my fault!” She cried and Grace began to stroke the back of her head gently. Cooing softly to calm the frazzled child,

“This is in no way your fault little one. All of this happened because I was careless. I don’t want to hear you blame yourself.” She whispered, trying to console Anna, but the young girl shook her head violently and let out another sob. Her fingers dug deeper into the fabric of Grace’s dress as she turned her head up. Her eyes were large and shining from the tears pooling in their green depths.

“No. This...this is my fault sister. If only I hadn't-”

“Shush now. We can't change the past. All we can do is make the best of the situation. .”

“But if I hadn't abandoned you this wouldn't have happened at all...Grace I... I saw the Earl heading in your direction on my way back.” Anna whispered with her head bowed.

“But I was so angry that I didn't even think about going back for you...it was my own selfish desires that-”

“Annabelle...It doesn’t matter now. I’m just thankful that you’ll be by my side through all of this.” Grace said as she patted the top of her sister’s head and gently wiped away her tears. Anna sniffled and straightened, raising her eyes once more.

“I promise that this time I won’t abandon you Grace! I’ll stay by your side so that barbarian can’t hurt you!” Anna shouted with a fierce determination that made Grace giggle in spite of the seriousness of it all. She stroked the top of her head, but didn’t get to respond to her sister’s words because another resounding knock came from the door.

“Miss. We’re ready to begin.”

Grace felt a shiver run down her spine as the time had finally come. She must have shown her fear because Annabelle reached up and held one of Grace’s hands between both of hers. When Grace looked down she was surprised to see a soft smile shining up at her, but it did what it was meant to and she felt herself relaxing. The two left the room and Anna walked out ahead before it was Grace’s turn. She held her head high as she walked between the rows of faces all turned towards her.

Her eyes immediately locked with his and she swore she saw it widen slightly. As she reached his side he held out his hand for her. She gently rested hers against it, wishing that she didn’t have to endure any physical contact. At least, that’s what her mind was shouting. Her body was reacting differently, and a sharp sensation ran down her arm from the warmth of his grasp. As the binding words were spoken by the pastor, she snuck a peek up at his profile. His grey orb suddenly flicked to the side and their gazes locked. If this were actually a love-match as they were claiming it to be, she would translate the sudden fire lighting the deep grey as genuine. But unlike her foolish body, her heart and mind were resolute in their stance. This was not, nor would it ever be anything resembling love.

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After the ceremony and rather stoic breakfast, the three of them finally arrived at his London home. He proceeded them in, handing off his coat to his waiting butler, who seemed a bit odd to Grace. Normally, butlers were older gentlemen with experience serving lords and ladies. But this man looked no older than Annabelle. He was just as tall as Sebastian with broad shoulders and a trim waist. His dark brown hair was long, ending at his shoulders and looked rather soft to the touch. The air about him was gentle and inviting, but there was also a sharpness to his face that offset it all. He turned his brown eyes on them and bowed formally, one arm behind his back and the other over his heart. Something that wasn’t seen much throughout England now, and only added to the strangeness of the young man.

“Welcome ladies. It is an honor to meet the new Lady Blackwood and her darling younger sister, Miss Annabelle I believe. The master informed me of your arrival, but…” He paused as he straightened and flashed a dazzling smile that made both of them blush slightly.

“He did not say how cute you would both be.”

Grace’s mouth fell open slightly in shock, never having heard a lord’s servant speak in such an absent manner. Before she could comment though a hand flew through the air and swatted the man on the back of the head, making her jump.

“Behave Aiden. That is my wife and her sister, both of which are ladies and I expect you to treat them as such.” Sebastian growled, before turning to them and bowing slightly.

“I apologize for my servant’s behavior. He is still a bit unaccustomed to society’s rules and parlor.”

“Clearly.” Grace mumbled as her eyes looked over to the young man once more, fining him smiling still despite being reprimanded by his employer.

“I am always an eager learner milady. Perhaps with you joining the household, myself and those like me will be able to study hard.” He said and she noticed that Sebastian’s eye narrowed in warning. The silent reprimand seemed to do more than the physical one before as this time Aiden quieted down and became more subdued than before. Sebastian then turned his full attention to Annabelle then and continued speaking.

“I will have one of the maids show you to your chambers now Miss Annabelle, I’m sure you’d like to rest before dinner. If there is anything you need, do not hesitate to ask. My staff has been informed of your staying with us and I would like it if you treat this house as your own.” He said in a soft and gentle tone that stunned Annabelle silent as she nodded. Grace started to follow after her sister and the maid, but a hand caught her elbow, halting her. She turned to see Sebastian shaking his head slightly.

“Not yet Grace...I wish to speak with you further in private.” He whispered and her frown deepened as she debated defying him. But she eventually realized that if she wanted to beat this man, she would have to wait for the perfect time.

“Grace?” Anna called worriedly from her place on the stairs. She turned to her sister and gave a reassuring nod, sending the girl off. Grace was led down a separate hall, then into a small study. She looked around and couldn’t help comparing it to her father’s. It was well-kept and offered a breath of fresh air unlike the one she was used to. She stepped further in and looked up at the bookshelves lining the right wall. There were many large volumes, some stacked on a side table and she wondered how often the staff came in to clean if they were still there. The desk set near three, large pane windows was neat despite the stacks of paper and ink set about it.

He had remained silent as she observed his domain, so when she turned to face him once more she wasn’t expecting him to be so close. She stepped back, wanting to put distance between them, but he caught her wrist and moved even closer.

“M-My lord!”

“My lord? I believe that you have earned the right to call me by name Grace.” He said with an amused lit to his voice. She glared back silently and pulled her wrist free, crossing her arms over her chest.

“I prefer my lord. After all you are still very much a stranger.” She bit back, watching as his eye narrowed and his smile disappeared.

“Indeed…” He mumbled, stepping towards her once more. She forced herself not to retreat and straightened her back more, shooting him a challenging glare. He reached up and ran his fingertips along the side of her neck. She bit her tongue to prevent a sound from escaping as he watched her for a reaction. His other hand pressed against her hip, pulling her closer.

“But I won’t remain a stranger for long.” He whispered and dipped his head, catching her lips before she could turn away. She let out a sound of protest, but he ignored it and slid his hand to her lower back, guiding her along him so that they fit together. He didn’t deepen the kiss as she expected, simply leaving his lips against hers as if to coax a response from her first. She uncrossed her arms and tried to push against his chest, but for some reason she found no strength to do so forcefully and her fingers ended up just resting against his chest. She was sending all sorts of commands to her limbs, but she remained trapped in his arms as if her body wanted to be there.

Finally he pulled back, slowly opening his eye to search hers. She tried to throw back her iciest gaze, but the heat thrumming through her body prevented her from doing so. Even so, he pulled back further so that they weren’t pressed so intimately. She sighed in relief and tried to step away completely, but the hand at her back tensed and refused to release her.

“Not just yet Grace. I don’t want you to feel afraid while residing here so I need to make myself clear. I don’t intend to force you into my bed tonight.” He said and her eyes doubled in size, not believing the words she just heard. The disbelief must have been clear to him because he let out a small sigh.

“I may be many things, but I don’t take pleasure in scaring a woman. I can wait until you are more comfortable around me. So I will not make you do anything until you wish for it.” He said and she frowned, narrowing her eyes further.

“I’ll never want to be with you my lord, so you may as well get it over with.” She hissed, turning her head to the side. But despite her brave words there was still a stinging at the corners of her eyes and her body trembled at the thought of letting this man touch her so intimately. One was out of sorrow and the other anticipation. She so wished that her mind and body would once more coincide and agree on what she wanted.

“Then how about we make a small deal between us?”

Her head snapped back towards him as he released her and crossed his arms over his chest. She took an unsteady step away from him and wrapped her own arms around her middle as she softly responded.

“What kind of deal would that be my lord?”

“I will do as I said and not force you into anything under one condition...You are to kiss me whenever I ask. No matter where we are, you must kiss me.” He said and she gaped at him, not sure if she should laugh or slap him. Instead, confused words tumbled off her tongue,

“And what will this accomplish? You’ll still be forcing me to do something I don’t want.”

“Only slightly...As much as you verbally deny it, I know that you’ve taken some pleasure in my attentions. So long as you do this for me I will not enforce my marital rights.” He finished and she turned from him, thinking over what he had said. It seemed like this proposal was mostly in her favor, but she had learned her lesson from her last dealings with this man. He was far too calculating to let it go so easily. He had to be planning something underhanded and devious on the side. No man would so easily give up a warm body in their bed, and she doubted he was any different. Then why go through this whole charade in the first place? Was he just playing her like a new toy in a spate of boredom? While lost in her thoughts she didn’t feel him move in on her again.

“What will it be Grace? If you truly believe you’ll never want me as a man then you shouldn’t have any hesitations.” He whispered into her ear, startling her so much that she turned sharply bringing up her hand. He caught her wrist before she could connect with his cheek, showing off his quick reflexes. He was smiling once more with a challenging light dancing in his eyes that plucked at something inside her. She gritted her teeth, glaring at him as her temper flared.

“I’m not hesitating my lord. I know I’ll never want you for a husband and that includes at night.” She felt her cheeks heat unconsciously as she spoke of such a taboo topic with a man, even if she was technically married to him.

“Then kiss me right now and prove it.” He said and she flinched back, but the way he challenged her demanded a response that she couldn’t ignore. She took a short breath and leaned up, bringing her lips close to his. She shut her eyes tightly and pecked his lips before quickly pulling back. He chuckled and the hand holding her wrist tightened steadily.

“What was that? I don’t think you understood what I meant Grace. I don’t want a friendly greeting. I want you to kiss me as a woman kisses a man while feeling nothing from it. That is the challenge I just issued. Now try again.” He whispered the last part and pulled gently on her trapped arm, leaning down so that his lips were easier to reach. She felt a tremor run through her body and tears once more prick the back of her eyes, but she refused to run from him. She desperately wanted to prove her point and drive home the fact that she wouldn’t be what he wanted her to be.

She leaned up once more, but this time let her eyes slowly drift close as she pressed her lips softly to his. It wasn’t the kind of kiss one would give a relative, but it also wasn’t the impassioned kiss from a lover. She relaxed her lips against his, mimicking what he had done before, parting them only slightly so that if they wanted they could share one breath. A slow reaction began to snake through her, heating her body and secretly encouraging her to push even further, but she forced herself to remain still. After a few beats she pulled back and peeked up at him to see he was watching her, probably had been the whole time.

She pulled back completely and gave him a defiant stare that said she wasn’t going to break.

“As I said my lord. Nothing.”

He grinned then, his grey iris having darkened with heat. He slowly moved her wrist towards his face and turned, pressing his lips to the inside of her wrist where her blood leapt. She gasped and felt heat rush straight down to pool low in her stomach as he nipped the skin gently,

“It’s going to be so entertaining watching you struggle Grace. But in the end...” He chuckled and moved closer, pulling her up against him again so that his mouth was alongside her ear. His next words made her shiver all over from both the implications and the tickling sensation of his warm breath.

“I will make you mine.”

 

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