It's hot as hell here in Southwestern Ontario! OMG, like suffocating hot! And it's not made any better when you have to sit for hours at a time with copyedits of Pride and Passion, and the naughty duke of Sussex! So, thought I'd share this with you, it's a nice, hot scene with Sussex and Lucy. Sussex has just discovered Lucy, in the dark of night making her way to her where someone from her past is waiting for her. Hope you enjoy it--and the picture I used to inspire the Duke of Deliciousness! Thanks to my friend Aly whom not only supplied the picture, but also gave him his nickname!
Stay cool and enjoy! This excerpt is not for anyone under 18 yrs..just sayin! :) Oh, yeah, could still be some typos etc...this is copy edit stage, so please excuse any housekeeping I might have overlooked!
“You were going to meet him!” his gaze narrowed. “You’ve been there before, haven’t you?”
Raising her chin in defiance, she replied, “I don’t believe I owe you any explanations.”
Something snapped inside him, and roughly he reached for her arm, and pulled her to him, then started to make his way deeper into the house, all but dragging her along, Lucy protesting bitterly. In the library he shoved her into the nearest chair and pulled his already loosened cravat from his neck.
“You will start speaking now, or I swear…” he threatened, unable to finish the sentence. His mind was reeling with information, the implications, and the terror of knowing that Lucy was alone on that bloody street, intent on meeting her lover at the House of Orpheus.
“I will not,” she sniffed haughtily as she artfully arranged her skirts. If you want to know you’ll have to drag it out of me--torture me with one of your Templar methods.”
Oh, he’d love to, he thought as he stared down at her, mesmerized into pure idiocy as he focused on her mouth, and thought how he’d like to torture her--he’d start by unpinning that glorious mound of red hair. Shaking himself, he focused on the task at hand.
“I could use a Brethren Guardian tactic,” he growled, unsure if the Brethren even had a torture tactic--certainly none that had ever been implemented in the past two or three centuries. “But you wouldn’t like it.” Which was the entire point of torture--you idiot!
“I am prepared.”
With an arch of a brow, he reached for her reticule and snatched it from her, causing her to jump up in outrage. “That is private! You cannot simply just open my bag and go searching through my effects!”
“Brethren tactic, remember?” She tried to wrestle it out his hands, but he held firmly onto it, while forcing her gently back into the chair. “Why don’t you just explain what you were doing out there, at this time of night, and why you have the coin with the mark of Orpheus? That will do nicely for starters.”
“Never! You’ll have to force it out of me!”
He laughed despite his foul mood. “Dear me, Lucy this is not the crusades, and I’m not going to strap you down on the rack.”
She eyed him speculatively. “We’re enemies.”
“If I were to strap you down…” he shook his head and cleared his throat. Certainly he couldn’t finish the thought because he knew she would not like to hear how damn much he wanted to lay her down on his bed and torture her with pleasure until she screamed and called out his name.
“Now, then,” he muttered, after steadying himself. “You may tell me your tale, or I will go rifling through your reticule. Your choice.”
With a shrug, she nodded to the beaded bag he held in his hands. “Do your worst.”
Such a dramatic little thing, he thought with a smile as he pulled on the corded and tasselled strings that held the purse closed, such fire. It made him want to bed her--hard--riding her into submission. She would burn hot beneath him, every expression naked for him to see, just as her body would be. And her hair, it would resemble a river of flame over his pillow, and he would reach for it, wrap the silken strands around his hand and tilt her face up to look at him as he thrust hard into her, making her accept him. And in her inherent dramatic fashion she would come beautifully--and loudly--for him.
Christ, he was hard as iron standing there, and he lowered the purse in his hands, trying to conceal the fact. He was supposed to be livid with her, not thinking of bedding her. He should be investigating her actions, discovering what the devil she was doing with this coin, but the image of her pale body arching beneath him, of her searching and reaching for the orgasm he masterfully held just out of her reach. By God he would make her wait, make her teeter and fall, only to rise up again. He’d make her want….make her weep…keep her in an acute state of longing and aching need before he gave her what she wanted--just like she had done with him.
Get on with it, he reminded himself. And reluctantly he tore his gaze away from her face, and his mind from the fantasy of making love to her. He would--he vowed. He would have Lucy Ashton, there was no mistaking that.
Drawing the strings, he opened the reticule. There was some money--some coins, a key, presumably to her father’s house, which made him ask the asinine question, “does your father know what you’re about tonight?”
“Oh certainly,” she replied mockingly. “I shook him awake and informed him I was going traipsing through Mayfair in the dead of night to meet with the man who took my innocence.”
It was though an electric bolt lanced through him. He had known what was in Lucy’s past, and he had discarded it. But now, hearing it from her own lips caused a new ravaging in his soul. Was it insufferably hypocritical and priggish for him to wish that he could have been her first? He had dreamt of it for so long, how it would have been between them. He would have taken such good care of her. Would have made it beautiful, and tender--and slow, not rushing her, just allowing her to experience ever nuance of pleasure he and his body to give her.
With a savage oath, he picked through the bag until he came across a folded piece of paper. Her eyes widened, but their expression taunted him, dared him to unfold this bit of private correspondence, which did nothing to ease his riled, and feral--not to mention sexually frustrated mood.
“So this is the damming evidence, is it?”
“I don’t know what you mean.”
“We’ll see soon enough, won’t we?’
Opening it, he read the contents, and saw red as every vessel in his head began to bleed, leaching blood from his brain, to his eyes, until his vision was swimming in crimson.
“God damn it!” he roared. “What the devil you do you mean by obeying this summons? Alone? In the dark? My god, when I think of what might have happened to you. You’re reckless….a danger to yourself,” he huffed, quickly losing his control. “You ought to be tied up for your own good and safety and given to a man who will make it his life‘s purpose to keep you out of mischief!” he had roared those last words, and reached for the cravat, that lay pooled on the table.
“What do you mean by this!” she snapped as he began to bind her hands.
“What does it look like?”
“Untie me at once. Oooh,” she stammered as she stamped her foot against the floor, trying to connect with his foot. The foot wouldn’t hurt half as much as his groin still did. “You cannot do this!”
“I assure you, my love, I can. And I am doing a fine job of it.”
He was done tying her, but his palm had caught her wrist, checking to make certain the cravat was not too tight. He had removed her cloak, and her arms were bare, the skin pale and beckoning as he made an upward brush of his hand along her arm.
“Get your paws off of me,” she gasped, struggling to free herself as she squirmed in the chair. “Cease your manhandling.”
That did it. He stood in front of the chair, bent down to eye level as his hands wrapped around each of the chair’s curved arms. He stared into her vivid green eyes, as glorious as a blade of spring grass and said, “I am not manhandling you.”
“Yes you are.”
“No I am not. Trust me, you will be fully cognizant of the matter when you’ve been manhandled by my paws.”
“Oh, really?” She drawled haughtily. “And what distinction will you make, hmm? What difference will there be from now?”
His mouth came dangerously closer to hers. His cock stiffened, and his bollocks burned with a gut deep ache, but he could not stop himself. Her lips were too close, her mouth so daring and tempting…
“You’ll know, because I’ll do it properly, and you’ll beg me for more of my hands.”
She frowned, crinkling her nose as though she was hit with a most distasteful odour, then her eyes went wide. “You are intoxicated, your grace.”
The revulsion in her expression, the derision in her voice made him feel something more than a little dangerous. “Only mildly inebriated,” he drawled with a sardonic air he did not feel.
“Disgustingly drunk.” Her green eyes narrowed a telling sign she did not find his repartee one bit amusing. “You are foxed. Ripping drunk, sir. Sauced.”
Something he had kept tightly tethered inside suddenly snapped, he straightened, putting distance between them, or else he might fall on her like a ravening lunatic. On the mantle, his glass of whiskey from earlier sat unfinished, and to settle the roiling emotions in him, he strolled to the hearth and reached for it.
Taking a sip of the whiskey, he curled his lips around the crystal tumbler and studied her. The brandy did nothing to settle him. He wanted her with a power that would not be harnessed.
“Sauced is cockney cant, Lady Lucy. Does your lover,” and he spat the word with such vehemence, “speak it to you?”
Her elfin chin tilted upwards in defiance. “You insinuate that he is less than a gentleman, but he is more than you, sir,” she said through gritted teeth.
“Oh, yes,” he thundered, his hand gripping the crystal in a dangerously tight hold. “The very paragon of gentleman like behaviour. The man who shot and killed another in cold blood!”
“You have no proof!” she countered, and the passion in which she defended the bastard made him see red.
“I was there, damn you. I saw him point the gun and shoot Wendell Knighton in the chest from the rooftop. I am telling you, he did it.”
“It…it can’t be.”
“Why? Because you don’t want it to be true? Because you cannot bring yourself to ask a few, very pertinent questions regarding the man you foolishly believe is better than me?”
“He is better than you!” she railed.
“Oh, really?” he drawled, the sound belying the depths of the darkness that he felt. “Well, I for one, would never make you walk through the darkness of night to my carriage that I hid around a corner,” he said with lethal softness.
Something like pain flickered in the depth of her eyes, and he almost despised himself for saying what he had, but jealousy and an unholy unrequited desire was ruling him now, ever since he had read that damned missive.
Her gaze turned mutinous. “Well, I know for certain, that he would not bring me to the very place where he had only just completed fornicating with his mistress!”
Stunned. Adrian knew he stood there with his mouth agog, and his eyes bulging. Whatever her response, he had not expected that.
“The room reeks of her, and her perfume. That same overbearing scent that fouled the air at the musicale. I saw her,” Lucy continued on, her voice taking on a strange tone. “The tall blonde that kept saddling up to you, the one you made no pretence of showing interest in. For all your prudish, priggish ways, you quite forgot your head tonight, did you not? I was not the only one to notice the spectacle you made of yourself.”
Something inside him fired to life, and he replaced the glass atop the mantle, and strode slowly to where she sat, still bound in the chair. “She is not my mistress.”
She snorted in derision, her eyes rolling. “You must think me a fool.”
He caged her within his arms, his hands gripping each of the curved arms of the chair, making her jump, but he shortened the space between them, bending lower until he could look into her eyes, smell her skin, feel the rapid puffs of her breathes against his lips, and his body responded, wanting her, desiring to show her how it could be between them, what sort of lover he would be to her.
“I think you a maddeningly obtuse woman,” he growled, and her eyes widened, either at his tone, or the look in his eyes. “You could have been killed tonight--or worse,” he said, reaching out to stroke her silken cheek with the back of his hand. “You might wonder at that statement, what fate could be worse than death, but I assure you, there are fates out there that would make death appear a blessing. And regardless of that, you walked blindly into the depths of it.”
“Nothing happened,” she whispering, shivering, his touch obviously repulsing her.
Abruptly his hand fell away, only to return to the arm of the chair. “We’ll never know, will we? For I intervened, saving you from a certain distasteful end, I am certain.”
“Thomas would never let anything happen to me.”
“No? He let some stranger come out of the darkness and drag you into an alley before the night watchman could even lift his torch light. Do you think he is still there, waiting for you? Wringing his hands with worry? Or do you think he muscled up and had the carriage turned around in the direction of your home to see if you were safe and sound?”
“You’re crowding me,” she sniffed, trying futilely to press away from him. But ruthless, he dipped his head, forcing her gaze to land on his face.
“Tell me,” he asked, his voice dropping low when his gaze lingered over her moist, pink lips, “why he is so much better than me? Is he handsomer? Wealthier?”
“None of that means anything to me,” she spat. “If you knew me, you would never dare insult me with such innuendos.”
“Than what can it be?” he asked, determined to be without mercy, even if it cost him his pride, a strip of his hide. Damn it, he could no longer go on wondering what this man was, how he could provoke her to such lengths of loyalty, when he would do anything--anything--for her, and yet she would not give him one glance.
“Your grace, this is not at all proper.”
“But you don’t like it when I’m proper. You think me a prig, remember?”
“I think the whiskey has made you say things that you will regret upon the morrow.”
“You think this is all the work of liquor, do you?”
“Of course.” She gazed at him with something like pity. “Obviously it has made you not in your right mind. If you were, then you would not be here. I would not be here, and we would not be having this conversation in this home, under this very peculiar, not to mention, potentially destructive circumstances. You do realize how this appears, do you not? If we were to be discovered-”
“I don’t give a damn how it appears, and every demon in hell could descend upon this room, and I won’t give a farthing until I know if his touch makes your heart flutter? If his kisses leave you witless, breathless, aching for more.”
She blinked, her lips parted, breath stilled for a fraction of a second. Adrian didn’t dare blink, for fear he would miss some nuance of need. A flicker of desire. Her mouth opened, worked, but no words, no sounds were emitted from her beckoning mouth--she just studied him, and he moved closer, insinuating himself to stand between her thighs and loom over her, taking up the space between them.
“Does his hands touch you, caress you so softly you want to weep, to shudder in anticipation? Do you let down your hair for him? Does he brush it over your shoulder and allow his fingers to skim over the delicate curve of your arm? Does he kiss your neck, whisper in your ear?”
“Your grace,” she murmured as she stared intimately into his eyes, seeing something, something he didn’t want her to know. But he was too far gone to think. To see the look of worry, and fear in her eyes. He’d been deprived too long. And yes, the whiskey was swimming in his blood, not intoxicating him, but giving him the courage to shed his reputation for politeness and solicitude, and give free rein to the darker need and passion that were festering inside him--needs that had always been there, the one’s he had been forced to hid from the world.
“Does he murmur all those naughty, highly improper things he had dreamt about? Does he tell, you in a most ungentle manly fashion of all the things he wants to do to you, wicked, wicked things involving beds, and settee’s and darkened corners?” she gasped, color infused her cheeks, “how he wants to give you the greatest pleasure of your life, to feel you squeeze around him as he merges his body with yours?”
Tilting her chin up, he cradled her cheek, allowing his gaze to roam freely over her flushed face.
“Tell me, Lucy,” he asked as his mouth descended in a slow slide, “does his kiss feel like this?”
The feel of her satiny lips against his made him moan. She did not pinch them together, but left them soft, pliable, and he deepened the kiss, mouth opening, tongue aching to reach deep inside, to loose himself to a place he thought never to go, a place to return to, where he had felt solace and warmth and love…
Lucy was caught in a sensual haze. She had never before been spoken to in a such a brazen manner as the duke had just spoken to her. It caused a strange tingling in her belly. His mouth on hers only heightened the feeling, and she tipped her chin up, brushing her mouth against his, as he slowly widened his lips across hers. She wanted more of it, a deeper intimacy, and she pressed forward, her breasts thrusting upward, which made him growl deeply, an answering echo in her own body.
“Yes,” his hand left the arm of her chair, only to wrap gently around her throat, his thumb placed directly over the pulse that beat hard and fast. “Reach for me,” he murmured wickedly, as his palm smoothed down the column of her neck, to the expanse of skin above her bodice. Her body jolted and she pressed in, her hands bound behind her back, making her back arch, and her modest bosom thrust forward. His moan was deep, guttural, making her own body answer to it, while his lips caressing, teasing, his tongue making decadent little sweeps across her lips.
His control was rigid, and she felt….so out of control, especially with the tied cravat around her hands. She mewled, tried to inch to the edge of the chair, to feel his tongue surge within her mouth, and his hand press deeper into skin. But he was patient, making her wait, teasing her, and she would not cry out, not plead with him.
“Tell me,” he murmured against her mouth as palm slowly descended to the front of her bodice, leaving his fingers to trail lightly over her breast bone. “Does he inflame you like this? I’ve barely kissed you and I can feel you panting for more.”
Oooh, she wanted to hate him for that! Wanted to tell him to go the devil, and if she wasn’t a lady, she would spit in his face for that. But strangely, bound like this, with him looming over her, large, and masculine, and utterly controlled, the quip only aroused her more. He was dominant, she the supplicant, and it felt….strangely compelling, and sensual, and unbearably erotic. She, Lucy Ashton, cool, aloof, and always in control, giving up her control, and…aroused by it.
“I will keep you here all night until you say it, Lucy.” His voice dropped to a seductive purr, and the cool of his gray eyes were replaced with a molten silver that made his eyes glitter, and the scar in his dark brow all the more alluring for the danger it represented. His hand, so big and strong slipped down until he brushed his palm over the small rise of her breast. Closing her eyes, her head tipped to the side, and she did nothing but enjoy his touch. The soft, but seductive way he flattened then plumped her small breast.
Nudging her head back, his mouth sought the sensitive patch of skin behind her ear. His tongue trailed out and she jumped as he made little circles with the tip. She was aware suddenly, that he had hooked his fingers beneath the sleeve of her gown and was baring her shoulder as his mouth descended in a series of kisses and licks, a pattern that was making her writhe in the chair.
When his mouth arrived at her shoulder, he licked, then sucked the rounded curve, making her moan out loud, while the entire time he palmmed her breast.
She couldn’t remember what they had been talking of. She was supposed to be answering something--a very improper, smug question, but she couldn’t think clearly enough to remember it exactly. She was caught up in a swirl of emotions that ranged from weakness to strength, to longing to fear.
She had never been this exposed--not even naked. Thomas had excited her, had aroused her passion, but never like this. This….what the duke was making her feel was quite terrifying--and addicting, for she wanted more, and more, to never stop feeling the heady sensations.
His lips were making slow progress to the center of her chest, his palm still a heavy, insistence presence. Despite the fact he was so much taller than her, he did not drop down to his knees, but loomed over her, his head between her breasts, the silken stands of his onyx colored hair sliding against her chin and cheeks. She could feel the movement of his head--could watch but could not touch or clasp him to her. She was immobile, a supplicant for his pleasure. He would claim, take, press upon her kisses and touches and she could do nothing to stop him. And it excited her to know it. To sit as still and quiet as a statue and watch him, study his face, how his eyes were closed, how his lips looked against the paleness of her shoulder and chest. And then suddenly--and she couldn’t understand how or when he had done it, the bodice of her gown slipped down, leaving her in her chemise. She had not bothered with a corset this evening--the gown, and her modest breasts had not required it. She was left sitting there helpless as the duke pulled back slightly and stared at the dark shadows beneath the fine lawn. Puzzled, he glanced up at her, then with a wicked smile, he lowered his head to her breast, turning his face to the side, so she could watch his every torment, and licked the straining tip until the lawn was more than damp--it was wet, and it was clinging to her ruched nipples.
“How interesting,” he whispered, as his thumb circled the small tip. Her body answered, her core clenching and dampening. His gaze had flickered to hers, and she knew she should look away, but she couldn’t. Thomas had been disappointed when he had seen her. He hadn’t said the words, per se, but she had seen it in his eyes. She wondered if Sussex would feel the same.
“Beautiful and dark,” he murmured as he watched his thumb touch her nipple, “such a lovely surprise when I have always imagined your nipples to be a pale pink or a lovely coral. But this…dark and mysterious, a dichotomy for one so fair.”
She had always hated her breasts, small and insignificant with dark nipples that stood out against her flesh. “Please, don’t,” she whimpered when she saw him reach for the strap. His gaze flew to hers, she saw something there, he looked….stricken.
“I cannot leave tonight without seeing them. Touching them.”
Cool air kissed her skin, and Lucy was mortified to discover her breast bared, a small little apple cupped in his hand, with a dark berry for a nipple.
“Cherries,” he murmured, as his thumb and forefinger gently pinched and pulled, making the nipple less rounded, and longer. Then his mouth lowered and she watched with shock and fascination as his tongue caressed the tip, circling around, making her hips move. Arched as she was, it appeared that she was offering herself to him, and he growled, noticing her position, too. He was still bent over her, she could still watch him pleasure her with his mouth, still unable to touch him--to only endure what he would give her. And he was taking his sweet time about too!
Finally he kissed the tip, brought it into his mouth to suckle, and she watched, wicked creature that she was, she watched as her dark nipple was pulled into his mouth, and escaped with a little pop, only to be drawn back, and in the process repeated until she was moving her hips to the rhythm of his mouth. He was playing with her, and he seemed fascinated by it all. His eyes had stayed focused on her breast, and that one dark nipple he had made plump and big, which he toyed with unmerciessly.
It was not enough. She needed more, and with her hands tied, she had little room, so she began to rock, the hardness of the chair, the slide of her linen chemise creeping between thighs eased, yet heightened some of the unbearable ache that was building as he worked his way to torment her other breast.
And before she knew it, her vision dimmed, and she cried out, terrified of what was happening. This had never happened with Thomas.
“What have you done to me!” she cried, and then began to shake. From a distance she heard the duke’s voice, ‘yes, yes, just like that,’ she was practically incoherent, but still she was aware when he told her to move her bottom closer to the edge of the chair--how she was cognizant enough to follow his direction, she had no clue. She felt his arm around her waist, pulling her forward, his knee nudging between her thighs, widening them, the hardness of his thigh riding against her sex--the chemise rubbing between her folds. His mouth was raining havoc on her nipple, his thigh creating release--and ecstasy between her legs.
“Yes, like that,” he was encouraging her in a deep whisper. “Shatter for me. Let me watch.”
Her back was arching more, her rhythm--no rhythm at all, just fast, furious jerks of her hips that were uncoordinated movements, until his hand firmly planted on her waist, his fingers biting into her waist as he took over the task for her, moving her forward and back, onto his thigh as he commanded the rhythm.
“Damn, you are hotter than hell itself like this,” he murmured over her breast. “Come for me, little Lucy, show me the fire that burns in you.”
And then it happened, a feeling of utter euphoria, of floating weightlessly--not a care in the world. She was aware of Sussex there, holding her, keeping her safe, and then she was falling over a sort of precipice, shaking and trembling, and he was there, whispering in her ear, encouraging her to risk the leap. She didn’t want to, didn’t want to give that up, afraid of the unknown after allowing herself to fall over that cliff where the future was unseen and unknown.
“Lucy,” the duke whispered hotly in her ear, a beckoning voice that her body wanted to obey. “Come for me.” he flicked, thumbed her nipple, the wetness of her tongue against her lips, the ride of his thigh brought her up once more to the point she couldn’t think or see, only feel. “yes,” he whispered, “give this to me--your first climax.”
She didn’t want him to know that, that Thomas had never brought her to this point. She hadn’t know that this point even existed back then, but now that she did, she could not bear the shame of having Sussex know that what she and Thomas shared had actually lacked something so dark and complex, so elemental--so passionate. And then, she could no longer think, or dissect, could only allow him to coax her into taking that step over the cliff. She was alone in this, and she was afraid.
“Trust me,” he whispered again. “I’ll catch you when you come down.”