Devil in Winter Page 43

Sebastian focused on her with an alert gaze. “I wasn’t.”

“Don’t lie,” Evie said, while their mutual fury seethed in the air. “I know you were.”

“Why are you so bloody certain?”

“Because you stayed at Madam Bradshaw’s for more than two hours!”

“I was talking about business. Talking, Evie! If you don’t believe that, then you can go to hell. Because if I had slept with someone, I guarantee you that I would be a lot more relaxed than I am now.”

Staring into Sebastian’s eyes, which were as hard as a frozen pond, Evie felt her outrage begin to drain away. She had no choice but to believe him—his offended anger was obvious.

“Oh,” she muttered.

“Oh? That’s all you have to say?”

“I suppose…I shouldn’t have jumped to conclusions. But knowing what I do of your past…I assumed…”

Her lame attempt at an apology seemed to erode the remnants of Sebastian’s self-control. “Well, your assumption was wrong! If you haven’t yet noticed, I’m busier than the devil in a high wind, every minute of the day. I don’t have the damned time for a tumble. And if I did—” He stopped abruptly. All semblance of the elegant viscount Evie had once watched from afar in Lord Westcliff’s drawing room had vanished. He was rumpled and bruised and furious. And he wasn’t breathing at all well. “If I did—” He broke off again, a flush crossing the crests of his cheeks and the bridge of his nose.

Evie saw the exact moment when his self-restraint snapped. Alarm jolted through her, and she lurched toward the closed door. Before she had even made a step, she found herself seized and pinned against the wall by his body and hands. The smell of sweat-dampened linen and healthy, aroused male filled her nostrils.

Once he had caught her, Sebastian pressed his parted lips against the thin skin of her temple. His breath snagged. Another moment of stillness. Evie felt the electrifying touch of his tongue at the very tip of her eyebrow. He breathed against the tiny wet spot, a waft of hellfire that sent chills through her entire body. Slowly he brought his mouth to her ear, and traced the intricate inner edges.

His whisper seemed to come from the darkest recesses of her own mind. “If I did, Evie…then by now I would have shredded your clothes with my hands and teeth until you were naked. By now I would have pushed you down to the carpet, and put my hands beneath your br**sts and lifted them up to my mouth. I would be kissing them…licking them…until the tips were like hard little berries, and then I would bite them so gently…”

Evie felt herself drift into a slow half swoon as he continued in a ragged murmur. “…I would kiss my way down to your thighs…inch by inch…and when I reached those sweet red curls, I would lick through them, deeper and deeper, until I found the little pearl of your clitoris…and I would rest my tongue on it until I felt it throb. I would circle it, and stroke it…I’d lick until you started to beg. And then I would suck you. But not hard. I wouldn’t be that kind. I would do it so lightly, so tenderly, that you would start screaming with the need to come…I would put my tongue inside you…taste you…eat you. I wouldn’t stop until your entire body was wet and shaking. And when I had tortured you enough, I would open your legs and come inside you, and take you…take you…”

Sebastian stopped, anchoring her against the wall while they both remained frozen, aroused, panting.

At length, he spoke in a nearly inaudible voice. “You’re wet, aren’t you?”

Had it been physically possible to blush any harder, Evie would have. Her skin burned with violated modesty as she understood what he was asking. She tipped her chin in the tiniest of nods.

“I want you more than I’ve ever wanted anything on this earth.” Sebastian took a shivering breath. “Tell me what I have to do to get you. Tell me what it will take for you to let me into your bed.”

Evie pushed at him helplessly, unable to dislodge the stimulating weight of his body. “Th-there is nothing you could do. Because I would want the one thing you couldn’t give. I would want you to be faithful to me, and you could never do that.”

“I could.” But the assertion came too easily. It reeked of insincerity.

“I don’t think so,” she whispered.

His long hands cupped her face, his thumbs running over the curves of her cheeks. His mouth was just above hers as he spoke. “Evie…I can’t hold to our agreement. I can’t live with you, see you every day, and not have you. I can’t…” Feeling the little tremors that ran through her body, he dipped his head and kissed the side of her throat. Her senses responded to the persuasive heat of his mouth, so erotic and tender…the searching fingers that slid over the curve of her breast.

Hearing her muffled whimper, he took her mouth in a consuming kiss. Feebly she turned her face away, her lips tingling from the exquisite friction. “No, Sebastian.”

He rubbed his face against her hair and the top of her head. Something about the situation, or his own reaction to it, must have struck a chord of humor, for he let out a soft, sardonic laugh. “You’ll have to think of a way to solve this, Evie. Think of something fast…because otherwise…” Hepaused to nip hungrily at her ear, “…otherwise I’m about to screw you senseless.”

Her eyes flew open. “That word—” she began indignantly, and he silenced her with a hard kiss.

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