Reckless in Innocence
© Jane Lark
Publishing rights belong to Jane Lark, this should not be recreated in any form without prior consent from Jane Lark
Reckless in Innocence
Read the earlier parts one , two
Awash with Marcus, Elizabeth felt his chest rise and fall slowly beneath her fingers. Her pulse beat at her temples, and in other places, as he took control of the simple kiss she had begun and taught her a rhythm of caress. But his hands remained at his sides.
She wanted more.
She wanted what a man offered his wife.
She wanted to be enfolded in his arms as she had been in the dance, to feel his hands slide across her skin and the sparks his touch could ignite. She loved Marcus Campbell, the Duke of Tay, the most notorious and handsome rake in the entire ton and she wanted to have everything he could offer.
“Touch me.” Her lips parted their kiss and his open mouth caught the breathless words.
Pulling away, Marcus’s palms lifted to her cheeks, embracing her face. She felt the warmth in his skin from the coals of desire.
“Elizabeth, you don’t know what you’re saying. Have you any idea of my reputation, sweetheart? Do not tempt me. If I take a sip I will want the cupful.”
His mouth was still close to hers and every word was resonant, sending shivers across her skin. “Contrary to belief, even rakes may have morals, Elizabeth. I will not take your innocence.” The deep tenor of his voice reverberated through her soul.
Elizabeth broke their contact, moving away from his touch, gambling everything on his words, if her own thirst was any measure of desire and a sip was not enough – then if she took the cup away – perhaps his need to quench his thirst would be too great to deny.
She turned her back to him, not moving far away but willing him to reach for her, watching their reflection in the darkened glass opposite. He leaned back against an ironwork table, his arms folding across his chest, as if he wished to secure them away from her. But she also saw his gaze trail across her figure. He was tempted; all she had to do was lure him into letting down his guard.
“I was naive when you first spoke to me, Your Grace, but not innocent. We have been playing for weeks. I am merely showing you my cards and calling for you to lay down your hand. Which hardly makes me innocent. I am not innocent. I am the one who is raising the stakes between us.”
He said nothing then. His answer was silence. But she could see that he watched her still.
The reflection of the pale fabric of her gown, clinging to her slender figure, kissing the edge of her hip, her buttock and her thigh… glimmered against the dark onyx glass showing their reflection.
She was ethereal.
Touch me. Her words… A shaft of desire raced through him, even though his blood already ran as heavy as molten lead with need for her. He had not seen this coming, but he was sorely tempted to accept. She looked delicious in that dress and luxuriously sexual with her lips reddened from his kiss.
She was obviously inexperienced; but innocent?
I am not innocent.
His heart thumped, a slow steady thud of building tension. Is she not then? Was I entirely wrong about her? She had openly encouraged him for weeks with her eyes. Tonight she had leaned against him in the dance and ruthlessly directed him to bring her here – and once she’d got him alone, kissed him senseless.
Perhaps she was not as innocent as he’d believed. It was an enticing thought, to touch her. Desire thickened in his throat and his body stirred.
She must have seen the dark, wanting expression on his face because when he met her gaze in the black glass she whispered again, “Touch me, Marcus.”
It sounded like a siren’s call. Instinct and thirst pulled him forward, and he reached for her as heaviness gripped his groin. His hand slipped about her waist and drew her back against him.
He took a sharp breath. It shuddered through his limbs. A similar breath echoed from her mouth. He brushed kisses against her neck and her body melted back against him.
When he looked up, he caught her watching their reflection in the pane of glass darkened by night. His dark hair was strikingly different to her pale complexion and towering blond curls. “Touch me.” Elizabeth repeated her desire, her voice crying out the longing of his body. He wanted to touch.
He released his grip at her waist and his fingers instead slid up to her bare shoulders, then traced the low neckline of her gown. He took a breath, as longing surged through his blood. He had never wanted a woman as much as this. His fingers slipped into her bodice and cupped her breast. His thumb stroked over the tight bud of her nipple. Locks of her hair touched his neck and his ear as he kissed her shoulder and continued to touch, he trailed his kisses up to her neck to feel the tremor of her pulse beneath her skin.
She laid her head back on his shoulder.
He gripped her shoulders, pressuring her to turn to him.
He took it as complete consent and his lips pressed to hers. The woman was about to discover what she had been playing with for months. His fingers clawed, gripping the sheer muslin fabric of her gown and sliding it up. Her thighs shivered as the fabric rose, along with her thin petticoat. Her fingers trembled a little as they held his shoulders, clinging not caressing, yet her mouth answered his with a beautiful hunger, searching and reaching for more of everything he gave, as if she tried to forget all else.
The hem of her gown breached the top of her thighs and his fingers touched skin. Desire gripped hard in his groin as he gripped the back of her thighs, and pulled her body closer, so she could feel what she did to him. Her fingers clawed into his shoulders pushing him back, but she did not speak when he obeyed.
He met her gaze and saw uncertainty there. The heat had faded a little. “Are you sure about this?”
She nodded, but it was a shy sort of nod. The girl maybe not be innocent but she was no wanton either. He brushed a loose curl behind her ear. “You are certain…”
She nodded again biting her lip, her blue gaze clinging to his.
But he was not certain. He would have turned away. but she caught hold of his arm. “Please, yes. Touch me… I want you to.” He held her gaze for a moment, reading the plea in her eyes as well as her voice.
She had feelings for him.
Feelings he’d never known before shifted in his chest too, and his head bent to kiss her again, his other hand returning to her bare thigh. His thumb stroked her skin there as he continued kissing her.
His kiss teased her lips until they parted and began to play, reaching up for his, if he lifted a little away. Then he breached them with his tongue, penetrating her mouth, and catching at her parted teeth. She had not kissed another man like this that was obvious, but she learned…
Desire raged in his blood as he gripped her thighs harder and lifted her up onto the table. His fingertips slipped down and up her thighs, just to feel the silk of her soft skin. Oh God, she was beautiful. He pulled her legs about his waist and rocked against her, penetrating her mouth and playing games with her tongue as it tentatively played with his.
Her stocking clad shins curled about the back of his thighs urging him on.
His hands lifted to her shoulders, his thumb resting over the pulse in her neck. It pounded out a sharp beat, and her skin was warm and damp. Her fingers slipped into his hair as the strength of his kiss leaned her back a little. Soon… But first.. He slid her dress from her shoulders and lifted one breast from its snug cradle in her bodice. Then he broke the kiss, lowered his head and devoured it, sucking hard on her tight, pale, pink nipple.
“Marcus.” Her fingers gripped in his hair as her soft thighs tightened their grip about his hips.
When he did not stop, her breathing fractured, but he gave her no chance to regain it, as his fingers traced a path up her inner thigh. Her legs let the grip about his hips go, and fell to hang from the table.
He slid his fingers in to her and he touched her with his thumb. Her breath became more hesitant. He let her nipple slip off his tongue and lifted his head to kiss her again…
Her inexperience made every experience new for him. He was used to grasping women. They would have touched him by now. They would be hurrying him, hungering for a quick escape, relief and then a return to the ballroom as though nothing had taken place. But then he should not allow this to go on too long. They still had to return to the ballroom, and people must not know what had occurred here… or even have cause to guess. This was too far. This would be ruin for her…
Still touching her between her legs, his fingers playing a game of enchantment he broke their kiss and whispered over her lips, “You’re beautiful.” A well of emotion swelled up into his chest as well as gripping harder at his groin. “I have always thought so.” She was losing the knowledge of where they were, focusing only on the tunes her body played and not those they could hear seeping from the ballroom. But someone could come here any moment, he could not leave this longer.
“You’re sure?” he said over her lips, looking at her. Her eyes had been closed, but now they opened and looked at him with a hundred questions. Was she sure? “No change of heart?” She took a breath that shuddered into her lungs, and shook her head, but her hands shook too as she leaned back a little and gripped the edges of the iron table. “You must tell me if you change your mind?”
His head bent to kiss her again and a tremor shook through her dangling legs as his fingers slipped from between her thighs, then reached to fee the buttons of his flap.
With her legs parted about his, she was open to him, ready, and hot, wet. Desperately wet. He looked down to the Eden of her juncture and touched himself against her nectar. Her fingers did not lift to touch him, but merely continued gripping the iron table as he angled himself, watching with a blissful hunger for what was to come, and a sense of awe for this beautiful young woman who was giving herself to him so humbly.
He thrust. The Devil. The damned Devil...
His breath hissed through his teeth as hers echoed about the glass expressing her pain and her muscle tightened in sudden shock.
She had been a virgin. She was not inexperienced. She had had no experience.
Her whole body shuddered as he stayed still within her and met her gaze.
He could not ask the questions… What was there to say… It was too late…
He held still as he felt her pain. She had become rigid and her passage had lost its slick coat.
Internally he used every curse he knew as he dropped his forehead to rest against hers, breathing heavily, his own desire had not waned, it had increased, the girl was pure novelty. But why the hell had she chosen to give herself to him – he was not worthy of this. Her fingers released their grip on the table and instead gripped and clung to his shoulders with a desperate hold.
“You were a virgin,” he whispered, stating the bloody obvious, as he lifted his head, his fingers gripping her thighs as he still stood between her legs, buried deep inside her.
“Please do not stop,” she whispered, in a voice that urged him to continue, with a desperate tone. “I want this.”
He held her gaze for a moment, she was so young. Why had she done this… But God it was too late now, even if he wished to stop, the damage had been done.
“Please I wish for this…” The words whispered from her lips and he breathed them in.
He wished for it too. A new thought bloomed – he was the first man to be in this precious place inside her. The very first…
Could there be any greater gift given to a jaded rake like him.
If you cannot wait until next week for more of Jane Lark’s writing there’s plenty to read right now :D
To read the Marlow Intrigues series, you can start anywhere, but this is the actual order
The Lost Love of Soldier ~ The Prequel
#1 The Illicit Love of a Courtesan
#1.5 Capturing The Love of an Earl ~ This Free Novella
#2 The Passionate Love of a Rake
#2.5 The Desperate Love of a Lord ~ Free and NOW available to pre-order from Amazon
#3 The Scandalous Love of a Lord
and, yes, there are more to come :-)
Go to the index
- the story of the real courtesan who inspired The Illicit Love of a Courtesan,
- another free short story, about characters from book #2, A Lord’s Scandalous Love,
- the prequel excerpts for book #3 The Scandalous Love of a Duke
Jane Lark is a writer of authentic, passionate and emotional Historical and New Adult Romance stories, and the author of a No.1 bestselling Historical Romance novel in America, ‘The Illicit Love of a Courtesan’.
Click here to find out more about Jane’s books, and see Jane’s website www.janelark.co.uk to learn more about Jane. Or click ‘like’ on Jane’s Facebook page to see photo’s and learn historical facts from the Georgian, Regency and Victorian eras, which Jane publishes there. You can also follow Jane on twitter at @janelark
Jane’s books can be ordered from most booksellers in paperback