Wed at Leisure

Free Wed at Leisure by Sabrina Darby

Book: Wed at Leisure by Sabrina Darby Read Free Book Online
Authors: Sabrina Darby
idea. But, of course, Kate clung to the notion that he hated her, pursued her as a form of torment. “Catherine.”
    She let out her breath in a shuddering sigh and looked away. “No? Charity, then? A way to assuage your guilt?” But her words lacked conviction. Did she see then, in his visage, what he had no words to say?
    He reached out, cupped her cheek in his hand, and tilted her head back to face him. She stared. Then blinked, tears welling in her eyes. Her skin was achingly soft beneath his fingers and he moved his thumb to run the pad along the line of her lips. He knew he was taking a liberty, that the scandal of him being here, on the threshold of her bedroom, touching her so intimately, would rival or exceed that of her sister’s, but none of that mattered. He wanted to kiss her, and he would, here or in plain view of all the guests, propriety be dammed. No, propriety was not what stopped him.
    “Why does it matter to you so much? Your sister. Marrying first.”

 

C HAPTER T WELVE
----
    S he could almost smell the damp earth by the river, hear the rushing of the water, feel the need to scream out those emotions the way she hadn’t since she was twelve. Speaking of weakness gave others power. Made her worry forever after how it would be used against her. And then he had. Perhaps not directly, but by agreeing to aid her sister to undermine Kate’s desires.
    Now, here, his skin burning hers, he pressed for more. How could she explain when acknowledging the reason made her feel small and petty? And why should she?
    But he was stroking her lip, slowly, almost idly, as if he barely knew what he did while he waited for her answer. But she knew. Where he touched, she tingled, and everywhere else seemed to melt away with delight at the sensation. She reached up and grasped his hand, intent on stopping its motion. But then, feeling the texture of his skin under hers, the fine hairs that tapered down to the back of his hands, her desire changed. She pressed her lips firmly against the thumb she had stilled, turning her prior passivity into a kiss.
    She heard the sharp intake of his breath and understood what it meant, the truth of his words that she had denied. He did desire her. That much was no game. Could she then make him feel that same trembling heat? Was this what the other girls had talked about? Whispered and giggled about in the false privacy of retiring rooms?
    She explored his skin, peeking at his expression even as she tentatively tasted him with the tip of her tongue.
    His eyes closed. “By God, Kate,” he said on a groan that sent pleasure unfurling through her body. She licked again, reveling in the ability to seemingly make him as dizzy with desire as he had made her the day before. And then again. And then—
    Then his hands were on her waist, his mouth on hers, and the world spun. She knew dimly that he was in her room, the door shut behind them. That this was improper and unwise. That his attention was anything but honorable. But what mattered more was the sensation of him kissing her, lips, teeth, tongue, everything making her feel a way she had never even imagined before.
    From the man who knew her darkest places and yet still wanted her. She wanted this. Wanted to be wanted. Needed it.
    Everyone else had abandoned her. As if doing her bidding were a substitute for love or proof of it.
    Cool air bathed her face and she reached for his heat blindly. Until he slid a wet thumb across her cheek and she realized once again she was crying. In front of him. The emotions kept switching so fast, they exhausted her.
    “Kate,” he said, and the gentleness of his tone made the tears come faster and the emotion more raw. She broke away from him to turn her face, to hide.
    “You shouldn’t be here.”
    “And you shouldn’t be alone.”
    She whirled back around. “In my room? Certainly I should be.”
    He laughed, shaking his head. “No, I mean, your sister was thoughtless.”
    “She knew exactly what

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