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Richard’s hands slipped beneath the hem of Emerald’s nightdress and grasped her bottom as his lips pressed down on to hers. There was a determination in his hunger for her body. He was still fighting with her, trying to win control. But he would not win that by taking her body because she wanted him to have it. She craved him and the delicious things he did to her as much as he craved her. It was not for him to win when she wanted this too. Yet he was like granite against her tonight. He was still the Richard Farrow he showed to the world, hard as stone and immovable.
His hands slid down to her thighs and lifted her, pulling her legs up about his waist. Then he turned and set her on the table and leant into her as his kiss became more ardent, his tongue entering her mouth. The intensity of his movement forced her to lean back at an awkward angle. Her hands pressed down on the table behind her.
His mouth left hers and she opened her eyes. A smile touched his lips as he began undoing his flap. She saw her Richard shining through in that slight smile. “Richard,” she whispered, looking up at the ceiling as he began using his fingers.
“Emerald, I love you.” His fingers were replaced as his hands clasped the back of her knees and pulled her to the very edge of the table. “I love you to utter distraction, my siren, but if I say things it is for a reason. Remember that. If I ask you to do something do it.”
She looked down and met his gaze. “If it is what I wish to do,” she thrust back, “If it is not, do not ask it of me.”
His lovemaking was like a storm rushing in and it swept at her in overwhelming waves that rose high above her head and crashed over her, forcing her to pay it all of her attention. Then when it was at an end his brow pressed against hers. “Emerald.” He growled and bent his head, then bit her neck lightly, in a playful way. And yet it was not playful, they were still arguing, he still wished her to obey him as everyone else obeyed him.
After he had withdrawn from her he did not secure his flap but picked her up once more and then carried her across the room towards his cabin. “Turn out the lamp,” he whispered.
With one arm about his shoulders, her other hand reached out and flicked the metal shutter down to tamp the flame of the oil lamp beside the door into his cabin.
He pushed the door open and then let it fall shut with a bang behind them as he carried her to the bed. He dropped her on the mattress then straightened up, slid off his braces, and stripped off his shirt, trousers, underwear and stockings.
When he knelt on the bunk to join her there, his eyes held a very dark intensity. He was still angry and the Richard Farrow other people knew, dominating and confident, the man who’d bent an entire world to his will – “thirty or forty,” countries conquered. “I lost count.”
“Take off your nightdress.” Richard commanded Emerald. Today she had angered and enthralled him in equal measures. He helped her pull her nightdress over her head and off her arms then threw it aside on to the floor.
She had stood on the deck, when he had told her she ought to go into her cabin, and let herself be drenched by the rain. The sight of her had been utterly erotic standing there with her arms out as she had made herself a goddess of the rain. The damned woman. But it had not only been him watching.
He was impatient with her and angry still. For defying him and making an exhibition of herself. He was determined she would not do so again. He wanted to enslave and enthrall her – to make her worship him as he worshiped her. It felt as though she had trapped him in a cage and he was was nothing more than her songbird to be admired and played with.
The truth was he’d been jealous of her standing with Philip. It had cut him somewhere in his chest, seeing the two of them so close, heads together. When he knew he could not get as near her as he wished to on the deck. But regardless of why he had told her go to her cabin the point was she could not defy him and make him look a fool before the men.
But he was her fool! He had been making himself so for days now, expressing his love for her when he was uncertain of how deeply that affection was returned. Damn it! No one defied him! Except it seemed the one person in his life who he had opened himself up to. “If it is what I wish to do. If it is not, do not ask it of me.”
Now she lay stripped bare before him, because she chose it, her pale skin making her appear to be made of china in the moonlight pouring through the window behind him. Such a slender, fragile, delicate woman. It was a false image, a lie. Her core was made of stone, resolute and resilient. But that core was why he loved her, because his spirit was drawn to hers. She was like him. That was the issue between them. She was too much like him. Too determined and opinionated.
He was going to seduce her mind tonight not simply her body; teach her what his love could be at its full power. That was what he was going to do, bring her to her knees and make her see that he was what she wanted – that what she wanted was whatever he asked of her.
His hand pressed over her mouth so that any sounds she made would not be heard by those on duty on the poop-deck above them and then he proceeded to show her just how strongly and how possessively he loved her.
By the time he had used her body for the fourth time that night her limbs were heavy and languid as he lay be behind her pressing into her slowly and moving her as he wished, while he kissed her soft shoulder. She groaned and sighed; he still had her drugged from every other position they had shared tonight.
He could not remember any other woman he’d lain with so carelessly letting the pleasure take a hold of them. The women he’d known before feared letting themselves be tossed about on the whim of desire. Even June had never been brave enough to trust and let go of thoughts of appearance. She had been scared of doing something that may have made her look ugly for a moment, or sound embarrassing.
Emerald was a precious jewel and her slender, gentle fingers were gripping about his heart. It felt as though she would crush it sometimes, and crush him. Then the world would fall apart. But tonight he was searing himself into her soul and burning his name on to her heart like a brand.
When she broke, he broke with her and the earth rocked – or perhaps it was merely the ship rocking on the sea. But it shook him to the bones.
The fifth time that he used her body, pressing his brand into her heart, making the most of the last hours of the night, he held her upright sitting astride him as he knelt on his haunches, while she clung to his shoulders half asleep and putting all her weight in his hands. That breaking was dreamlike and again they shared it.
Afterwards he lay behind her holding her close, replete, soothed and gratified as sleep crept of him.
To be continued…
The Marlow Intrigues: Perfect for lovers of period drama, like Victoria and Poldark.
The Lost Love of Soldier ~ The Prequel #1 ~ A Christmas Elopement began it all
Capturing The Love of an Earl ~ A Free Novella #2.5
The Desperate Love of a Lord ~ A second Free Novella #3.5
The Scandalous Love of a Duke #4
The Persuasive Love of a Libertine #5.75 now included in Jealous Love, (or free if you can persuade Amazon to price match with Kobo ebooks) 😉
Jane’s books can be ordered from most booksellers in paperback and, yes, there are more to come
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