Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Jade Lee's Winning a Bride (Part 7) - Free Newsletter Serial


She stroked across his bottom lip, and then he surprised her by sucking her fingertip inside his mouth. She gasped, startled, but loving the feel of his tongue across the pad of her finger.

Catch up with Will and Josephine here >>


Chapter 7

Josephine cried out as his fingers rose to cup her most intimate place. She pushed up on her toes against the tree, feeling both alarmed and awed by what he was doing. No hand had ever touched her there. Not like that.

He stilled, letting her grow accustomed to his presence and in time she exhaled a long, quiet breath. What was she doing? What was he doing? As if he had heard her thoughts, he spoke, his voice low and soothing. “I am showing you the secret known to lucky women. I know it feels invasive, but—”

“How do you know this? How did you learn?”

His expression tightened as if he didn’t want to answer. One of her hands gripped his forearm as if she could hold him steady. She couldn’t, of course, he was too strong. But she tightened her grip and looked him in the eye.

“Please. How did you learn this secret?”

He sighed. “When I was in school, I had a lover. An older woman who liked initiating boys. She taught me what to do. What I am about to show you.”

She took a breath, absorbing what he said as well as the unease she felt at the idea of him with another woman. Of course he’d had other women. After all, that’s what men did. And yet…

“Look at me Josephine,” he said, his voice soft but no less commanding. She obeyed immediately. She looked into the dark wells of his eyes—his face was almost completely in shadow—in her mind, she remembered his bright blue eyes, his strong nose, and angular jaw. But mostly she heard the soothing notes in his voice and the strength of his body. As well as the hard presence of his hand at her sex.

“I’m frightened,” she confessed. “I should not be doing this.”

“Do you trust me?” he asked.

She bit her lip. She wanted to say yes, but they had been at odds for so long…

Before she could answer, he spoke. “I swear to you, Miss Josephine Powel. I swear I shall never lie to you. Ask me anything, and I shall answer honestly as best as I am able.”

She released her breath, feeling the restriction in her chest ease as she voiced her fear. “Is this punishment?”

He reared back in shock. He might have pulled back, but strangely enough, her grip on his forearm kept his hand right where it was.

“Why would you ask that?” he all but growled. “Why would I punish you?”

“Because you hate me. Because my father bought the land from your father. Because…” She shrugged. “Because you are so angry so much of the time.”

“Oh Jo…” He dropped his forehead to hers on a sigh. “No, sweeting, this is not a punishment. It is a seduction.”

“But why?”

He released a tight breath. “Because that is what men do with beautiful women.”

Warmth spread down along her spine, like a sweet wave. It was ridiculous for her to be pleased by such a statement, but she was. She wanted to be beautiful. For him, she wanted to be gorgeous.

Meanwhile, she felt his head shift as he moved his mouth to her ear. “I’m going to show you now,” he said. “Do not be afraid. It will feel wonderful.”

She licked her lips, her breath short and tight. But she still managed a whispered question. “I will stay a virgin?” She’d asked it before, but she needed him to answer again.

“Yes,” he said, his breath heating the air along her ear and sending a shiver down her spine.

“You have not lied? This is something many women know? And do?”

“No lie,” he said. “Just close your eyes, sweeting. Feel what I do.”

He waited a moment longer. For what, she wasn’t sure. Probably to see if she objected. She didn’t. She wanted him to teach her this thing. So she relaxed her grip on his arm. She closed her eyes and opened her body to him. It wasn’t a conscious opening. Merely a relaxation of her fears, but as she leaned back against the tree trunk, his fingers began a gentle movement.

He had four fingers wedged between her thighs. He stepped slightly to her right so that his angle was better. And now he simply wiggled his fingers, pressing up, shifting down, and gently encouraging her to widen her legs.

“I need to touch you more,” he said. “Deeper.”

How much deeper could he go? she wondered. But even as the question formed, she felt the answer. One of his fingers slipped inside her. Not far, but between her folds, and she gasped at the invasion. He was so there. It was just a finger, but sweet heaven, he felt so big.

“Shhh,” he murmured. “Just experience this. Do you feel the wetness here? Men call it honey, but there are many terms. It shows you are ready.”

“Ready?” she gasped.

She felt the wetness. And if she didn’t, he was showing her. He swirled his finger around, making everything down there slick.

“Yes,” he murmured, and she realized he had dropped his mouth from her ear to her neck. She felt his lips along her jaw, the wet of his tongue as it traced the curve of bone and flesh. Soon he was nuzzling her neck, inhaling deeply even as his teeth scraped gently—tantalizingly—across her skin.

Then between her thighs, he pulled his hand back a little. Slowly, he drew his finger through her folds and up. Up!

She must have cried out. She didn’t know. Her consciousness was centered on his finger—thick and rough—as it slid up and back over… over… oh!

“Yes,” he murmured against her skin. “Feel it.”

She had no choice but to feel it, and it was too much! It was… wonderful! And it was… not enough. She grabbed onto his hard upper arm for support, her body shifting and twisting in a way she could not control. And still his finger moved up and back. Up and back. A tension was building in her belly. She couldn’t catch her breath, and all she could hear was the thunder of her heartbeat in her ears.

“I have you, Jo. Let yourself go.”

She tried to speak, but the words came out as a keening cry.

He did not stop. His finger pressed harder, moved faster.

Her belly tightened. Her breath caught, and still the pressure. He rubbed. Faster. Again. Again!

Release! Like an explosion inside her. A detonation of everything in an expanding circle of pleasure.

She rode it. She relished it. She luxuriated in every sweet contraction, content in the knowledge that he was holding her up. She had no strength in her legs at all. Just the sweet, slowly fading contractions deep in her belly.

She tried to hold onto the sensation. But in time it faded. The last pulse seemed to shiver through her body and then it was gone. She sighed in delight and slowly opened her eyes. Even though he was still in shadow, she could see his grin. Like a man well pleased with himself. She reached up and touched his face, gently brushing her fingers along his rough cheek until she ended at his mouth.

She stroked across his bottom lip, and then he surprised her by sucking her fingertip inside his mouth. She gasped, startled, but loving the feel of his tongue across the pad of her finger.

And as she felt his mouth work, she noticed her breasts growing heavy again, her nipples tightening. Clearly, Will was well versed in seduction. He would be an excellent teacher if she allowed herself to slip further into his clutches.

Odd how that thought struck no fear at all in her. And that, more than anything else, showed her how far outside of herself she had gone. After all, for nearly five years she had lived with his hatred. He despised her, or so she’d thought. In truth, looking at his intense eyes now, she believed he burned inside. And she wondered if what she’d taken for disdain was in truth… what? Hunger? Desire? She knew so little of this man even though they’d been meeting at this creek every summer for nearly five years.

She swallowed, trying to come back to herself at least in a small way. But his hand had shifted now to the outside of her bared thigh while between her legs was a wetness that still seemed to need something else. If this was the release from madness, then it was a short joy. Already she wanted more.

“How do you feel now?” His voice had a rough timbre to it that she liked.

“I…” She had no words for the riot of emotion inside. Content. Achy. Sweet. Hungry. How could all of that apply at once?

He pressed a kiss to her forehead. She thought it was meant to be a quick press to her skin, but his mouth lingered there, and his tongue wet a tiny circle.

“Was that…” She tried again to gather her thoughts. “That was sex, wasn’t it?” Of course it was. How ridiculous a question. “I never thought… It was wonderful. That is why men are forever rutting.” She frowned. “But why don’t women do it just as often?” She knew the answer. She was speaking more to give voice to the disjointed thoughts that banged about in her head.

“Because they don’t know the secret of how to do that. And their lovers know even less.”

“But you know. Because that woman taught you.”

He released a sound—half grunt, half growl. “Don’t even think of her. She was nothing. I cannot even remember her face now.”

“You said you would not lie to me.”

He snorted. “’Twasn’t a lie. I was simply one of many, many young boys to her.”

“How could you forget the woman who taught you that? I vow I shall never forget anything about you or tonight.”

She saw him smile at that. A quick flash of white teeth in the dark. “Let us say that I remember what she taught me. And now I have shown you.” Then he flashed those teeth again. “Or at least some of it.”

She latched onto that. Even knowing he was dangling a carrot in front of her, tempting her deeper into scandalous behavior, she still could not stop herself. She wanted to know. “There is more?”

“A great deal more. And none of it will take your virginity.”

She dropped her head back and closed her eyes, trying to convince herself to stop. After all, he had shown her something wonderful. She should be happy with that and leave it alone. More would only endanger everything. After all, what would her parents say if they knew what she was doing? Good lord, the very idea sent a cold chill through her body.

“Jo? Josephine?”

“I have always hated the name Jo,” she said, once again giving voice to only one of her scattered thoughts. “Makes me sound like a boy.”

“I shall remember that.”

She shook her head, still without opening her eyes. “No. When you say it, it sounds sweet somehow.” It sounded more than sweet, but she hadn’t words to express how deeply intimate the nickname sounded. Like a whisper between lovers.

Was that what they were now? Lovers? She hadn’t intended for them to end up as such, but they were here now. And she wanted to keep doing it. She wanted to know more.

“I don’t know what to do,” she whispered.

“There is no need to do anything,” he said. “You know the secret now. You can use it as you will.”

She frowned. “No. I know how it felt, not what to do.”

He chuckled, low and deep. “I assure you, you can figure it out. In the privacy of your own bed. All alone.”

That sounded so… empty. She didn’t want to do it alone. She wanted to be with him. But she couldn’t say that. So she focused on something else.

“But you said there was more. More secrets that I don’t know yet.”

“Hmmm,” he said. His hand on her thigh began stroking up and down, leaving a tingling wake behind. One that he stroked hotter with every caress. “No, sweet Jo, I think you are yet too innocent to learn those. Too young.”

“I’m six and twenty! As old as you!”

He chuckled and she felt the sound all the way to the base of her spine. “There is age in years and age in experience. You and I both know you are young.”

“So teach me! Help me grow!” She didn’t know why she was fighting so hard for this. Had she not just decided that this was dangerous? That she couldn’t bear it if her parents discovered what she was doing? Sweet lord, they thought she was a miscreant as it was. What would they say if they knew about this?

Meanwhile, Will was shaking his head. With a slow growl that sounded like regret, he lifted his hand away from her leg and smoothed down her skirt. After the fire he stoked on her skin, this felt like a muffling, frustrating wet blanket. She didn’t like it, and she didn’t like the word no.

“You will teach me,” she said, her voice strong and firm.

“You cannot force me in this.”

She lifted her chin. “You will see. I will return here tomorrow night and every night after. You will not be able to resist me.”

He flashed his teeth again, and she shuddered a bit in response. He looked wolfish. Predatory, even. “Bold words, Miss Josephine.”

She lifted her chin. “Am I wrong?”

He waited a long moment before answering. Then he shook his head. “No, sweet Jo, you are not wrong. Come here again, and you shall get what you want. Are you sure, though, that you want it?”

“Yes,” she said quickly, though a second later she thought again. Did she really want this? Did she really wish to become so intimate with this man? Especially when her father was busy arranging for her marry someone else?

But there wasn’t time. Instead, he gave her a crisp nod. “So be it,” he said. Then he gave her a courtly bow before extended his arm to her. “I shall walk you to your home now.”

“Someone will see!”

“I will stop at the edge of the trees. No one will see.”

I see,” she groused as they started walking. “I always see you. And you are always looking at me.” The complaint put them back into normal territory again with her grumbling at him and him needling her back.

Except he didn’t needle her. Or rather what he said felt familiar in the way of a friend’s tease. “And what else should I look at? The hogs? The crops? The creek? No, sweet Jo, you are infinitely more interesting than any of that.”

“Interesting why?”

He chuckled. “Because you dance better than a horse.”

“A horse!”

“Would you have preferred I said mule? Cow? How about pig?”

“You are impossible!”

“And you are beautiful. That is why I watch you. How could I not?”

She turned away. This giving of compliments was uncomfortable. It had never been their pattern. “I don’t not know how to respond when you say things like that.”

“Come now, surely you had compliments aplenty in London. They cannot all be blind.”

“Of course I was complimented. They spoke of my hair, my eyes, my skin, even my nose. But it was all nonsense.”

“And how did you answer them?”

“In kind, of course.” She jumped over a fallen log as she spoke. “I told them their ears were like cauliflowers, their noses like buttons, and their lips like thick caterpillars.”

He laughed, the sound light as she had never heard before. “Did you really?”

“I did,” she said proudly. Then she shrugged. “I do not think they realized I was teasing them. Truly, London gentlemen are not known for being smart.”

He didn’t answer, and they walked in a companionable silence for a bit. It was odd really. If anyone had said a month ago—nay a day ago—that they would be walking as friends, she would have laughed out loud. But then she hadn’t thought they’d do what else had happened either.

A moment later another question bubbled up in her mind. Were they friends now? They didn’t really feel like friends. Despite the quiet of their walk, she was too unsettled in his presence to be relaxed. They had laughed a moment ago, but that felt odd as well. Will was not a man prone to laughter. Smiles, perhaps, maybe a chuckle, but a laugh? No, that was unusual indeed.

How did she reconcile the man walking beside her now and the one she had known for nearly five years? They seemed like two entirely different people.

“Are you getting a headache again?” he asked, his voice low and concerned.

“What? Oh. No.”

“But your shoulders are tightening, and there is a pinch between your brows.”

She straightened and stared at him. “You cannot possibly see that. It is too dark.”

He huffed out a breath. “Why do you insist on telling me what I can and cannot know when it is obvious that I do. I see you, Miss Josephine. And so of course I will see when you are getting a headache.”

“I do not have a headache!” Except, of course, he was right. The tension in her head was beginning to mount again. She didn’t have pains yet, but they were building.

He arched a brow, just like he always did when he was mocking her. “My apologies, Miss Josephine.”

“Oh bugger it!” she snapped. “You make me insane!” Then, while he stood there with his mouth gaping open, she stomped away from him. They were nearly to the edge of the trees anyway. It wasn’t until halfway up the lawn that she heard it. Loud and full so that it seemed to fill the sky.

He was laughing.






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