A Midnight Dance(10)

By: Lila DiPasqua


One thing was certain: She had to get him to down the burgundy before he touched her again. The feel of his caress against her skin had all but buckled her knees. The way her body reacted to him was beyond maddening. And utterly unsettling.

Footsteps approached.

Drawing in a quiet breath, she let it out slowly and turned around, a smile fixed on her face.

Jules stood ten feet away, silently watching her, firelight and moonlight illuminating his masculine beauty.

Without a doubt, the man was pure male perfection . . . Did he have to look that good?

The corner of his attractive mouth lifted in a slight smile. “Shall we begin?” he said, his tone so sinfully sensuous.

She gulped quietly. “Of course.” Sabine looked away and picked up the goblets off the log.

Turning to face him again, she was in time to see him pull his shirt over his head and toss it casually onto the blanket.

Her mouth fell agape.

There before her was a feast for the eyes. Unable to help herself, she devoured every beautiful dip and ripple on his strong chest and muscled abdomen.

Gracious God . . .

“Elise?”

She felt her cheeks grow hot. Her whole body warmed, yet she couldn’t tear her eyes away from his stunning physique.

“Huh?”

He hooked his thumbs into the waistband of his breeches. “We are going to have to be physically closer in order to have sex, no?” She heard amusement in his tone.

She jerked her gaze up to his and quickly clamped her gaping mouth shut. Giving herself a stern chastising, she forced herself to smile.

“Oh. Yes. Forgive me. I was simply admiring you.” Did she sound pathetic or provocative? Get up and go to him. Why didn’t her legs move?

With a lopsided grin, he approached her, his heated gaze fixing her to the spot.

He sat down before her on the fallen tree. His riveting halfnaked body was so close, his handsome face so near. Stop gawking! You’ll make him suspicious. He’ll think you’re inexperienced.

“Why don’t we drink?” she quickly suggested and held out one of the goblets to him. If he took anything else off, she’d expire on the spot. As it was, her heart was trying to burst out of her chest.

To her joy, he took the goblet. His other hand reached out and grasped her braid.

Good Lord, not the braid again . . .

Quietly, he studied it, his thumb caressing it as he had before. Her insides danced.

“The burgundy is quite good,” she prompted.

“Undo the braid.”

Her heart lurched. Sabine managed to maintain her smile. “The braid?” she repeated like an idiot. There was nothing wrong with her hearing.

He took her goblet out of her hand and set it down beside him on the tree trunk. “Yes. The braid.”

She looked at her goblet—an arm’s length away—then back at him. Thankfully, he still held his goblet. He was watching her. Waiting for her to comply.

It’s simply a braid. She could definitely do that.

“As you wish,” she said, amazed at how calm she sounded while on the brink of discomposure. Untying the worn ribbon, she unbraided her hair for him.

“Run your fingers through it,” he ordered. There was such hot desire in his eyes. It was intoxicating. And it amazed her. She still couldn’t believe he wanted her. Or that he was even looking at her when in the past she’d been practically invisible to him. How many times had she craved a glance. His touch. His kiss. That was so long ago, a different time, before his kith and kin turned the world black.

Threading her fingers in her hair, she complied with his request. Her blond hair swooshed back down, hanging loosely.

Taking one of her tresses, he brought the lock to his cheek and stroked it along his jaw. “You have beautiful hair,” he said.

His words unbalanced her. That was the very same thing he’d said to her the night she’d slipped and lost her slipper. Only this time there was such a carnal quality to his words, her sex tightened in response.

“Thank you. So do you.” So do you? What sort of imbecilic response is that?

This would have been so much easier if he’d become potbellied, bald, and had bad teeth.

Anxious to get this over with, she decided to move things along. Daringly, she dipped her finger into his goblet. Intending to put a drop on his lips, she said, “Would you like to try the wine?”

He caught her wrist before she touched him, his action surprising her.

Moving his goblet closer to her mouth, he released her wrist and said, “Ladies first.”

Oh, God. Remain calm. Don’t overreact.

“You are most kind,” she responded, recovering quickly, though her heart rhythm did not. She took hold of the goblet, her fingers inadvertently brushing his. Did he notice they trembled?