A #free short story… I’ll be telling it here, and it can also now be downloaded from Amazon.
© Copyright Jane Lark; Publishing rights owned by Harper Impulse; Harper Collins UK
Capturing the Earl’s Love
A Historical Romance story
Note – today’s episode is a little hot 😉
Carrying the tension which had been gripping him all day, Rupert walked into Meredith’s bedchamber, wearing only a silk dressing gown. He still could not quite believe this was real. It felt like a nightmare, one from which any moment he might wake. But she was there, in the countess’s bedchamber, which connected to his rooms via a private door. She was in bed, awake, but silent.
She wore a nightgown, which he could see above the top of the sheets. It was buttoned right up to her chin, and also at her wrists, hiding almost every inch of her. Her hands gripped the covers and held them over her chest as she sat up. Her loose hair fell in a glorious waterfall of amber, tumbling over her shoulders, caressing both the covers and the pillow behind her as she moved.
Something clasped heavy and firm in his stomach and gripped at his groin. He might not wish her for his wife, but he would have no trouble consummating the match, no trouble at all.
“Meredith.” He’d said little more than that to her all day. He was not willing to make this marriage easy for her, and nor was he going to let her avoid her duty. She had forced him to take her as his wife, so now she must fulfill all the expectations of that role.
He moved forward, leaving the candles burning to add to his pleasure, and her discomfort. He felt no charity for her. She had brought this on herself.
“I… I’m… s…sorry.”
“It is far too late for that.”
“I have no wish to hear anything you have to say, Meredith. So pray, do not speak. I have only come to consummate the match.”
Her mouth formed an “O” and then shifted to a pout as he undid the sash at his waist.
When he shrugged off his dressing gown, her gaze dropped, as did her jaw.
He was still not inclined to be kind, and he hadn’t realised, until this moment, that is was possible to be intensely angry with someone and yet intensely attracted to them, too. That hair… “Let the covers go.”
She did. They fell to her waist, only revealing more of her nightgown.
She looked nervous and scared as she climbed off the bed and then stood before him. All he could see of her body was her hands, her face and her toes. Her thick linen nightgown hid all else.
He met her gaze and stepped forwards, his eyes holding on to the blue as his fingers began working loose the buttons at her front, starting at her chin and moving down.
She was shaking. She bit her lip and her eyes dropped to stare at his Adam’s apple. His gaze dropped to watch each button slip free and the material begin to gape. Her skin was as pale as cream; it had not one single blemish, and her hair glowed in the candlelight, a striking contrast to her pale complexion.
The pulse in his groin intensified, and he was fully erect, while something equally hard tightened in his chest.
Yes, he had no issue with consummating this marriage. He wouldn’t lie to himself any more, he had been physically attracted to her ever since Rowena had introduced her. This was the only part of his life which would be a pleasure from now onwards. He had wanted a comfortable marriage; he would make this it. He may not like her, but he wanted her.
When her nightgown was loose, he brushed it off her shoulders and it dropped to the floor, leaving her naked.
His fingers slipped into her hair, and, cradling her nape, he brought her mouth to his, and kissed her, open-mouthed. She kissed him back, brushing her tongue past his lips.
She knew how to kiss, then. Lord, he hoped she was not loose. He did not want a wife who would cuckold him. Still, it hardly mattered now. She was the wife he had, for better or for worse.
His hands moved, running over her body. He’d thought her thinner than she was. She had wide hips, flesh a man could grasp. He clasped her buttocks as he kissed her. She did not seem at all shocked, or afraid, not now. She pressed against him with more confidence than he’d imagined she would have. Perhaps it was the bravado he had always seen in her returning. Perhaps she did not care if he liked her or not, as long as she had what she wanted. At the moment, he did not particularly care whether he liked her or not, either. He liked this…
His hand gripped her breast, and she arched, pressing it into his hand. Her breast had an exquisite pert tilt, which made her tight nipple stand proud. He caressed it with his thumb as her tongue weaved about his, not compliant, but hungry. She was not merely permitting his kiss and his caresses, but clearly taking pleasure in them – proving that, her hand moved from where it had gripped his shoulder, falling to his groin, and then she clasped him.
Lord, she would unman him in a moment. He’d had no mistress for a year; he had not thought it right to have one when Rowena had come out.
His kiss became more ardent, his tongue pressing deep into Meredith’s mouth as her fingers worked in tight swift strokes. He ought to care that she knew a man’s body far too well, he ought to be angry. But the anger had gone from him. There was no room in his head for thoughts; it was swamped with sensation.
“Meredith…” he said into her mouth as his fingers gripped in her hair and at her breast, then his tongue fenced with hers as she fought him for who would invade whose mouth.
Panting and ravenous, he backed her towards the bed, and then they tumbled.
He could be slow and take his time, but he was not inclined for that. He had abstained for far too long. He just wanted quick, urgent relief, and she was his wife; he could have what he wished.
Within moments her legs were braced open by his, and he was looking down at her, holding steady in the single second before he plunged.
Her gaze shone with heat, but there was also fear there again, and when he was inside her, deep inside her, he saw a flash of pain, having burst through the brief restriction of her maidenhead.
She had been a virgin. She was untouched by any other man, in this way.
There was a deep sudden feeling of relief as he watched her bite her lip. She might have toyed with other men, but she’d kept herself whole for the marriage bed. He began moving, slowly at first, steadily.
She held his gaze for a little while, lying still and looking up at him as he pressed all the weight of his upper body on to his hands, so he might work with more skill.
His heart was thumping and he suddenly had an intense desire to ensure she was as pleased by this as he would be, and he knew he would be. He increased his pace.
She began moving, lifting her hips, and using muscles in her stomach which he could feel tightening inside her.
As he pressed in, she pressed up, and it became a battle between them — no, not a battle, more like a country dance where each step counterbalanced the other.
Lord, Lord. She was fiery hot.
Still holding her gaze, he smiled gently, with closed lips.
She smiled back, responding, as his pace became more aggressive. He entered her with firm, fast, deep strokes. Then he was kissing her hair, her face, biting at her lip, nuzzling her neck and nipping at her shoulder.
Her fingers clawed into his back, cutting through his skin, and her panting rang on the still air in the bedchamber.
“No, stop,” she cried towards the end, as her head pressed back into the mattress and her eyes closed. She bit her lip, but then her mouth fell open and a rush of warmth flooded about his intrusion, while he felt a spasm claw at him to stay in her heat.
Conceding, he reached his end and pressed deep, relinquishing himself inside her.
Her fingers clung to his back, holding him close.
Capturing The Earl’s Love is the story of two of the secondary characters from the 1st book in
the Marlow Intrigues Series
‘The Illicit Love of a Courtesan’
The Lost Love of Soldier
The prequel to The Illicit Love of a Courtesan
is available to pre-order
Go to the index
- the story of the real courtesan who inspired The Illicit Love of a Courtesan,
- another free short story, about characters from book #2, A Lord’s Scandalous Love,
- the prequel excerpts for book #3 The Scandalous Love of a Duke
Jane Lark is a writer of authentic, passionate and emotional Historical and New Adult Romance stories, and the author of a No.1 bestselling Historical Romance novel in America, ‘The Illicit Love of a Courtesan’.
Click here to find out more about Jane’s books, and see Jane’s website www.janelark.co.uk to learn more about Jane. Or click ‘like’ on Jane’s Facebook page to see photo’s and learn historical facts from the Georgian, Regency and Victorian eras, which Jane publishes there. You can also follow Jane on twitter at @janelark
Jane’s books can be ordered from most booksellers in paperback