Lord of Temptation(Lost Lords of Pembrook,Book 2)(63) by Lorraine Heath
She glared at him. “I sat there like a ninny and offered no help whatsoever—”
“Most women would have been screaming, crying, distracting me from my purpose.” He tucked some stray strands of hair behind her ear. “But not you. You were stoic and brave.”
“I was useless.”
“Never.” He stared into her eyes with admiration and she wondered how he could make her feel courageous when she’d been anything but.
The light rap on the door had them separating. He opened it and retrieved a large bowl from Jenkins before dismissing him. He set the bowl on the table and picked up a towel.
“Sit down,” she ordered. “I’ll see to your wound.”
She expected him to object. Instead, he sat. She angled a chair nearer to him and eased into it. After dipping the cloth into the warm water, she gently lifted the hair from his brow and began dabbing at the gash. He barely flinched.
“It doesn’t look deep, but there’s so much blood,” she said.
“There always is with a wound to the face.”
“Have you had many?”
She pressed the cloth to the wound, hoping to staunch the flow of blood. “Do you often brawl?”
“Not as often as I did in my youth. I don’t start the fights any longer, but I don’t back down from them either.”
“You live a very dangerous life.”
He said nothing, and that was answer enough. Walter had as well. Before Tristan left England’s shores, she would have to end things permanently with him. It would be lonely enough waiting for his return, but it would be unbearable wondering if he would ever return. He could be dead for years before word reached her.
“Why would you choose it? This life you lead?”
“Because it makes me feel alive. I never know what adventures await over the horizon.”
“But your brother has reclaimed his title. You don’t have to keep wandering.”
“I enjoy wandering, Princess.”
Moving her hand aside, he came to his feet and drew her up until her hips were pressed against his. “What we encountered tonight was rare. I don’t know why they were skulking about the docks, although I’ve sent Jenkins out to have a word with the two who are sprawled on the ground—if they’re still there. If my uncle were alive I’d suspect him of sending them to do me harm. But he’s long gone. I suspect you and I just happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. But let’s not let it dissuade us from our purpose in coming here. If anything, let it make us appreciate that we are here.”
His mouth blanketed hers. Images and thoughts of lurking rapscallions, blood, danger, fear all melted away as his eager hands and hungry lips quickly carried her away on a tide of pleasure. She could hardly credit her wantonness. It seemed to take so little effort on his part to have her desperate for what they could share.
With unbridled haste, their clothes were in a discarded pool on the floor and they were on the bed in a feverish tangle. She thought she would never tire of the velvety warmth of skin against skin. It seemed, since she now knew his body so well, that all should be familiar and yet she always discovered something new: a small mole on his left hip, toes that weren’t quite straight, a tiny scar just above his elbow, bronzed flesh above his hips, ivory below.
His body hinted at tales that she suspected he would never tell. He might say that the past didn’t matter, but if he truly believed it, why not talk about it? He revealed bits of himself like the flowing tides. He would give her an inkling of what his life had been like and then he would retreat.
But here, in his bed, when they made love, he held nothing back. He touched her with reverence, worshipped her, taunted her, mollified her. Each time they came together, she became bolder—exploring every inch of him, marveling at the various textures. She ran her hands over him with abandon while relishing his doing the same to her.
He flipped her onto her stomach, grabbed her wrists, and carried her arms above her head. Provocatively, he moved her hair aside.
“Shh.” He kissed his way along her spine while she emitted languid sighs. He nipped her backside. “You have dimples you know.”
“When I smile? I think not.”
He laughed. “No, here.” Releasing his hold on her wrists, he planted a kiss just below the small of her back, first on one side, then the other. “I like them.”
“Is there anything about the female form that you don’t like?”
“There’s nothing about you that I don’t like.” He flopped onto his back before gathering her close and easing her over him until she was straddling him, her hair forming a curtain that enclosed them until all they could see was each other. Plowing his hands through the thick strands, he brought her mouth down to his and kissed her thoroughly. Oranges and brandy. She could taste neither without thinking of him. Tart and rich. Seductive.
But then everything about him was.
He bracketed her hips, lifted her up, adjusted his position, and brought her down, stretching her, filling her. She scraped her nails over his chest, watched his eyes smolder, before leaning down and running her tongue around a nipple. She nipped at it.
He groaned, low and long. “You are a witch.”
One with power that she’d never considered she might possess. She began rocking, and now she was the one to moan as the center of their joining reawakened to pleasure. So good. So good. The reality of it was always so much better than the memory. Each coming together never seemed to be quite the same. The intensity caused her entire body to curl in on itself, to strain outward, to cavort inwardly. She always wondered how she would survive the sensations, and yet she did.
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