“Gideon,” Francine whispered, and with that one small word he was rock hard. He jerked up, trying to discern her figure in the darkness. He heard her trip on something, a tiny cry escaping her lips. He moved to help her, then realized he was trapped in the bed by his nakedness. His breath hissed as he inhaled.
“Gideon,” she whispered again, “are you still up?”
He shook his head. Still? Not still. Again—yes, but not still. “Yes,” he grumbled. “What are you doing here?”
“I couldn’t sleep. I had to see you,” she whispered so softly he could hardly hear her.
Leaning forward, he grasped her hand, trying to stop it from moving across his body as he felt her fingers passing over the blankets, coming dangerously close to the evidence of his arousal. “You shouldn’t be speaking, and you shouldn’t be here,” he said.
“And yet, I am.”
“You definitely should not be in here,” he said, attempting to convince her again that she should leave. “Mrs. Weston will have an apoplexy when she discovers—” He drew in a resolute breath as he felt her other hand on his chest and the weight of her body on the bed.
He let go of her wrist as she moved toward him. “Lord take it, Francine, you must leave, you simply must. This is terribly untoward, you cannot—” He was cut off again by her hand, this time against his mouth. He thought his cock would burst from the pressure pulsating violently to his loins. He groaned, and her lips caught the noise before it had a chance to escape, her tongue teasing timidly.
He reached up in the dark to find her shoulder to push her away, but her arm wasn’t where he guessed it would be, and he ended up with the soft mound of her breast cradled in his hand. She gasped and pressed her lips harder against his as he opened his mouth to her.
The woman above him was not acting like an innocent. He marveled at the thought as he momentarily yielded to her pleasures. Larrabee said he hadn’t received confirmation of the consummation of her marriage; Gideon had assumed that meant that she wasn’t yet married, but what if she was? What if Hepplewort had already claimed her? Gideon could never marry her, and she had been lost to him before this began—but for tonight, if she was married and he made love to her, he would cuckold that bastard for terrifying his innocent wife.
“Stop thinking,” she whispered.
“Hush.” Gideon found a new source of passion. His thumb circled the hard point of her breast through the fabric of her nightgown as her breath wilted in a sigh. He rolled her beneath him in one swift move, twisting the blankets about them, placing one of his thighs between her soft legs. He spread her below him and she whimpered. He shifted achingly slowly, settling his heavier points into her supple curves. With one hand on her hip he moved the other to her nape, gently caressing the hollow below her ear with his thumb.
She opened her mouth to him and he took, plunging into her, tasting the satiny inside of her lips and the slick underside of her tongue, feeling a powerful shudder wrack her body from her head to her toes. He suckled her lower lip, tasting the essence of the drunken pears from tonight’s dinner, which even now lingered. He drew her lip between his, teasing it with his tongue before letting it go then licking and nipping at the other. He felt her hands on his back, the pressure of her touch making him aware of his muscles twisting beneath his naked skin.