Ilie’s heart slammed against his chest at Soleil’s tentatively spoken words. For a moment, he could only gaze at her with hooded eyes, a part of him wondering why it was only with her he ended up feeling like an untutored schoolboy in the throes of first love.
Nine hundred years, he thought broodingly. He’d had that long to master the art of seduction, but with this woman, he found himself breaking all the rules, even to the point of fucking her with his fingers and mouth and yet neglecting to taste her lips.
Promising himself that he would retain control this time, he slowly drew her to him, his gloved hands gentle as he cupped her face. He heard her heartbeat, literally, racing faster every second, and he was almost gratified to know that she wasn’t as immune to him as she acted.
Even if she kept refusing his offer of marriage, at least he could be sure she desired him almost as much as he desired her.
“Thank you, milady.” He shook his head, murmuring, “You are so unbelievably beautiful in my eyes, ma lisse. I cannot fathom how it is that men are able to fight with you or against you.”
Soleil rolled her eyes. “Too much flattery.”
“You know I don’t have to lie to seduce you.”
But he had lowered his head as he spoke, making her voice just a bit more breathless as she said, “I hope that’s not your way of telling me you d-don’t approve of what I do.”
“I don’t.” When she started to pull away, he drew her back to him, saying, “But it doesn’t mean I’m going to keep you from doing what you love.”
She blinked. “How modern of you.”
His lips curved. “Don’t be too impressed, milady. If I ever think what you’re about to do is suicidal, I won’t let you go, even if I have to lock you in a room—-”
She let out an exasperated sound, cutting him off as she exclaimed, “And just when I think—-oh.” He had pressed his lips against hers for the briefest moment, but it was more than enough.
Her toes curled, and she drew a shaky breath—-
His lips were against hers again.
There, not there, there, not there—-
Like he was teasing her, the cad—-
She started to open her eyes, but he chose that exact moment to nip her lips. The intimacy shocked and thrilled her, and Soleil’s eyes drifted close again. He nipped her upper lip, then her lower lip. The nipping turned into nibbling, and her toes curled anew.
Was it always supposed to feel like this, the marquis making Soleil feel like he was taking his time eating her? Was her heart always supposed to beat this fast, this hard, to the point she could barely hear her thoughts?
Oh, if only her years of training had prepared her for these intimacies, too!
The marquis drew back. “Open your mouth.”
As the sensual command made her breasts swell against the neckline of her dress, she couldn’t stop herself from doing what the marquis asked, body trembling hard as her lips parted—-
His tongue entered her mouth, and Soleil froze.
This kiss felt so different from the way Ilie had made her come with his mouth and fingers. It had its own beauty, its own way to seduce her senses, its own way to coax a response.
Ilie’s body hardened as he felt Soleil slowly respond to the gentle overtures of his tongue. At first, the strokes of her tongue against his were timid, and her fingers were just as hesitant as they moved up to settle on his shoulders. He gave her as much time as he could, doing his best to control his instincts, and soon his patience was rewarded. Her fingers tightened on his shoulders, her body moving towards him, molding against his chest as her tongue danced against his.
A shudder struck his body, and Ilie’s control broke. His hands moved away from her face, one cupping her nape while another dug through the silky tresses of her hair. Pins scattered to the floor, but neither of them noticed nor cared. Digging deeper into her hair, he slanted her head so he could take more of her mouth.
Soleil whimpered as she felt the kiss change, Ilie’s lips pressing more insistently against her and his tongue becoming bolder in the way it explored her mouth. It had her heart galloping as fast as the horses drawing his carriage, and while her brain warned her to slow down, both her heart and body paid it no heed.
She wanted more.
Abandoning herself to his kiss, she wrapped her arms around his neck, and it was as if it was the signal he was waiting for, Ilie dragging her to his lap without breaking their kiss.
Her world started to dance.
Their kiss was magical and torrid, forbidden and heavenly. She couldn’t get enough of him, and he seemed to feel the same, and it left her panting while his breathing became ragged. The sounds she was making were embarrassing to her ears, but even so she couldn’t stop herself.