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Authors: Penny Jordan

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BOOK: The Perfect Lover
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Rhythmically she moved herself against him, her hands going out to hold his hand as he drew her nipple deeper into his mouth, his earlier delicate, tentative suckling giving way to a fierceness, an urgency, that sent her delirious with reciprocal pleasure.

'Yes. Oh, yes... Yes...' she heard herself beginning to chant as her body writhed helplessly, no longer within her own mental control but totally and completely responsive to the male allure of his.

She
was the one who reached for the fastening on his belt, and it was
she
too who urged and demanded that he remove the rest of his clothes.

'I want to see you, all of you,' she insisted to him. 'I want...' And then her voice and her body, her hands, grew still when she saw that he had given in to her pleas. Her whole body stiffened, a massive visible shudder running right through it as she gazed wide-eyed at him, slowly absorbing the visual reality of his body.

No need to question whether or not he wanted her; she could see perfectly well that he did. Tentatively she reached out and let her fingers slide down the soft arrowing of hair that neatly bisected his body. When she reached his stomach she could feel his muscles start to clench, but he didn't try to stop her.

The hair around the base of the shaft of his manhood was thick and soft. It clung to her fingers as though wanting to encourage her touch. Gravely Louise allowed herself to linger there a while, exploring the springy strength of the dark curls. Above her downbent head she heard him groan, and her naked breasts, her inner, secret womanhood throbbed urgently in a silent echo of the need he was expressing. ,,

Her hand trembled slightly as she reached out to touch the hard, erect strength of him—her tremor wasn't caused by any feeling of trepidation or apprehension, it was simply her body's warning to her that it was as close to losing control as his low, raw groan told her that his was.

Delicately and slowly she explored the full length of him, her lips parting on a soft, heavy breath of concentration.

Beneath her fingertips his flesh burned, his body rigid and hard. The sensual scent caused by the heat of their bodies filled the small, hot room, making her feel dizzy with longing.

Drawing back from him, she looked towards the bed and then at him, but before she could say anything he was removing her hand from his body and telling her thickly, 'You
know
me now, Louise, and now it's my turn to know you.'

Like someone trapped in a dream, without the power to move her limbs, Louise simply stood there while he removed her bikini bottoms. The sensation of his hands sliding down her thighs to remove them and then moving back up over them far more slowly and exploratively made her feel as though she was melting from the inside out. As she closed her eyes he stood up and picked her up in his arms, carrying her over to her bed. Laying her carefully on it, he started to touch her, caress her, licking her breasts. First one and then the other was given the moist attention of his tongue, and then his lips, suckling gently at first and then far more urgently on her nipples while she writhed and protested incoherently that what he was doing to her was too pleasurable for her to bear.

Slowly he kissed his way down the length of her body, his hands firmly parting her legs so that he could kneel between them, his fingertips stroking gently up the inside of her thighs. A soft, tormented moan escaped from Louise's throat, and her whole body started to tremble eagerly, helplessly snared in the unbreakable grip of her own arousal.

When his hands cupped her sex, and slowly and very deliberately started to explore it, laying it bare, not just to his touch but to his sight as well, Louise closed her eyes. Not because she felt self-conscious or inhibited, but simply because the sexual excitement exploding through her was almost too much for her to bear.

Within its intensity she could sense not just her own desire to push back the boundaries of her sexual knowledge and experience, but also her extraordinarily powerful female anger against herself, against Saul, against nature itself almost. Anger and love, love and anger—which of them was the stronger? Her body quivered feverishly beneath his touch, so delicate and yet at the same time so...compulsively needed, so...so addictive to her senses.

Inside her the desire tensed and coiled. Urgently she opened her eyes. He was bending his head towards her. She could feel herself hovering on the edge of a precipice, carried there,
hurled
there by the ferocity of her own need. Frantically she reached for his shoulders, whispering thickly, the words almost lost against his chest, 'Yes...oh, S... Now...now... I want you now.'

Her body was already quivering in the grip of its first pre-climax spasm of warning, and she whimpered beneath the force of it. He was moving onto her,
into
her, slowly—too slowly, her aroused, senses recognised, and her flesh surrounded him with eager complicity, the jerky movement of her hips setting a fast and urgent rhythm that she could feel him trying to resist. Her hands slid down his back, urging him to thrust deeper within her. She felt him pause, resist almost, but her body wouldn't let him. Moist and urgent, more erotic and arousing, more
irresistible
by far than any practised sensual persuasion, it finally overcame and overwhelmed his attempt to hold back from her, and he began to move far more deeply and strongly within her.

It was like hearing her favourite, most emotion- arousing piece of music, looking out of her bedroom window at home on Christmas Day to see the countryside deep in an unexpected blanket of snow; eating her favourite food; having her emotions and her senses touched in every single way that aroused them, and all at the same time. It was all those things and more. All those things intensified a thousand—no, a hundred thousand times over, a sensation, a feeling, a
being
so, so intense, so perfect, almost beyond her capacity to bear its delight, that she thought when the fiercely strong climactic contractions surged through her body that the relief would cause her to break apart.

Afterwards, lying in Gareth's arms, crying and clinging to him as she fought for the words to tell him how magical, how mystifying, how awesomely unbelievably wonderful she had found the experience in between her emotional tears she could hear him telling her hoarsely that it was all right, that she was safe, that he was sorry. Somewhere between registering what he was saying and trying to respond to it she fell asleep, and when she woke up it was dark and Gareth was gone, leaving her tucked up in her bed, her bikini neatly folded on her chair beside her.

Downstairs in the villa she could hear her parents' voices, and then Katie came rushing into the room calling out urgently, 'Lou, wake up. We've got to pack. There's been some sort of emergency at home and we've got to go back. Dad's got us an early- morning flight...'

'An emergency... What...?' Louise demanded groggily, her thoughts automatically turning protectively to Saul.

'I don't know. None of us do. All I know is that Mum was on the phone to Maddy for simply ages.'

In the rush to pack up everything and make it to the airport to catch their flight, Louise simply didn't have the time to dwell on what had happened with Gareth, and anyway her lethargic, sensually sated body felt too complete and satisfied at that stage, too well pleasured and indolently disinclined to take issue with her mind about what had happened for her to do anything other than secretly luxuriate in the aura of sensuality that still clung to her senses, anaesthetising her against any need to analyse what had happened or why.

That came later, once they were back at home— hours of endless soul-searching and self-cross- examination while she went over and over what had happened, half inclined to give in to the temptation to comfort herself by believing that she had simply dreamed the whole thing. Dreaming about Gareth Simmonds in that way would have been bad enough, but of course she knew it was no dream.

The crisis which had brought them back to Haslewich, as Louise had guessed, involved her grandfather, who had developed a severe chest infection, and Maddy had rushed up from London to be with him.

'Mum is over with Gramps and Maddy. Maddy doesn't look very well herself, though Gramps is over the worst of it now. Joss was very worried about him. You know what he's like?' Katie said, a few days after their return.

'Don't I just?' Louise agreed darkly.

Her brother had caught her off guard only the previous day by asking her if she had heard anything from Gareth Simmonds since their return.

'No. Why should I have heard anything?' she had demanded, red-faced. 7 wasn't the one who kept on encouraging him to come round to the villa... / wasn't the one who went on long, boring walks with him.'

'They weren't boring,' Joss had contradicted her affably. 'He knows almost as much about the countryside as Aunt Ruth. He told me that when he was my age he used to spend his holidays in Scotland, with his grandmother. Anyway,' he had added, returning to her earlier question, 'he is
your
tutor.'

Was.
Louise had been on the point of correcting him, but she'd stopped herself just in time. She had already made up her mind that she was going to change courses. The thought of going back to Oxford and having to face Gareth Simmonds now after what had happened made her break out in a cold sweat and shudder with self-loathing. How
could
she have behaved like that...?

While she and Katie were still talking the door opened and Joss came in.

'Could either of you drive me over to Gramps,' Joss asked winningly. 'I thought I'd go and see if there was anything I could do.'

'Why do you want to go over there?' Louise asked him curiously.

'I thought I could go and play chess with Gramps and give Maddy a bit of a break, so that she can go out and do some shopping or something to cheer herself up a bit...buy herself a new dress,' he added, with male vagueness.

'But Mum's over there with her,' Katie pointed out.

Joss shook his head. 'No, she isn't,' he told them. 'She had a meeting of the mother and baby home committee at three. She was just going to call and see Maddy on the way.'

'I'll drive you,' Louise told him, springing up and busying herself looking for a jacket, so that neither he nor Katie would see the emotional sheen of tears in her eyes brought there by the sudden awareness of just what kind of man her younger brother was going to turn out to be.

 

As she had promised herself she would do, Louise transferred to a different course and a new tutor once she was back at Oxford. Ironically her twin attended Gareth Simmonds' lectures herself now, but every time Katie mentioned him Louise very determinedly changed the subject and blanked her off, telling her quite sharply on one occasion, 'Katie, if you
don't
mind, can we
please
talk about something else, or
someone
else?'

'You don't like Professor Simmonds, I know—' Katie began.

Louise interrupted her, laughing harshly as she told her, ,'It isn't simply that I don't like him, Katie—I
loathe,
detest and abhor the man, totally, completely and utterly. Do you understand? I loathe him.
Loathe
him...'

But she still dreamt of him at night that first term of the new year, and into the next—bewildering, confusing dreams involving a kaleidoscope of emotions and feelings from which she awoke in the early hours, her body shaking and drenched in perspiration and her eyes wet with tears.

 

The phone rang sharply, piercing her thoughts and bringing her back abruptly to the present. Quickly Louise went to pick up the receiver.

'Ah, so you are back. Why have you not returned my call?'

As she listened to the plaintive voice of Jean Claude, Louise reminded herself that she was no longer nineteen, and that she had come a long, long way from the girl who had cried out to Gareth Simmonds to make her a woman.

'When will you be free to have dinner with me?' she heard Jean Claude asking her.

'Not this week, I'm afraid,' she told him firmly.

'But
cherie,
I have missed you. It has been so long...'

Louise laughed.

'Stop trying to flatter me, Jean Claude,' she warned him, ignoring his mock-hurt protests. 'Look, I know very well that there are scores of women besides me in your life, so don't try to tell me that you've been spending your evenings alone and lonely at home…'

She could almost feel his ego expanding as she spoke. Despite his intelligence, Jean Claude was a particularly vain man, and Louise had already discovered that it was always easy to appeal to him through his vanity. That vulnerability in him, though, didn't mean that he couldn't be extremely shrewd and perceptive on occasion. He had already challenged her to disprove to him that the reason she had not, so far, gone to bed with him was because emotionally there was another man in her heart, if not in her life. But she wasn't going to resurrect
that
particular argument right now.

'My boss has a big meeting in the morning, which could drag on, and then there's a formal dinner at night...'

'The committee which is to look into the fishing rights of the Arctic seas—yes, I know,' Jean Claude acknowledged. 'Our governments will be on opposite sides on this matter, I suspect.'

Louise laughed.

'Perhaps we shouldn't see one another for a while, then,' she teased him. 'Just in case!'

To her surprise, instead of sharing her laughter, Jean Claude's voice became unusually grave as he told her, 'This is an extremely serious matter for us,
cherie.
Our fishermen need to be able to fish in those waters. Yours...'

Louise could almost see him giving that small Gallic shrug he so frequently made.

'Yours have an area of sea—of seas—to fish which far exceeds the land mass which is your country…'

'A legacy from the days when Britannia ruled the waves,' Louise joked ruefully, but Jean Claude continued to remain serious.

'Such colonialist views are not considered acceptable in these modern times
petite
', he reminded her. 'And jf you would accept a word of warning from me I would suggest that you do not voice them too publicly. There are many nations based here in Brussels who consider that they have good reason to resent what they view as British tyranny and oppression...'

BOOK: The Perfect Lover
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ads

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