He’d come alone this evening; Winston had flatly refused to attend any artistic endeavor produced by the Smythe-Smith family, regardless of Richard’s previous acceptance on his behalf. Now Winston was home with a false head cold, and Richard was standing in the corner, wondering why a piano had been brought into the drawing room.
Richard chuckled, the sound full and solid with male pride. His hands moved to the front of her body, each one grasping a dangling end of the bow knot she’d tied in the belt of her dressing gown.His lips touched her ear. Are you my present?
Before she could respond, he gave a sharp tug, staring down at her with hot desire as the robe came loose.Richard, she whispered, but he had already moved on, sliding those wonderful wonderful hands up along her body, pausing for an agonizing moment on her breasts before reaching her shoulders and pushing the robe away. It felt to the floor in a cloud of pale blue silk.Iris stood before him in another one of her decadent trousseau nightgowns. It was not a practical garment; it would not even pretend to keep her warm at night. But she could not remember ever feeling so womanly, so desirable and daring.
You are so beautiful, Richard whispered, skimming his hand back down to her breast. His palm teased the tip, moving in a slow circle over the silk of her gown.I’m— She cut herself off.
Richard look down at her, one finger touching her chin until her eyes met his. His brows rose in question.
It’s nothing, Iris murmured. She’d almost protested, almost said that she wasn’t beautiful, because she wasn’t. A woman did not reach the age of one-and-twenty without knowing if she was beautiful or not. But then she’d thought—Jensen! I called out.
He stopped, and as my heart pounded against my ribs, he slowly faced me. His expression was empty, but his pale blue eyes were locked on mine with the intensity those eyes always held. I took a step forward. Thank you. I didn’t get a chance before . . .A muscle popped along his jaw as he watched me with a look that said he wasn’t quite sure he knew what I was thanking him for, but the words I got you cycled over and over again in my head.
Thank you, I repeated, holding his gaze. For helping me Saturday night.Jensen didn’t reply. All he did was nod and turn back around. I probably would’ve stood there forever watching his retreating form if Ms. Reed hadn’t motioned me into her office.
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