Captive Bride

Free Captive Bride by Bonnie Dee

Book: Captive Bride by Bonnie Dee Read Free Book Online
Authors: Bonnie Dee
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    Her first impression had been that he was ugly—
    huge and gangly with eerie transparent eyes. But when he’d smiled at her, lights danced across those blue eyes like sparkles on a river, and she’d seen beauty in his unfamiliar features. How could anyone with a smile that warm be evil or untrustworthy? After she got over her initial fear, she even found the man’s size appealing and powerfully masculine. Fireflies flitted and glowed in her stomach whenever their eyes met.

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    Captive Bride
    In the kitchen, when he wasn’t looking, she’d studied him. His hair was light brown with strands of gold and copper running through it. It reminded her of colorful autumn leaves and she wondered if it was as soft as fine silk. Would it feel cool or warm sifting between her fingers?
    In the parlor, she’d had only a glimpse of him in the lamplight, reading a book, but she’d noticed his boots were off and one of his socks had a hole in the bottom. She would darn it for him. The idea of caring for his house, his clothing, his personal items, struck her as very intimate, almost wifely, and inappropriate for a single woman. But she must earn her keep, and part of her was happy to serve him, pleased to tend to a man who so clearly needed to be taken care of.
    And even as she’d feared him coming to her room tonight and demanding sexual payment for his help, a small part of her had been disappointed when he walked past her door.
    Such a shameless woman she’d become. She couldn’t rein in her galloping mind, which kept racing toward ideas Madam Teng had planted in it, ideas about what a man and woman did together in bed, astonishingly intimate acts performed with mouth and hands and sexual organs. What would Alan Somma’s large hands feel like touching her body? What would he look like without clothes on? Her insides turned to warm liquid at the thought.
    Huiann gripped the blanket tighter and pushed her face into the flat pillow, the smell of cheap cotton filling her nostrils. She squeezed her eyes shut, trying to erase the erotic images from her mind, but Madam Bonnie Dee
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    Teng’s voice continued to instruct her even though the woman was far away.
    Her whirling thoughts finally settled as exhaustion overtook her. At last, she fell into a light doze, but even in her sleep she listened for Alan Somma’s boots on the stairs and didn’t fall sound asleep until she heard him return to the house.
    The next morning Huiann woke with a stiff back and a full bladder. The pink light of early morning shone through her window. She rose, relieved herself in the chamber pot, dressed in yesterday’s clothes and opened the door of the room. Her heart lifted at her ability to perform the simple act of turning the knob after days of captivity. No locks. No bars on the window. She was a free woman. Or as free as she could be in a foreign country with no money and no way to cross the ocean and return to her family.
    She walked down the steps and halted at the foot of the staircase. Alan Somma stood at the kitchen sink, washing himself. He was shirtless, his back to her as he rinsed off the soap on his face and chest. She stared at the bumpy ridge of his spine, the muscles flowing in his shoulders and arms as he splashed himself with water. The pale canvas of his back was marked by a few constellations of small dark moles sprinkled across it. She wanted to connect the dots with her fingertip. His skin would feel warm beneath her hand.
    Huiann inhaled. The small sound caught his attention and he turned to look toward her, his face and chest dripping with water, slick, sleek, glistening.
    Something ancient and primal awoke and stirred within her— fenghuang, the phoenix, her yin to his 70
    Captive Bride
    powerful yang embodied by a dragon. She swallowed and looked away from his nipples.
    Alan Somma made a surprised sound and grabbed his shirt, which was draped over the back of one of the chairs. He slipped his arms into it, while she

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