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Authors: Ava March

Tags: #BDSM LGBT Historical

Bound Forever (7 page)

BOOK: Bound Forever
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For a long moment, the only sounds that broke the silence were their heavy breaths. He could feel Oliver softening within him, and then the man’s spent prick slipped from his body. The protest, the need to keep Oliver with him, rose within. So strong it took all his willpower to keep the plea inside.

The strength of it jolted him harshly to the present. His arse burned, throbbed, yet it was strangely pleasurable. Hell, his entire body felt sore. He was suddenly aware he was practically lying in Oliver’s arms. And it felt good. So good, he never wanted to leave.

His gut tightened.

Oliver levered up to lean over Vincent. His dark hair stuck to his temples, damped with sweat. His cheeks were flushed, his heavily-lidded eyes reduced to mere slits. The most content smile curved his mouth. “Love you.”

The words were whispered against his lips an instant before Oliver’s mouth found his. But the kiss did nothing to vanquish the leaden feeling building in the pit of his stomach.

Chapter Six

 

Sprawled on his belly, Oliver kept his eyes closed as the sensations from last night drifted from his dreams to fill his sleep-logged, barely conscious mind. The press of Vincent’s hard body along his. The sounds of Vincent’s hoarse, desperate moans for more. The urgent thrusts of Vincent’s arse against his pelvis as the orgasm built within his lover. He flexed his hand tucked under his pillow, the memory of his grip on Vincent’s thigh still fresh on his palm.

He had watched Vincent climax countless times, but never like that. Every line in his powerful body lax yet thrumming with undeniable need. And the look on Vincent’s face when the man’s release claimed him—absolute bliss, undeniable awe, and unwavering trust. A look Oliver would never forget. Vincent had completely given himself over to him, placed his pleasure fully in Oliver’s hands. And judging by the pearly white seed that had coated the man’s rock-hard abdomen, Vincent thoroughly enjoyed the experience.

The smile teasing the edges of Oliver’s lips broadened into a sleepy, triumphant grin.

He felt like a damn god.

He shifted his hips, pulling one knee up toward his side, in an effort to relieve some of the pressure on his erection trapped between his belly and the mattress. An erection that just last night had been buried hilt-deep in Vincent’s no-longer-virgin arse.

His own arse tingled with awareness. Need threaded under his skin, seeped into his veins, building stronger with each passing second. Perhaps he could convince Vincent to repay the favor.

He reached out his senses, searching for the heat radiating from Vincent’s body, yet…

Oliver opened his eyes and found the place next to him empty. He levered up onto his forearms. The white pillow still held the impression from Vincent’s head, and the coverlet was rumpled as though someone—Vincent—had hastily flung it back into place after vacating the bed.

He could not recall Vincent getting up. Granted, Oliver had a tendency to sleep soundly, but Vincent always at least nudged him before he left the room, be it this room or his bedchamber at his bachelor apartments.

Perhaps the man had simply gone to relieve himself. But… He passed a hand over the sheets under the coverlet. Not a trace of warmth from Vincent’s body. A glance over his shoulder toward the marble fireplace confirmed his suspicions.

Vincent had been gone for some time—so long, the fire he usually lit before leaving the bedchamber had burned down to faintly glowing embers.

Brow furrowed, he looked to the forest green drapes covering the window beside his bed. The gray daylight seeping through the breaks in the heavy damask made it virtually impossible to discern the time of day. He snatched his spectacles from the bedside table, slipped them on, and focused on the brass clock on the fireplace mantle.

A few minutes before nine.

He had not significantly overslept, which meant Vincent had left before dawn.

Unease nipped at his stomach. Flinging back the coverlet, he threw his legs over the side of the mattress. He grabbed his clothes from the floor and dressed. He did not bother to shave. He could see to the task later, after he located Vincent.

A check in Vincent’s bedchamber and in the study did not turn up the man.

“Good morning, Lord Oliver.”

Oliver turned from the open study door to find the housekeeper walking down the corridor toward him. “A good morning to you as well. Have you seen Lord Vincent this morning?”

“No, I have not.” As she usually arrived at the house around eight, that meant Vincent had left well over an hour ago. “There’s breakfast in the dining room. Kippers and eggs. And I just put out a fresh pot of coffee.” She smiled as though nothing made her happier than to prepare breakfast for him and Vincent.

But breakfast was the farthest thing from his mind at the moment. “Thank you, Mrs. Hollister. Would you be so kind as to keep it warm? Lord Vincent and I will be taking a late breakfast this morning.”

After grabbing his greatcoat from the closet off the entrance hall, he stepped out of the house. The morning air felt brisk and cold and held the threat of snow. Thick clouds hung heavy in the sky, blocking any attempts by the sun to provide even a hint of warmth. He buttoned his coat and tugged on his black leather gloves as he made his way around the side of the house toward the stables.

He found the stall belonging to Vincent’s preferred mount—a big-boned black hunter—empty except for about half an armload of hay in the corner. The tall stallion had not even had a chance to finish his breakfast. The grooms who tended to the horses arrived quite early from the village, usually around dawn, if he remembered correctly.

Oliver wracked his brain, but he could not recall Vincent mentioning an errand or any obligation that would require him to leave the house so early. To his knowledge, he did not have any plans for the day save working in his study.

The unease nipping at his belly turned into a tight fist of worry. On any other morning, Vincent’s absence would not rouse much more than mere curiosity. But last night had not been any other night.

“Good morning, Lord Oliver.”

Oliver turned from the empty stall. One of the grooms, a wiry young man with an unruly shock of pale blond hair, stood in the partially open door of a stall on the other side of the aisle. He had a pitchfork in one hand, as though he had been tidying the horse’s stall.

“Morning,” Oliver said, with a tip of his head. He resisted the impulse to ask the groom if he had seen Vincent that morning, and if so, if he knew in what direction the man had gone. He had already asked Mrs. Hollister with no success. If he inquired with any more of the staff, he’d only end up inciting their curiosity as to why Oliver was so concerned about their master’s whereabouts so early in the day. In any case, it wasn’t as if Vincent was in the habit of keeping his servants abreast of his comings and goings.

“Do you have need of the carriage, my lord?”

“No, but could you saddle a horse for me?”

In no time at all, Vincent’s efficient groom saw to the task and brought the horse out into the stable yard. Oliver swung his leg over the chestnut gelding’s back, and with a nudge of his heels, the horse obediently slipped into an easy canter.

He took the dirt lane leading from the stables. The cold wind bit at his cheeks, yet Oliver did not tuck his chin into the collar of his greatcoat. He sat tall, his gaze sweeping the surrounding grounds, looking for any sign of the black hunter.

At the fork in the lane, he pulled the horse to a stop. Should he turn left or right? Where would Vincent have gone? About six months ago, Vincent had purchased the property adjoining his, making the Rotherham estate more than sizeable. The man could be anywhere. Perhaps he had been called to the coal mine? No, too early in the morning for that. Vincent would have nudged him awake if someone had called at the house before dawn.

The forest on the east side of the property? Hadn’t Vincent once mentioned a gamekeeper’s cottage? But as neither of them hunted, he hadn’t given the comment much notice. Perhaps the pond?

He turned the horse left and headed across the expanse of grass toward the west end of the property. During the summer months, he and Vincent occasionally indulged in a swim on hot afternoons. Highly doubtful he’d find Vincent swimming laps in the ice-cold pond, but he would check along the bank before going across to the forest and then on to the village.

When he had awoken that morning, nothing but the pleasures of the prior night had filled his mind. Yet now he could not forget that look in Vincent’s eyes when Oliver had leaned over him to kiss him. That moment after his spent cock had slipped from Vincent’s body. The dark brows furrowed the tiniest bit, a trace of hesitation in the brilliant blue depths of his eyes. His senses drenched with the heady sensation of having had Vincent, he had not given it any thought. Had simply snuggled up to Vincent’s side and promptly fallen asleep. Now though…

Did Vincent harbor regrets? For all Vincent’s physical strength and for all his successes in his business dealings, the man had a fragile sense of self. He did not have Oliver’s rock-solid acceptance of who and what he was. He could have sworn Vincent seemed ready to fully relinquish control and take their relationship to the next step. But had Oliver pushed him too soon? Should he have continued to hold back? Should he have waited until Vincent broached the subject of his own accord?

His lover had a tendency to analyze every situation. To turn a matter over and over in his mind. But intimacy wasn’t a business deal. He truly feared if he allowed Vincent to overthink last night, Vincent would quickly turn even the tiniest smidge of a doubt into a full-blown regret. Given what hour Oliver could discern Vincent had left the house, the man already had far too much time with nothing but his thoughts.

He nudged the horse for more speed. The chestnut’s easy stride lengthened to a ground-covering gallop. The worries tumbled about in his head, growing stronger and stronger as he traveled across the property, every sense attuned for any sign of Vincent.

A sigh of relief expanded his chest at the sight of the black horse tied to a low branch of a tall tree near the pond. The stallion turned his head to look over his hip as Oliver slowed his horse to a walk. Ears pricked in attention, the animal nickered softly.

Oliver dismounted and tied his horse’s reins to a branch on the other side of the tree. Sitting on the bank of the pond, Vincent did not look over his shoulder as Oliver approached. A breeze ruffled a few strands of his neatly cropped, dark hair. Even with the greatcoat broadening his frame, Oliver could detect the slump hunching his usually straight shoulders.

All traces of the relief at finding Vincent vanished.

Hell, he
had
pushed Vincent for more than he’d been ready to give.

But he couldn’t take back last night. It had happened, and he could not change it. The best he could do was help Vincent to accept it. Hopefully—damnation, he hoped with all his heart—Vincent loved him enough not to allow his insecurities to come between them again. He could not go back to how it had once been—Vincent keeping him at arm’s distance, holding his heart back, far from Oliver. Vincent giving his body but not his love. He could not survive that sense of…isolation again.

Without a word, Oliver settled next to him. Vincent’s gaze was fixed straight ahead on the pale blue surface of the pond, yet Oliver had no doubt the man knew exactly who sat beside him.

His heart heavy in his chest, he waited a long moment. Waited patiently for Vincent to speak or at least acknowledge him in some fashion.

Vincent dropped his attention to his bent knee, which was drawn up, the other leg stretched out before him. The furrow pulling his brows deepened. Still though, not a word passed the tight line of his lips.

Dark smudges underscored his eyes, and stubble darkened his usually clean-shaven jaw. Instead of a crisp, neat Mathematical, he had tied his cravat in a simple knot. If Oliver wasn’t mistaken, Vincent had donned the same deep brown trousers Oliver had pulled down his strong legs less than twelve hours ago. He’d hazard a guess the coat, waistcoat, and shirt hidden beneath the black greatcoat were also the same ones the man had worn yesterday evening.

“Did you get much sleep last night?” he asked.

A long pause, and then Vincent shook his head, slow and reluctant. “Don’t believe I got any.”

The knot clutching his stomach tightened to a viselike hold. “You do know I love you?” At Vincent’s single nod, he asked, doing his best to keep the all-consuming worry from showing itself, “Did you at least enjoy last night?”

 

Vincent looked up from his study of his knee. “You doubt it? I climaxed with your cock in my arse.” And his arse was still a bit sore, the ache a constant reminder of exactly where Oliver’s pretty cock had been.

Intent and probing, Oliver swept his dark gaze over Vincent’s face. “So why does that bother you?”

He focused on a spot over Oliver’s shoulder and dragged a hand across the back of his neck. Trust Oliver to go directly to the heart of the matter. “It shouldn’t.” He heaved a sigh. “But it does for some reason.”

How could he explain that sense of utter vulnerability? Giving responsibility for his pleasure so completely to another was definitely a new experience. Last night he had felt connected to Oliver in a whole new way. And it frightened him.

“I will not deny I had a very good evening.” The long black fan of Oliver’s lashes drifted down. A smile pulled the edges of his lips. But when he looked back to Vincent, his gaze was once again somber, begging Vincent to confide in him. “But if you weren’t comfortable with it, then we don’t have to do it again. Honestly, Vincent. My love for you is not contingent on you bending over for me.” He laid a comforting hand over Vincent’s, which was braced at his side in the grass. “I know you love me. You don’t need to prove it that way.”

Vincent’s lips curved in a weary half smile. “I know.” Ridiculous to even have this discussion. Oliver gave himself up to him on a regular basis—his lover’s more than obvious enjoyment shouted loud and clear he had no issues with it. So why did Vincent?

BOOK: Bound Forever
10.22Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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