Chasing Cassandra

Page 61

“If it were my date stone,” Cassandra said dryly, “I’d prefer the entwined hearts. At least I would understand what it means.”

“No, this is much better than hearts,” Tom exclaimed, his expression more earnest than any she’d seen from him before. “Linking their names with Euler’s infinity symbol means …” He paused, considering how best to explain it. “The two of them formed a complete unit … a togetherness … that contained infinity. Their marriage had a beginning and end, but every day of it was filled with forever. It’s a beautiful concept.” He paused before adding awkwardly, “Mathematically speaking.”

Cassandra was so moved and charmed and surprised, she couldn’t speak. She only stood there holding Tom’s hand tightly. She wasn’t certain whether she had reached for his hand, or he’d reached for hers.

How eloquent this man was on nearly any subject except his own feelings. But there were moments such as now, when he allowed her extraordinary glimpses into his heart without even seeming to be aware of it.

“Kiss me,” she said, her voice barely audible.

Tom tilted his head in that inquiring way she had come to love, before he drew her to the side of the house. They stopped behind a sheltering arbor of winter jasmine starred with tiny golden blooms. His head bent, his mouth finding hers. Wanting more, she let the tip of her tongue play against the seam of his lips. He opened for her, and she kissed him more insistently, until their tongues had entwined and his arms had clamped around her.

She sensed rather than felt his body changing in response to her nearness. Her heart drummed with excitement at the thought of what was happening to him. She wanted to feel all his skin against hers, and take him deep inside herself.

Tom finished the kiss and lifted his head slowly, his heat-drowsed eyes staring into hers. “Now what?” he asked huskily.

“Take me back to La Sirène,” she whispered. “I want a few minutes of infinity with you.”

IN THE QUIET afternoon hush of their hotel suite, Cassandra undressed Tom slowly, pushing his hands aside when he began to reciprocate. She wanted to see him, explore him, without the distraction of her own nakedness. As the tailored garments came off one at a time, Tom was patient, submitting to the procedure with the faintest hint of a smile.

She flushed a little as she worked at the buttons of his trousers. He was so aroused that the waistband of the trousers caught on the jut of his erection. She reached out to unhook the fabric from the swollen tip, and carefully pushed the trousers down over his hips. His body was so elegantly made, the muscles cut clean and fine, the bones long and perfectly symmetrical, as if turned by lathe work. A light flush had started on his upper chest, rising over the fair skin of his throat and face.

Coming to stand in front of him, Cassandra traced the strong lines of his clavicle, and pressed her palms to the hard muscle of his chest. “You’re mine,” she said quietly.

“I am.” There was a flicker of amusement in his voice.

“All of you.”


Slowly Cassandra trailed her fingers downward through the hair on his chest, letting the tips of her nails scrape gently over the little points of his nipples. His breath altered, roughening, deepening. She stroked down to his straining erection, and took it gently in both hands. He was heavy, thick, pulsing with readiness.

“And this is mine,” she said.

“Yes.” No amusement now. His tone had thickened with arousal, his body rigid with the effort to hold himself in check.

Delicately, as if performing a ritual, she cupped the cool weight of him below, tenderly kneading the twin spheres and feeling the movements within. Her fingers inched up the rock-hard shaft. She let the soft pads of her thumbs ease across the silken tip, and glanced up as he made rough sounds, almost as if he were in pain.

The flush had spread over his face. His eyes had dilated and darkened.

Holding his gaze, she curled her fingers around the thick length of him, and stroked up and down.

She felt him pull a few strategic pins from her hair. His fingers slid into the loosened mass and gently rubbed her scalp, and nerves all over her body tingled with delight. Beneath the layers of her skirts, she pressed her thighs together against the throb of arousal. Following an impulse, she sank down to kneel in front of him, and gripped the upright shaft with her hands. She wasn’t quite sure what she was doing, but she knew how the intimate kisses he’d given her had felt. She wanted to give him that same pleasure.

“May I?” she whispered, and he uttered with a few words that, although not terribly coherent, sounded like enthusiastic consent. Careful and intent, she lapped at the soft, dense weights below before running her tongue up the satiny length of him. The texture was silkier, smoother, than she’d ever thought skin could be, and brazier-hot.

A tremor shook Tom’s fingers as they moved lightly in her hair. She continued to explore the hard shape of him, kissing and stroking with her tongue, then trying to fit her mouth around him.

“Cassandra … my God …” Panting, Tom pulled her up and fumbled with the fastenings at the back of her dress, the long placket of hidden buttons. He was impassioned to the point of clumsiness, tugging until a few of the buttons popped.

“Wait,” she said, trembling and laughing. “Be patient, let me—” She tried to reach around to undo them herself. It was impossible. The dress had been designed only for women who had lady’s maids and ample leisure time. Tom was in no mood to wait.

He picked her up and sat her on the edge of the bed, rummaging roughly beneath the mass of her skirts. With a few demanding tugs, he stripped off her drawers and stockings. Her legs were pushed apart and held wide as he made a space for himself. She shivered as she felt his hot breath against the tender skin of her thighs … the graze of his tongue against the little peak. A sigh stuck in her throat and melted like honey, and she collapsed slowly on her back. Every stroke of his tongue sent a delicious curl of sensation through her belly. He licked at the throbbing as it grew stronger, the weight of pleasure building inside her, searching for release. The muscles of his arms and hairy chest pressed against her bare legs, keeping her open, anchoring her.

He climbed over her, settling between her widespread thighs. “I can’t wait,” he said hoarsely.

She reached for him, moaning, hitching upward. There was the smooth, hard pressure she craved, the head of the shaft entering her, stretching the wet flesh. Shaking with excitement, she ran her hands over his naked body, loving the flexing strength of him over her, inside her, working deeper. His hips rocked and circled gently, the thickness caressing different places within her. He pushed deep in long strokes, using his weight to press down on her in exactly the right way. It felt maddeningly good, each impact creating more tension, more pleasure, until nothing existed except the steady thrusting between her thighs. She arched and spread herself wider, wanting more, and he gave it to her.

“Is this too hard?” he asked huskily.

“No … no … just like that …”

“I feel you tighten on me … every time I go in.”

“More … please …” She bent her knees and lifted her feet, and whimpered as he went deeper.

“Too much?” he asked raggedly, but she couldn’t answer, only gripped him between her thighs as the waves of release rolled over her, tumbling her, washing her senses with ecstasy. He went rigid, his heat pumping inside her, and that made the feeling go on and on, quivers echoing through her body.

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