Goddess of the hunt, p.31
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       Goddess of the Hunt, p.31

         Part #1 of The Wanton Dairymaid Trilogy series by Tessa Dare
Page 31


  Dark, and focused intently on her hands. Or thereabouts. It took Lucy a moment to realize it was probably not the sight of her hands that captivated him, but rather what heaved beneath. She let her palms slide slowly to her sides, revealing her breasts.

  He sucked in his breath.

  Her nipples hardened under his gaze, contracting to taut, aching peaks, straining toward him, begging for his hands, his mouth, his tongue. If he didn’t stop staring and start touching her soon, Lucy felt certain she would go mad.

  She reached up for him, gliding her palms up the thick trunks of his arms and letting her fingers feather over his chest. He groaned and leaned over her, caging her between his elbows. Lucy gasped at his sudden, enveloping heat. Sliding her hands around his neck, she pulled his lips toward hers.

  He suddenly resisted. “I haven’t bathed. ”

  His expression was so adorably earnest, she had to laugh. “I don’t mind. ” She pulled his face down to hers and rubbed her cheek against his jaw. The rough beginnings of a beard rasped against her skin. She brushed open-mouthed kisses up to his ear. “In fact,” she whispered, licking his earlobe, “I like it. ”

  She inhaled deeply, drinking in his scent. The scent she’d been craving for two endless days. That heady aroma of saddle leather and whiskey and night wind raked through boughs of pine. She buried her face in his neck, ran her tongue down the rigid tendon there, tasting salt and musk. Then she kissed her way back up his throat, blessing the world for the mercy of an unwashed man. This man, who had ridden hard in the dark to her, bringing jewels and the wind and the sweat of his body.

  She felt him swallow and tense as she nuzzled his throat. She let her head fall back on the bed. His eyes fixed her with a wild, almost feral look.

  “Lucy. ” Her name tore from his chest like a threat, or a prayer. Then he fell on her, pinning her under his weight, and she realized too late what it had really been.

  A warning.

  He took her breath away. Literally. His chest crushed hers, flattening her aching breasts and forcing the air from her lungs. His tongue filled her mouth, thrusting and demanding and stealing even her startled gasp. Then his hips ground against hers, working in between her legs, nestling into the cradle of her thighs, and she lost all thought of breathing. She lost all thought.

  He rocked his hips against her, growling deep in his throat. Suede-soft buckskin teased over her inner thighs. Solid heat throbbed against the cleft of her legs. He rocked again, and pleasure lanced through her. Sharp, slicing joy.

  Suddenly, he abandoned her mouth and raised up on one elbow. “Lucy …”—he swallowed hard between panting breaths—“You do understand what’s going to happen? Someone has explained it to you?”

  Lucy laughed. “Of course. The book explained everything. ”

  His voice deepened. “Everything?”

  Between the note of delicious danger in his voice and the way her intimate places pulsed around each syllable, she began to wonder ifThe Memoirs of a Wanton Dairymaid hadn’t been a bit vague. But regardless of the details, she knew she had a firm grasp of the basic concept. “Jeremy, this is a farm. I’ve helped Henry breed hounds for years. I understand how mating is accomplished. ”

  Now it was his turn to chuckle. “Yes, well—it’s a bit different between a man and a woman. ”

  “Because it’s done face-to-face?”

  He smiled slightly. Rather wickedly, she thought. “Usually. ”

  Before Lucy had any chance to wrap her mind aroundthat casual statement, he continued, “It’s not the act itself that’s so different. It’s more what happens beforehand. ”


  He kissed his way down her neck, his tongue dallying in the notch at the base of her throat. “I need to make you ready for me,” he murmured.

  “I think …” Her voice trailed off as he lightly nipped her shoulder. “I think Iam ready. ” She was completely naked, in his bed,under him. How much more ready could she be? She hooked her legs around his. “I’m ready. ”

  A muffled laugh against her neck was his only reply. Then he dropped lower, dragging his mouth down to her breast, and Lucy was not inclined to interrupt.

  Please, she heard herself sigh. Her fingers slid into his hair, tangling and twining through the thick, black locks.

  He drew her nipple into his mouth, and pleasure shot through her. His tongue circled the tight crest of flesh, flickering over the tip. Lucy arched against him, her grip tightening in his hair. He pursed his lips around her and pulled, wrenching a cry from deep in her chest. He suckled her greedily, teasing and tonguing without mercy, until she writhed under him, against him. And just when she began to believe he would never stop—and she began to believe she wouldn’t mind—he released her nipple.

  Kissed his way slowly across the tender valley of her chest.

  Let his tongue ascend the slope of her other breast to its taut, aching peak.

  And did it all over again.

  Lucy gave up. She stopped wrestling the pleasure. It lost its sharp edges and melted to liquid, and she simply let it flow. Let it swim through her in sinuous, curving currents. Felt it swirl out to her fingers and down to her toes and up to the tips of her ears. Quivered as it tumbled faster, gathered momentum, and rushed back to pool between her thighs. She dimly heard herself murmuring words. Maybe his name. Maybe hers. She had no idea.

  But when he left her breast and began kissing a serpentine path down her belly, she fell silent. She drifted down with him, her awareness floating below the rippling pleasure of his kiss. He sank between her thighs, the breadth of his shoulders pushing them wide. His breath tickled against her soft curls and the tender flesh they guarded. She felt his fingers, parting her gently. And then the hot, hooking joy of his tongue.

  Oh, my.

  Oh my oh my oh my. The book had definitely not mentionedthis . This, she would have remembered. This, she would have underlined. His tongue flickered against her, and she cried out. Rather loudly.

  He rose up on his elbow. “Lucy, hush. Someone might hear. ”

  She nodded, and he bent to taste her again. His tongue danced over her tender flesh, and pleasure rocked through her in a great, glittering wave. She cried out again. Louder.

  She clapped a hand over her mouth. “I can’t help it,” she whispered when he rose up again. “It’s your fault, you know. ” He had his fingers on her now, caressing her. He swept his thumb over that unbearable, sparkling place in tight, nefarious circles. Her head rolled back onto the pillow. “Oh, God. ”

  “Should I stop?” he asked, sliding a finger into her.

  “God, no. ” His finger dipped deeper, working slowly in and out. Lucy moaned against the back of her hand.

  Then he was next to her, kissing his way back up her body, stretching out alongside her. Hard heat throbbed against her hip. His tongue flashed into her ear. The heel of his palm rocked against her as his finger worked in and out and in and out, and Lucy … Lucy wasready . Ready, willing, eager, prepared. Hot, liquid anticipation coursed through her veins. She was sinking through dark and wild and wet and hot, and she was ready, ready, ready. Ready for something to happen. Ready for it to never end. Never never ever ever end.

  Waves of pleasure rocked through her. Flooding her, filling her. Forcing out everything else. Her hand fell away from her mouth, and a helpless cry surged from deep in her belly, wrenching into her throat. He clamped his lips over hers and took her cry into him. Joy, confusion, frustration, fear—she poured them all into one long, rapturous cry against his mouth. And he took it all. Took everything she gave, drinking it in, probing deep with his tongue to leave nothing behind.

  He caressed her softly as she floated back down. Back into herself.

  Oh, my.

  Her body felt wonderfully languid, but soon restless questions churned in her mind. How could he know her body so well—so easily stir sen
sations it had taken her sixteen years to discover on her own? Ones she’d never discovered at all? How did she go about learninghis secrets, makinghim ready? And was this truly just preparation? What pleasure came next?

  So many questions, and she lacked the words to even phrase them. When at last she thought she could trust it again, she tried her voice. “Jeremy?”


  “What is it called, that … that thing that just happened to me?”

  He paused. “Well, there are several words for it. ”

  “Only several?” Lucy marveled. “I would think there’d be hundreds. Thousands might not be enough. ”

  He nipped her ear playfully. “What? Weren’t a few of them in your book?”

  Lucy batted his shoulder with her palm. “I thought we discussed the limitations of book learning. ” He kept nibbling her earlobe. She sighed and ran her fingertips down the strong muscles of his arm. “And it can happen to you?”

  She felt his arousal throb in his breeches, prodding against the curve of her hip. “Yes,” he murmured against her neck.

  “But it didn’t … not yet. ”

  “No. ”

  “Then why are you just lying there?” She pushed him away slightly and turned to meet his eyes. “How can you stand it?”

  A strangled laugh tore from his chest as he rose to his knees. “With great effort. ”

  She rolled onto her side and reached for the fastenings of his breeches. Her hand brushed over the stiff, straining bulge in front. It jumped. Lucy was fascinated. She rose up on her elbow, working the buttons loose with her other hand. He finally took the task from her, freeing the last few buttons, pushing the fabric down over his hips. Leaving her hand free to explore.

  And what she discovered, she would have never imagined. The hardness and strength, yes. He was hard and strong, in general. But the delicate softness, she could have never dreamed. Velvet soft, and lightly ridged. Like a kitten’s ear. She let her palm glide over his length. He jerked away from her hand, and she curled her fingers around him tight. So he couldn’t get away.

  He exhaled forcefully. A rough, faintly dangerous sound. “Lucy, we don’t have to do this. We can wait. ” He closed his eyes briefly, then opened them again. “Ican wait. ”

  “Whatever for?” She stroked him again, and he made a low growl in the back of his throat. “You want me, don’t you?”

  Brushing her hand away, he kicked out of his breeches and lay down on his side, facing her. Staring into her eyes with a look so deep, so intense, Lucy’s whole body came alive with tingling. The narrow space between their bodies crackled with electricity, and when his hand shot out to cup her face, the shock sparked to the soles of her feet. “God, Lucy,” he said roughly. “You can’t know how I’ve wanted you. ”

  “Can’t I?” She slid closer to him, until her nipples just grazed his chest. “Tell me,” she whispered, gliding her hand down his muscled back and over the taut swell of his buttocks.

  He shuddered as she gently squeezed. “Not enough words. ” His hand slid around to fist in her hair, and he angled her head back to trail hot kisses along her neck. “I would need more than several,” he murmured, his tongue weaving a wicked path downward. “Thousands might not be enough. ”

  “Then show me. ” Lucy hooked her leg over his, tightened her grip on his backside, and rolled onto her back, pulling him with her. He settled between her legs, grinding his hard, pulsing heat against her mound. Pleasure echoed through her as she arched against him, and their moans mingled in an urgent kiss.

  He rested his forehead against hers. “Lucy, I can’t—” His breath rushed over her face, hot and thick, like steam. He swallowed hard. She could feel himthere , pressing against her entrance. Poised to make her his.

  “There is no going back from this,” he said, his voice strained. “If it isn’t … If you aren’t …” He nudged closer still, sliding into her a bit. She ached around him. Achedfor him. He gritted his teeth. “Just push me away. ”
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