Improper pleasures the p.., p.12

Improper Pleasures (The Pleasure Series), page 12


Improper Pleasures (The Pleasure Series)

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  When she felt the covers move, she shifted, lifting a knee, slightly parting her legs as she would in restless sleep. He crawled in beside her on the opposite side of the bed. His hip brushed hers and the intense heat of his body assured her he was naked. Before she could tame the fluttering in her stomach of having a large naked man in her bed, he gathered her in his arms. His erection nestled at the apex of her thighs. Her breasts pressed against his ungiving chest. She gasped and opened her eyes.

  James’s face hovered near hers, his blue eyes dark and hungry in the shadowed light. He buried his fingers in her loose hair, holding her still for the hard press of his mouth. Astra parted her lips, inviting his tongue and welcoming his purely carnal assault. James slid an arm beneath her, slipping his hand to cup her bottom while he pulled her more snuggly against his erection. The thin silk gown provided little barrier, in fact, was intoxicating as it magnified the urgency of his arousal. He forcefully thrust against the silk fabric as his fingers kneaded her backside with a rhythmic coaxing. Astra draped an ankle over his bare calf and arched her hips into his. Her sex pulsed liquid hot pleasure, but she wanted more. Needed more.

  He moaned into her mouth and matched her body’s desperate plea with a powerful answering thrust. Not breaking the maddening kiss, he rolled her over on to her back. He shoved the thin gown to her waist and slid his hard cock against her slick female folds. The movement bumped the sensitive spot hidden at the top of her sex. She gasped and gripped his shoulders. Her feet braced on the bed. Never had she been so controlled by her body. Her mind could not keep up. She bucked against him, angling her hips to force his entry. He pulled back from her reach. Astra heard her own desperate pants and his soft husky laughter. In his own sweet time, he coated his length with her wet heat, once again massaging the tangle of nerves that sent waves of lust rippling through body.

  “Oh, James.” Astra didn’t recognize her voice or the woman that wantonly pressed against him. Her sex clenched tightly. She ached for him. “Please.”

  “Do you want me as much as I want you, Astra?” He trailed wet kisses from under her jaw to the hollow at the base of her neck. The rasp in his deep voice made her body tighten another painful notch. His large hand covered her breast through the silk, kneading her roughly. The heat from his palm and the brush of fabric proved maddening.

  She willed him to take her swiftly, to end her sweet agony. Instead, he lifted away from her. He was poised above her, looking down at her face.

  “Tell me you want me.” His breathing was heavy, as if he’d been running fast. Astra could not find the words he wanted. Instead, she tangled her fingers in his hair and rose up to kiss him on the mouth. He immediately deepened the kiss, entwining his tongue with hers.

  Astra tore her mouth away from his to catch her breath, but he only kissed the side of her neck with just as much fervor, dragging his lips along her collar bone. He slipped the strap of her gown off her shoulder, pushed it down and swirled his tongue around her nipple. He had begun to suck and nip, sending shards of pleasure straight to her sex. She needed him to fill her, touch her pulsing center.

  “James.” She said his name again in a desperate plea, unable to tell him exactly what she wanted. It vaguely occurred to her that she should be pleasing him, after all that’s what a mistress did, but he switched to her other nipple and rational thought was lost.

  “Tell me you want me,” he repeated in-between ravishing her breasts. Finally, he slid a single finger inside her feverish body and Astra gasped at the pleasure. She could not stop herself from riding his testing probe, desperate for more. He eased another finger inside her, sliding in and out with purposeful rhythm. Astra’s body took over, thrusting against his hand. He found her secret spot with his thumb and only a few passes persuaded her body to tighten, hovering on the brink of release.

  She pushed on his shoulders, shocked and slightly embarrassed by her quick arousal. She was supposed to be doing this to him, making him the one to quiver with desire.

  “James, please.”

  “Please what?” He quickened his pace, his fingers rocking her with passionate intent.

  She shoved at his shoulders again. “Stop, James. Please.”

  He instantly pulled away to look at her face.

  “Am I hurting you?” He swallowed hard to speak his strained words. “You seemed to be enjoying it.”

  “That’s the problem. I’m supposed to be pleasing you.”

  A lopsided grin lit his face. “Oh, you are.”

  Astra shifted beneath him, determined to check for herself. She wrapped her fingers around him, relieved that some things were impossible to forget, like the solid feel of a man in the palm of her hand. Yes, he had definitely been enjoying the exchange. His cock was thick and hot. She tightened her grip and grazed his length.

  James closed his eyes, remaining poised above her on his elbows. His breathing grew ragged and he shuddered. “Astra,” he huskily whispered. “I’m too wound up for this.” He grabbed her wrist, stilling her movements. “Though…” The laugh in his voice was like a new caress. “You are doing a fine job in carrying out your duties as mistress so far.”

  Astra released him, determined to become his lover tonight. “Then, sir, it is time for you to do yours. I want you. Make love to me.” Though her own words shocked her, her efforts were instantly rewarded when he swiftly reached for her gown. Astra shifted, helped him pull the white silk over her head, their movements in harmony. She lay back on the bed, ready to return to the mindless tug of her own need, and hopefully his. There would be no mistakes tonight. He would not find her lacking in the harsh light of day. This time, she’d make sure of it.

  He paused above her, his weight on his knees between her spread legs.

  She rested her hands on his hips to encourage him to continue. Instead, his gaze roamed her body. Astra had the urge to shift. She was far from voluptuous and his hesitation ignited fears that he might find her lacking, though nothing in his suddenly serious expression hinted at that. Astra studied him to keep her own nerves in check.

  His shoulders were broad and in the firelight, she noticed a few nicks and white scars across his chest. Without clothes, she could see he was not as heavy as she suspected but deceptively lean and sinewy, but his broad, heavily muscled shoulders made him appear massive. She dropped her gaze to his determined arousal that if anything had grown, not slackened. She let her hands drift over his hips and down his thighs and up the front, inching closer to stroking him again. Perhaps that was what he was waiting for.

  He placed his palms over her hands halting her progress. He leaned over and kissed her gently on the lips. Astra had the sinking fear he had changed his mind. Something definitely seemed to be troubling him.

  “I have a sheath in the pocket of my robe, to keep you from conceiving, but I don’t want to use it. It might be uncomfortable for you. I’ll pull out instead, if that’s all right?”

  She smiled at him with relief. “I trust your judgment, James.”

  He leaned down and kissed her again, slowly, coaxingly, almost lovingly. She stopped the flutter in her heart at that thought, focusing on the stirring in her lower belly instead.

  He stretched out on top of her, bracing his weight on his forearms and knees that he planted between her spread legs. He covered her mouth again. The hard head of his cock tested her wet passage. Swiftly he changed his position, sliding down until their bodies pressed more fully, using his powerful legs to spread her own further apart.

  He sunk into her deeper. The fullness bordering on discomfort surprised her. She was told coupling wasn’t supposed to hurt after the first time. When he pushed forward with determination, she sucked in her breath and stiffened. He withdrew slightly, then gently nudged past the tightness of her body with small teasing thrusts. The light open-mouthed kisses he dropped on her neck were like a brand of fire. He trembled slightly under her hands on his slick shoulders. Soon she grew accustomed to his size and the shallow rhythm becam
e torture. She tried to arch up and take more of him but he pulled back. She felt his grin in his kisses that were as gentle as his thrusts.

  Astra wrapped her arms around his neck, wanting the return of his unbridled passion. He pulled his mouth from hers and she felt his heavy breaths against her ear as he quickened his thrusts. His teasing pace wasn’t easy for him either. Astra slipped her hands along his ribs and across his tight flank. She tightened her grip, urging him on.

  “Wrap your legs around my hips.”

  Astra slid her feet around his lower back. The position forced her to tilt her hips, opening more fully to him. On his next thrust, he slid all the way inside her, filling her, his body melding with hers in complete union.

  He stayed nestled against her, arching his hips in a way that nudged against the highly sensitive spot hidden by the folds of her sex. He pulled back and surged forward with the same movement. The burst of pleasure left Astra mindless with each impact, and she arched her hips to meet his next thrust. James filled her senses and her body, and she was desperate for more of him.

  As if sensing her need, he covered her mouth with his as his movements became deeper, more powerful. His tongue took control of her mouth as his cock had her body. She was a single sensation and it was James.

  Erotic waves coursed from their connection. Astra forgot to breathe as every muscle in her body tightened. Her sex clenched in a deluge of spasms. She could not stop her hoarse cry of pleasure.

  James broke the kiss but remained poised above her completely still. Before she recovered from the throws of her release, James fell back on his knees. Astra opened her eyes, gasping at his abrupt withdrawal. She had made a mistake. Her own pleasure had taken over.

  She forced herself up onto her elbows to find James on his knees between her spread legs. His eyes were closed, his head bent. He gripped his engorged cock and appeared to be in pain.

  “I’m sorry. What did I do wrong?”

  She touched his cheek and he flinched. He shuddered with his release, spilling his hot seed across her breasts and stomach. He groaned in the back of his throat, an animal sound that made her shiver. He was vulnerable, completely unaware of anything but his own crippling orgasm. And in that moment, Astra felt more powerful than she ever had in her life. She had brought him to this. She, Astra Seabrook Keane, was sincerely desirable.

  He gasped for breath then opened his eyes, meeting her gaze. Instantly, he dropped his and crawled on top of her, kissing her neck and snuggling against her. He used his hand to wipe away the evidence of his release. She gripped his arm to stop him and she grinned at him as Eve must have at Adam, silently letting him know she enjoyed sharing his lust. In an act of pure instinct, she guided his hand to her mouth, kissed his knuckles, licked his palm. He shuddered then gathered her into his arms and curled around her.

  “Sorry, ‘bout that. I couldn’t hold out. I couldn’t stay inside you a moment longer.” He nuzzled the side of her neck. “When you came, you drove me over the edge.”

  “Oh, was I not supposed to do that?” Astra felt suddenly guilty. Had she failed at being a mistress already? Perhaps she was not supposed to find her release at all, rather only focus on his needs.

  His hand drifted to possessively cup her breast, lazily sliding his thumb over her nipple. Astra tried to stamp down another surge of desire. He seemed spent.

  “You can do anything you like. And I liked that very much.” He sighed and she could hear his breathing even. She feared he was on the verge of falling asleep.

  Though Lark’s nanny rarely woke Astra in the middle of the night, she could not take the chance that her daughter might ask for her. Or worse, and more likely, she too fell asleep and they woke to the light of day sharing a bed. Astra shifted but James had already become immobile. “James,” she said, but received no response. “James,” she said again, nudging him to gain his attention.

  “Hmm?” he mumbled.

  “Would you like to have relations again?”

  He slowly pried his eyes open. “Would you?”

  Actually, she did, but the sleepy film covering his gaze warned that further intimacy seemed unlikely. “I would like to do whatever you would like to do, but you can’t sleep here.”

  He blinked and slowly sat up, all the warmth in the room instantly leaving. “I see. Well you are certainly efficient in your duties, are you not?”

  “My daughter. She might wake in the middle of the night.” Astra shrugged and gave him a shy smile which was completely out of place since they were both naked, sticky with his semen.

  “Oh,” he rubbed his heavy eyelids. “Again, I’m an idiot. The role I seem to play most often with you. I didn’t think.” He slung his arm around her, drawing her near. He kissed the top of her head. Astra pulled him close when he tried to pull away. If she had the right to, she would say that she would love for him to spend the night in her bed, but she knew that would be a mistake. He was not hers to have and to hold. Theirs was a secret, improper affair.

  He lifted her chin and kissed her first gently, then with growing passion. His hands roamed over her curves and he drew her hand down to press her palm around his unbelievably full erection.

  “Oh, so you do want to make love again?” she whispered near his ear.

  He tightened her grip with his hand covering hers and guided her to slowly stroke his length. “No, I just want to torture myself so I can plan for tomorrow. Prepare yourself for my fantasy, woman.”

  “I look forward to it.” Things would be much easier if she longed for James only in the purely physical.

  He had removed his hand from hers, but she continued to stroke him, increasing the pressure and the rhythm, sensing his growing desire by his change in breathing. Abruptly, he gripped her wrist and removed her hand. “Enough or I’ll change my mind. I want you well rested for tomorrow.”

  “I’m intrigued. And a little worried.”

  Though the fire in the grate had dimmed, she could clearly see him stroll around the bed to retrieve his robe. Astra pulled the covers around her, chilled by his departure from her bed and stunned that she could have a naked man parading around her room, his cock stiff and fierce against his flat belly.

  “You should be worried.” He slipped into his robe. “I don’t know what you wear under all those fancy layers, but for tomorrow, less will be better.”

  “So you plan to accost me in the pantry or perhaps the wine cellar?”

  “You’ll see,” he said with a smug smile. Their gazes met and their shared lust flared. James shook his head. “I need to go. Now.”

  He kneeled on the bed and kissed her one last time. “Until tomorrow.”

  He silently left the room and shut the door.

  She lay back on the bed, knowing sleep would not come easily. No doubt she would relive the last hour over and over and over again. “Until tomorrow.”


  James strolled down the long shadowed hall insanely pleased with things. He had suspected his encounter with Astra would be like no other and he was right. Though, he was indeed vastly more experienced, he had been unexpectedly enlightened as well.

  For one, he realized in his previous sexual encounters with women, mostly the disreputable sort, they had feigned more pleasure than they likely felt. Perhaps it was merely the tight fit of Astra’s neglected body that let him experience each spasm of her release like a hard grip on his cock. Though his decision not to use the sheep skin sheath he still had in the pocket of his robe was not the most logical, he knew he could not use it with Astra.

  An unease he couldn’t shake slowed his pace. Astra was a widow with a child, not an innocent. He hated that he constantly had to remind himself of that.

  James rounded the corner that would lead him into the wing of the house that held his suite of rooms.

  Was that smoke?

  He paused at the distinctive smell of something burning, then strode forward, quickening his pace. The fire that had been lit in his room before he’d le
ft should be out by now. Long out. The other rooms surrounding his remained empty, reserved for houseguests he’d been told. His was the only room that would have had a fire that night.

  And he would not have even bothered with a fire at all if not for Melva’s unscheduled visit that evening. In fact, when he’d arrived in his rooms after dinner, he had not even noticed that the coals that usually burned in the grate at night were cold. Sexual anticipation of his scheduled rendezvous with Astra had kept his body temperature quite high. The bouts of pacing that interrupted his attempt to focus on a paper about sheep breeding had not helped his agitated state.

  Melva had shown up at his door with brandy, and her thoughtfulness was not unwelcome. He had wanted a drink before heading to Astra’s bedroom, in fact, but had found his own decanter empty. The maid had hinted at wanting to do more, but she’d finally agreed to leave after she’d lit the fire, adding more coal before she’d departed. But, instead of merely relaxing him, the brandy had made him surprisingly drowsy considering how much he had been anticipating his meeting with Astra. He’d shaken off his surprise, then roused himself and headed to Astra’s rooms shortly after, assuming the fire Melva had lit would simply burn out on its own.

  James turned another corner and was immediately engulfed by thick clouds of smoke. He covered his mouth and nose with the lapel of his robe and sprinted. His first thought was of the servants who lived in the rooms above his. He’d been told by the butler when he complained that his valet was sneaking up on him that there were back stairs for speedy access, but hidden so as not to be intrusive.

  Angry black smoke slithered from beneath the closed door of his room. He immediately reached for the door handle but didn’t register heat that he belatedly expected. Perhaps the fire was small and he could contain it, which might be faster than trying to outrace it to save the servants upstairs.

  The handle didn’t turn. James was almost sure he hadn’t locked the door, though he had seriously contemplated it. The thought had crossed his mind that Melva might return or worse, Mr. Rudd would find him missing and wake the whole house searching high and low for him during his late night visit to Astra’s room.

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