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Authors: One Starlit Night

Carolyn Jewel (6 page)

BOOK: Carolyn Jewel
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Outside, the rain beat down on the roof and cascaded onto the flagstones. All that faded away. There was no more cold. No rain. Nothing but the two of them. She offered her mouth. He accepted wholeheartedly.

With his free hand he adjusted their position so she straddled his hips. Kissing her still, he worked his hand underneath her skirts, pushing away damp-to-wet handfuls of that awful pink gown and her underskirts. She gave him the access he wanted.

His fingertips slid along her thighs, then up to cover her sex. Her pubic hair was as sparse as ever, almost nothing there. He pushed a finger between her legs. Slippery wet for him. Her gaze locked with his when his searching fingers slid along her. He knew how to touch her. He’d learned her. Memorized her. And he was better at this now. He was a much better lover than he had been. She set her hands on his shoulders and surrendered to her body.

“I missed you,” she said again. “I thought I would die from missing you.”


She swallowed hard just once, a reaction that echoed through her body as she opened to him. He dropped into a sensual haze. Everything aroused him, from the slide of his fingers on her, the sound of her sigh that turned to a moan, his anticipation of what would come.

While he kissed her, tongue in her mouth, tasting and taking, he found the core of her and that particular spot that would bring on a build to unbearable tension. She groaned when he backed off, and her eyes snapped with frustration. He gave her a smug grin because she knew what he was doing to her and why. He laughed before he licked a trail of raindrops from her cheek and moved his fingers in her. So tight. She tensed, and he waited for her to relax.

“Has there been no one since me?”

Her eyes slowly focused. “I wasn’t waiting for you, if that’s what you mean.”

He pushed his fingers further into her, into that soft, tight heat. “We can argue about that later. Right now—”

“God, Crispin.” The words came from her throat in a rush as she bowed toward him, hands pressed on the top of his shoulders, hips rocking into his palm cupping her sex. He watched her, felt her passage clench on his fingers.

There wasn’t a damn soul anywhere near so he had the rare, great pleasure of neither one of them having to be in the least discreet. He thought he might have one more chance to pull her from the brink before she came, but her fingers dug into his shoulders, and she left him to fall off the cliff he’d constructed with her, her breath shuddering. He stroked, pressed, and she threw her head back and completely, utterly, with heartrending passion, surrendered to pleasure.

She belonged to him. He felt her tighten around his fingers, and he damn near lost all restraint, he wanted inside with such ferocity. He sailed beyond lust, beyond arousal. Exactly as it had been with them every time before. Despite the words he’d never written to her, he’d bared his soul to her in his letters and kept her close in so doing. He had indulged in a fantastically ironic game of revenge. He’d wanted her to know exactly what she’d given up and to regret that for the rest of her life.

“This is what we’re like.” The words rasped from his throat while she was still coming down from her climax, her head bowed to his shoulder. “You and I. It’s not like this with anyone else. Just us.”

While she clung to him, and he stroked away the last spasms of her pleasure, he used his other hand to unfasten his coat and the fall of his breeches and free himself from his clothing. With one last stroke along the folds of her body, he slid his palm to the curve of her backside and brought her up and toward him, and when his cock was at her entrance, she lifted her head and caught her lower lip between her teeth as she answered his upward thrust with the lowering of her hips.

An inarticulate sound burst from him. Heat. Slick dampness. Tight, almost too tight. She didn’t relax around him because she’d not done this with anyone but him. He held back his urge to push hard. Slow at the start was good, too.

For a suspended moment, he was immersed in the simple pleasure of having his cock in a woman, but around the edges of that was this flicker of more. They weren’t too young this time. This time they were old enough to know there was nothing new in the world and that they did not invent passion, they created it between them, and it was that which was new and rare. He hissed as her body closed and softened around his cock. Nothing existed for him but her and his cock and the feral bliss of their connection.

“Crispin.” She grabbed his shoulders, and angled her hips. Her breath stuttered. “My God, Crispin.” Her head dropped back and, Lord, she softened around him just enough, and now he thrust the way he wanted, needed to. He leaned in to kiss her exposed throat. So tight around him, she gripped his cock, all of it, and with a shout that was part demand and part plea, he rolled her onto her back and let the imperative of sex take him.

She pushed her hips toward him and drew up her knees, and he shoved her skirts up higher, out of his way. That flicker of
stayed with him, and he closed his eyes to deny what that meant. Instead, he found the angles that made her groan with pleasure and the ones that sent him racing to orgasm.

Her body tensed, and he concentrated on bringing her again, the two of them partially on their sides, his hand between them, his mouth at the side of her throat, hard enough to leave a mark, kissing her until she cried out, and he felt the contractions of her passage around him. He remembered everything that had made her moan before, but he was caught up in their desperation, urged on by the sounds she was making, by the roll of her hips against his, the grip of her arms around him.

He planted his hands by her head and pushed up so he could watch her face and leverage the weight of his pelvis with his thrusts into her. More selfish this time, but then she wrapped her legs around his hips and rocked into him, and he didn’t feel selfish at all.

His balls tightened, and he thrust into her harder. Hard enough, hard enough. So close and then he was tumbling, soaring toward exquisite pleasure and then falling into it, and he had just enough presence of mind not to come inside her. Barely.

When he returned to his senses, he opened his eyes, but he was still in a sensual stupor and had few thoughts but those that centered around his physical repletion. He drank in her face and the warmth where their bodies still touched. Pelvis to pelvis, her thighs at his hips, his softening member between them.

The rain had stopped while they’d been lost in each other. She wound her arms around his shoulders, and then his head, and pulled him down for a searing kiss. Afterward, when he’d pushed up to get his weight off her, the fierce sadness in her eyes made his heart swell again.

Her fingers brushed his cheek, pushed away the damp. “We ought to go, my lord.”

He loved the sound of that honorific, the way the words left her lips soft and intimate and offered him her submission and her possession of him. He needed a few more breaths before he trusted himself to speak, and then she did first.

“Before you catch your death.” Her hand lingered at his cheek, and he turned his head to kiss her fingers. She snatched her hand away. “That tickles.”

“I don’t want to go.” He nestled against her. “I’m perfectly warm.” He drew her nearer and breathed in the scent of her body, of sex and the damp heat of them both. “I can think of ways for us to stay warm.”

“Oh, we’ll just live here, then. In the stable.”

“It’s my stable. We can do what we like here.” She didn’t know, he thought. She didn’t know what this meant to him, how shocking it was to feel he was home after ten years at sea with nights spent dreaming of stripping her naked and burying himself inside her.

She gave him a push, but she was already retreating from him, and he didn’t know how to bring her back. “Obstinate as ever, aren’t you?”

“I haven’t changed.”

She looked away. “That’s not so.”

He dipped his head to her ear, nipped her there and said, “Except, I think my prick is bigger, don’t you?”

That made her laugh, and then him, and that was just like them, to be bawdy and find it amusing, as if they were the only lovers ever to speak crudely to each other. She turned her head to his chest, shoulders still shaking. Well. It was a fine joke, wasn’t it? He kissed her again and realized it wouldn’t take much for him to be ready again.

She pushed at his shoulders. “We should go. It’s late.”

With a sigh, he pushed away and fumbled to get himself decently back into his breeches. When he’d done that, he helped her arrange her clothes, too, or would have except that she lay on the blanket with her hair beginning to dry and glint with indisputable red, and her pale legs exposed and her lower belly, too. He thought he’d never seen anything more beautiful than her sex. A bit of the old guilt nipped at him, and he embraced that, too. Fucking his friend’s sister was wrong, but he couldn’t bring himself to care at this moment. Not then and not now.

He set his palm on her thigh, and then on the inside of her thigh. He’d scraped her there during their frantic coupling. When he thought to look at her face, he found her watching him with eyes that killed him. He slid his fingers upward, covered her sex, and, still watching her face, slid a finger inside her, one then two. “I’m no green boy, now,” he said. She was getting slicker, and his two fingers moved in her easily. “If we didn’t need to get home, I’d prove that beyond your ability to speak.”

She pressed her head back because he’d pushed his thumb between her folds and along the flesh there. Her breath caught but she managed to say, “You could try.”

“Anything for you, my love. Anything.”

“What’s this?” She put a hand on his breeches. “Are you rising to the occasion, sir?”

“I think I am.”

And she gave him a wicked smile that melted him inside, and made him forget about Magnus and the fact that she was going to be married, and he didn’t stop her from unbuttoning the fall of his breeches nor say a word when she took him in hand and drew back his foreskin. “You once liked me very well on my knees.”

“Yes.” He sat up, then stood and stared into her eyes and understood that this was to be their very last time. “Please.”

He buried his fingers in her hair when she took him in her mouth, and he let her bring him that way and all the while he told himself that if she could walk away from this, then by God, so could he.

Afterward, they tidied up as best they could, at last feeling the cold and damp, and they headed for the Grange. The sky hadn’t cleared, though it wasn’t raining, and the ground was thoroughly soaked. Dozens of tiny puddles lurked in the thick grass and made the footing uncertain. At the stone fence, he lifted her over again and did not put her down as quickly as he should have. He leaned in and kissed her, hard and fast before he released her.

“Don’t,” she said. “Don’t do this.”

Since she knew the way, he followed her through the fields. The path was muddier than when he’d tromped through here heading the other way, and the clouds were getting that heavy look while the air turned colder and thicker. They gave up trying to keep themselves out of the muck and just trudged through the field.

He kept a hand around her waist because that was what a gentleman did when he was escorting a lady across treacherous terrain. Before he was quite prepared to return to reality, they were at the Grange. Fat drops of water hit them as they dashed for the front of the house, running now and laughing for no reason other than it seemed right. The very moment they reached the path to the door, the rain became another torrent.

At the door, Portia turned, face to the sky and thrust a fist into the air. “Curse you, god of rain, curse you!”

He fumbled with the door, and when he got the thing open he grabbed Portia’s other hand and pulled her inside, they were still laughing.

Until he turned around and saw Mrs. Temple standing in the foyer, a look of utter betrayal on her face.

Chapter Six

the cold, Portia worked at the buttons of Crispin’s greatcoat, so heavy on her shoulders. She didn’t dare meet Eleanor’s eyes. She couldn’t bear to see that wide-eyed hurt again. She wasn’t Eleanor’s equal, not fit to be in the same room as her.

This time, she’d betrayed more than Crispin and her brother’s trust. She’d hurt Eleanor, who did not deserve that, and she’d betrayed Jeremy, the man she was supposed to marry. Again. She wanted to weep with the horror of how badly she’d failed.

Hob appeared at the top of the servant’s staircase. He came to a full stop, eyes wide when he saw the condition the two of them were in. Both of them soaked to the skin, her in Crispin’s hat and greatcoat, muddy shoes, and water dripping everywhere.

“Hob,” Eleanor said in a light voice. God, what a brilliant performance. You’d never guess now, that her sister-in-law thought there was anything the least untoward about this. “Do help Lord Northword with his wet coat.”

Hob bowed and said, as he went to Crispin, “I was about to walk out to find thee, Miss.”

“As well you didn’t. You’d have got drenched, too.” She meant to match Eleanor’s aplomb and failed miserably at that, too. A shiver cut short her attempt to wipe water out of her face. She’d hardly minded her wet clothes and hair before, but now she was miserable inside and out. She managed to get the greatcoat unbuttoned and off her shoulders. Hob took it from her without a word.

BOOK: Carolyn Jewel
2.09Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub

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