Was she meant to push his trousers down, or pull his erection out? Did she grasp it by the tip or by the root? How was she supposed to react on introduction? Ought she compliment its noble shape, or ooh and ah over its size?
Alex was totally unaware of lovers’ etiquette. She feared she’d do it all wrong.
Sensing her hesitation—or perhaps simply too impatient to indulge her dithering—he took her hand and guided it inside his trouser falls, introducing her by touch rather than sight.
Oh, this was so much better.
Her first impression was the softness. She hadn’t been expecting such a silky, smooth quality to meet her touch. As she ran her fingertips along his length, lightly tracing him from root to tip, he drew a shaky breath. Then she curled her fingers around his shaft, squeezing tight and letting his hardness fill her grip.
He lifted his hips, pushing his trousers down to his thighs. His cock sprang free, jutting into plain view. She continued her explorations, fascinated by the ruddy hue of the tip, and the veins that wound around his shaft and shivered under his skin. Even when his breathing grew harsh and fast, he allowed her to stroke and touch him as softly and slowly as she pleased.
She looked up to find him watching her, his brow furrowed and his jaw tight.
She bit her lip, feeling unsure. “Is it . . . ?”
He nodded curtly. “It is.”
“Oh, yes. You are.” He reached to caress her cheek, and his thumb traced the shape of her lips. “You are perfect.”
Her chest swelled with relief, and not a little bit of pride.
A drop of moisture welled at the tip of his cock, and she covered it with her thumb, spreading it in circles around the broad, smooth crown. His cock jumped in her hand, and the muscles of his abdomen went hard as cobblestones.
He squeezed his eyes shut and muttered a curse. As she touched him again, his hips bucked and his shaft pumped into her hand.
Alex had never felt more powerful. Even in her ignorance, she could reduce this powerful man to a single raw, quivering nerve. She had him, quite literally, in the palm of her hand.
“Teach me,” she whispered. “Teach me what to do. What you like.”
He reached down and covered her hand with his own, guiding her into a rhythm of tight, swift strokes. Pumping faster and faster, until their linked hands were a blur. She watched his face contort, flashing back and forth between pleasure and pain. His head was thrown back, and his eyes closed tight.
He seemed to have gone somewhere else, somewhere inside himself. She wondered where his mind had traveled. Whether he was with her, or with someone else. Or perhaps he’d been transported to a place where there were no names, no faces—only sensation.
A low, primal growl forced its way through his clenched teeth. His body shuddered with release. Warmth spilled over her fingers. He released his grip on her hand, and she caressed him—equally fascinated by the softening of his cock as she had been by the hardness.
“Alexandra,” came the hoarse whisper. His hand drifted to her hair, and he tangled his fingers in her unbound locks, drawing her down for a kiss.
Wherever it was he’d journeyed to, he’d returned. He was back in the here and now, with her.
As his breathing returned to normal, she considered her options. Mutter a word of thanks and flee to her room? Pretend to fall asleep and sneak out in the middle of the night? Both of those seemed beneath her dignity.
Instead, she rolled onto her side to face him. If she avoided him now, it would only grow more and more awkward. What had just happened between them would need to be confronted, discussed.
He stared at the ceiling. “That was . . . unbelievable.”
She smiled, thrilled by his evident satisfaction and more than a bit proud of herself.
“So ill advised,” he continued, groaning. “Inappropriate. Unforgivable of me.” He stood, hiking his trousers, and reached for a handkerchief to wipe away the evidence of their encounter. “I’m sorry, Alexandra. You should go up to your room, and we’ll agree that this never—”
“Don’t.” She sprang to her feet. “Don’t you dare say this never happened. It happened. I’m glad it happened. I want it to happen again.”
Could that be a hint of anxious uncertainty in his eyes?
Surely not. Infamous rakes weren’t anxious or uncertain with women. Certainly not with women like Alex.
“Truly,” she assured him. “I want this.”
I want this. I want you. I want to feel wanted. Even if it’s only for a short while.
Alexandra knew she was ignoring several possible disadvantages to this affaire she’d proposed. There were dangers, certainly. He understood how to prevent both pregnancy and emotional entanglement. She, on the other hand, could only be assured of avoiding the first. After the bookshop, she’d spent months infatuated with him on the basis of a mortifying wreck of a conversation, green eyes, and a charming smile. After a summer of sensual “lessons,” she shuddered to think what fancies could bloom in her imagination.