HIS GRACE'S PAYMENT
“Miss Thurlow.” Clayton acknowledged with a nod of his head, but didn’t bother to stand as she made her way into his library. His gaze did travel over her barely dressed body though. Her nipples hardened at his appraisal. She thought she heard him suck in a harsh breath, but didn’t acknowledge it.
“This letter does not say that he gave me to you, just that he’s hoping my life will be better here with you.” she waved the paper in the air.
“No, but this one does.” He picked a piece of paper up from his desk and held it up to her. She had to walk to his desk to get it. He snatched the other one from her hand. She looked at him as she took the paper then looked down at it. It was the other letter from her father. The one he’d written to Clayton, she began to read.
Bethany dropped the letter and grabbed for the desk to steady herself. Clayton jumped to his feet as she began to sway.
“Bethany, are you quite all right?” He grabbed her up into his strong arms.
“He just signed me away as if I meant nothing to him.” Her voice was quiet.
“Damn you Thurlow, I will find you one of these days and kill you with my bare hands for treating Bethany this way.” She faintly heard Clayton cursing her father and promising him death by his hands once more when she began to come too. Her eyes fluttered at first and then came fully open when she realized she was lying across his lap. He had her cradled in his arms as if she was a small child. He smiled down at her as if he was happy to see that she would be fine.
“Your Grace?” She questioned as she looked around the room.
“Are you all right now? You gave me a bit of a fright.” His eyes seemed full of concern for her.
“Oh my,” she put her hand to her face feeling it burn. She couldn’t believe her father had actually done as Clayton had said. He’d left her and their home to Clayton. She had nothing left to go back to. She tried to push away from him and off his lap, but he held her tightly. “I believe he meant for me to be your servant not your guest, or ward.”
“I don’t give a damn what he meant for you to be, he gave you to me and I can treat you anyway I choose.” he declared in a soft voice as he caressed the side of her face.
“But I could never repay for all you are doing for me.” She felt tears springing to her eyes once more. She was so tired of crying, so tired of making excuses for her father’s behavior. All she wanted to do was lie in Clayton’s arms and have his lips on hers once more. She wanted to belong here with him and not as his servant, or ward.
“You don’t owe me anything, Bethany. I want to do this for you. I only want to see you happy and smiling.” he caressed the damp hair back from her face.
“Then don’t do this to me…let me stay here with you, please don’t send me away.” She pleaded looking up into his sincere blue eyes. How could she convince him this was where she belonged? He was all she had…all that she wanted.
“I’m not sending you anywhere. I’m trying to give you a better life and it’s not here with me. You deserve a gentleman who will give you everything you need or want. I’m not a gentleman…I never have been, and I never plan to be.” he chuckled.
DAVID'S DILEMMA (Shared Desires 5)
David stepped aside and held his arm out for her to pass. The closer she got to him the more he realized just how small and petit she was. He guessed her to be about four-ten, maybe four-eleven, give or take an inch. The top of her head came to his chest. He smiled imagining taking her hair down to let if fan out around her shoulders. It looked soft and shiny. He wondered if it would feel like silk through his fingers. Would she be timid and shy in bed, or did she have a wild side to her? He’d like to find out.
“Do you have a boyfriend, or perhaps a husband, Zoe?”
“No, I don’t have time for either one.”
David could relate to that. House hunting and taking his pre-med course to get his bachelor’s degree was taking up a lot of his time. He really didn’t have time left to hunt for a woman. He watched Zoe walk to her cart, deposit the sheets in a laundry basket and then push the cart toward the door.
“Do you work every day here?” he asked before she could get out the door.
“I get a couple days off each week, but yes I work here all the other days.”
“Do you clean the same rooms each time?”
“Are you asking if I’ll be cleaning your room again, or are you planning to request that I don’t?” she asked turning to look at him again.
“I want you to clean my room every time.” He crossed his arms over his chest again. “How does that make you feel?”
“Curious about what?” he smiled.
“Curious as to why you’d want me to clean your rooms. As you can tell I’m a little slow at this job. Cleaning is not my forte. What else do you want from me, Mr. Loring?”
David’s smile widened. He’d wondered if she knew who he was.
“So you do know who I am.”
“Of course I do. What woman wouldn’t know? I also read about your reputation of being a player.” She arched her brows and studied his face this time. “Are you planning to try to play me, Mr. Loring?”
“Only if you’ll allow me to.” He answered seductively.
She sucked in a deep breath, her mouth slightly ajar. Her face became bright red and her body trembled ever so slightly. If he hadn’t been watching her closely he’d never seen it. He stepped toward her slowly. He didn’t want to frighten her away just yet. She didn’t move as he reached out to caress his hand over her cheek. It was as smooth and soft as it looked.
“What would you allow me to do to you?” his voice was low, almost a whisper. He leaned down. His lips close to her ear. “Would you allow me to touch you—kiss you—make love to you?”
He could hear her breathing hard as she turned her face toward his a little. She closed her eyes as her tongue came out to lick her soft pink lips. She pulled her bottom lip into her mouth and bit down on it. Damn, he wanted to pull that lip into his own mouth and bite it. But before he could say or do anything else Zoe moved away from him and hurried out the door with her cart.