Midnight Pleasures with a Scoundrel(Scoundrels of St. James,Book 4)(53) by Lorraine Heath
“Emma,” he rasped, “for God’s sake. Move a bit more quickly. You’re torturing me here.”
“Say my name again.”
She freed a button.
“Dear sweet Emma.”
The last button released him and his torment. She wrapped her fingers around the velvety heat. With a low groan, he bracketed her face and brought his mouth back to hers, kissing her with a fierceness that matched the storm beating against the cottage. She was barely aware of them discarding what remained of their clothing before falling together onto the bed. With their hands and mouths, they touched, explored, learned anew what they’d discovered that long ago night in London.
Swindler realized that she’d lost more weight than he’d thought, as he palmed her smaller breasts. As he held her close, he’d been able to feel every rib. He noted other changes: narrower hips, more bone in places where she should have more flesh. But nothing curbed his overwhelming desire for her. Her body delighted him because it was hers. But his favorite feature continued to be her eyes, the manner in which they roamed over him, initially with shyness, then gaining boldness as she grew more comfortable with their nakedness. He wondered if it would always be so between them. A few heartbeats of hesitation before they became lost in the pleasure they could bring each other.
No woman in his history could compare to her. No woman in his future could replace her. She was what he wanted now, this moment and the next, and the one that followed that, each one that led to the end of his life. He would make it happen, by God. He would keep her with him. He didn’t know how. He would lie, he would cheat, he would steal. If need be, he would murder. He’d confessed that she held his heart. He’d yet to tell her that she possessed his soul. He’d deceived himself when he began this journey believing that he sought justice. All along all he’d sought was her. Now that he’d found her again, it would kill him to give her up. He would find a way to save her if it was the last thing he ever did. But for now all he wanted was to taste the sweetness of her mouth and flesh. All he wanted was to bring her unbridled pleasure. All he wanted was to possess her and journey with her into the realm of passion.
She moaned and sighed with every glide of his hand, every stroke of his tongue, every press of his lips. Hovering over her delicate form, he should have felt like a great oaf, but she had the ability to make him feel powerful without the usual accompanying intimidation, because as petite as she was, she possessed her own strength, her own determination. By God, she’d traveled to a strange city teeming with strangers in order to seek satisfaction for her sister’s death, and asked help of no one other than a sister who shared the same purpose. She shared his belief in justice. On many levels she was his equal, in some ways she was his better, in no way was she less.
But here, beneath the sheets, was where they were the most well-matched. He fought off the distant fear that in spite of his best efforts, he would lose this, he would lose her. He joined his mouth to hers, kissing her deeply, hungrily, as though it were the first kiss, as though it were the last. Wedging himself between her thighs, he slid a hand beneath her and lifted her hips. With one long, sure stroke, he buried himself in her molten haven to the hilt. A shudder of absolute pleasure rippled through him as he released a low groan, tore his mouth from hers and buried his face in the curve of her shoulder. If he moved, he was likely to spill his seed before he’d seen to her ultimate enjoyment.
She tightened her body around him, and he moaned. “You are a witch.”
“I love this, love the way it feels when we’re bound like this.”
Swallowing hard, he lifted his head and gazed down on her, saw the wonder in her eyes that after everything he could still want her. “Emma, how could I not?”
Emma felt the tears sting her eyes because he knew, knew, the doubts that plagued her, the questions that bombarded her. He answered them without her giving them voice, as though they were bound by something that went beyond flesh, beyond hearts. As though their souls belonged to each other.
As he began to rock against her, he spoke her name again. It contained a richness she hadn’t noticed before. She relished the sound of her name coming from his lips. Her name. Emma.
It was her that he possessed, her that he touched, her that he stirred. His movements became more frantic and her body reacted in kind, meeting his thrusts, building the pressure toward release. Her skin, her muscles, tightened and curled.
Opening her eyes, she became lost in his. She ran her fingers through his hair, over his shoulders, down his back. She felt his corded muscles bunching and straining. Dew from his efforts to hold back pooled on his skin.
“Emma,” he forced through clenched teeth as the pinnacle of pleasure rocked him, rocked her.
She emitted a tiny scream, before his mouth blanketed hers and absorbed the remainder of it. She trembled in the wake of the cataclysm, felt the tremors undulating through him. Collapsing to the side, he rolled her flush against him, draping one of her legs over his hip. Still joined, they faced each other, breathing heavily, drenched in sweat. Reaching down, he brought the sheet and a blanket over them to ward off the chill, to create a cocoon of warmth, as their bodies basked in the lethargy.
Gently, holding her gaze, he palmed her cheek and stroked his thumb in a circle on her face. She strummed her fingers over his back. Slowly their breathing calmed, settled, no longer harsh, no longer blocking out the patter of the rain hitting the roof. Even as she grew drowsy, she had to face the truth.
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