Love...and Love Intensely Ch. 02byms_girl23©
She was gone when he woke. Somehow she’d managed to get out of the bed without waking him, had dressed and left already. He swore softly. Perhaps she’d already even left the estate. He sat up abruptly and pushed the thought aside. No - she couldn’t have gone. He could not have waited three years for this, only to have her slip away. She’d already left him once - she never would again.
With another small curse James swung his feet over the side of the bed, stood, and stretched. His gaze fell on the pair of handcuffs lying on the ground and he smiled slightly to himself, his cool green eyes mocking and bitter. Perhaps he should have kept her handcuffed to his bed - that way she would never be able to leave him, ever...
With a small shake of his head, he headed towards the shower. If Emma had already left, he would track her down. If she hadn’t, well, there would be time enough to make her his...truly his.
Oh god, oh god, oh god, Emma chanted to herself as she sat on her bed, dishevelled and still rather in shock. She’d been sitting there since almost dawn, replaying the events over and over again in her mind, and as yet did not seem to show any signs of moving anywhere anytime soon. The mind numbing mantra served to send her into a realm where her only thoughts seemed to centre around the words “oh god”, which really, wasn’t all that helpful, seeing as to how she must have screamed them out five times last night.
Last night. Good lord, had it really happened? If it weren’t for the fact that she could still smell the scent of James and their coupling on her, she would have doubted her own mind.
Even now, she struggled to accept it. It all seemed so farfetched, so ridiculous, so...cruel. Whilst Kit had been using her, stringing her affections along in order to make his real love Mary jealous, James had been sleeping with her in his brother’s place, so as to not make her suspicious when Kit refused to sleep with her in order to remain faithful to Mary... It was all such a soap opera, she could not believe it was the truth.
And yet, why would James lie? What did he stand to gain from it? She was already in a far from charitable frame of mind towards Kit, and he had already demonstrated that if all he wanted was to get inside her pants all he had to do was handcuff her...no, there was nothing in it for James. He was telling the truth. Instinctively, she knew that while James would evade and omit, he would never lie outright to her.
And thus, if he was telling the truth about that matter, it stood to reason that he had been telling the truth about the other. He claimed to love her. Did he really? Did she really want to know?
There was nothing for it, Emma decided, sitting up determinedly. She was leaving. There wasn’t a chance in hell that she was about to stay here a minute longer.
She emerged from the shower, naked and rather wet still, since her hair simply refused to dry, no matter how vigorously she towled it, and opened the door which connected her bedroom to her bathroom in the opulent Brandeworth mansion. Lost in her thoughts, she wandered over to the chest of drawers where she had left her clothing, and bent to open the draws, completely unaware of the rather large, lean, masculine form lying sprawled on her bed, watching her.
“I see that you seem to have recovered your equilibrium remarkably well,” a throaty, deep masculine voice drawled from the bed.
Emma shrieked, spun around and instinctively covered her naked form with her arms.
“Its a bit late for that, don’t you think?” James remarked dryly, cocking one arrogantly slashing eyebrow. His glittering eyes gleamed with something that made her want to shudder.
Emma said nothing, merely began backing away towards the door. James leapt out of the bed and advanced towards her, shaking his head at her. “I wouldn’t do that, my darling...you belong to me, you see, and I do not intend for a single other soul to ever lay eyes upon you in all your glory...and if you keep walking in that direction, I’m afraid I’m going to have to take steps in order to prevent just that from happening.”
“I - I don’t belong to you,” Emma said her voice wavering slightly. She tilted her chin. “You - you oaf!”
“Come here and say that,” he invited silkily, still advancing.
“What do you want?” Emma said desperately, a slightly hysterical note in her voice.
“What do I want?” James replied musingly. “Well, lets see. I’d like you to stop covering yourself. I’d like you to stop moving away. I’d like you to love me, and...oh yes. I want to be inside you.” There was a tiny warning glimmer in his eyes, before he struck.
“No,” Emma breathed, but it was too late. He had launched himself towards her, heaved her over his shoulder and dumped her onto the bed. He was on top of her before she had time to regain her breath.
He was heavy, and incredibly aroused, she realised, feeling the bulge against her stomach. She struggled, wriggling against him and watched in fascination as he groaned, his eyes closed and his face tortured. “Stop that,” he hissed, gripping her wrists and holding her to the mattress. Defiantly, she bucked, enflaming him further.
“Good lord,” James muttered. He let out a tortured breath through his teeth, his eyes still closed. “Will you stop wriggling?”
Emma stilled, watching his expression with interest. “Why?”
“Because if you don’t, I’m going to come in my pants, that’s why!”
A small, triumphant smile lit Emma’s features and with calculated intent, she wriggled slightly, testing him. When his features contorted further, she deliberately ground her hips against him, and he swore, rocking his own hips in response. Pleased with her success, she kept up the motion, sure of herself now.
He stopped, suddenly, pressing her so hard into the mattress that she could not move at all as his full weight rested on her. Her eyes widened in surprise and dismay. “No,” she said desperately.
“Oh, yes,” he said grimly. “You will not find me quite so easy to manipulate, my dear. I want to be inside you - and inside you, I will be.” His mouth hovered, close to hers, then settled ever so gently, over her lips. His lips were soft, velvet soft, and warm, brushing back and forth against her mouth. Then tentatively, she felt the hot lick of his tongue at the seam of her mouth - her lips opened, and suddenly the kiss was no longer gentle, but hard, and punishing. His tongue slid inside her mouth with insolence, stroked roughly at hers with demanding caresses, and his mouth was sealed to hers with an almost bruising violence, as bit by bit, he ripped her wits from her, turning the tables. Even as she whimpered in fear at his rage, her mouth opened wider, sought more of him, more of his taste. And then, quite suddenly, he was gone.
He sat up, shrugged quickly out of his shirt and the warm, musky male scent of him, spiced with a tang of soap and aftershave, filled her nostrils. His chest was wide and broade, his hips lean, his shoulders strong. He knelt up, and seizing her chance, Emma heaved, unbalancing him enough for her to scramble off the bed. He did nothing, merely watched, amused as she wavered, uncertain of his response, and continued to strip, until he was as starkly naked as she. Then, methodically, he advanced towards her, picked her up, and set her back on the bed again.
“We would really save a great deal of time, Emma,” he remarked conversationally as he climbed on top of her and spread her legs. “If you would simply get on the bed yourself and save me the bother of having to carry you.”
“Why?” Emma taunted, defiant to the last. “I would have thought that you would like the sense of power that experience from being able to make others submit to your will.”
He smiled at her, brilliantly white teeth flashing, and she wanted to hate him in that moment, for having the power to subdue her, to charm her, and most unforgivable of all, to make her want what he was forcing on her.
“I can’t deny that I like it when you submit to my will, sweetheart...but you clearly don’t. Why did you leave me this morning?”
She stared at him blankly. “What?”
"This morning. After we were...together. You left me, without a word.”
“After you raped me,” Emma corrected, and yet even as she said them the words felt like a lie. “And as to the other - I went back to my room. I had to.”
“Well - I - Jordan - it wasn’t right - I mean -”
“You mean that if you had stayed, it would have looked like you were willing, and thus you would have been stripped of the ever so convenient excuse that I raped you. But its not true, is it Emma? I didn’t...not if you were willing. And as I remember...you were very willing.”
“I wasn’t!” she denied hotly.
“Oh?” Sensuously, he rubbed his body against her and for the first time, Emma was consciously aware that they were skin to skin, body to body, naked against eachother. He forced her legs slowly apart, until his hips rested in the cradle of her pelvis. “Are you quite sure?”
“Yes,” she said, rather weakly.
He plunged inside her.
She screamed, arching her breasts towards him, and he bent his head, clamping his teeth around one. She whimpered like a small, hurt animal, and he began thrusting, moving quickly, deeply inside her.
“Leave me, will you?” he growled, his hands gripping her hips tightly and lifting her towards him. “Run off on me, just like that, will you?” She gasped, exposed her throat to him and hungrily he bit into her, devouring at her neck. He slid deeper inside her, thrust harder. “Lie, will you? Deny this, deny what we have, will you? Well deny it all you want, my darling, but the fact remains that what we have is real...what I feel for you is real...and I know you’ll never admit it, but what you feel for me is real, too...”
She clamped hard around him and he erupted with a roar of ecstacy, his seed spurting deep inside her in hot bursts. He plunged deep inside her one last time, and she gave a scream of sheer, unadulterated pleasure, clamping hot and wetly around him, her hands, free at last from his bruising grip, free to wrap around his neck, to cling to him as the last vestiges of her orgasm drifted away.
“Don’t leave me again,” James murmured sleepily, when she made to move, to get out from under him. “Please don’t leave me again.”
And, cursing herself inwardly for her own weakness, Emma gave in, relaxing against the comforting heaviness of him atop her, closing her eyes as sleep claimed her, and feeling oddly safe.
When Emma woke again it was much later in the day - well past noon, to judge from the sun shining brightly through her drawn blinds. Yawning sleepily, she sat up, gazing around in bewilderment at the stained sheets for a moment, blinking. Memory rushed back and her face flushed - gritting her teeth, she climbed out of bed for the third time that morning. She did not question her hypocrisy, or the reason for her resentment, as she thought vengefully, don’t leave him, indeed. It was perfectly all right for him to leave her though.
She came down stairs half an hour later relatively refreshed but still very much in a quandery. She found Jordan sitting by himself in the morning parlour, eating from a plate of tiny sandwiches. He looked up as she approached. “Hello, sis,” he said cheerfully. “Had a late night, did you?”
“Yes,” Emma replied vaguely, feeling her face heat once again. She took a seat, then looked around in curiousity. “Where is everyone else?”
“Kit took them all hunting,” Jordan answered. “The Redwoods, you know. Fresh deer, apparently.”
“Ah,” Emma said, wrinkling her nose in distaste.
Jordan looked at her curiously. “Aren’t you feeling well, Emma?”
“Its just a bit of a headache,” Emma said hastily. “Nothing to worry about. Although,” she continued as a sudden flash of inspiration hit her, “Perhaps it wouldn’t be such a bad idea if I were to cut my visit just a little short, go home for the remainder of the houseparty. Just for a bit of a rest...”
Jordan bit his lip, eyed her worriedly. “Emma, if its Kit...”
Oh, it wasn’t Kit, Emma thought to herself rather hysterically. It had never been Kit, she realised abruptly. The man she had fallen in love with, the man she had believed to be Kit...that man had never existed. How could he have, when he was two people? Kit in daylight, and James at night...
“Its not that,” Emma said truthfully. “Its just that I’d really rather go home now...”
“I wouldn’t do that,” a voice said, surprising her from behind. She spun around, her face breaking into a smile at the sight of Lucien Tusane. Lucien, one of James and Kit’s best friends, had been a fount of support for her during the days after Kit’s defection. Word was that these days, he only spoke to one of the Brandeworth twins, and that one was definitely not Kit.
“Luc,” Emma said in pleasure. “I didn’t know you were here.”
“Arrived last night,” he answered briefly. “Might convey the wrong idea,” he continued, his dark grey eyes twinkling at her as he raked a careless hand through his tousled blond hair. “Give people the impression that you can’t handle being here - that you’re running away.”
Emma frowned at him in consternation as Jordan nodded thoughtfully. “Its true, Em,” he agreed. “Keep your pride, at least.”
Emma sighed in frustration. “I just want to go home!”
“Well, there is another way,” Luc put in. “If all you want is to simply leave this place.”
“Well...” Emma began.
“If we put it about that you and I are...you know, involved, it won’t raise too much speculation when we both disappear together...and that way, we both get what we want.”
“Ah,” Jordan said, a gleam in his eyes.
Emma was silent for a moment. Luc’s plan made sense. She knew how wounded he’d been when Mary had broken up their engagement, in order to marry his best friend...yet another twist, Emma thought bitterly. The plot was thickening by the day! She felt like she was trapped inside some sort of absurd parody of a nightmarish soap opera.
“Its sounds like a perfect idea,” Emma said finally, forcing cheerfulness into her tone. “Two birds with one stone, so to speak. When can we leave?”
“You’ll have to keep up the pretence for a few days at least,” Jordan intervened. “It will look suspicious if you just up and go - take time to establish the lie first.”
Emma shrugged, meeting Luc’s querying gaze. “Why not?”
It was that evening, while the numerous guests mingled in the drawing room before dinner for drinks that the “announcement” was made. Emma took a deep breath, steadying herself, and stepped into the room.
Luc saw her at once. “Emma, darling!” he exclaimed, taking long legged strides towards her and looping an arm around her waist possessively. “Where have you been? I’ve been waiting for hours!”
“I was dressing,” Emma replied demurely, feeling James’ piercing gaze on her and deliberately playing up her part. “I wanted to look good for you, darling.” Perhaps that was a bit much, she thought wryly, as she saw the wickedly humourous look in Luc’s eyes. He pecked her nose fondly, and whispered intimately in her ear, “Tone it down a little, sweetie, or I might crack up and blow our cover.”
She whispered back, just as sweetly, “If you do, I’ll castrate you.”
He roared with laughter, drawing more attention to them, and offered his arm. She took it with a cloying smile, and together, they walked into the dining room, seemingly oblivious of the curious whispers they left behind, and one hot, furious gaze.
It was while she was standing outside on the balcony after dinner that evening, taking in the air and waiting for Luc to come back with her drink, that just what she had gotten into hit home.
The footsteps behind her came softly, almost silently, and suddenly, two large, male hands had clamped tight onto her shoulders. She stiffened, made to turn around, but found herself held forcefully where she was, gazing out into the darkness below.
“Do you know,” James voice was very near her ear, his body gradually positioning hers so that she nestled inside the cradle of his, “Its always been a fantasy of mine to take you like this, out here, before the world?”
“Funny,” Emma managed to retort, “I never would have picked you for an exhibitionist.”
“Oh its not that,” James said softly. “Its more a sign of ownership - a portrayal to the word that you are mine...that you belong to me, and only to me...”
“I can see where this is leading,” Emma said laconically. “I don’t suppose you ever listen when what you hear isn’t to your liking?”
She could almost feel him smile. “I listen...” he disagreed. “But I don’t have to accept. And I do not accept this - this charade - that you have set up with Luc.”
“Who says it is a charade?” And perhaps because her voice held just the right amount of indignation, anger, and scorn, she felt him still, heard him go silent for a moment before he ground out, “I say it is...and if it is not, it soon will be...”
“I sincerely doubt that,” Emma spat.
“Oh? You really are Luc’s woman, then, my love?”
His scorn was apparent. “How very...fickle, you are, Emma my dear. You claim to be his woman and yet you are more than willing to respond to my touch...” His hands moved from her shoulders to her arms, and across to stroke featheringly across her breasts, pulling her even more firmly against him.
“You lie,” Emma gasped. “I was unwilling, and you simply - simply took me.”
“I took you,” he agreed, “But you were all too willing. As you are now.” He slid a hand inside her dress, toyed with a peaked nipple. “I could make you come, right now.”
“N-No,” Emma protested, but somehow her protest seemed only token, as he spun her around and sealed her mouth was his. His mouth was bruising, hurting her, and yet inciting her against her will. His tongue invaded, trapped, lured, and touched. His lips captured, sucked. His teeth grazed, possessed, and bit with a hungry voraciousness that drew an involuntary moan from her. “James,” she gasped.
“Hush,” James ground out against her lips. “You’re being punished.”
He wrenched away from her suddenly, a wild look in his eyes. His gaze fell to her red, swollen lips, and his breath seemed to hitch in his throat. “I want you,” he rasped. “If I don’t go, I’m going to take you, right here, right now.”
Dazed, she merely stared dreamily back at him, her lips slightly parted, her eyes clouded. With a curse, he turned abruptly, and walked swiftly away from her.
It seemed that minutes had barely passed when he returned again, for all of a sudden, whilst Emma was once again staring numbly out at the darkness, arms circled her waist from behind, and a voice breathed passionately into her ear, “Emma.” James, she thought, bemused. Had he decided to come back, then? “I’ve waited so long for this,” he continued, feathering soft, gentle kisses across her neck. “At last - at last, I’ll have you.”
Now that didn’t sound quite right, she thought, confused. What the devil was he talking about? Before she had much time to ponder that, however, she had been yanked into his arms and his mouth was covering his.
She sensed almost from the moment his lips touched hers that something was wrong. His kisses felt wrong, new, different, somehow, and his taste seemed different as well. She tasted whisky on his breath, and whilst before he had always been demanding, almost violent, now his lips were gentle, meek, shy, almost. “James?” she said, confused, but found her lips covered once again.
There was a harsh intake of breath from the doors that led to the house and Emma’s eyes shot open, looking from the very large, menacing figure standing in the balcony doorway, to the man who was holding her in his arms. Kit’s eyes stared back at her.
With a cry of dismay, she pushed him away from her, stumbling backwards, unsurprised when he lurched drunkenly, then had to grab the railing to steady himself.