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Authors: Juliet Chastain

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“We are flattered,” Lucy-Ann replied, and added softly, “but I am anxious to see America and every guinea earned toward that goal brings our mutual departure to that country closer.” She blushed furiously.

Liberty thought she had never looked so charming, that he had never loved her more.

“Nothing,” he said, his voice low, “would please me more than to sail to America with you by my side.”

She murmured, “Come an hour before dinner and find me in the garden by the Northwest wall. I will leave the gate open.”

 

***

 

Lucy-Ann walked about the fair in a daze. It was difficult to believe that she had really been so excessively bold. Liberty had liked it. And he’d liked the way she’d dealt with Lady Chinton—that cork-brained chit who thought she could have Liberty as a lover.

“Ha!” she said derisively—and loudly. Her aunt started at the sound and looked about her.

But had she been
too
forward? Might Liberty actually enjoy the company of Lady Chinton?

Between clenched teeth, Lucy-Ann whispered to herself, “That harlot, that nincompoop.” No, he was simply selling her a horse. Probably for twice—or even thrice—its worth. And had that horse been selling for a hundred times as much, or a thousand times, it would barely make a dent in the vast wealth of Lord Chinton. That fatwit was rich enough to indulge his wife’s every whim for several lifetimes.

Mr. Derbyshire had not actually agreed to deliver the animal in person. Lady Chinton would get the horse her husband paid for, but Mr. Derbyshire was not part of the sale.

 

 

Chapter Seven

 

 

John Derbyshire quickly entered the garden gate and hurried up the side path to where Lucy-Ann stood waiting. He took her hands in his own.

“Is it true what you said this afternoon?” he asked.

“Quite true. You are a rascal.”

“I am,” he said. “No one would deny that. It was the other thing.”

Lucy-Ann blushed. “Perhaps,” she said, “I was too bold and presumed too much.”

“It is not possible that you could be too bold or presume too much with me. Why should you not be bold? That is one of the things that I love about you, you say what you think and do not waste time with silly platitudes.”

She smiled up at him and he thought his heart might burst with love for her.

“You must tell me, Lucy-Ann, do you truly want to go to the colonies with me?”

“If you will have me.” It was a miracle that his heart could feel so full and not shatter into a million pieces.

“Then shall we wed?” he managed to say.

“Mr. Derbyshire, is that a proper proposal of marriage?”

“Only if it’s Liberty Wood that you wed. I won’t have you marrying that intolerable coxcomb, Derbyshire.”

“Oh, but for the sake of my good aunts and my papa that is exactly who I must wed—the prince’s good friend, Mr. Derbyshire. But I would much prefer to spend my life with Liberty Wood.”

They both laughed merrily. When they kissed, the lighthearted mood vanished, replaced in an instant with one of intense passion. They gazed at each other and the desire he saw in her eyes matched his own.

He ran his hands over her back, her sides, the sweet curve of her bottom, pulling her closer to him, and closer still, his member pushing hard against her softness, his ears filled with his own rough, raw breath.

He backed her against the garden wall. He stroked her hair, her cheeks, her lips. He kissed her forehead and her eyes. He kissed her neck and gently nipped the soft pale skin. He trailed kisses down her chest and ran his lips across the soft, creamy swell of her breasts, which rose above her dress, inviting him, luring him to them.

She pulled down the bodice of her dress, petticoat, stays, and shift as far as she could, freeing her breasts, offering them as a gift to him. Overcome with desire, he took a rosy nipple between his lips and felt it swell and harden against his tongue. Her breath grew loud and ragged as he sucked. He ran his hands over her waist and hips until she arched against him, groaning as she came to orgasm.

He released that sweet, swollen nipple and took the other, flicking his tongue across it, nipping and sucking. His hands slowly made their way down her belly and over her hips and thighs. He pulled up her skirts and stroked the gentle swell and delicate folds until he felt her convulsing against him as she cried out.

He fumbled with the opening of his breeches and she helped him open them. She clasped his shaft and he shuddered and groaned.

She slid her hands softly along the sides and he put his hand over hers, showing her how he wanted her to hold him, showing her how he liked it. Before he hurtled toward his own release, he took her hands from him—one more stroke like that and he could not have held back.

He fell to his knees before her. He lifted her skirts, bringing his lips to that most secret part of her. She gasped, but did not move. As he kissed and licked her, her breathing grew rough again. He brought her thigh over his shoulder. He plunged his tongue deep within her as she murmured his name. Tasting her hot sweetness, he felt himself overcome with tenderness for her.

He lapped the delicate folds once more and gently brought a finger into her. She arched her back, her hands clutching and pulling his hair.

When he stood again, he lifted her, somehow keeping her skirts out of the way, and she folded her legs tightly about him. He whispered, “Lucy-Ann,” as he entered her and then repeated it as he plunged all the way into the moist, welcoming warmth at her very center.

When he felt her climax begin, he called her name again and fell into the vortex with her, abandoning thinking, leaving selfhood behind, knowing nothing except that he loved and was loved, and nothing in his life mattered more than that.

Panting, he set Lucy-Ann on her feet. They stood silent, holding one another tightly. Finally she looked up at him, her eyes luminous.

“I love you, Liberty,” she said.

He grasped her tighter yet. He could not speak for the happiness that washed over him.

 

Epilogue

Two Weeks Later

 

“What is a pack of Gypsies doing in our church?” Aunt Louisa demanded, but Lucy-Ann stopped in her tracks, laughing out loud with joy.

Here were the Gypsy friends of her childhood, every one of them grinning back at her. Papa had come too, grumbling only a little over the precious time that he could have been working on his manuscript. Lucy-Ann thought that several times that morning, before they left for the church, she had seen the glint of a tear in his eye. As for Aunt Emily, tears of joy had coursed down her cheeks for days before the wedding and even Aunt Louisa had sniffed a great deal since Lucy-Ann had become engaged.

After luncheon with her aunts and Papa, her aunts’ coach delivered Mr. and Mrs. Derbyshire to the inn where they had said they would spend their first night. In the morning, the groom’s carriage would meet them and carry them on a tour of the countryside.

The new couple walked through the inn and out the side door where a green gypsy
vardo
with two fine horses stood. No one saw the elegant Mr. Derbyshire help his new bride up the steps and through the yellow curtain.

Once inside in the golden glow, they threw down hat and bonnet, neckcloth and pearls, coat and shawl, and the rest of their fine clothing. Naked, they held each other for a time, laughing and kissing, and Lucy-Ann was sure she had never been so happy.

After some time, a dark, handsome man wearing a blue cap and a coarsely woven, patched shirt climbed down the steps and turned to give his hand to his wife, who wore brightly colored skirts and a scarf covering her pale hair. They climbed onto the seat at the front of the
vardo
, he took the reins while she put her hand on his knee, and they made their way to the open road and freedom.

 

***

 

Be sure to pick up
For Love of a Gypsy Lass
, the next installment of the Gypsy Lovers series:

Lord Harry Beresford is used to having everything his way—that is, until he falls in love with Gypsy singer Talaitha Grey. Proud Talaitha is as unimpressed by his title as she is by his wealth, but can she fight her powerful attraction to the man behind those things?

 

 

Biography

 

 

As an ex-fashion photographer, Juliet Chastain says that, in a way, writing fiction is a lot like photography. She takes a few elements—models and clothes in photography, characters and setting in her writing—and makes them come alive.

Ever since she wrote a tragic tale of two kittens back in sixth grade, Juliet has had a yen to write. Now that she’s put down her camera, she indulges herself by writing short steamy romances with models, er, heroes, like a passionate sea captain, a sweet-natured hunk of a werewolf, and the devil’s own sexy-as-hell grandson—every one of them ready to fulfill his lady’s deepest desires.

Juliet’s other titles include
The Captain and the Courtesan
and
Cry of the Wolf
, as well as
For Love of a Gypsy Lass
, the next book in the Gypsy Lovers series.

You can learn more about Juliet and her collection of out-of-the-ordinary heroes at julietchastain.com, and contact her at
or on Twitter as @julietchastain.

BOOK: A Proper Lady's Gypsy Lover
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