Authors: Kimberly Killion
“Ye are a minx.” He snatched her off the floor, tossed her over his shoulder and smacked her hard on her curvaceous rump. “Ye will regret provoking the Devil of Dunrobin.”
She squealed as he carried her across the solar then tossed her atop the mattress. No woman had ever left his bed disappointed, and he damn sure wasn’t going to start with his wife.
, he repeated mentally. Those two little words warmed his insides and made him almost giddy. The anticipation of claiming her pumped blood into his flaccid member as he dipped a taper into the fire then proceeded to light every wick in the solar—two wall sconces, a six-tier candelabrum and a wide pillar candle on the bedside table.
“What are ye doing?” She knelt upright, and much to his disappointment, she covered her favors with the bed curtain. Before this night was over, he intended to relieve her of her timidity completely.
“I’ve hidden in the shadows for too long.” He blew the taper out and returned it to the mantle. “When I satisfy your every pleasure—and I will—I want to see the look on your face when ye thank me.”
“Oh.” Her thin russet-colored brows slid up her forehead and he caught a glimpse of fear flash through her green eyes just before he disappeared into an antechamber.
He returned with two silk scarves. “Lie down and put your hands over your head.”
Her gaze dropped to the blue scarves twisted in his hands. “What are your intentions, m’laird?”
“I’m going to bind ye.”
Effie pressed the bed curtains tighter against her breasts and glanced at the door. ’Twas doubtful she could outrun him. “I can assure ye, there’s no need to bind me.”
“Ah, but there is.” When he pressed his mouth to hers, all her apprehensions fled in an instant. Silk brushed over her wrists as he guided her down to lie diagonally on the mattress. Oh, he thought himself sneaky, but she knew his tantalizing kisses were only a means to distract her.
His plan succeeded.
He bound her wrists with one scarf and used the second to tie her to the bedpost before he freed her from the heat of his mouth. “Test your restraints.”
She pulled on the bindings. They were tight. Damn tight. While this sort of love play was certainly creative, it left her feeling vulnerable. A combination of fear and excitement made her pulse gallop.
He straddled her hips and slid his calloused hands down her arms. “Did your husband ever hurt ye?”
“Gavin never struck me.”
But he broke my heart.
“Did ye trust him?” Laird Sutherland drew his fingertips between her breasts, leaving a trail of heat in their wake.
’Twas difficult to focus on his words with his fingers playing over her skin. “Why are ye asking me these questions?”
“Because I want to know if ye trust me.” His words were soft, gentle, but what he wanted, she was not yet prepared to give. She’d known him all of three days.
The rise and fall of her breasts grew increasingly more erratic. The air thinned, forcing her to breathe through her mouth. “Trust is earned, m’laird.”
“Then I shall earn it.” Beginning at her neck, he trailed his tongue over the curve of her breasts, her belly, her hips. With every hot kiss he placed upon her skin, her consternation faded a little more. Arousal pushed the fear out of her veins as he continued downward to the inside of her knees, her calves, her ankles. “I will release ye from your binds whenever ye wish. Ye have to do naught more than ask.”
She should ask now. She should end this play while she had the opportunity. “Do ye intend to hurt me?”
“I will never hurt ye.” He kissed the arch of her foot then worked his way back upward and straddled her thighs. “Do ye believe me?”
She nodded, convinced of one thing. The man was no beast.
“’Tis progress.” He grinned as he retrieved a vial of oil from the bedside table and poured a generous amount into his palm.
The scents of pine and icy mint sharpened in her nose as he massaged the silky substance into her breasts and belly. The aroma soothed her, but the cool oil tingled on her hot skin and stimulated her nerve endings.
“I’ll make ye a good husband.” He began toying with her nipples—gently at first, then his fingers became more aggressive. He plucked at the knobs of flesh until they thrust obscenely upright. “I’ll never seek my pleasure before yours.”
“Magnus…” she whispered, ready for him to claim her, ready for him to make her his wife. Her eyes fell shut, her grip around her binds tightened. She whimpered and squirmed beneath him as an aching arousal began to throb inside her. “I need ye.”
“Not yet.” He positioned himself between her legs and massaged the hard lips of her sex, stroking the frilly folds, sliding his fingers up and down the full length of her wet slit.
Fire and ice played havoc inside her. The craving became unbearable. Perspiration beaded on her forehead then trickled over her temples. She parted her legs farther, an unspoken plea for more, which he fulfilled when he delved two fingers inside her. She could do little more than moan as he worked his thick deft fingers in and out of her, reaching deep inside her to touch that hidden nub threatening to explode. Her entire being remained focused on that center of her, that magic place that fluttered around his teasing fingers.
His thumb circled her clit, rolled it, pressed on it, only to drift back, leaving her hanging on the threshold of bliss. He worked her into a frenzy, teasing her, tormenting her, pulling her to the edge of climax, then pushing her back. A sly finger slipped inside the ring of her anus. She writhed at the sensation, but flexed her pelvis, desperate for more. Every touch, every caress drove her a little closer to insanity.
Then fire sprinkled over her belly.
She cried out. Her eyes snapped open to find him holding a candle over her navel. Before she could open her mouth to protest, he tilted the pillar again. Hot wax spilled over the rim and filled the whorl of her navel in a maelstrom of scalding heat.
Her sex clamped hard around his fingers as pleasure and pain tore through her in waves. Her muscles quivered, seized, then contracted, only to repeat over and over.
“Dinnae come. Hold on to that edge and wait for me.”
She wanted to obey him, but her orgasm sat so thick and full and heavy in her body. Ripples began to wash through her. She couldn’t control it. “I cannot.”
Sharp daggers of desire ripped through her body. Icy air hissed over her teeth. Her pelvis shot up, forcing his fingers deeper inside her, but he jerked them out, stealing her climax, making her crazed with lust.
“Wait for me.” He set his cock at her opening and positioned the candle overtop her breasts.
“Nay!” Her heart punched her ribs, waiting, fearful, expectant…
He pushed the head of his cock inside her and tipped the candle on its side. Fiery wax dripped over her nipples, between her breasts and down her belly in a rain of burning heat. Her entire body lurched at the pain, then shuddered with pleasure as he filled her canal with his thick erection.
She screamed, overwhelmed with sensations. Her body burned inside and out as he thrust a little deeper, pushed a little harder, stretching her sheath inch by inch until, at last, he was buried to the hilt inside her.
Her chest hurt, her throat burned. She was surely going to die.
He returned the candle to the bedside table then leaned into her ear. “Now ye may come.”
Her orgasm broke through her like the tide crashing against the rocky crag—fierce and violent. She surrendered to the clawing need and melted as wave after glorious wave of blissful release flowed through her womb. “Oh, Magnus!”
He kissed her while she rode to the peak of the summit. She’d never experienced anything quite so intense, so heavenly, so utterly divine. She felt weightless now, like she was falling, like she was floating.
“Ye are beautiful.” He rocked back and forth with deliberate slowness and kissed her cheeks one at a time.
She felt beautiful and free and treasured. “Thank ye. Thank ye…” she repeated, still lost in this world of ecstasy.
When the initial surge finally faded, she opened her eyes just enough to see the smile lift his handsome face. “’Twas my pleasure.”
He continued a steady rhythm in and out of her until his moans turned to grunts. His pace quickened, grew fervent, carnal. Soon, he raised her hips off the bed and impaled her a final time with a guttural roar. Hot bursts of semen filled her belly, heating her womb, making her pine for life, for family…for him.
“I’m so grateful ye changed your mind.” He hovered over top her for long moments, eyes boring into hers. The current of emotions passing between them touched her deeper than any physical caress. She could trust this man. She could let him into her heart.
She could love him.
Her arms ached, wanting to touch him, wanting to hold him. “Release me.”
He untied the knots, then easily gathered the chunks of wax off her oiled skin and returned them back to the mouth of the pillar.
“Ye might have warned me about the wax,” she scolded him with little effect.
“I might have.” He grinned and rolled onto his back, pulling her with him. As they lay in a tangle of slick limbs, she rested her cheek on his chest and waited for her misgivings to return.
But they didn’t.
Everything about this felt right—the way their bodies curved together, the way their hearts beat in unison. ’Twas all so…perfect.
He caressed her hair. “Why did ye change your mind?”
She rose up and stared at him, searching for an answer. She could hardly tell him she’d been protecting Vanna. Not that it mattered now. He’d made his decision. He’d chosen Effie. Vanna was sure to be angry at first, but Effie vowed to find her sister a suitable husband. Whether she intended to be faithful to that husband would be up to her.
“Effie?” He coaxed her for a response.
Effie offered him a reason he would likely believe. “I wanted to know if I was still desirable.”
He pulled her hand to his mouth and brushed his lips over her palm. “Did your husband no longer find ye desirable?”
She didn’t want to answer his question. She didn’t want the warmth of their union tainted by the memory of Gavin’s infidelity.
“Effie?” The man was damned impatient.
She attempted to separate herself from him, but he held fast to her hips. “I dinnae want secrets between us.”
Effie only stared at him.
“Was your husband auld when ye wed? Was he good to ye? Did he pamper ye with gifts?”
“Why do ye want to know all of this?”
“Because I’m competing with his memory.”
Effie blew a breath and settled back atop him. “I was verra young when we wed, barely fifteen winters. Gavin was my father’s seneschal, and I was given to him as a gift for his loyalty. He was twelve years my senior, but we were a good match,” she admitted, remembering a time when she’d been proud to be Gavin’s wife.
“Did ye love him?”
“I loved him verra much.” Unshed tears burned her eyes, sorrow tightened her throat. “I was faithful to him. Then he strayed from our marriage bed while I was carrying Leena.” A memory flashed through her mind’s eye—Besse, blonde and beautiful, lay over a barrel in the armory, her skirts balled atop her back while Gavin took her from behind. “I blamed myself for not holding his attention. I was sick with guilt and jealousy and anger. ’Tis why Leena came early.”
Effie suspected the day she held Leena’s small lifeless body was the day vengeance took hold of her heart. “I blamed him for our daughter’s death and he begged for my forgiveness.” A tear slipped over her nose as the memories filled her head. “I will always regret not giving it to him.”
“Because of the babe?”
“Aye, and because of what I did after that.”
“Go on,” he prodded her when she held silent.
“Gavin begged me not to tell my father, but at the time, I felt betrayed and wanted to see him pay. I wanted to see them both pay.”
“The woman too?”
Effie nodded against his chest. “The woman’s name was Besse. She was my father’s second wife, Vanna’s mother. Da ousted her from the clan and sent Gavin to the border after I exposed their affair.” Her tears came fast and hard. They rolled over her nose and dripped onto his chest. The guilt had never felt so raw. “My son went with him and they both died in a raid.”
“Ye are not to blame for their death.” He hugged her tight.
Her bitterness killed them. Her inability to forgive was the reason she no longer had bairns to hold. She sobbed against his chest until the emotions dried themselves out.
Magnus rolled her to her side and wiped her cheeks. “I need to know if ye changed your mind because ye hold your sister responsible for her mother’s transgressions?”
Effie shook her head, but even she could admit there was a morsel of truth to his statement. Though Vanna bore no resemblance to Besse, she was a constant reminder of how much Effie had lost. “I’m here because I no longer wish to be alone. I want a husband and a family. I want to start anew.”
Magnus pulled her mouth to his and kissed her with a passion that made her believe he could give her what she wanted. He made love to her until dawn slipped its lighted fingers between the furs covering the window slits, then he tucked her into the curve of his body and allowed her to dream of the life he promised her.