Because the book will be out in six days!
Here with the last word is Minuette :) A somewhat fiery last word, for she and Dominic are arguing in the aftermath of a difficult royal visit to the French court.
[Dominic] "My mother is right, you know. You have ample cause to regret that I fell in love with you."
At once, her anger dissolved into bewilderment and hurt. "Do you mean that you are regretting having fallen in love with me?"
"Unlike you, Minuette, I mean exactly what I say."
Oh, here came anger again. With a vengeance. "What are you implying?"
"I have watched you with William, and I have heard him speak of you, and I know that he has not the slightest doubt that you love him. And I honestly don't know if that is a result of his own delusions, or a measure of your ability to dissemble, or the simple fact that you are truly in love with him."
"So this is my fault," she said, feeling a stab of pure pain behind her right eye. "You think I'm a liar--to William or to you or perhaps both. That would be convenient for you because, if I am false, then what does it matter whom you take to bed?"
He flinched and she was savagely glad of it. "I did not take Aimee to bed."
"Really? So it is only in public corridors that you kiss a woman while completely naked?"
"I did not sleep with her," he said stubbornly. "She caught me unawares while I was asleep and I put her out at once."
"It didn't look like you were putting her out. It looked like you were enjoying yourself quite thoroughly." She was almost frightened by the savagery in her voice.
Dominic's cheeks darkened. "I swear to you by all that is holy, I did not sleep with her that night. We had a brief . . . liaison when I was at the French court two years ago. She wished to take advantage of that. And think of me what you like, Minuette, but I have the desires and weaknesses of all men. I should not have kissed her as I did. But that was the whole of it, I swear. And you are avoiding my question."
"I don't believe you actually asked me anything." With every patient statement Dominic made, she wanted more than ever to break his infuriating control. If that smug French girl could shake him so that he acted on impulse, why couldn't she?
She wanted to hurt him as she'd been hurt, so she said the worst thing she could think of. "Will touches me, you know. When we are alone. You did not imagine we spend all that time playing chess, did you? His control is not as good as yours--or is it that he desires me more? He is careful, of course, of my honour. I am virgin still, if it matters to you. But I have spent much time with my eyes closed and his hands and mouth on me, and do you know what I see then? Always you."
"Don't what? Be honest? I know a woman is not supposed to feel this way, or at least a lady isn't. But it is the truth. When I saw you kissing that woman, I wanted to be her. I wanted to be the one coming from you half dressed and wanton. I want you, Dominic, in every way. I think it is you who must regret loving me, for you have scarcely come near me for months."
Her eyes were stinging and she struggled with all her might not to cry. She had meant to hurt him, not humiliate herself. She hadn't even known how deeply his coldness had damaged her until it spilled out.
Dominic moved so swiftly that she just had time to breathe in before he pulled her against him. His kiss was not gentle, not sensitive and careful like he usually was. It was demanding and brutal and Minuette met it with equal passion. Her hands wound into his hair, seeking to tug him closer. His arms dropped to her hips and tightened, holding her fixed against him. At some point she felt herself back into the table's edge. Dominic released her just long enough to shove a spot clear of dishes and food and then she pulled him with her as he laid her down on the wooden surface.