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Authors: Sabrina York

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She shuddered at the thought of thirty kisses…then thrust
the inconvenient lust aside. She wouldn’t lose. She wouldn’t. She’d played
Edward. She knew his tactics. She could counter them at every turn.

She would win.

“Well?” The pieces were all in place. The board waited. As
did her opponent. A confident look limned his handsome face. “What do you say,
Kaitlin?” He said her name in a raspy whisper.

“Yes.”

His nostrils flared. “Yes?”

“Yes.”

“Wonderful.” He made his first move. “I shall enjoy my
kisses.”

She snorted and countered. “You will enjoy dreaming about
them tonight in your cold bed.”

He gaped at her and then barked a laugh.

And then they both settled in, fiercely scrutinizing each
and every move.

An hour later, they had made little progress. It was clear,
when both were playing to their full potential, they were evenly matched.

She rather liked that.

Few men had impressed her so.

One of the many who had not, Malcolm, strolled over to the
board with a pout on his face. “Are you two going to play all night?”

“I certainly hope so.” At Edward’s wicked expression,
Kaitlin burbled a laugh.

“Oh. Take his queen. See there?” Malcolm waggled a finger at
a blatant opening. Edward had been teasing her like that for a while.

Kaitlin sighed. “If I do, he will have me in check in five
moves.”

“Four.” Edward batted his lashes innocently and nibbled on
his knuckles.

“I wanted to
talk
to you, Kaitlin.” Malcolm’s whine
was an annoying drone.

“After the game.”

“But it’s taking so long.”

“Fine.” She pushed away from the table and crossed her arms.
“What did you want to say?”

His brow furrowed. He glanced at Edward. “It’s…private.”

“It can wait,” Edward grunted, countering her move, swiftly
taking her bishop.

She tried very hard not to smile.
Fifty guineas
.

Malcolm watched a few more moves and then yawned hugely.
Stretched. “It is so late. Aren’t you tired?” He fixed his attention on Edward.
“You are rather old.”

Kaitlin smothered a laugh. Edward was not amused. He glared
at Malcolm.

The boy pulled up a chair and pretended to study the board.
He opened his mouth to say something, but Edward forestalled him. “If you’re
going to sit there, be quiet.”

“I was just going to suggest—”


Quiet
! This is an important game.”

“It’s only a game.” Malcolm’s foot knocked the table and
several pieces toppled over. Edward set them back up with a glower. A glower so
fierce, Malcolm winced. But it worked. He fell silent.

The game continued.

As the pieces disappeared, the tension rose. There was a
moment when Kaitlin realized she’d made a mistake—sweat popped out on her
brow—but she corrected for it. And then he made an error. A stupid, stupid
error.

Triumph flared in her chest as she gleefully took his
castle.

And then her heart stilled. Horror washed over her.

Her dream of fifty guineas evaporated.

“Checkmate.”

He said it softly, oh so softly, shattering her hope. She
looked up at him. His face was tight, his eyes shone with a flickering triumph.
Something else shone there as well. She shivered.

“Finally!” Malcolm gusted. He stood and grabbed her arm,
pulling her to her feet.

Kaitlin gaped at the board, still befuddled by her loss,
replaying the past few moves in her head— Oh. Oh. Yes.
That
was where he
had her. Damn. He was good. Her gaze snapped to Edward’s face. He smiled.
Bowed.

“Excellent game, my dear. I look forward to our
continued…play.”

Och!
She could just bet he did.

But a bet was a bet. She would pay.

Would she.

The prospect thrilled her.

Malcolm tugged at her arm. “Come, Kaitlin, let’s go for a
walk in the garden.”

She blinked. “A…what? Malcolm, it’s late. I’m tired.”

“I’m…tired as well,” Edward said through a small smile.
“Perhaps it’s time to retire.”

“Oh, now you’re tired?” Malcolm put out a lip. “Fine. I’ll
escort you to your chambers.”

“There’s no need.” Kaitlin disengaged her arm. “I’m
perfectly capable of finding my way.”

“I insist.” Malcolm took her wrist in a tight grip and
hauled her to the door.

“We shall all go up together.” The unsettling thread in
Edward’s voice should have unnerved her, but it did not. In fact, she was
rather thankful he was there, prowling up the stairs behind them like a large
cat. A predator. When they came to the top of the stairs, when he should have
turned right, toward the ducal chambers, he turned left. Followed.

She caught Malcolm’s glare and was doubly thankful for their
escort. The last thing she wanted was to be alone with Malcolm again. She
couldn’t wait to be ensconced once more in her room—with the door locked.

She had no idea when Edward intended to claim his prize, but
he wouldn’t do it with a witness in tow.

They came to her door and she turned to the two men. “Well,
good night.”

Malcolm glared at Edward again. Then he glared at Kaitlin.
He put his fists on his hips and stomped a foot. “But I wanted to—”

“Good night, my dear.” Edward bent over her hand, pressing a
warm kiss on her skin. Shivers ran up her spine as his tongue flicked out, and
he licked her. “Excellent game.”

“Good night, Edward.” His eyes glowed when she used his
given name. She really should not have done that, but it slipped out.

Malcolm grabbed her hand and kissed it as well. It was a
sloppy, slimy counterpoint to Edward’s elegant buss. Also, he did not let go of
her hand. A small scuffle ensued as she attempted to wrench free.

He probably would never have let her go if Edward hadn’t
dropped a heavy arm around his shoulders. “What do you say to a game of
billiards, young Malcolm?” he asked.

Malcolm frowned. “I thought you said you were tired?”

“I fancy a nightcap.”

“Ooh. Whiskey?” Malcolm perked up at that.

“Certainly.”

“That would be fine.”

Edward drew him away. His gaze, however, tangled with hers
as she opened her door. “Until later, my dear,” he murmured.

That was when she knew. She knew he intended to claim his
winnings tonight.

He would be back.

Chapter Six

 

As she waited for him, she passed the time reading. Probably
a mistake, for as she followed Asha’s adventures in the harem bath, through
several bouts of punishment—she was a very rebellious girl—and an erotic meal,
Kaitlin’s tension, and something else, rose. When she got to the scene where
Asha was required to minister to the Grand Vizier, with her mouth on his
cock—which was both shocking and titillating—she was in a wad.

She didn’t dare touch herself, as she had earlier, though
the temptation was high. She didn’t know when Edward would return and she
didn’t want to greet him with fingers drenched with musky cream.

Although he would probably appreciate that.

By the time he finally knocked, she was humming with
excitement.

She ran to the door and flung it open and—

Mother Mary. It wasn’t Edward.

It was Malcolm.

“K-Kaitlin.” He teetered. Hiccupped.

Lord have mercy. He was soused.

He was also large. Much larger than she, so when he barreled
through the door, she couldn’t stay his advance. He took hold of her hips and
walked her back toward the bed, bumping into the chair by the fire and the
stool and the table, knocking the latter over, sending the candlestick hurtling
across the floor. Thank heaven that candle hadn’t been lit because Kaitlin
doubted even a roaring blaze in the room would have stopped him.

He pushed her relentlessly back onto the bed and fell on top
of her.

Naturally, she struggled.

Naturally, he took that as encouragement.

“Ah, Kaitlin!” He thrust his hips and ground against her in
circles. She winced in pain.

“Malcolm, get off!”

“No, darlin’.” He grabbed her breast and squeezed. It hurt.

She opened her mouth to bellow for Violet, but he mashed his
lips over hers and insinuated his tongue into her throat. She gagged and
wrenched her head from side to side in an attempt to dislodge him.

He fumbled for her hem.

Horror rose. “No, Malcolm. No!” His weight was heavy upon
her, making it difficult to breathe. Her head spun. She pushed at him. He
laughed.

“Finally. Finally, I’ve got you.”

They both jumped when the door slammed.

In tandem, they turned to see Edward standing just inside.
His fists opened and closed. A muscle bunched in his cheek. A dull red colored
his cheeks. His eyes were…terrifying.

“Get. Off. Her.” The low growl resonated through the room.
Though it wasn’t directed at her, Kaitlin shuddered.

Thank God it wasn’t directed at her.

Edward, in a fury, was something to behold.

Malcolm’s Adam’s apple worked. “B-but…”

“Boy, do you value your life?”

“My…what?”

“Because if you don’t get off her,
now
, I may just
snap your neck. Do you understand?”

“B-but…”

Edward took a step toward the bed, rolling up his sleeves.
Malcolm leapt to his feet. Wobbled. His face went a little green.

“She said
no
. Do you know what it means when a woman
says no?”

“I…”

“It means fucking
no
.”

“Oof.”

Heavens.
There was no call for Edward to sink his
fist into Malcolm’s belly.

Well, perhaps there was.

Kaitlin tried very hard not to enjoy the sight.

The boy doubled over, but Edward yanked him up by the scruff
of his neck. “I deplore bullies. Especially little lords who take advantage of
helpless women.”

Really. She was hardly helpless. Still, she appreciated the
sentiment.

“If I ever hear that you have been harassing the staff, I
will personally put you on a boat for the colonies. Do you understand?”

“I…”

“Edward gave Malcolm a little shake. “Do you?”

“Y-yes.”

“Yes what?”

“Yes, Your Grace.”

“That’s right. I am Your Grace. I am a duke. And do you know
what dukes can do?”

“N-no, Your G-Grace.”

Edward leaned in and hissed, “They can make people
disappear.” He shoved Malcolm toward the door. “Now go. And if you so much as
look
at Kaitlin wrong, I’ll have you gelded.” His eyes narrowed. “Dukes can do that
too.”

Malcolm gave a little “
eep
” and covered his privates
with one hand, wrenching the door open with the other. He skittered out of
sight, yanking the door closed behind him. As though that could protect him
from Edward’s wrath.

Kaitlin gusted out a breath she wasn’t aware she’d been
holding. “My,” she said. “That was impressive.”

Edward glanced at her and rolled his sleeves back down. “Was
it?”

“Three threats in such a short span of time?”

“I was angry.”

“I noticed.”

Edward sat on the bed and thumbed a tear from her cheek.
Odd, that. She wasn’t aware she was crying. “Are you all right?”

She nodded. “I am now. Although I thought—”

He snorted. “So did I. Thank God I came back. I’d considered
waiting in my suite for you to come to me.”

“I? Come to you?”

The smile he sent her was sinful. “It is your debt.”

“I would never presume to appear at your chamber door, Your
Grace.”

He tsked. “Now, Kaitlin. I thought we’d dispensed with such
formality this morning.” Heat rose on her cheeks at the reminder. “However, be
advised, you are always welcome at my chamber door.” He glanced at the book on
the bedside table. Picked it up. Riffled the pages with a thick thumb. “So,
where are you?”

She fixated on the sight. “I’m, um…Asha has just, um,
cared
for
the Grand Vizier.”

“Has she? Did you enjoy that?”

“It was…interesting.”

“Hmm.”

“And now she is being prepared for her first audience with
the sheik.”

His eyes glinted. “A charming scene. One of my favorites.”
He tossed the book aside. “I fancy having you read it to me. But we’ll save
that for later. Right now we have business to conduct.”

“B-business?”

“The matter of a debt of kisses. You knew I would hold you
to it.”

“Yes. I knew.” She didn’t know why she dipped her head.
Didn’t know why sudden shyness overcame her. She was a brave girl, a brash one
at times. She was hardly an innocent.

He tipped up her chin. “How shall we proceed, Kaitlin?”

“You’re asking me?”

“Yes.” He surveyed her somberly. “I meant what I said to
Malcolm. I deplore men who take advantage of unwilling women.”

“That’s not precisely what you said.”

“Regardless—you are…willing. Aren’t you?”

Heaven help her. She was. Still, she couldn’t meet his eyes.

“Kaitlin?” A whisper.

“Yes.”

“Are you willing? Because if you aren’t, I will still
require those kisses…” When her gaze snapped up, he smiled. It was a tender
offering. “But they will all be on my sore, sore lips.”

She couldn’t help it. A laugh bubbled out. He was
irresistible. And charming. And, heavens, so handsome.

He waited patiently for her answer. So she decided to make
it worth his while. She set her palm on his cheek and turned his head, just so,
and brushed her lips over his. “One,” she breathed.

She placed another kiss on his jaw. “Two.”

And another on his neck. “Three.”

His Adam’s apple worked, so she kissed that as well. “Four.”

When she began loosening his collar, he stiffened. Every
muscle clenched. He was no help at all, so she had to undo his buttons all by
herself. She drew in a gasp as his chest was revealed. It was layered with
muscle and a fine sprinkling of dark curls. She loved the feel of those wiry
hairs beneath her palm. During her exploration, the round discs of his nipples
captured her attention. She kissed each one, whispering a “Five,” and “Six,” in
turn.

By the time she reached his belly, she’d lost count
completely.

 

Holy hell.

Edward stared at the top of Kaitlin’s head as she made her
way over his torso. With her lips.

He’d never expected this. Never in a million years.

When he’d proposed the wager, he’d imagined he would be the
one placing the kisses—wherever he wished. He spent the better part of the
evening planning where each of the thirty would go. In excruciating detail.

This was good too.

She paused when she reached his waistband and looked up. “I
read that part several times,” she murmured.

He nearly jumped out of his skin as her thumb skimmed over
his cock. His very hard cock. It throbbed with every beat of his heart. “D-did
you?”

He was sure she was talking about something. A part of him
acknowledged he should probably know what it was. But the other parts weren’t
interested. She stroked again.

“I think I understand how it works.” She unbuttoned one
button on the placket of his trousers. Then another. “I trust you will…instruct
me if I get it wrong?”

Something wedged in his throat. It might have been his
tongue.

Had he ever been this aroused? He fairly quivered with it.

Shocking that, because he considered himself quite jaded.

She slipped off the bed. He thought to yank her back, but
then she knelt between his knees and he decided it was probably more polite to
simply let her continue. She spread the placket, then took hold of his
waistband and tugged off his pants. He lifted his hips to help. Kicked them
off.

His cock sprang out, angry and rigid, a one-eyed warrior
seeking solace. It wept. A single tear. He shivered when she took him in her
fist. Her hand was so small, so delicate. The counterpoint was excruciating.

And them something else was excruciating. Her breath.
Teasing, tantalizing, warm as she bathed him with it. “Ah, Kaitlin.” He
threaded his fingers in her hair, a thick silken mass. He didn’t guide her, but
only because he wanted to see what she decided to do and—

Ah! God.

She enrobed the tip of his cock, just the very tip, in the
velvet cavern of her mouth. Her lips worked, suckling him. Hellish sensation
scored him. Had a mouth ever been so sweet? Not that he could recall.

She took him deeper, sucking harder. His eyes rolled back.
He hissed a groan. Her fist pumped as she worked—just as dear Asha had been
taught to do in the book. Damn, Kaitlin was a diligent student.

He hoped she remembered it all.

And yes, she did. She alternated between sucking and
stroking, varying her grip so he never knew what to expect. She licked at his
shaft, from stem to stern, nibbling only where she should. Only where he craved
it. He shifted up so she could cradle his balls. She fondled them gently. And
then—good God—she licked them. Heat coiled within him. A pressure formed at the
base of his cock.

“Is this good?” She peeped up at him. The smile on her face
made it clear—she knew it was good.

“Yes. Darling—” His thought was scuttled when she stroked
that tender spot between his balls and his arse. Pleasure snarled through him.
He clenched his buttocks in an attempt to hold back his orgasm. He really
didn’t want this to end so soon.

He didn’t count on her naughty finger scraping against his
pucker.

He nearly shot off the bed. “That wasn’t part of the scene!”

She grinned. “I read ahead.” Then, proving this assertion,
she took him in her mouth again and stroked insanity on him with one hand while
with the other, she toyed with his hole. The barrage of sensation nearly did
him in. Somehow he managed to hold off. Though he was on the knife’s edge.

He wanted, rather desperately, to come.

But he didn’t want to come.

He wanted—

“Kaitlin. Sweetheart. I need to be in you.”

“In a minute.”

He didn’t have a minute.

She did something with her tongue that made his eyes cross,
then opened her mouth and took him in—all the way. Her throat worked him,
rubbed him.

He made the mistake of looking down. The vision of Kaitlin,
sweet Kaitlin, on her knees before him, her mouth stretched wide over his
member, nothing visible but the very root, sent a snarl of something hot and
white burning through him. At that moment, she slipped her finger past the
tight ring of his anus—and he lost himself.

He came. It was glorious. Spectacular. Mindless and manic.
Wave after wave of sweet release swept through him. Delight skated up his
spine. Back down again. It nested in his soul.

Her throat tightened as she swallowed his seed, sending more
tremors through him. She milked him. She milked him dry.

Her sucking sounds, twining with his groans of ecstasy,
danced around them.

When she finally let him go, he was boneless. He flopped
down on her bed and she crawled up beside him.

“Did I do that right?”

“Dear God.” He pulled her closer and kissed her, tasting
himself on her lips. “That was…” God. There were no words. No words at all. He
tucked her head against his chest and just held her. After an eternity he said,
“I wanted to make love to you.”

She laughed softly at his sulky tone. “But I liked that.
After I read that part of the story, I really wanted to try it.”

He grunted and tightened his arms. “Making love would have
been nicer.”

He fancied she snorted at that, so he leaned back to look at
her face. “You don’t think making love would have been nicer?”

She shrugged and nestled against him. “Maybe it’s nice for
men. It’s not all that nice for women.”

“It’s not?” That was news to him.

She laced her fingers over his chest and propped her chin
upon them, gazing at him. “It’s quite painful,” she whispered conspiratorially.
“I liked what we did this morning much better.”

He tried not to gape. Really he did. “How, uh, how many men
have you been with?”

She quirked a brow, as though she were thinking about it. He
didn’t like that she had to
think
about it. He knew he wasn’t her first,
but no man wanted to follow a legion. “Does this count?”

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