Dawson showed Matilda to a wing chair then made his way behind the desk to his own seat. Having the large piece of furniture between them would keep things at an impersonal level. Although what he had to say was about as personal as two people could get without actually touching, having Matilda out of reach for their conversation was very important to his frame of mind. Especially when what he really wanted to do was pull her body into his and take her mouth in a kiss hot enough to leave her panting and aroused and willing for whatever his body urged him to do.
Matilda sat, smoothing her skirt as she went. "What was it you needed to speak with me about in such a hurry, Mr. Chandler?"
Dawson was taken back for a moment. Not only did she appear irritated but her tone of voice was haughty, her pert little nose stuck in the air. It appeared as though she were looking down at him with eyes so dark he couldn't differentiate the pupils from the irises.
More than anything, he wanted to see her eyes widen with shock and then arousal before glazing over with lust and the overwhelming impact of a mind-numbing orgasm. He'd get at least a part of his wish by the time their conversation was over. That much he knew for sure.
"We've got much to talk about, Miss Cummings, but we'll start with the possibility of a marriage between the two of us."
"Possibility? I'm afraid I don't understand. From what Duncan said, the contract between us is binding."
Dawson could tell she was mulling something over. What he didn't know, however, was whether she was trying to find a way out of the contract or a way to keep to it.
"Yes, the contract in and of itself is binding but we have yet to share the marriage bed..." He purposefully let his words run off just to see what her next step would be. There was something about the expression on her cherubic face that intrigued him. She seemed smart and quick of wit. Being a woman to boot meant there was no telling what she was thinking.
Her full, dimpled cheeks pinkened even more. "Yes. Well, once we've said the words in front of a preacher, we can get to all of that."
Then she did the complete opposite of what he'd been expecting. Instead of fidgeting and twisting a lace hanky, as most ladies seemed to do when uncomfortable, she looked him in the eye. "I've actually been looking forward to our nights together."
From the expression on her face, the admission was a hard one. Dawson was immediately on guard, skeptical of what she could possibly know. Unless, she wasn't as innocent as she pretended to be.
Rising from his seat, Dawson walked around the desk until he was directly in front of Matilda. He knelt before her and, with a hand braced on each arm of the chair she occupied, leaned in close. He was close enough he could feel the warm puffs of her breath on his face.
"You have, have you?"
She audibly swallowed, her lips parting as if in need of more air as she nodded. "My...uh, my mother explained what would be expected of me."
Dawson couldn't help but chuckle. Her mother's explanation of sex more than likely had very little to do with the way things would go in their marriage, if they were indeed to go through with the services. Before taking any agreement on her part to heart, she would have to know everything.
Matilda seemed to be affronted by his laughter. Her obsidian eyes narrowed on him. Her lips clamped into a straight line resembling nothing of their full lusciousness.
"Don't get riled up, darlin'." Dawson rubbed the fullness of her cheek with the back of his hand. Her skin was soft and so warm she would surely burn him alive if he ever got the chance to sink the full length of his cock between her thighs.
For a second she seemed to melt into his touch. Dawson recognized the moment she came back to her senses for her spine stiffened and she turned away from his touch. "Do you wish me for a wife, Mr. Chandler? Your brother explained the predicament he'd placed you in so I'll understand if you feel the need to back out of the contract."
Dawson no more wanted a wife than he did a hole in his head but he had signed the contract and did feel somewhat responsible for the woman sitting before him. Because his honor was everything, Dawson would marry her but not until she knew exactly what she was getting herself into.
"I didn't wish for anyone as a wife, Miss Cummings, so please don't take what has happened personally. Duncan, in his infinite wisdom, saw fit to take my choices from me so we'll make the best out of the situation, if you decide to go through with becoming my wife."
A look of utter confusion clouded her face. His plan was to be blunt and to the point leaving nothing out. However, the way she tilted her head studying him nearly drove Dawson mad with lust.
"If you become my wife, Miss Cummings, things will never be between us the way your mother explained. Not only will you be my wife, you will be my lover in every sense of the word. You will, of course, act the lady you are except when it comes to our times together. In those instances, you will be as lusty as the best whore out there."