"Kiss me good night." His smile was impudent, the blatant heat in his eyes a new experience, but then again, she had virtually no experience at all.
The man simply could not be serious. "I can't," she said in desperation, but found she looked at his mouth anyway. It was sensuous and well-shaped, one corner slightly lifted, emphasizing a dimple in his cheek.
One ebony brow elevated suggestively and his fingers stayed in place, still holding her lightly, but firmly. "It is a shame you stay here, buried in the country. Tell me, have you ever been kissed?"
She hadn't, of course, since she was diligently chaperoned by Aunt Gloria at all times she was around eligible young males. "No." She swallowed hard after that admission, wanting to run, but also anchored by something hard to define.
"Let me be the first. I want to taste you." The proposition was made in a husky sexy whisper that made her feel flushed all over.
It was tempting ... very tempting, and he didn't act as if he was going to let her go--although she was convinced if she was truly resistant, he would never force her to do anything she didn't want to do, no matter what his state of impairment. He was an undeniable rake of some stature, but he was also a gentleman.
That was part of the trouble, of course, with his experience, he seemed to sense she very much did want to kiss him. "One kiss," she capitulated, giving a small gasp as he responded by pulling her into his arms and lifting her onto the bed.
He moved fluidly, rolling over so he was on top of her, his mouth hovering over hers. "One kiss," he whispered, and his lips captured hers.
It was shocking, scandalous, and wonderful. Heat, the feel of his lean length over her, the subtle pressure of his lips, both firm and smooth ... he tasted of heady brandy and something unidentifiable and definitely more intoxicating. When his tongue slipped into her mouth, brushing hers, Cassandra felt an almost languorous enjoyment suddenly weigh her limbs. A small but distinct throb tightened her breasts and centered between her legs.
Was this desire?
His was unmistakable, a bold, hard length filling his breeches, pressing against the juncture of her thighs through their clothing. Ross continued to explore her mouth, his weight braced on one elbow, his body pinning her to the bed. His free hand tangled in her hair at first, his long fingers finding the curve of her cheek, gently sliding down her neck and along her collarbone. Cassandra didn't at first realize he'd slipped free the satin ribbon on her nightdress, not until he pulled the cloth down and bared her shoulder and left breast.
Her nipple puckered at the sudden coolness of the night air, and she shifted a fraction in open alarm. A kiss was one thing, but...
"Don't be afraid, sweet Cassie," he whispered against her lips as his hand cupped exposed flesh, cradling it in his palm. When his thumb grazed her nipple, she stifled a moan, it felt so marvelous.
But, still, they shouldn't.
"Ross--" she said, cut off when his mouth took hers again, this time with less gentle persuasion and more urgent need. He stroked her breast with skillful fingers as he kissed her deeply, his touch gentle but sure. When he finally lifted his head, she took in a long shuddering breath.
"Doesn't this feel good?" he asked, kissing the sensitive spot under her ear. The words were a low whisper as he continued to fondle her, lightly kneading and stroking.
"Yes," she admitted shyly, touching his hair, something she had always wanted to do. It was so thick and dark, the texture silky in contrast to the hardness of his long body. She slid her fingers deep into the strands and hesitantly along the corded strength of his neck.
"You're so soft, Cassie. Soft and perfect," he murmured in that silky seductive tone that seemed hold her prisoner, as he pulled her loosened gown lower, off the other shoulder and down her arms to her waist. His stare was fastened on her bare breasts. "Just the right size. I have never favored huge breasts. Yours are nothing short of spectacular, sweetheart."
A blush crept into her cheeks. It felt distinctly odd to let a man look at her in such a way, but then again, the heated look in his eyes told her he was sincere in the compliment. She must have taken complete leave of her senses anyway to be in bed with the rakish Lord Winterton, Cassie reminded herself hazily. Letting him strip her half-naked and fondle her breasts, which felt tight and full, that was purest insanity. His statement alone reminded her of his reputation for dalliance with the beautiful, sophisticated ladies of society. He was undoubtedly an expert on breasts of all sizes and shapes.
If his good judgment wasn't marred by drink, she doubted he would ever even dream of touching her. Marriageable young ladies were not part of his sexual diet. In the morning, he was going to regret this, and most probably so would she. Normally, he treated her with casual, teasing affection.
She needed to go back to her own room right now, before things got even more out of hand. "We need to stop," she said, a low whisper in the dark room.
"What I need is you, sweetheart."
His mouth slid down her throat, making her shiver, his breath warm and heady. Finding her nipple, his lips closed over the tingling peak, sucking lightly and wickedly. Her hands grasped his shoulders and she arched, sensation streaking to her womb, warmth building between her legs.
What was he doing to her? The delicate play of his tongue on the crest of her breast and the warm adhesion of his mouth was like a revelation. Long, skillful fingers cupped the other breast as he suckled, stroking, gently squeezing, making her tremble in involuntary response. He continued, lavishing attention on both her breasts until her breath came in short uneven gasps and all thoughts of practicality were banished.
She was being seduced, and no longer had any desire to fight it.
"I'm on fire," he muttered against her skin, kissing the valley between the mounded flesh cupped in his hands. "I need to feel all of you against me. Now."
When he sat up, she willingly helped tug his unbuttoned shirt free from his breeches, and he shrugged out of it. His fingers went to the fastening of his pants, and he held her gaze as he slid each button free, then stood up briefly to strip completely. Mesmerized, Cassandra stared at his erection, which looked huge, high and stiff against his stomach. She'd never seen a naked man before, much less one fully aroused, and had no idea he would be so large.
Not even offering a protest, she let him take her night dress off completely, past her hips and the length of her legs, watching through half-closed eyes as he tossed it carelessly on the floor.
There was no going back to her room, she knew that as he slid back on top of her nude body and she parted her lips for another hot, tantalizing kiss. Stroking her hip first, his fingers moved between her thighs, touching the most private part of her body, the invasion intimate and startling. Trying to clamp her legs together didn't work, for his knees kept them open, allowing him access to do whatever he wished. Cassandra swallowed, closing her eyes as a sudden jolt of pure pleasure centered in her sex. Parting her sex, he caressed tender hidden flesh, rubbing lightly and making her moan out loud.
"That's it, sweetheart. You're getting beautifully wet and ready. You feel like heaven, so smooth and hot."
Her hips moved instinctively against the manipulation of his fingers, and her breath came in short, uneven pants. Cassandra felt a tension build she never imagined existed, a mixture of acute need and exquisite pleasure. As he continued to stroke that wonderful spot, Ross whispered words of encouragement in her ear. His speech was erotically outrageous, and what he was doing to her body even more shocking. His hot, stiff cock rubbed her hip in a slow tantalizing motion that matched his skillful, arousing fingers. It felt slick, and unbelievably hard, the press of that ridge of unyielding flesh a stark carnal promise.