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Authors: Robin Schone

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The Lady's Tutor

BOOK: The Lady's Tutor
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Robin Schone

 

 

The

ADY’S TUTOR

 

KENSINGTON BOOKS

http://www.kensingtonbooks.com

 

KENSINGTON BOOKS are
published by

Kensington Publishing Corp.
850 Third Avenue
New York, NY 10022

Copyright © 2000, 1999 by Robin Schone

Kensington and the K logo Reg. U.S.
Pat. & TM Off.
ISBN
1-57566-796-7

First Zebra Printing: August, 1999

First Kensington Trade Paperback
Printing:
September, 2000

10
98765432
1

Printed in the United States of
America

 

To my mother,
Glenna Johnson,

who taught me to never give up . . .

To my husband,

Don,
who never gave up on me . . .

To an incredible photographer,

Carol Robinson,

who had
the foresight to give me a copy of

The Perfumed Garden

one Christmas . ..

To the
reference librarians

at the Roselle Library,
who tirelessly aid me in my research .
..

THIS BOOK IS FOR YOU!
Thank you for making it possible.

And thank you,

KATE DUFFY,

for
letting me write what I love best.

Chapter
1

amiel would not be blackmailed by
any
woman—no
matter how great was her need for sexual gratification.

R

He leaned
against the library door and watched through narrowed eyes the woman who stood
in front of the half-circle bay of floor-to-ceiling windows. Wispy tendrils of
fog bridged her and the opened drapes, the first a monolith of black wool, the
latter sentry columns of yellow silk.

Elizabeth
Petre.

He did not
recognize her, covered head to foot in a bonnet and shapeless black cloak with
her back toward him. But then, he would not recognize her were she naked and
facing him with her arms and legs spread wide in lewd invitation.

He was the
Bastard Sheikh, the illegitimate son of an English countess and an Arab sheikh.
She was the wife of the Chancellor of the Exchequer; her father was the prime
minister of England.

The likes
of her did not socialize with the likes of him save behind closed doors and
between silken sheets.

Ramiel
thought of the black-haired woman whose bed he had vacated only an hour
earlier. The Marchioness of Clairdon had waylaid him at the
ballum rancum,
a
whore’s ball, dancing naked as had the other whores. She had used him to fuel
her need for sexual titillation, and for a few hours he had become the animal
that she thought he was, thrusting and grinding and pounding into her body to
find that moment of perfect release where there was no past, no future, no
Arabia and no England—just blinding oblivion.

Perhaps he
would take this woman, too, if she had not willfully forced her way into his
home through intimidation and blackmail.

Muscles
coiled in silent aggression, he stealthily pushed away from the cold press of
mahogany and padded across the Persian carpet that covered the library floor. “What
do you want, Mrs. Elizabeth Petre, that you invade my home and threaten my
citizenship?”

His voice,
a raspy purr of English refinement masking Arab savagery, ricocheted off the
three sash windows and chased the curved brass curtain pole rimming the
twelve-foot-high bay ceiling.

He could
feel the woman’s start of fear, could almost smell it over the damp
pervasiveness of the fog.

Ramiel
wanted her to be afraid.

He wanted
her to realize how vulnerable she was, alone in the Bastard Sheikh’s den with
neither her husband nor her father to protect her.

He wanted
her to know in the most basic and elemental way possible that his body was his
to bestow and he
would not be blackmailed into having sex.

Ramiel
paused underneath the blazing chandelier and waited for her to turn and face
the consequences of her actions.

Burning
gas hissed and popped in the frozen silence.

“Come now,
Mrs. Petre, you were not so reticent with my servant,” he gently taunted,
knowing what she wanted, daring her to
utter the words, forbidden words,
familiar words,
I
want to diddle an Arab; I want to rut with a
bastard.
“What could a woman like you possibly want from a man like me?”

Slowly,
slowly, the woman turned, a dark swirl of wool framed between shimmering yellow
columns of silk drapes. The black veil covering her face did not hide her shock
at the sight of him.

A derisive
smile curled Ramiel’s lips.

He knew
what she was thinking. What every Englishwoman thought when she first saw him.

A man
who is half Arab does not have hair the color of sun-kissed wheat.

A man
who is half Arab does not dress in tailored clothing like an English gentleman.

A man
who is half Arab

“I want
you to teach me how to give a man pleasure.”

The woman’s
voice was muffled by the veil, but her words were unmistakable.

They were
not the words he had expected.

For one
timeless second Ramiel’s heart stopped beating inside his chest. Erotic images
flashed before his eyes ... of a woman . . . naked . . .
taking him . . .
every way
a woman can take a man ... for
his
pleasure ... as well as
her own.

Searing
heat shot through his groin. Against his will he could feel his flesh swelling,
hardening, hearkening to the images that would never be, exiled as he was in
this cold, passionless country where women used him for their own needs—or
reviled him for his.

Raw rage
flicked along his nerves.

At
Elizabeth Petre, for invading his home for her own selfish satisfaction under
the guise of learning how to please a man.

At
himself, who at the age of thirty-eight still ached for what she offered,
knowing it for the lie that it was: Englishwomen were not interested in
learning what pleased a bastard sheikh.

Deliberately,
relentlessly, Ramiel closed the distance between himself and the woman who hid
behind a cloak of respectability.

To her
credit, she did not back away from his fury.

To his
credit, he contented himself with merely flinging back her veil.

Up close
and without the sheer black material marring her vision, she could clearly see
his Arabian heritage. His skin was dark, sunbaked to the hair that was
sun-kissed.

Now she
would realize that his English-gentleman facade was just that—a facade. He had
learned to be a man in a country where the worth of a female is half that of a
male—a woman could be sold, raped, or killed for daring far less than what this
woman dared now.

Elizabeth
Petre
should
be afraid.

“Now, tell
me again what you want,” he murmured silkily.

She did
not flinch at the smell of brandy and perfume and sweat and sex that he reeked
of.

“I want
you to teach me how to give a man pleasure,” she repeated calmly, tilting her
head back that she might meet his gaze.

She did
not stand more than five feet three inches tall—she had a long way to look up.

Mrs.
Elizabeth Petre had very white skin, the prized white that on an Arabian
auction block represented a woman’s bondage. She was not young. Ramiel judged
her to be in her early thirties. Faint lines radiated outward from the corners
of pale hazel eyes. The face lifted up to his was more round than oval, the
nose more pug than aquiline, and her lips were too thin. Her pupils were
dilated, but otherwise her face was devoid of the fear that she surely must be
feeling.

Ela’na.
Damn. Why didn’t she show
it?

A muscle
ticked in his jaw. “And what makes you think I am capable of teaching you such
a feat, Mrs. Elizabeth Petre?”

“Because
you are the—” She briefly faltered over his nickname, the Bastard Sheikh, bold
enough to blackmail him for sex but not bold enough to call him a bastard to
his face.

“Because
you are the only man who—” Nor could she finish that sentence, that he was the
only man in England reputed to have been given a harem on his thirteenth
birthday.

She
notched her chin up higher. “Because I overheard a... a woman say that if
husbands had only half of your skill, there would not be an unfaithful wife in
all of England.”

Ramiel’s
savagery erupted into biting sarcasm. “Then send me your husband, madam, and I
will instruct him on how to keep
you
faithful.”

Elizabeth
Petre’s lips tightened in a spasm of emotion—fear, anger, it was impossible to
tell by looking at her; the woman had a face like a sphinx. “I see that you
will leave me no pride. Very well. I love my husband. It is not he who needs
instruction on how to prevent me from straying, but, rather, the opposite. I do
not desire to bed
you,
sir. I only want you to teach me how to give my
husband pleasure so that
he
will bed
me.”

All the
heat in Ramiel’s body dissipated.

“You do
not care to be dirtied by the hands of an Arab, Mrs. Petre?” he asked softly,
dangerously.

“I do not
care to be unfaithful to my husband,” she replied evenly.

Ramiel’s
nostrils flared with reluctant admiration. Elizabeth Petre did not lack
courage.

There
were
rumors that the Chancellor of the Exchequer had a mistress.

Edward
Petre was a commoner. Were he of the peer, society would not be interested in
his extramarital affairs, but his voters were the middle class and the middle
class expected their political representatives to be as sternly moral as was
their queen.

BOOK: The Lady's Tutor
10.64Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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