The deed was done.
But then, that was putting it mildly, wasn’t it?
Delilah could slowly absorb her surroundings once more, and although she should feel some sort of guilt or regret about what had just happened, it was difficult not to allow a wide grin to spread across her face. What she had just shared with Conor wasn’t just amazing, it was… incredible. She had always thought her first time would be an awkward, uncomfortable affair, but that wasn’t the case. While there had been a moment of reservation when he had first entered her, it had swiftly passed. Even now, with Conor’s semi-hard cock still inside of her, her body hummed with a tingling sensation that could easily turn into that now familiar, demand for satisfaction.
She had to wonder if it was always like this, but she didn’t really want to ask Conor and remind him of the other women he’d lain with, for surely, as a virgin she would have fallen short of any expectation because of her lack of experience. She just hoped she hadn’t disappointed him too much.
Conor withdrew from her, but instead of walking away like she’d expected him to do, he sat down beside her and eased her into a sitting position. He brushed a strand of her dark hair out of her face and peered closely into her eyes. “I wasn’t too rough, was I?”
She shook her head. “No. You couldn’t tell I was enjoying it?”
His lips twitched. “Well, I did my best to ensure it was a memorable experience for ye.”
She smiled, but it was the way he said ‘experience’ as if it was only a single affair. But was it really fair of her to ask for more when he’d made her no promises? She had even told herself that it wouldn’t go beyond this one night. She would just have to content herself with that and carry this solitary memory with her. It would definitely keep her warm on those cold, lonely nights.
Delilah sighed. “I should be getting back.”
He frowned lightly but exhaled heavily as well. “I suppose it’s for the best.” It was then that he surprised her by cupping her cheek. “When can I see ye again?”
She swallowed hard. “Are you sure that’s a good idea?”
“Ye don’t?” he countered.
Delilah pulled her dress back into place and stood, allowing her skirts to do the same. Since it wasn’t yet laced in the back, she crossed her arms to keep her gown up, but also to shield her from any unpleasantness that might arise from this conversation. “We both knew this…” She waved a hand, for she wasn’t actually even sure what to call their association other than acquaintances, and after what they’d shared, it seemed rather inconsequential. “This wasn’t going to go any further. Let’s just leave things as they are and someday, look back on this night with a fond recollection.”
Conor stood as well. It was only then that she actually saw his manhood, and even though it wasn’t fully erect, she had to admit that it was an impressive sight before he tucked himself away and fastened his trousers. She also made a mental note that he was still wearing his shirt. Neither of them had completely undressed, but again, it wasn’t as if they had truly made love. This had merely been a way to combat their lust, to take advantage of mutual satisfaction.
She really had to leave, or else she would find herself in tears without really knowing why.
“Ye’re right, of course.” Conor set his hands on his narrow hips. “I’ll see ye safely back to the hotel.”
She gathered her cloak and threw it around her shoulders. “There’s no need to trouble yourself.”
This time he frowned in earnest. “It’s no trouble.”
She wasn’t going to stand there and use what energy she had left to argue. As it was, a weariness was stealing over her, the likes she’d never known before. “Very well.”
Delilah decided that he was being proper for the first time since she’d met him. Why he had to start now, she had no idea. And it angered her for some reason.
He escorted her down the stairs and out the door. As they waited to hail a hackney, he turned to her, as if he wanted to say something, but then appeared to decide against it as he caught the attention of a driver. He held the door to the carriage for her and even offered her a hand like any other gentleman.
They sat across from one another as the carriage rumbled over the cobblestones. Delilah kept her attention focused on the darkness outside, preferring it to conversing with the man she’d just lain with.
She bit the inside of her cheek and when the carriage came to a halt, she finally turned her gaze upon him. He was watching her intently, but again, he said nothing.
She considered a farewell, but anything she might have said seemed rather absurd considering the consequences. In the end, she settled with, “Goodnight, my lord.”
If it was possible, his scowl turned even more threatening. “Goodnight, Miss Rollins.”
Delilah ensured that her hood was firmly in place and then she climbed out of the carriage. She didn’t look back because the tears were already sliding down her face.
* * *
Delilah awokethe next morning and stared at the ceiling for an indeterminate amount of time. She might have convinced herself that what had occurred the night before had been nothing but a dream, except for the slight ache between her thighs that told her what she’d shared with Conor had been all too real.
She honestly had no idea why she’d been so emotional, except perhaps she finally realized what she could lose. Her father meant everything to her, but of course, what she was starting to feel for Conor, if there could even be a name put upon it, was completely different. Around the horses at their estate, Delilah was safe, she never had to worry about her heart getting broken. Granted, there had been a few times when one of the horses would end up lame and had to be put down, but even those tears of pain wouldn’t be able to compare to the anguish should she continue down this dangerous path with a man who would never be able to commit to her. He had already told her that he didn’t believe in love, and living on the edge as he did with such reckless racing, she knew she wouldn’t be able to rest easy knowing he was always risking his life.
Perhaps today would be the day her father announced that they were leaving for home. Rather ironic since she had always yearned to stay in the city longer than the day of the auction, and yet, now she couldn’t wait to return to what was familiar.
After soaking in a warm bath that helped to ease some of the soreness between her legs, Delilah had just finished dressing when there was a knock at her door. It was likely her father coming to collect her for breakfast. Generally, on the days that they left London he would treat her to a nice meal at a local coffeehouse before they departed.
However, when she opened the door, she was surprised to see a messenger standing there and holding a bouquet of deep pink camellias in an impressive, pottery vase. The massive, lovely blossoms nearly overwhelmed her, even though there was just a hint of a floral scent. “Miss Delilah Rollins?”
She nodded her head.
At her confirmation, he handed the flowers to her, leaving before she could question him further. She shut the door and set the bouquet on a nearby table and searched for a card within the blooms and came upon a small, white square. It had her name written on the front in masculine script and on the back was a plain, red wax seal.
She quickly broke it and unfolded the note.
For a woman who manages to put these beauties to shame. I am still in awe that you offered the wondrous gift of your body to this humble Irishman.
Your servant forevermore,
Instead of the flowers, Delilah brought the card to her nose and inhaled slowly. She
closed her eyes and imagined that she caught a whiff of Conor’s scent, a combination of soap, earth, and masculinity.