Page 12 of Vanquished

Chapter Eight

Delilah paced the length of her hotel room and told herself to prepare for bed and quit entertaining such nonsense as laying with a man who would never be her husband, or anything other than a temporary lover—her first lover.

But maybe her only lover.

She didn’t want to imagine such a bleak future for herself. After all, it wasn’t as though she was on the shelf quite yet, but neither did she have any prospects, or any hope of obtaining any. Her father had decided to extend his stay this time, but who was to say he would actually follow through on his words and give her a proper London season? Besides, she loved being in the country with her father and their horses and had nearly resigned herself to a lifetime of spinsterhood already. And if that wasn’t enough of an incentive to grab one night of bliss from a handsome, virile man, who was to say she wouldn’t manage to gain a husband someday, but one who was only in search of his own broodmare? No doubt there would be no pleasure to be found in that cold bed, for she would be expected to do a duty.

It was the image of this long, lonely outcome stretched out before her that made her even consider such an absurd course of action now.

She had only been back from Almack’s for a short time, and only then because her father approached her and said that he was used to country hours and he was ready to retire. Until then, Delilah had been able to tell herself that she couldn’t help it if she missed her clandestine appointment with Conor, for she had been at her father’s mercy.

But as the clock struck the midnight hour, she had to decide if she was going to go through with this spontaneous night of ruin, or if she would ignore it and climb under the covers.

She bit her lip, entertaining one last moment of indecision, and then she grabbed her cloak and threw it over her shoulders. She pulled the hood up over her hair to conceal her features the best she could to preserve her reputation, or what would be left of it after tonight, and set out.

With her heart pounding in her chest, Delilah swiftly made her way through the lobby, praying that she wouldn’t be recognized. She stepped outside on a heavy exhale and glanced about for the carriage that Conor had been promised would be waiting. When she saw nothing there, she nearly turned around and scurried back inside, but it wasn’t long before the sound of horse’s hooves met her ears and the door to an unmarked hackney was opened.

She couldn’t see who was inside, but she didn’t need to.

Gripping the edges of her cloak, she walked forward and climbed inside the carriage. After a moment, there was a sharp rap on the roof and the vehicle set into motion. She had just shoved back the hood of her cloak when a sigh of relief came from the opposite side. “Thank God.”

She was instantly in Conor’s embrace, his hands roaming over her body as he kissed her and pressed her soft curves against his chest until she couldn’t breathe. But perhaps that was her own excitement making it difficult to her to draw the appropriate amount of air into her lungs.

He pulled back but continued to nibble lightly at her bottom lip. “I wasn’t sure you were going to come.”

“Neither was I,” she admitted with some trepidation. “I’m still not.”

He adopted a serious mien. “I won’t force ye to do something ye don’t want to do, lass. Ye were the one who made this suggestion to me.”

“I know.” She nodded. She reached out and grasped his hand. It was warm and strong as it enveloped hers. “Now that I’m here, there’s no going back. I’m determined to see this through until the end.”

He snorted lightly. “Don’t make it sound as though yer headed to a death sentence. I promise that I’ll make it just as good for ye.”

Her lips twitched. “If I wasn’t confident of that I wouldn’t be here.”

His eyes flashed, and even though there was mostly darkness around them, she could see the reaction quite clearly. “I vow it will be a night ye’ll never forget.”

Delilah had to press her thighs together, for a steady thrumming had begun in her core from his delicious words. Her heart also resumed its previous rhythm, and before the carriage had even come to a complete stop, he was stepping to the ground and holding out a hand for her. She lifted the hood of her cloak back over her hair and as he grasped her hand and led her forward, she prayed that she didn’t trip and fall, her anticipation over what was to come making her feel both awkward and mesmerized, as if she wasn’t even the same woman from Almack’s but was watching as this brazen siren assumed her place.

They walked up a flight of stairs and passed two doors before they reached the last one on the right. Conor glanced at her and offered a wink as he unlocked the door and pulled her inside. She wasn’t sure what to expect of a bachelor’s quarters, but it was as she imagined it might be. Sparse, but neat furnishings in earthy tones were placed about the sitting area and although she doubted that Conor would give her a tour of his friend’s lodgings, she didn’t care, just so long as he didn’t appear until this deed was done.

Leading her to a modest bedchamber with a privacy screen and a four-poster bed taking up the middle of the floor, Delilah tried to feel some sort of regret that this is where she would lose her maidenhead, but she decided that it didn’t have to be some sort of grand affair like most women imagined it should be. In truth, she would be glad to have this part of her life behind her, so she didn’t have to worry about later. It was always a bit of an intimidating moment for a woman, but when she saw Conor light a lamp and then turn to her with seduction written all over his face, any reservations she’d been holding instantly melted away, for she knew she’d made the right choice.

She pushed her hood back. “How do we begin—?”

Her query was cut off by a deep kiss that left her feeling weak in the knees. When he paused to draw a deep breath, he whispered, “Oh, lass. I’m already halfway there.”

She had no idea what that meant, but it sounded rather enticing, so she accepted it as a compliment and wound her arms around his neck, returning the embrace.

Delilah’s pulse accelerated at the touch of his hand as it roamed over her back and slid around to the side of her ribcage. She held her breath as he slipped beneath her cloak and his thumb brushed the underside of her breast.

With a groan, Conor pulled back and looked into her eyes. “Ye’re not wearing any stays.”

She hesitated. “Well, no. I didn’t imagine that they would be needed—”

Once again, he kissed her with full abandon and as a silent reward for her foresight, he set his palm over her flesh and squeezed gently. This time it was Delilah’s turn to groan.

“Did ye like that, lass?” Conor asked huskily.

“Yes. Do it again.”

He readily complied, but this time he went even further and found her hardened nipple beneath the fabric and toyed with it until it was throbbing with desire. “Ye’re so responsive,” he growled as he picked her up in his arms and carried her over to the bed to gently lay her down.

Gone was any earlier maidenly reserve, for Delilah’s entire body was coiled and ready for what was to come. While she had an idea of what to expect, watching animals procreate wasn’t exactly the same as humans. There was no emotion present, whereas countless sensations were pulsing through her blood. She wasn’t exactly sure what she was anticipating, but she was impatient for the bliss that she knew only Conor could provide.

He remained standing above her as he undid her cloak and pushed the velvet aside. Next, he urged her to sit up momentarily as he unlaced the same gown she’d worn to Almack’s. After she’d removed her undergarments, she’d thrown the dress back on, unsure of what to don for a seduction.

However, he didn’t seem to mind, for his nostrils flared as he made quick work of her ties. The dress gaped around her shoulders, and he moved it down the rest of the way until her breasts were fully exposed. He eased her back onto the bed as he licked his bottom lip. Delilah’s heart was pounding at being so exposed, but there was a certain thrill in seeing the sparks of passion shining in his green eyes. “Ye’re beautiful, lass. Enchanting.”

This time when he cupped her mounds with both of his hands, her eyes rolled back in her head. He toyed and teased her until her legs were moving restlessly beneath her skirts.

“Look at me, lass. Watch as I pleasure ye.”

Her lids fluttered open, and her gaze locked with his. The sight of his masculine hands on her made her breath catch. It was… intoxicating, and it made her head swim as if she’d drank a glass of strong spirits.

He moved one hand to cover both of her breasts as his other slipped beneath her skirts. She could feel his hand as it trailed up her leg. “No petticoats either, lass?” She shook her head, for coherent speech abruptly failed her. But he merely grinned. “Ye naughty girl.” When his fingers brushed against her nether curls, her hips lifted off the mattress. “Ye’re so wet for me,” he murmured, and then touched a certain spot that made her mewl. Stars danced before her eyes, but she kept her focus fixed on him. She certainly felt naughty in that moment, and she enjoyed it.

His pace quickened, matching each of her pants. She could tell that something was going to happen. “Conor…”

“My God, lass, I have to taste ye.”

He removed his fingers and she collapsed in frustration, until he moved her gown up to her waist. Again, she was fully revealed to him, and hesitation started to slip in, but the moment he lowered his head and his tongue darted out to lick her intimately, she was lost. Combined with his other hand continuing to mold her breasts, along with the sight of his gaze upon hers as he brought her to the heights of ecstasy, she was powerless to hold back any longer. With a cry that didn’t sound as if it came from her body, she convulsed around his mouth, while he eagerly took everything that she offered. Time stood still as wave after wave of gratification crashed through her body, until it finally started to ebb to a gentle flow.

“I can’t wait to have ye any longer, lass, but I vow I’ll try my best not to hurt ye.” Conor’s words barely registered through the haze in her brain, but when she could feel the tip of his manhood nudging her entrance, she tensed slightly. However, she didn’t have time to blink before he had pushed inside of her.

She gasped, some of her earlier pleasure fading in the face of the slight discomfort, the fullness, but when he started to pull back, she reached out and grasped his arm, her nails digging into his skin. “Don’t go.”

He bent down and gave her a light kiss on the lips. “Don’t worry, lass. I’m not going anywhere. It’s just part of the dance.”

As he thrust back inside of her, she began to understand the rhythm. The twinge she’d felt earlier faded and she began to lift her hips to meet him, drawing him even further into her body. She saw a line of perspiration break out on his forehead as he clenched his jaw tightly. He looked down at her, pausing as he held her face in his hands and gave her a passionate kiss that made her breathing quicken once more.

This time when he resumed his pace, she could feel a familiar rush of excitement building. But not until he bent down and sucked on one of her nipples, and then the other, drawing each of the tight peaks into his mouth, did she feel her lower abdomen tighten as a rush of pleasure flowed through her a second time. Her eyes closed of their own abandon as she cried out his name, and through the convulsions she could hear Conor say, “Now ye’re truly mine.”

His thrusts became even more fervent until he pushed into her one last time and stilled with a guttural cry.

Tags: Tabetha Waite Romance