Lord of Temptation(Lost Lords of Pembrook,Book 2)(64) by Lorraine Heath
From her position above him, she had a clear view of the tension radiating through him. It served to spur her to greater heights. Cupping her breasts, he kneaded the pliant flesh, scraping his thumbs over the sensitive pearls that had hardened with his touch.
Snaking his arm around her, holding her in place, he sat up and captured her mouth, hungrily exploring as though he’d never kissed her before. She scraped her fingers into his hair, careful of his fresh wound. His chest brushed against her breasts, titillating, increasing her pleasure. The musky fragrance of their lovemaking rose up around them.
Then they were both crying out, arching back, clinging to each other as sensations tore through them. Spots of color danced behind her eyelids. When she opened her eyes, it was to see his taut jaw, his fiery gaze. She kissed his forehead, his chin. He sank back onto the pillows and she collapsed on top of him.
She thought it likely that she would never move a muscle again.
Stretched out, one arm behind his head, Tristan watched as Anne wandered his quarters, picking up items, setting them back down, moving on. After nearly destroying him with their lovemaking, she’d donned his shirt. He enjoyed the way it left so much of her legs bared, legs that had squeezed his hips and thighs as she’d carried him to new heights. “Didn’t you have enough of examining my things when you were here before?”
With slumberous eyes that caused his body to tighten, she glanced over at him. “I looked but I didn’t touch.”
He arched a brow in disbelief. “You didn’t touch anything?”
“It felt as though it would be invading your privacy.”
“And it doesn’t seem so now?”
“Now I don’t care. Now I want to know everything about you.”
“Didn’t you get enough with your infernal questions last night?”
“I suspect a lifetime of questioning you wouldn’t be enough,” she said distractedly, lifting the lopsided globe from his shelf and examining it.
A lifetime. He could imagine all the questions he’d ask her. He still didn’t know who had given her that first kiss. He hadn’t asked because if it wasn’t her betrothed he might have to kill the fellow.
“Did you make this?” she asked. “Was it to commemorate your travels?”
She jerked her head toward him. “Pardon?”
“You asked two questions. I answered them.”
“You’re being difficult.”
“Come back to bed.”
“Not until you tell me about the globe, why you’re not more forthcoming with information about it.”
He sighed. Had he ever met a more stubborn woman? “I made it for my brother. He seems to collect them for some reason.”
“No, Rafe. My younger brother.”
“Was he at the ball?”
“No, he prefers . . . the darker corners of London.”
He couldn’t stop the regret from seeping into his voice. “I don’t know.”
Carefully, she set the globe back on the shelf before gliding quickly but quietly over to him and settling on the edge of the bed. She combed her fingers through his hair. “I can’t imagine how awful it was to be separated from your brothers. Mine often irritate the devil out of me, but I know they mean well and that they are always within easy reach if I need something. Even when I was in mourning and wouldn’t come to London, I had only to send a missive and they were quickly at my side.”
“I don’t want to talk about the past. Or the future for that matter. I just want now.” He planted his hand behind her head and pulled her down for a kiss. When he was with her, the past barely mattered. He could forget about how awful it had been to be separated from his brothers, his family, from everything familiar. From the moment he’d galloped away from Pembrook, he’d sworn that he would never complain, whine, or cry about the unfairness of life. He’d buried deeply anything that could hurt him, because it had very nearly destroyed him to leave all that he loved. He’d built a wall so nothing could ever touch him again, nothing could ever harm him.
He was his own man: independent, strong.
Yet this mere slip of a woman was working to find a crack in his defenses. He couldn’t allow it to happen. Never again would he be vulnerable. Never again would he open himself up to hurt. She, of all people, should understand how easily the heart bruised.
Together they could share passion, their bodies . . . but beyond that, he had nothing else to give.
It was nearing dawn when Anne found herself again in the carriage, hurtling through the London streets. The curtains were drawn at the windows so no one could see her, but she picked up the sounds of morning activity, people beginning their day. If fortune were smiling on her, her father and brothers would already be home and abed in a liquor-induced haze.
As for herself, her haze was pleasure induced. She was nestled against Tristan, his arm around her shoulders, his hand absently stroking the side of her breast while he nuzzled her ear.
“We can’t continue on with these trysts,” she said quietly.
“Mmm,” he murmured. “I’ll change your mind tonight.”
“No, Tristan.” Moving away, she turned and faced him. She saw mostly shadows and yet she was familiar enough with him now to sense his gaze on her. “I am determined to find a husband this Season, to please my father, to see to my duty. It was the reason behind my trip to Scutari, so I could say good-bye to Walter and accept another man’s attentions with a clear conscience.”
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