Liam McMahon doesn’t recall much about his life before his hanging in the prison yard, other than being Irish. He does remember the kiss Clara bestowed as she brought him back to life. Every time he looks at her, his desire gets out of hand. But his former life is chasing him down like a steam engine, and when a couple of mad geniuses decide he’d make a fine experiment, he wonders if he’ll live long enough to claim Clara’s heart or if he’ll die all over again.
The house had at last fallen quiet, and Liam—he supposed he should now think of himself as Liam, since he owned no other name—lay on his back in the bed, straining to catch any stray sound. Sleep eluded him; his thoughts ran rampant, like an enraged rat in a trap, over the same matters again and again. Throughout this endless day, while he’d been agreeing to marry a stranger and trying to sort out the details of the household, two things had battled for predominance in his mind.
He had been dead.
And the little lass with the uncanny eyes had brought him back to life.
How could anything else that happened really compare with either of these truths? How had she done it? She spoke so casually of an ability, but surely this smacked of sorcery. He had been dead. For how long? An hour? Longer? Could a man hope to rationalize that?
His heart now beat strongly in his chest; he could feel it as he lay here in the dark. Air billowed in and out of his lungs. He could hear, see, taste…
He could desire a woman. No question he desired Clara Allen. Every time he so much as looked at her it hit him like a physical blow. Helplessly, he probed and prodded the wall in his mind, striving to remember something before the noose. He must have performed a job, in order to keep himself. There would be a reason he’d been hauled off to jail, where some unknown bastard of a jailkeeper had decided to murder him.
Anger flared inside at that thought. He would identify, locate, and settle that bastard. He always did—how did he know that? He would give the fellow a good look at what should be a dead man before doing the world a favor and finishing him.
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