…from THE CARESS OF A COMMANDER.
“How many men have you kissed?”
Victoria blinked. And blinked again as she straightened on the seat. “I do not see how that is any of your concern, sir,” she replied, rather indignant just then.
Stephen narrowed his own eyes at her. “I am one. How many others are there?” Try as he might, he couldn’t get the hint of anger out of his voice. He didn’t even know why it was there, or even why he wanted to know how often she kissed other men. But for some reason, at that moment, he wanted to know. He needed to know.
Victoria’s resolve to ignore his question melted away after a moment. “One. My second cousin,” she finally admitted. “We were five at the time.”
Furrowing his brows, Stephen considered her answer for a moment. “Did he put his tongue in your mouth?”
Victoria allowed a rather loud gasp. “Of course not!” she replied, now really indignant. “He was five!”
“Did you put your tongue into his?”
Stephen realized after the fact that he really should have been more aware of the fact that her right arm was entirely unencumbered, even by his topcoat resting over her shoulders, for when she suddenly leaned back and swung at him, he felt the full force of her open hand as it impacted his left cheek.
“Ow!” he exclaimed, his eyes squeezed shut against the sting of the blow. Had his eyes been open, he would have seen her wince and the surreptitious shaking of her right hand, probably because it felt as if all the bones were broken.
“You rake!” she exclaimed, her anger most evident. “My first kiss—at a ball, no less—and you have to go ruin it with … innuendo and rude questions!’
Stephen sighed, realizing he had angered the girl. Offended her with his assumption that she had kissed other men besides him. Been kissed by other men besides him. But, dammit, her kiss—or series of kisses, rather— had been so delicious. So passionate. So perfect.
How could he be her first?
I am her first! The thought had him feeling rather proud just then, so it wasn’t a surprise his ego would follow suit.
Before he quite knew what he was doing, Stephen had his arms wrapped around her shoulders and his mouth pressed against hers, a move made easier in that she was still so startled by his earlier implied accusation that her mouth was open and perfectly placed to accept his.
He thought at first she was going to fight him off. And he wouldn’t have blamed her one bit. He couldn’t quite believe what he was doing, either, but then he was lost just then, lost in the sensation of her soft lips against his, in the sensation of a slight buzz which he realized was due to the fact that he was pressing far too hard. Bruising her lips, no doubt. He couldn’t even imagine what his looked like.
Softening the kiss, he gently nipped her lower lip and took her mouth again, this time using his tongue as he had the night before, teasing her tongue to join his, tasting her teeth and tongue and once again nipping her lower lip, kissing her jaw line, her neck, the line of her collarbone to the hollow at the base of her throat.
He felt more than heard her soft moans, felt more than heard her staccato heartbeats where her bosom was pressed into his waistcoat. And he would have continued his assault of soft kisses along the tops of her breasts except that he was suddenly aware that the coach had come to a bumpy halt. The tell-tale jerk of the driver dismounting from his box had Stephen straightening, although he still had his arms around Victoria’s shoulders.
He dropped his forehead to hers while he attempted to catch his breath. “I’ll walk you to your door,” he managed to get out.
Victoria shook her head against his. “I would rather you didn’t,” she whispered.
The coach door opened at the same time Stephen pulled his arms from around her shoulders, one of his hands suddenly clutching his topcoat as Victoria stood up and took her leave of the town coach. She managed to look rather steady as she did so, a feat Stephen found he admired in the chit.
He rather doubted he could stand up just then.
Join me next Thursday when we meet romance author, Jana Richards.~Tina