More Precious than a Crown(3)

By: Carol Marinelli

‘What are you up to, Trinity?’ Zahid asked, except his hands did not leave her face and neither did Trinity want them to. Yes, he was boring, yes, he was yawn-yawn dignified, but sometimes when he smiled, sometimes when his subtle humour went completely over her parents’ heads, he made her laugh. She had never understood what women saw in him. Donald was bitterly jealous and complained often to his family that women only went after Zahid for his title.

Tonight Trinity would beg to differ.

Now she understood his attraction, for those black eyes made the skin on her cheeks flare with heat and the height of him, instead of intimidating her, had her wanting to stand on tiptoe and lift her face to his like a flower to the sun.

Now they recognised the lust.

Zahid looked down at her. She was like a little wild kitten that any minute might scratch but right now was temporarily tame, and Zahid was knocked sideways by her appeal.

‘Am I to breathe out again...?’ Trinity said, and as he went to open his mouth to tell her they should get back, Trinity blew into his open mouth. He captured her breath and then swallowed, and for the first time Zahid wrestled with self-control.

‘You need to be more careful,’ Zahid warned. ‘You should not be walking alone in the woods at night.’

‘In case a handsome prince happens to be walking by?’

‘I could be anyone,’ Zahid pointed out, but his hands were still on her cheeks.

Their lips were almost touching.

‘You’re you,’ Trinity said, ‘and I want you to give me my first kiss.’

Her mouth was, to Zahid, perfect and he was, rarely for him, tentative as his lips grazed hers for he was wrestling for control, forcing himself to hold back not just want, for the pulse of her flesh on his lips gave him more than the usual want, it filled him with need, and a man of Zahid’s standing must never feel need that wasn’t met.

For Trinity to feel him kiss her so tenderly, to feel that sulky mouth now soft against hers, was sublime.

A late developer, for six months now, or perhaps a little more, Trinity had loathed her body. The feel of another’s eyes on her had made her feel ill. Family functions had been spent fighting hands that wandered, yet she was not fighting hands now. She loved the feel of Zahid’s hands moving from her cheeks and down to her waist, and when her lips parted the slip of tongues was so mutual, so natural that Trinity let out a moan.

Zahid would have loved to linger, she tasted of cinnamon and was so sweet and warm, but the purr of her too-thin body beneath his hands, the sudden tip into sexual hunger from Trinity, the raw need in himself were enough for Zahid to attempt to halt things.

‘That was not your first kiss.’ His voice was not accusing, he was merely stating a fact, for never had a mouth had such an effect on him before and surely it had been a practised kiss.

‘Okay, it was my second,’ Trinity admitted. ‘Suzanne and I practised a while back so that we’d know what we were doing, but this doesn’t feel like practice, though,’ she breathed, her mouth searching for his again.

‘You need to get back,’ Zahid said. His voice was just a touch stern, for he was cross at his own lack of control. His life was ordered, the women he dated were generally a few years older than him, not the other way around, and with reason, for emotion he kept at a distance and love was something to actively avoid.

Sex was the name of the game but it felt like more than that now.

Trinity’s hands met at the back of his neck and she looked up at him. His hands were just above her hips and she knew that at any moment they would disengage, that he would take her back, but Trinity didn’t want that. She wanted her first proper kiss to go on for longer, she did not want to return to her family and the house, but more than that, she wanted more time with Zahid.

He was far too tall for her mouth to reach his without Zahid lowering his head, so when still he did not, her mouth moved to his neck, and worked upwards, inhaling his lovely scent and feeling his hands digging deeper into her hips.

There was a strange push-pull, for he should push her off, take her hand and walk back, yet Zahid was resisting the urge to pull her into his groin. Trinity’s tongue licked up his neck and then one hand did move. Zahid took her chin in his fingers and Trinity blinked up at him. She thought for a moment that she was about to be told off, but instead his mouth came down on hers and she found out that the first kiss had been but a precursor to bliss.

Trinity’s eyes snapped open at the passion behind his kiss. She was a little shocked, a little heady and then, when she saw the usually remote Zahid so consumed, Trinity’s eyes closed again and just revelled in the bliss of being so thoroughly kissed. One of his hands was stroking her hip and his tongue was sliding around hers and there was nothing but pleasure to be had. His other hand was on her shoulder but almost pushing her back in an attempt to resist pulling her in, yet it was Trinity who ignored the pressure and moved a delicious bit closer and discovered her home.