“Yes, it is, my sweet.” Her legs across his thighs, kicking in a counterfeit attempt to escape, disarrayed the nap of the velvet sofa as thoroughly as she disordered his mind when he pulled her head down for their first kiss. In confusion, she twitched sideways, but he was implacable. As soon as their lips touched, she moaned just slightly, and when he tipped her head for a better angle, her rigid posture loosened, and her hand tightened on his shoulder.
Running his fingers up the back of her neck, tangling her hair in his fingers, pulling just hard enough that her mouth opened slightly, he tugged at her lower lip with his teeth and ran his other hand down her arm when she stiffened at the touch of his tongue on hers.
“You haven’t kissed like this before?”
She shook her head slightly.
While he contemplated, in a bit of a daze, what she might or might not know, she finally said, “I obviously know how… babies… are made and it isn’t meant to be… er… titillating, except in penny dreadfuls, and certainly not in the Bible.”
He was appalled at Huntleigh. Absolutely appalled. Perhaps it was a question of generation, or the man’s overblown sense of piety, but it was inexcusable. Nick had assumed a sailor would have been taken in hand by a whore at some point to learn how to satisfy his wife, but apparently not an Anglican sailor. It was incomprehensible some randy Frenchman or Latin lover hadn’t seduced her years past. Still, it worked to his advantage. Husband or no, Bella was as close to virginal as any experienced married woman could be. No wonder she still blushed.
“But it is… different… with you than with Myron. I wonder if it might not be so… if it might be… different.”
She shook her head, hid her face in one hand, put up the other as though she would erase her words from an invisible slate.
“Oh, never mind. Just kiss me. Please? You can do… that thing… if you want,” she pleaded behind her hands in a way that made the hair on the back of his neck stand on end. He sat back to put at least a few inches of space between them, and placed his hands on the cushions.
When she peeked through her fingers to find him watching so closely, he said quietly, “I think, my dear, you can count on me being different from your husband if he has neglected the appropriate titillation—beginning with the passionate kiss. There’s nothing to be afraid of. It just takes getting used to. I think you’ll like it if you let me.” He gently separated her hands from her face, curling them into his, rubbing her palms with his thumbs.
She relaxed enough to let him kiss her again very lightly and slowly, warming her lips against his. He let his tongue tip gently explore the crease, rubbing his thumb gently across her downy cheek. Eventually his tongue reached hers, and six lifetimes later, she met him tentatively halfway. Her face and hair were silky under his hands, shoulders and arms loose and supple, kissing him until she was whimpering softly, he turning steadily more demanding until her body was pliant, held tight against him by her will, not his.
He jerked himself back, dragged himself away, his hand on the back of her neck, breathing as though he had run a mile. He had never in his life been this aroused after one kiss. He had never in his life been this aroused.
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