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The Governess Game Tessa Dare 2022/8/3 13:55:29

“If you give them the chance, people will see that you’ve changed, Chase. You will see that you’ve changed.”

God. He wanted so desperately to believe her, and he almost could—here, now, staring deep into her lovely eyes and feeling her looking deep into his. He trusted her opinion of his character more than he trusted his own. She made him want to be better. She always had, from the first.

But when she left him, he’d be lost all over again. It would never work, unless . . .

Unless he didn’t let her go.

Keep her close. Make her stay. Make her yours.

He dragged her into his arms and kissed her.

There was no more contemplation in his mind. No more logic or reason or sense. Only a wild impulse that roared to life inside him and pounded in his blood like an ancient drum. One his cave-dwelling ancestors likely pounded in some torch-lit mating ceremony followed by a buffet of raw antelope. Each beat resonated as a primal urge.

Want. Need. Take. Claim. Mine.

After parting her with a light, sweeping touch, he pushed two fingers into her heat. She wasn’t as ready as he typically made her with caresses of both hands and tongue. But he had no patience for finesse tonight. He probed deep, relishing the tight grip of her sex and the gasps he wrenched from her throat.

He reached down to unbutton his trouser falls and free his cock. He slid the thick, hard shaft up and down her sex, grinding and rubbing against her until she was wet for him. Then he backed off to pump his hand over his length, slicking himself with her essence. With his hips, he spread her thighs wide and positioned the head of his cock at her entrance.

“Alex, please. Let me have you. Take me in.”

“I want you,” he murmured. “I need this. To be inside you, make you mine.”

Once he’d spoken the word, it echoed in his every heartbeat.

She put her hands on his shoulders and pushed him away. “I know you don’t want this. Not really.”

“The hell I don’t.” He thrust his erection against her thigh, offering her ample proof.

“That’s not what I mean. I know how you feel about intercourse. Or fucking, if you want to call it that.”

“I don’t want to call it that.” Not now, not with her. He pulled away from her, breathing hard.

“You always do this. Let your body take the lead when you want to hide your heart. Right now, you’re hurting. I don’t want to take advantage of you.”

“You think you could take advantage of me.” He chuckled. “Well, aren’t you precious.”

“Well, aren’t you patronizing.” She stood up, pulling down the hem of her shift and dressing gown. “Good night, Chase.”

He needed to leave. Get out of this house, remind himself of who he was—before he hurt her in some irretrievable way.

Fortunately, Chase knew just the place.

A week spent in Hertfordshire was guaranteed to quash even the mildest erotic desires or romantic longings. At least, Chase had counted on it working that way for him. Clearly the local residents managed to persevere in marrying and procreating, but they weren’t lodged at the Belvoir estate. They didn’t spend their days trying to coax details of sheep manure and crop rotation from a skeptical land agent who’d managed the farmland for longer than Chase had been alive. They didn’t spend their nights rattling about in a cavernous, half-empty mansion, followed by the eyes of disappointed ancestors hanging in their portrait frames.

And they didn’t spend a tense hour sitting at the bedside of an aged, brokenhearted man who’d lost his powers of speech and movement but had retained the ability to fix Chase with a watery blue glare that shouted without words: This is your fault.

The neglected pasture, the empty silence, his uncle’s bedridden state and lack of an heir.

So no. He shouldn’t have thought of Alexandra or the girls at all.

Damn it, his plan had failed miserably. All cursed week long, he’d fought the temptation to go back. It was like Reynaud House anchored one end of a rope, and he’d spent the week tugging at the other end, flexing every last muscle he had in resistance. All he’d earned for his trouble were aches.