Finally, he was kissing her. Josephine knew it was wrong. She was betrothed, but at this moment, she didn’t feel promised to anyone else. And with Will’s arms around her, she didn’t want to think about dowries or canals. She just wanted to be a woman. And this woman was kissing the man who knew her so well.
Plus, she thought with a soft sigh, she knew him too. She knew the feel of his arms as they tightened around her body. She knew the smell of him: a tangy musk that made her insides go liquid. And she knew the heart of him as a man who constantly struggled to forge his place in a hard world. It was turning him bitter, she knew, and she wondered if he understood how she wanted to soothe him.
She hadn’t the words to say it, but she had her caress as she burrowed her fingers into his hair. She had her body as she pressed her soft belly against the rock hard heat of him. And she had her heart beating hard in her chest as he began unbuttoning the buttons down the front of her dress. She felt the fabric loosen. Soon it was drooping down her shoulders, but she was kissing him. There was no room in her thoughts for anything but the thrust of his tongue and the demands he put on her there.
God, she loved kissing him. Frenzied one moment, then teasing as he nipped at her lips. Then bold as he thrust inside. She pushed back, she twirled her tongue around his, and she even sucked once. That made him growl deep in his throat as her dress finally slipped down to her feet.
She tilted her head back, gasping for breath. And in that moment’s inattention, he grasped the bottom of her shift and pulled it up over her head. She was naked, and he was gazing at the moonlight on her body as if struck dumb.
She didn’t want to focus on him. She didn’t want to stop the drugging progress of what they were doing. But he had stopped everything, and she grew self-conscious. So she began to draw herself inward, using her arms to cover herself. He stopped her with a single touch on her left wrist.
It took him three tries before he found the breath to speak. And even then, his voice was husky. “You are like Venus stepped from the ocean. I have never seen a woman so beautiful.”
She didn’t know how to respond to that. He meant what he said. She was stunningly beautiful to him, and that flushed her with a warm pleasure. Then, while she was still absorbing that revelation, he shifted his hand and slowly stroked across the top of her breasts. His touch was feather-soft, his expression reverent, and her skin tingled in the wake of his caress.
“Breathe deeply for me,” he said as his hand trailed to the side.
She did what he wanted even before she’d realized he’d asked for it. And as her breasts lifted to the moonlight, he cupped her. Both hands holding her as his thumbs stroked back and forth across her nipples.
She gasped and closed her eyes. The tingling from what he did flushed her skin all the way up her chin and down to her womb. Then, as her breath stuttered, he pinched her. Both sides. Pinch, then twist, and her knees went weak.
“I want it to be you,” she whispered.
“What?” He didn’t stop what he was doing. Having his hands on her breasts was magical, flooding her body with sensations while her mind drifted away. When he spoke, his question was like a distant sound that she had no ability to answer. She wanted him in her body. She wanted him to claim her. She simply wanted him.
So she opened her eyes and pressed her hands against his shirt. She had no dexterity to unbutton it, but he understood.
“Everything,” she whispered. “Let me see you as you see me.”
He nodded and began to undress. She watched dazed as his glorious chest appeared. But he was in shadow and she was so wonderfully naked, it made her feel free.
So as he bent to shuck his pants and boots, she stepped away from him and into the deepest part of the water. How many times had she wanted to dance like this, leaping from stone to stone with nothing to drag her down?
So she did. The water only came up above her ankles. This was the creek, not the river. But it was heavenly. And soon she could turn to look over her shoulder at his beautiful body. Hard muscle rippled as he moved, his belly was flat, and his organ… Oh my! She had never seen anything like it, not even on the Greek statues.
He was large and thick and thrust forward toward her. She smiled. “Can I touch it?”
He swallowed. She saw it distinctly as he silently joined her in the water. She stepped so that he was the one touched by the moonlight. And then she tentatively began to caress him.
Smooth head, slightly wet. Thick stalk rippled with veins. Hot in her hand—like a brand—and yet so soft. She explored him gently while his breath rasped between them. She knew there was more, so she reached down below. She held his sac in her hands, lifting it as he had held her breasts. Then she squeezed lightly.
“Mother of God,” he gasped.
She looked at his face, seeing the way he gazed at her. There was awe mixed with hunger. And a tension that she knew he held back for her sake. Who else would let her do this to him? Who else would strip naked so she could touch and play? Only Will. And only in this burbling creek at midnight.
“Does that fit easily inside a woman?” Inside me?
He nodded, the motion jerky. “It will stretch you, but you will like it.”
At his words, she became aware of her belly as an empty thing. How would he feel? How much could he fill? She held out her arms and lifted her face to the sky. “I feel so free.” Then she looked back at him. “Will you show me now? Will you…” She swallowed. “Please, I want to know. Now!” The urgency came because she was beginning to think. Her conscience was starting to prick her as she realized what she was doing and what it might mean in the future. And that was the last thing she wanted at this moment.
He must have understood. He must have known how she felt because he came up to her. He kissed her once—deep and drugging. And as he did so, he gently moved her backward a few steps until she was beneath the largest tree, one that shadowed the creek. When she would have asked what he wanted, he lifted her arms and gently wrapped her hands around a thick branch.
“Hold still. Just… hold it.”
She tightened her fingers, gripping hard as she nodded.
Then he began to touch her. All over her body. Back first, then around to her breasts. Nipples, the dip at her waist, and fluttering over her belly. He walked around her, touching everything, and it was the most magical, most frustrating sensation in the world. She wanted something more, and yet she didn’t want this to stop.
“Close your eyes,” he whispered to her from behind. His breath heated her ear and made her shudder in awareness.
She did as he bid, closing her eyes and letting her head drop back. She was open to everything, wanting every sensation he could give her. He didn’t disappoint. He wrapped around her from behind. His hands held and kneaded her breasts while she felt the hot thrust of his organ behind. Not between her legs, but up between her cheeks. Then he began kissing her shoulder and her neck: sharp nips, followed by the soothing swirl of his tongue. Then she’d feel his breath skate across her wet skin. And all the while his hands were on her breasts and his body thrust upward against her back.
She moaned. It was a wild animal sound, and she felt him surge against her in response. She wanted to touch him; she even released a hand to reach behind her. But he was firm when he grabbed her wrist and put her hand back to the branch.
“You can’t. I’ll lose control.”
“Please Will,” she gasped.
“Trust me.” Then his hands slipped lower on her body. “Let me.”
She did. He didn’t even have to ask as his hand lowered across her belly. She remembered the feel of him between her legs. She wanted it again with an ache that consumed her.
He slipped between her thighs easily. The glide of his finger was too little, the press of his finger too small. She spread her legs. She wanted him inside, but not his hand. “Not enough,” she said.
“We can’t,” he said as he pulled his finger to that electric spot higher up. He rubbed it in hard circles and she cried out, bucking against his hand.
“More,” she said.
He thrust his fingers deep. Two inside her. All was slick and wet, and it wasn’t enough.
He rubbed her again, high up and hard. The movement of his fingers was frenzied and it was just what she wanted. This tightening of her body, a coiling of everything she was. But it wasn’t enough. She wanted to be filled. She wanted everything at once.
It was coming soon: that glorious release she remembered. But she knew now about that. She wanted something different. She wanted him in a way she couldn’t even verbalize.
He was thrusting hard against her backside. His organ was slick and full and in the wrong place. So she let go of the branch. Her hands dropped down like heavy weights, pulling her whole body into the stream. She collapsed onto all fours, his hand ripping away from her groin as she fell.
“Jo!” he cried as he tried to catch her. He didn’t need to. She had landed in water, the soft mud cushioning her hands and knees.
But then he came down on top of her, his body a beautiful weight along her back. And with his movement, his organ was freed from her back. It popped down between her legs. Oh God, he was right there.
She arched her back, pressing herself back onto him. He grabbed her arms, her name a cry of alarm.
But he didn’t move away. In truth, his hips jerked slightly, pressing him inside her just the tiniest bit.
That’s what she wanted. There!
“I want it to be you.”
“Jo,” he groaned. “It’s wrong.”
She shifted her weight, taking one of his hands and leading it to her breast. He moved slowly, reluctantly, but he had no power against her. He would give her what she wanted. And sure enough, the moment his hand touched her breasts, he began to knead her. He twisted her nipple and she moaned at the feel.
Then he leaned back a bit, taking his weight on his knees. Then his other hand went between her legs, stroking her where she loved it. God yes, this felt so good! But the rest of him—his thick, strong organ—was right there at her opening, teasing her with its nearness. She wanted it. She wanted him.
So she surged backward. He was focused on pleasing her with his hands, so she took control and pushed with her hands deep in the mud. She thrust herself backward onto him. Everything was so wet, he slid in perfectly. It was so fast, and she was startled. She felt the stretch, she knew the flash of pain, and then… she was filled. He was huge!
She heard him groan. At her movement, his whole body had completely stilled. Hands, cock, everything. Statue still. Except his breath. That rasped in the air.
Then she felt his lips on her back, pressing tiny kisses there. And something else. A wetness. Tears?
“Now you have everything I am, Jo. Even my honor.” Then he pressed another kiss to her back. “Have I hurt you?”
“No,” she whispered. She was still absorbed in feeling him inside her. This was right. This was what a woman’s body was meant for. Even with the pain when he’d first breeched her, she knew this was what she wanted. He belonged inside her. “It’s wonderful.”
Intrigued, she reached between her legs, touching the place where they connected. He was thick and so deep. She touched further back where his sac hung, then stroked upward again.
He groaned. “Can’t… hold back.”
“Don’t,” she said simply.
She didn’t know if it was her word or just his need pushing him, but he began to thrust. First he ground his way inside her, then he drew back slowly. So slow that the emptiness at his withdrawal had her crying out. She didn’t want him to leave.
He didn’t. Before she was empty, he thrust forward again. Still slow, but not so careful this time. He had one hand on her hip, gripping her tightly. The other he slid between her legs to rub her. His motion was jerky, the pressure rough, but it was also exactly what she wanted.
All was wet between them so he slipped and slid around as she bore down on his hand. That lifted her tailbone higher, giving him more room to move.
He thrust faster, harder.
Then the release hit. She cried out, stunned as it overwhelmed her. No slow build this time, just a sudden whipcord of sensation. Her whole body writhed. His hand dislodged between her thighs and slid upward to her hips. He was holding her pinned as he thrust harder and harder into her.
She loved it. Her body wasn’t hers to control, still bucking beneath him, and every slam of his body set off explosions.
Yes! Oh yes!
Then he cried out: deep, guttural, and joyous. He froze, implanted as far inside her as it was possible to go. And they stayed like that. Her belly was still contracting, his organ still pumping. And she felt it all. Glorious!
“I thought so,” she whispered. They were a perfect fit.
Will collapsed sideways. He hadn’t the strength to hold himself up anymore. But he didn’t want to be separated from her, so he brought her with him. Tugging as he moved, he pulled her onto his lap and then fell backward. He sat half in the creek, half out. There was mud everywhere, and yet all he knew was Jo. Sweet Jo.
He relaxed until his back was braced on a tree root and she curled up in his arms. She murmured something, but he couldn’t hear it. Besides, it felt like a purr. A wonderful, happy purr.
He stroked her back. His hand was all he could move, and he smiled as her purr grew into a hum of delight.
They stay that way for an eternity of wonder. If he could have kept his mind silent, he would have spent the rest of his life right there cradling her in his arms. But his mind was not a quiet thing, and it allowed him a scant five minutes before it began lining up the truth of what he’d done.
He’d taken an innocent woman—someone else’s fiancée, no less—and seduced her. He’d taken her as boldly as any cad and not even in the way a man takes a gentlewoman. No, he’d had her on all fours before him and he’d mounted her like a dog.
It didn’t matter that he hadn’t intended for this to happen. Not exactly. He’d meant to seduce her, but keep her a virgin. Then he’d meant to propose to her as an honorable man. He’d meant to give her the choice in her suitors. The seduction had merely been a means to get her to notice him, to see his worth, and yes, to tempt her into saying yes.
But now he’d gone too far. He didn’t blame her. She’d been innocent before he’d set upon this course. And he could have stopped it at any time, but he hadn’t wanted to. And then it had been too late. So how did he make it right?
“Don’t come tomorrow.”
She stirred sleepily in his arms. “Hmmm?”
“Give me a day, Jo. I… I need to prepare the room.”
She shifted against him, slowly raising up. “Room? What room?”
He shook his head. Her face was in shadows, but he was close enough to smell her skin, to feel her heat, and to know that it would take the barest shift in her body for him to be embedded within her again.
“I’ll explain the day after tomorrow.”
“Will we meet here tomorrow night again?”
He swallowed. How could he refuse her? Then suddenly her face crumpled and she drew back. “Oh no, I can’t. I’d forgotten that Megan wants to sort dresses. That will take all afternoon and then she always wants to talk until late.”
“Yes. We look for rips and stains and the like. Then we start talking about the balls we wore the gowns to, about what happened and who said what.” She shrugged, the movement sending currents of fire along his body. “It’s silly, but it’s fun.”
“But not as fun as this?” he asked.
She grinned as she twisted. “Not even close.” Then she kissed him. It was an impetuous movement, wild and quick. But he caught her and held her close. Then he deepened the kiss.
The deed was done already. There was no further harm in making sure she remembered this night. So he kissed her. And while he did, he worked his hands between her thighs. She opened easily for him, her breath already growing tight.
By the time the night was done, she would know the feel of every part of him inside her. After all, she already had his heart. Why not give her all?
“Will?” she whispered between kisses.
“There’s more, isn’t there?”
He grinned. “Lie back, Jo. Let me show you a little more.”