"I th-think I already have." She sounded so perturbed that he laughed.

"Then lie still," he whispered, "while I breathe fire on you."

The women he had slept with in the past had never worn this kind of prim white nightgown, which struck Cam as the most erotic garment he had ever seen. It had intricate little folds and tucks and lace trimmings, and it went from the neck to the ankles. The way it lay over her, like a layer of pale, crisp icing, made his heart pound with primal force. He followed her shape, searching for her scent, her heat, through the cotton, lingering whenever she arched or shivered. The front was held closed by a long row of covered buttons. He worked at them while her hands slid restlessly over his silk-covered back.

He kissed her, his tongue searching the sweetness of her mouth. The top of the gown slipped open, revealing the gleaming rise of her br**sts, the tempting shadow between. He pulled the garment lower, lower, until her arms were delicately trapped and her chest was exposed. His head lowered and he took what he wanted, licking a taut nipple, prodding with his tongue, making it wet and deep pink. Amelia sighed deeply, her eyes half-closed, her body lifting helplessly as he bent to her other breast.


Cam's breathing turned ragged as he pulled the gown lower, freeing her arms, exposing the curves of her h*ps and stomach. He spread his hands over her body, his fingers and palms translating heat into sensation. He kissed her navel, the ticklish skin around it, the place where the crisp curly hair started.

Her legs tautened against him, caught beneath his weight. Moving upward, he straddled her body. He took the signet ring off, the one she had refused before, and held it out to her.

"You can have what you want," he said. "But first put this on."

Amelia focused on the ring. "I can't."

"I won't make love to you unless you're wearing it."


"You're being absurd."

"You're being stubborn." Cam leaned over her, bracing his forearms on either side of her, kissing her sulky mouth. "Just for tonight," he whispered. "Wear my ring, Amelia, and let me pleasure you." He kissed her throat, his h*ps shunting gently against her. She gasped at the feel of him, hard and swollen behind the black silk. His mouth traveled slowly up to her ear. "I'll enter you, fill you, and then I'll hold you still and quiet in my arms. I won't move. I won't let you move, either. I'll wait until I feel you throbbing around me... I'll follow that rhythm deep in your body, that sweet pulse... I won't stop until you weep and shiver and cry out for more. And I'll give it to you, as long and hard as you want. Take my ring, love." His mouth descended to hers in a smoldering kiss. "Take me."

Fitting himself against her soft cleft, he felt her heat seep through the robe, wetness and silk stretched tightly between them. Her small hand touched his, fingers unfolding... and she let him slide the ring back on.

Cam stripped her na**d and laid her back into his discarded robe, her skin startling white in the glimmering pool of black. He kissed her everywhere, the crooks of her elbows, the backs of her knees, every curve and hollow of the smooth feminine territory. She wrapped herself around him, her mouth innocently inquiring as she kissed every part of him she could reach.

He kissed between her thighs, cupping her h*ps with his hands while the scent of her lit an explosion of fire inside him. He licked into the tenderness, teasing, sucking lightly, until she groaned with every breath and reached down to his head, urging him upward with imploring fingers.

Fighting for self-control, Cam entered her, sliding deep. She moved and arched and nearly drove him insane. "Sweetheart, wait," he said shakily, trying to calm her. "Don't move. Please. Don't..." A laugh rustled in his throat as she hitched up against him desperately. "Be still," he whispered, brushing kisses across her parted lips. "Hold me inside you. Feel the way your body tightens around me."

Breathing hard, Amelia tried to obey. Her flesh pulsed helplessly around the invading hardness. Cam made them both wait, their bodies perspiring and tense as they concentrated on that subtle, luscious clenching. Finally he began to move, using himself to pleasure her. He made love to her, all of her, and as he sank into the fathomless dark delight, he was flooded with a fulfillment he had never known before.

She enclosed him in softness and heat, letting him feast on kisses while he rode the swift hot pulse, stroking her inside and out. He looked down with pleasure-hazed eyes, at her face so tenderly confined in the bracket of his hands, and he whispered in Romany, I am yours. He watched her eyes close in the sweet temporary blindness of rapture, he felt it echoing in himself, the waves rushing stronger and stronger until the world caught fire.

Afterward they lay tumbled side by side like the survivors of a shipwreck, stunned in the wake of a storm. When Cam could gather the strength to move—which was not soon—he rolled to his side and nuzzled Amelia's throat, loving the fragrant damp warmth of her. Amelia groped for the ring and began tugging and twisting it. "It's stuck again." She sounded disgruntled.

Cam pinned her wrist and bent his head, taking her finger into his mouth. She gasped as his tongue swirled around the base, leaving it wet. Gently, he used his teeth to draw the gold band off. Taking the ring from between his lips, he slid it back onto his own finger. Her hand, now bare, flexed as if bereft, and she looked at him uncertainly.

"You'll get used to wearing it." Cam smoothed his hand along the plane of her midriff and stomach. "We'll try it on you a few minutes at a time. Like breaking a horse to harness." He grinned at her expression.

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