Read The Dukes' Christmas Abductions Online

Authors: Doris O'Connor,Raven McAllan

The Dukes' Christmas Abductions (2 page)

BOOK: The Dukes' Christmas Abductions
5.43Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

The
guy in front of her lifted the candle he held high in the air and turned in her
direction. Vicky bit her lip, slid her hand a few inches further and to her
utmost relief touched something cold and hard. She almost groaned her relief
out loud. Thank god for small mercies. It might only be another candlestick but
it was empty, heavy, and available. As a cosh it would work as long as she had
the element of surprise. If it bent and wrapped itself around the bloke’s head
it didn’t matter as long as it gave her time to find Clara and they both got
away unscathed. Vicky decided she could bet her new iPad mini these two weren’t
the sort to kiss a hand and say good bye.

More
like kiss somewhere else and demand more.

The
man in front of her turned and stared straight at her. His blond hair glittered
gold in the candlelight and his blue eyes matched the color of his impeccable
evening jacket that sculpted his body. He flexed his long fingers, which
gripped the candlestick. Vicky’s mouth went dry. That small gesture made her
think of how they would grip her. How he would grip her.

She
swallowed as an unholy grin spread over his face and the corners of his eyes crinkled
up.

Well,”
he drawled. “It seems it was indeed a lucky day I told Lady Allencroft enough
was enough, and I preferred to partake of supper elsewhere.” He walked
purposefully toward her. “And lo and behold my supper is waiting. Neat and
perfect for me.” He stared meaningfully at her breasts.

To
her chagrin Vicky felt her nipples tighten to the point of pain … or nipple
clamps in place. Then her sex-hazed mind cleared, she processed his sentence
and her blood boiled. How dare he suggest she was on the menu? She gripped her
unlit candlestick harder and waved it in the air. “You come near me, mate, and
I’ll knock your brains out. And as most men’s brains are in their gonads be
prepared to sing soprano from now on in.”

He
blinked but didn’t miss a step.

 
“I don’t sing. Not for anything including my
supper,” he said as he reached for her.

Vicky
moved sideways and lifted the candlestick above her, ready to strike.

 
A flash of lightning was followed almost
immediately by a clap of thunder

 
Vicky screamed and threw the candlestick in
the air. Something—someone—grabbed her, and then the candlestick swung around
in lazy circles high above her.

 
Almost in slow motion both she and her
assailant watched it fall toward them.

 
Her last thought was it would hit her not him,
and try as she might she couldn’t move.

I
hate storms.

 

 

Chapter Two

 

Daniel whistled to himself, as he
shouldered open the door to his rooms. This fragrant bundle of curves in his
arms would prove a fine distraction away from the tediousness that was the
annual estate Yule Ball. The servants enjoyed the one night they could join in
the festivities, though it made for dashed uncomfortable lodgings for him.

Jenkins, his valet, was no doubt
romancing Bella, the kitchen maid he was sweet on, having been given the
evening off, but you’d have thought they’d have made sure to light the fires in
his rooms.

In the flash of another lightning
bolt that lit up his sitting room he could see his breath curl in front of his
face, and the lady’s lips were turning blue.

Cursing under his breath, he
abandoned his plan to do the gentlemanly thing and put her down on the
overlarge and overstuffed armchair in front of the fire. If he had to light his
own blasted fire, he would do so in the comfort of his bedchamber. Just as he
feared the hearth in this chamber was stone cold also, but the room was
marginally warmer, no doubt due to the long, south-facing windows, now covered
with deep maroon velvet.

His captive moaned in his arms. It
wasn’t a happy sound, but a distressed, strangled sigh which made him deposit
the dark haired siren in the middle of his four poster bed. With one strike of
the tinderbox, he lit the oil lamp, adjusted the wick, better to see, and
pulled in a sharp breath. Her hairpins had come out and the mass of her dark
locks framed a face he was certain he had never seen before. The freckles
dotted across her nose, testament to a life spent not shading herself from the
sun, as any lady would, and that, as well as the inferior silk used in her
dress confirmed his suspicion. This was no debutante, or widow of the ton.

Most likely this minx was one of the
newer servants he hadn’t come across yet. Perhaps a lady’s maid, who had
liberated one of her mistress’s cast-offs to enable her to attend this ball. It
would also explain why she seemed unable to breathe. The gown had clearly been
designed for someone less voluptuous than his find, and in an effort to fit
into it, the silly chit had laced herself too tight.

Only one thing for it, put his
skills to good use and liberate the
lady.
With practiced moves Daniel
turned her on her side, undid the tiny buttons down the back of the dress,
slipped it off her shoulders, and then slid the material down her body. His
cock stirred at the sight of her curves held in by the corset. The ribbons of
her rough cotton chemise were caught in the ties of her stays, so he simply
ripped the fabric, and sliced through the ties with the hunting knife he’d
found next to the oil lamp.

It was a curious place to leave it,
and Daniel couldn’t recall having done so, but it certainly came in handy now.
His intended sport for the night pulled in a shuddering breath when he yanked
the stays off, and the now tattered chemise followed suit. Daniel grinned as
her luscious breasts fell free. Delightfully large and heavy, the globes
sported wide areolae and big nipples which stiffened under his gaze. Sadly not
due to his presence, but the cold in the room, and Daniel swore again and
shrugged out of his dinner coat to cover the girl up until he could get the
fire started. Half in, half out of his tight fitting jacket, which was a devil
of a job to get off without Jenkins, he paused and gaped.

What on earth was she wearing on her
cunt? Some contraption with images of what looked like a dressed up bathing
sponge with a face. Whatever it was, it was an abomination to his eyes, and far
more importantly spoiled his view of what he would find between her legs.

Adjusting his prick with a rueful
grin at that organ’s single minded intent—it had been way too long since he
last indulged—he placed his coat over the seemingly still unconscious lady.
Something like a gasp escaped her lips when he did so, and Daniel frowned down
on her. Her eyelashes fluttered against her cheeks, and moving her arms out
above her head the girl stretched like a cat waking up from sleep. She blew out
a breath. It ruffled Daniel’s hair and brought with it the scent of warm,
fragrant woman, a hint of whatever she used to wash her dark locks, and the
fruity flavour of whatever punch they gave to the servants.

“Vicky, ‘s zat you?”

The sleepy words came out slurred,
and Daniel shook his head. Halfway to being foxed, no doubt, which would go
some way to explaining why she had been wandering around the private wing. No
servant would set out to snare a duke, after all, but a servant girl,
overwhelmed by the ball, the drink, and perhaps urged on by a sweetheart or a
friend … yes, she could well have lost her way. Fortunate for him.

With one last searching look at
sleeping beauty on his bed, Daniel turned to light the fire. At least it had
been well prepared and all he had to do was strike the tinderbox. Once he got a
good blaze going, he turned to find his prey awake. Eyes wide, his evening coat
clutched to cover her nakedness in a white knuckled grip that would have
Jenkins curse at the creases on the morrow, she appeared to vacillate between looking
him up and down, flinching at the flashes of thunder and lightning, and looking
for an escape. Her teeth sank into her lush bottom lip, and she looked ready to
bolt, when he approached.

“Wh-who are you?”

****

The man slowly walking in her
direction frowned at her and Clara wanted the ground to swallow her up. This
could not be happening to her. Clara Ellington did not wake up in a strange
man’s bed. A man whose astonishing blue eyes lit up with definite male
appreciation as he let his gaze slowly run over her body.

When he bowed and grinned, that
smile lit up his rough features, revealing laughter lines around his eyes. Her
traitorous hormones sighed in bliss at the way the roaring fire lit up his
silhouette through the fine linen of
his dress shirt and accentuated the
muscled body underneath. Lean hips, powerful thighs, and polished knee high
tasseled boots she was sure she could see herself in if she bent down—this
stranger was the very image of Regency aristocracy, which must mean she had
either lost her mind … or she was ...
dreaming
.

Clara
blew out a breath of relief. Yes, that had to be it. It had been one hectic
week after all, getting everything ready for the ball. She got all hot and
bothered, she remembered that, and Vicky had taken her…

“Where’s
Vicky?” she asked.

The
stranger crossed his arms over his chest, cocked an eyebrow, and shrugged his
shoulders.

“My
dear chit, I do not know of any Vicky. What sort of a name is that anyhow?”

Clara
bit the inside of her mouth to stop herself from rolling her eyes. Dream or
not, this fellow didn’t look as though he would appreciate such a gesture.
Instead, she sat up a bit straighter. Her scant cover slipped and she realized
with a start that she was naked, apart from her favorite boy pants underwear.
Guess that explained why she could breathe again.

“Vicky,
my friend. She was right there with me in the gallery, when….”

His
amused laugh stopped her.

“The
wine you indulged in addled your brains, girl. There was no one there but you,
me, and Aulban.”

“Who
the hell is Aulban?” she asked, and swallowed nervously when his amusement fled
as quickly as it had appeared.
 
Should
that be who or what? Have I put my foot in it?

“Look,
girl, as appealing as you are, this subterfuge stops now. You know fine well
who Kit—Aulban—is. What I want to know is who you are, and what the deuce
you’re doing in my house.”

Clara’s
head started to hurt again. Had he said his house? With a sudden clarity of
vision she recalled the events leading up to her losing consciousness, and her
heart beat faster.

“Your
house? Hardly. I’m the curator, and I should be asking you what you’re doing…”
The words dried in her mouth when this far too handsome stranger took the
diamond pin out of his intricately tied neck cloth and started to unravel the
material from around his neck.

“What
are you…?”

“It’s
getting nice and warm in here now, girl, and as I will clearly be working up a
sweat, trying to get the truth out of you, I’m going to make myself
comfortable.” His smile was sin itself when he reached behind him and pulled
his shirt over and off his head in one fluent move. Before she even had a
chance to appreciate the display of fine male muscle in front of her, the bed
dipped, and the world tilted. Robbed of the cover of his coat, she found
herself dumped over his knee, arms and legs flailing, before the first swat to
her ass made her screech.

“Scream
all you want, girl, but no one will hear you. The truth now.”

Another
much harder swat to her ass took her breath away for a second, and she tried to
push herself off his lap. His arm across her shoulders stopped her, however.

“I
can do this all night, girl. Tell me the truth. Curator indeed. This is
Haverham House, not a museum.”

Clara
shook her head in a vain attempt to clear away the lingering moth balls. Not
helped one bit by the infuriating man now stroking the tender skin on her
behind. That felt way too …
nice
.
Oh, god, if he keeps that up, he’ll
soon discover how wet that is making me.

Even
in her thoughts that seemed wrong. Clara might enjoy her naughty stories, the
naughtier the better, but things like this did not happen in real life.
 
Which left only one logical conclusion. She
was
dreaming, because the only other alternative was that she was losing her mind.
Just to test the theory, she screamed.

“I’m
not lying. I’m ouch. Vicky.
Vicky
, where the hell are you?”

****

“Clo…Clara…
What….”
Vicky felt herself ruthlessly shaken as her friend’s scream echoed
through her brain. God almighty her head hurt and her mouth was as dry as a
desert. What the hell had happened?

“My
heart, wake up, come back to me.” Someone patted her cheek none too gently and
she tried to swat the hand away. Her head hurt enough without a sore cheek
added.

Her
hand wouldn’t move. She tugged but whatever held it, held it fast.

“Victoria.”
The voice was enough to make her pussy tingle, her muscles tighten, and her nerves
quiver. “Stop that at once.”

What
the fuck?
Vicky opened her eyes slowly and squinted at the dark, saturnine,
shadow in front of her, silhouetted by the light of a seven-armed candelabra.
Nothing stood out except two grey eyes with golden glints that danced in the
candlelight and beckoned to her. Deep, dangerous, hot as hell…
Hell?

She
tried to scream, she really did, but her vocal cords seemed to have frozen, and
nothing emerged except a tiny croak. Not the thing to stop Satan in his tracks.

She
bucked her ass in the air. As she’d wondered, only her ass moved. Her legs were
held as tightly as her arms.

“What
the fuck?” That came out okay. Vicky shook her head and blinked. The shadow
moved again and got closer. She wished she could shrink into herself or at
least hide under the covers. “Don’t you come any nearer, buster. You’ve got a
helluvalot to answer for. Get talking fast. What the hell am I doing trussed up
like a BDSM offering?” She glared as best she could with a brass band playing
inside her skull. She might like a bit of consensual pain when she was in the
right frame of mind, but this wasn’t consensual and she sure wasn’t in the
proper mindset. She wasn’t even sure what set her mind was playing at.

“Silly
woman, what are you talking about? BD whatever? I have no idea what you mean.
Stop struggling or you’ll hurt yourself.” His voice was as smooth as liquid
chocolate, as dark as the night, and as enticing as anything she’d ever heard.
Her pussy juices began to make their presence known to her.

God,
stop right there. I am not gonna gush in front of a devil—or Mr. A. N. Other
dressed up as one.
If only she could clench her thighs together, but of
course spread eagled as she was there was no chance. Vicky bit her lip in an
effort to control her body. She wasn’t sure she managed.

“Please,
who are you?” Hell, now she was begging. She might sub as the mood took her but
meek and begging didn’t come into her remit. Ever.

He
moved the candelabra to one side and the light shone fully on his face. It was
enough to set her pussy throbbing like a damn pile driver. He was everything
she ever wanted in a man. Tall, with short blond hair, dark eyelashes and
eyebrows and grey eyes that shone and sparkled like the sea on a sunny winter’s
day. Her libido jumped to attention, and the throbbing in her head decided to
give it a break and become more of a hint of a headache than a full on pain. He
smiled.

“Victoria,
enough is enough.”

Victoria?
No one called her that if they valued their body the way it was. It might be a
family name but Vicky hated it. Ever since the school bully had teased her with
‘Victor-eah, has gonnor-eah, don’t go nee-ah.’ He didn’t carry on with his
death wish words after she’d kneed him in the balls and added, ‘Bobby Mollock’s
got no bollocks’.

“Victoria?”
The man’s voice hardened. “Look at me and answer me. What’s all this nonsense?”

She
recognized him. Sort of.

“You’re
the guy in the portrait I was looking at when…”
 
She faltered, swallowed and cleared her throat. Things began to fall
into place. Horrible, scary, that what the fuck is going on place.

BOOK: The Dukes' Christmas Abductions
5.43Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

Other books

The Blue Between the Clouds by Stephen Wunderli
Anil's Ghost by Michael Ondaatje
Under the Hawthorn Tree by Marita Conlon-Mckenna
Hope's Road by Margareta Osborn
Rex Stout_Tecumseh Fox 03 by The Broken Vase
Ella (Twisted Tales) by Kimber Sharpe
By Other Means by Evan Currie