Devil in Winter Page 81

Sebastian rose over her, his eyes glittering in his shadowed face. She moved to welcome him, opening her legs, sliding her arms around the powerful length of his back. He nudged inside her swollen flesh, filling her completely. As his mouth came to her ear, she could hardly hear his whisper over the thumping of her heart.

“Evie,” came his dark voice, “I want something from you…I want you to come one more time.”

“No,” she said weakly.

“Yes. I need to feel you come around me.”

Her head rolled in a slow, negative shake across the pillow. “I can’t…I can’t…”

“Yes, you can. I’ll help you.” His hand drifted along her body to the place where they were joined. “Let me deeper inside you…deeper…”

She moaned helplessly as she felt his fingertips on her sex, skillfully manipulating her spent nerves. Suddenly she felt him sliding even farther as her excited body opened to accept him. “Mmm…” he crooned. “Yes, that’s it…ah, love, you’re so sweet…”

He settled between her bent knees, into the cradle of her hips, driving hard and sure inside her. She encompassed him with her arms and legs, and buried her face in his hot throat, and cried out one last time, her flesh pulsing and tightening to bring him to shattering fulfillment. He shook in her arms, and clenched his hands into the warm spill of her hair as he gave himself over to her completely, worshipping her with every part of his body and spirit.

When Evie awakened alone in the large bed, the first thing she beheld was a scattering of pale pink splashes over the snowy white linens, as if someone had spilled blush-colored wine in bed. Blinking sleepily, she propped herself up on one elbow and touched one of the pink dabs with a single fingertip. It was a creamy pink rose petal, pulled free of a blossom and gently dropped to the sheet. Gazing around her, she discovered that rose petals had been sprinkled over her in a light rain. A smile curved her lips, and she lay back into the fragrant bed.

The night of heady sensuality seemed to have been part of some prolonged erotic dream. She could hardly believe the things that she had allowed Sebastian to do, the intimacies that she had never imagined were possible. And in the drowsy aftermath of their passion, he had cradled her against his chest and they had talked for what seemed to be hours. She had even told him the story of the night when she and Annabelle and the Bowman sisters had become friends, sitting in a row of chairs at a ball. “We made up a list of potential suitors and wrote it on our empty dance cards,” Evie had told him. “Lord Westcliff was at the top of the list, of course. But you were at the bottom, because you were obviously not the marrying kind.”

Sebastian had laughed huskily, tangling his bare legs intimately with hers. “I was waiting for you to ask me.”

“You never spared me a glance,” Evie had replied wryly. “You weren’t the sort of man to dance with wallflowers.”

Sebastian had smoothed her hair, and was silent for a moment. “No, I wasn’t,” he had admitted. “I was a fool not to have noticed you. If I had bothered to spend just five minutes in your company, you’d never have escaped me.” He had proceeded to seduce her as if she were still a virginal wallflower, coaxing her to let him make love to her by slow degrees, until he was finally sheathed in her trembling body.

Remembering the hours of searing tenderness, Evie dreamily performed her morning ablutions and dressed in a gown of silk-lined wool. She went downstairs to find Sebastian, who was most likely in the club office, poring over the previous evening’s receipts. The club was empty save for the employees who were cleaning it for the coming evening, and the contractors who were busy laying new carpet and painting woodwork.

Entering the office, Evie found Sebastian and Cam on opposite sides of the desk. They both mulled over account ledgers, scratching out some entries with freshly inked pens, and making notations beside the long columns. Both men looked up as she crossed the threshold. Evie met Sebastian’s gaze only briefly; she found it hard to maintain her composure around him after the intimacy of the previous night. He paused in mid-sentence as he stared at her, seeming to forget what he had been saying to Cam. It seemed that neither of them was yet comfortable with feelings that were still too new and powerful. Murmuring good morning to them both, she bid them to remain seated, and she went to stand beside Sebastian’s chair.

“Have you breakfasted yet, my lord?” she asked.

Sebastian shook his head, a smile glinting in his eyes. “Not yet.”

“I’ll go to the kitchen and see what is to be had.”

“Stay a moment,” he urged. “We’re almost finished.”

As the two men discussed a few last points of business, which pertained to a potential investment in a proposed shopping bazaar to be constructed on St. James Street, Sebastian picked up Evie’s hand, which was resting on the desk. Absently he drew the backs of her fingers against the edge of his jaw and his ear while contemplating the written proposal on the desk before him. Although Sebastian was not aware of what the casual familiarity of the gesture revealed, Evie felt her color rise as she met Cam’s gaze over her husband’s downbent head. The boy sent her a glance of mock reproof, like that of a nursemaid who had caught two children playing a kissing game, and he grinned as her blush heightened further.

Oblivious to the byplay, Sebastian handed the proposal to Cam, who sobered instantly. “I don’t like the looks of this,” Sebastian commented. “It’s doubtful there will be enough business in the area to sustain an entire bazaar, especially at those rents. I suspect within a year it will turn into a white elephant.”

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