Between the Devil and Desire(Scoundrels of St. James,Book 2)(79) by Lorraine Heath
He pressed his lips to the tip of her nose. “I find your laughter enchanting.”
He kissed the corner of her mouth. “Your eyes mesmerize me and your kisses have the power to bring me to my knees.”
He watched as the doubt in her golden eyes turned to certainty. She gave him an impish smile. “I forbid you to make love to me.”
His mouth went dry at her words. He’d never made love to a woman. He’d bedded many. The sex had been satisfying. But to make love, he hardly knew where to begin, but it was a gift she deserved. It was what he wanted to give to her. She was unlike any woman he’d ever known. She’d come to him with no expectation of receiving coins. What she was offering to him was far more valuable than anything he could ever give to her.
“I’ve warned you, sweetheart, to never forbid me. You’ll only make me do it.”
And with that, he took her mouth as tenderly as he was able, but tenderness was foreign to him. With the first taste of her, the hunger he’d been holding at bay broke free with a fierceness that astounded him. He wanted to clearly see what clothing and shadows had kept from him.
Without tearing his mouth from hers, he lifted her into his arms, carried her to the bed, and set her on her feet beside it. She swayed, and he drew her near, allowing her to take strength from him.
Olivia had felt the power of his passion in the garden. Still it astounded her that it could be so forceful, could weaken her so easily. She grew so hot that it was almost as though she were taking ill again. And her legs were quivering. If his arms weren’t around her, she thought she might simply melt into the floor.
She wrapped her arms around his shoulders, skimmed her fingers up into his thick hair, hair that suddenly didn’t seem too long. She wanted to bury her face in it, and she thought that perhaps before the night was over she might.
Jack withdrew from the kiss, trailing his mouth along her jaw as though he were reluctant to leave her lips, didn’t want his mouth far from hers. She lifted her chin, giving him easier access to her throat, and a small whimper escaped. His velvety touch teased and cajoled. “Ah, Livy, Livy.” His voice was low, seductive, and she knew she would follow it to whatever sins it led her.
She felt his mouth brushing over her shoulders and only then did she remember that he had a pickpocket’s fingers and light touch. He’d worked her buttons free from throat to stomach and she’d not even noticed. And now the gown was sliding off her shoulders, gliding to the floor.
She had a second to consider that she should feel a need to cover herself and then she was considering nothing at all except for the wondrous sensations of his mouth playing over her breasts: tasting, licking, suckling. All the while, he murmured that she was “beautiful. So beautiful.”
Without warning, he swept her up into his arms and laid her on the bed. As soon as his arms were no longer around her, he was tearing at his clothing, hastily discarding each piece until they were nothing more than a crumpled bundle on the floor.
She barely had time to appreciate the magnificence of him before he was placing a knee on the bed and coming for her, like some large predatory cat, with intent and the knowledge that the prey could not escape.
She didn’t want to escape. She opened her arms to him, touching what she’d only seen that long-ago morning in the dressing room. He was a young man and his body reflected the strength of youth. Firm muscles, taut skin. And flexibility.
He’d stretched out beside her, the hand bearing the brand wrapping over her hip, almost with significance, as he twisted his body and laid a kiss on her stomach. He nibbled his way up to her breasts, kissing the inside of one, then the other, giving equal attention to each. She thought she should have been prepared for the pleasures rippling through her.
Was it the forbidden that heightened the pleasure? Was it the taste of sin that made her so much more aware of her body’s awakening? Or was it simply that he had the devil’s own touch, that he had the power and the knowledge to bring forth carnal delights?
She dug her fingers into his shoulders, his back. She held him close while he ravished her breasts. His bristled jaw prickled, adding to the sensations. Her hips turned toward him of their own accord.
He skimmed his hand down her hip, her thigh, and brought it around to rest heavily between her legs, his fingers gliding intimately—
She gasped as the pleasure spiked.
He lifted his head, studying her. He glided his finger over her, eliciting another cry, her legs squeezing together as though to hold him there or perhaps to urge him on.
“I want to watch you, Livy,” he whispered roughly. “I want to see what the darkness of the garden kept from me. Let go, Livy. Let go.”
She shook her head fiercely, but he gave her no respite. He returned his mouth to her breasts while his fingers worked their magic. When she was close, so very close, he stopped to ease up, roll between her thighs, and take her mouth as though he owned it. His tongue probed and explored as though he didn’t know every intimate corner, while she returned the favor with more boldness than she ever had. She loved his flavor, loved the scent of him heated by their passion. His skin was hot and velvety beneath her fingers, dampened by a light coating of dew.
He rose above her and she might have been frightened by what she saw in his eyes if she didn’t know him as well as she did. It was almost animalistic, barbaric.
She felt him testing her readiness, and she immediately tensed.
“Shh, shh, gentle now,” he whispered near her ear, and she wasn’t certain if the words were for her or himself.
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