An English House Party Ch. 05byAMY_Monaco©
The house party attended an Assembly held by one of the Marquess's neighbors. Now that Nora and Jamie were set on purchasing an estate nearby, it was the perfect opportunity for them to mingle with the local society.
Jason reserved the first two dances in the first set with his fiancée. Soon the lively music and the chatter of gossip put everyone in high spirits. Hundreds of candles were lit for the occasion, casting a complimenting glow on the ladies. Penny wasn't exempt from this and looked very becoming in a gown of purple satin.
Jason tried to ignore the slight jealousy he felt when he witnessed Penelope becoming more relaxed in Julian Dunsforth's company.
Emma wore a similar shade as Penny, though her neckline was square cut and her sleeves were at three-quarter's length. The Kingsley sisters proved to be popular, reacquainting themselves with people they'd met years ago and smiling at the soldiers newly arrived in town. Dressed in regimentals, the men made a handsome sight and even Emma found herself flirting with one particular soldier with wavy blond hair.
They stood in one of the drawing rooms, sipping from wine and Emma found herself laughing more than once at Saunders' amusing stories.
"Oh, how awful!" Emma laughed and Saunders shrugged sheepishly.
"I can say I could not eat it for weeks after that."
"Ah, Emma. There you are."
Emma turned in time to see the Earl approach. Saunders smartly excused himself.
"You've been avoiding me, cara." Alex said, drawing close to her as polite society could allow.
"I want to see you alone so I can finish what we've started." His voice was deepened by the promise in his words and she smiled into her glass of wine as she sipped. "Or do you mean to toy with me like you do with your past lovers?"
She set her glass down on a passing servant's tray and turned to him. "I believe I am unwell and wish to return to the Marquess' home. I won't need an escort, but if you desire to...make sure I am well, I would be much obliged."
With a smile, she curtsied and went to make her excuses. She told her sister she'd take the carriage home and that there would be no need for an escort.
Her body was humming as she sat in the carriage, anxious to get back to her room. If the Earl had taken the hint, he'd meet her later in her room.
She berated herself for being so irrational. She was a gently bred lady and here she was, about to lose her virginity to the Earl. One who wasn't going to offer marriage and most likely would stop pursuing her as soon as he got a taste of her.
Emma slumped back into her velvet seat. It was no use. Even as her heart skipped a beat at the mere thought of him, she knew that deep down, she cared for him more than she let on. She was very much in danger of falling head over heels in love with him.
"Heaven forbid." She murmured, as the carriage pulled up to the house. She went straight upstairs.
She whirled around as the door was shut closed to her room. The earl stood there in his formal clothes, though he'd discarded his blazer and the buttons on his vest were undone. With his legs planted firmly apart, his hands at his side, he looked the very image of masculinity. His eyes looked pitch black in the dimness of the room and the firelight danced on his skin, enhancing his image of sinner.
Emma's feet moved of their own accord. Alex met her halfway, kissing her hard. Their hands worked quickly at each other's clothing, shedding his vest and neck cloth, tossing his shirt away. He undid the buttons on her dress with speed and pulled the material off her.
She sighed at the feel of his hard chest touching her own full breasts, swollen from desire. Standing naked before him, she didn't feel an ounce of shyness. As he tugged his breeches down and discarded his boots and socks, she unpinned her hair, shaking it until the long black tresses cascaded down her shoulders, partially covering her nipples.
"You're exquisite, cara." He whispered, cupping her face gently before kissing her again. Hooking his arm under her legs, he carried her to the bed and laid her on the cool sheets. Her hands explored the hard planes of his body. She couldn't stop touching him and reveled in the velvet softness of his arousal.
He moved over her, balancing his weight on his arms as they kissed.
"Alex..." She whispered. He pushed her slender legs apart and positioned his cock at her entrance.
"Jesus, you're so wet for me." He said.
Emma wasn't prepared for the pain. He thrust into her in one swift stroke and went still immediately as she whimpered. When she opened her eyes, she found him staring at her with such intensity. He was breathing hard, his nostrils flaring.
"Cara," He said, his entire body tense. "Oh, god."
He began to move. Instinctively, she lifted her legs high over his hips, bringing him in deeper. A slow smile curved on her lips as she felt her pleasure build with each deep stroke. He angled his thrusts so that he was able to trigger pleasure from her clit. Emma cried out softly as he moved steadily. She murmured his name, winding her arms around him, watching the muscles cord in his neck and shoulders as he penetrated deeper and deeper.
Their lips met in a torrid kiss. Suddenly, he rolled onto his back so she straddled him. Driven by passion he'd ignited, she lifted herself over his hard throbbing length and slammed down on him. He arched to meet her, his face hardened by concentration. His large hands held her tightly by the waist, using his strength to pull her over his cock. She drew from that power, the power she had to cause this passion to pound through him.
She leaned forward to rest her hands on his chest for balance and arched her back. It brought him deeper inside her and she let out a sultry laugh at this knowledge.
Alex watched her throw her head back in rapture. The ends of her long hair tickled his thighs as she rode his cock. God, she was beautiful, a siren bent on killing him with pleasure. His mind had gone blank the moment she was in his arms and the only clear thought he had was of her. Her name was a mantra on his lips as he began to pound in and out of her.
He was getting closer to release and when he caught sight of that seductive smile on her lips, he pulled her down for a kiss and rolled her beneath him as he plunged into her. Emma let out a guttural moan as she climaxed and he finally was able to let go. He ground his hips into her and drawing the last of his strength, managed to pull out just as the first spurt of his seed shot from his cock. He shuddered, holding his throbbing cock as he emptied himself over her stomach.
He collapsed beside her.
Emma blinked, staring at the ceiling, yet seeing nothing. She'd never imagine lovemaking could be this intense, so powerful that every thought could be extracted from her to the point that nothing else mattered but this euphoria.
Her eyes went to the white sticky substance on her stomach. With a lazy hand, he reached for the sheets and wiped his come off her skin. Propping his head on his hand, he looked down at her, resting his hand on her abdomen. "You led me to believe you've had lovers, cara."
"Well, obviously I didn't. You are my first." She didn't bother to hide herself beneath a sheet. They'd just made love and somehow the idea showing modesty now seemed a ridiculous notion.
Alex frowned slightly at her comment. "You should have told me. I could have eased your pain instead of taking you so quickly." That slow smile returned to her lips and her hand came to his chest. "The pain was quickly gone and I very much enjoyed everything else, Alex."
They shared a long, lazy kiss. After lying in comfortable silence, Emma was the first to break their reverie. "Everyone will be returning soon."
Alex smirked. "Assemblies never end early."
"And here I am, feeling so unwell that I have to miss the dances." She said, referring to her lie and pretended to pout.
"Perhaps I can think of something to make you feel better, cara."
With only his hands and mouth, he brought her to the heights of two more orgasms before he pulled out of her with a heavy groan.
Penny followed the Marquess out onto one of the small terraces. There, engulfed in near darkness, they leaned against the stone railing and stared quietly out at the garden. Crickets and the faint music behind them orchestrated the night.
Without looking at her, he said, "I saw the way you looked at Julian Dunsforth."
Her head whirled around to look at him. "I beg your pardon?"
He turned to her now. In the darkness, his golden blond hair and blue eyes made him look sinister. "When he asked you to dance, you two exchanged a look." As he said this, the frown on his face deepened. He leaned closer to her. "What goes on there?"
She turned away. "I don't see how that is any of your business."
He reached for her shoulders, forcing her to look at him. "It damn well is my business. I am your future husband. I have a right to know whether my fiancée is having an affair."
It was her turn to frown. She was grateful for the darkness to hide her reddening face. "We danced. That hardly counts as an affair."
His eyes narrowed and for a moment he said nothing. "I'll be watching him. I don't want any man getting too friendly with you."
"You're being arrogant again, my lord. I can have male friends, just as you have female friends."
"I don't exchange heated looks with my female friends, Penelope." He said in a dangerously low voice.
She wriggled out of his arms and stepped back. "What I do is my own affair."
"Is he your lover?"
She lifted her chin. "And what if he is?"
Jason curse. "Listen to me, Penelope. You are making a grave mistake to mix with the likes of him. Perhaps you wish me to think he's taken you to his bed already, but I warn you. His kind do not care for you. All he wants is your money."
"Julian Dunsforth is wealthy by his own right."
"Yes, by trade." Jason regretted his words as soon as he said them. He was one of the few who respected those who rose successfully from nothing.
"Just because he doesn't carry a title as lofty as yours, doesn't mean he isn't worthy, Jason."
"Just stay clear of him."
She let out an exasperated sigh. "There you go again, telling me what to do. I will keep the company I like. Accept it, my lord."
He grasped her by the arm. "No wife of mine is going to carry another man's bastard."
"Let me go, Jason. Someone might hear you."
"Oh, you high-handed boar." She hissed. "Where are you taking me?"
"Don't resist me, or you'll make a scene, darling." He warned low in her ear and proceeded to lead her through the ballroom crowd. They walked through the foyer, where the butler handed them his cane, hat and her silk wrap. He told the butler to make his excuses to their host.
He practically pushed Penny into the carriage. She glared at him from the opposite seat as it began to move.
"This is madness. You cannot simply drag me around like a puppet, ready to do as you please."
"I'm only doing this for your own good, Penelope."
She pounded her tiny fists into the cushions of her seat. "Why do you insist on calling me Penelope? It's Penny. Pen-ny! Oh!" She crossed her arms over her chest. What was it about him that had her acting like a child throwing a temper tantrum? Never had she felt such an urge to kick her feet and scream.
"I thought we were going to try being friends." He said, referring to their conversation in the library the other day. It only made her feel worse.
"Like I said before. We cannot choose who we fall in love with."
When the carriage pulled up to the house, he dragged her out and straight into the house, up the stairs.
"You can't lock me in my room like a little girl." She said crossly.
"You can be assured that you will not be locked in your room." He answered simply. He pulled her into his room and locked it with a decisive click. She stared at him.
"What are you doing?" She said, feeling a little nervous now. She watched him come toward her as he shrugged his jacket off, then his vest. He pulled at his neck cloth without a care to the expensive material and tossed it aside.
"I'm not giving you or Dunsforth any more opportunities to plant his seed in you."
"Jason, keep away." She said, and soon found herself backed against his bed. The edge hit the back of her legs and she fell onto the soft mattress. When she made to move away, he covered her body with his, blocking her. She struggled and found her hands pinned to the bed.
"You cannot do this!"
"We're betrothed. It won't matter."
He managed to strip her of her gown, ignoring her protests and squirming. She locked eyes with him and suddenly saw the fury burning in his blue eyes. He forced her mouth to his.
"I demand you stop this at once!"
"I cannot do that, Penelope." He said. She found herself moaning when she felt his hands caress her skin, felt the familiar moisture build between her legs. Her nipples stood out hard and sensitive, beckoning him to use his mouth on her. He didn't disappoint her and suckled hard, causing her to arch off the bed.
"You say you don't want this, Penelope, but you respond to my every touch."
His hands found her clit and flicked it. She moaned again, felt her legs spread to him. He kept them apart with his knee as he opened his breeches and pulled out his cock.
Penny stared at him, fearful, as well as angry. He settled his cock at her wet entrance and she felt him push its bulbous head into her.
"Jason, don't do this. Please -- "
Her words were cut off as he pushed deeper. He bit her earlobe gently and she gasped, not from anger now, but from desire.
"You little minx. You lied to me."
He tore through her hymen and she bit hard on his shoulder to keep from crying out. He didn't give her a chance to adjust to him. Her body soon betrayed her, feeling his thrusts draw out her pleasure. She tried to think of something else, of Julian. She didn't want to feel so good in Jason's arms. She closed her eyes tight and clung to him as he moved faster and deeper.
"Don't deny yourself, darling." He said huskily. He lowered his hand to her clit again and circled it as he thrust forward.
"No, I don't want this. I don't want you!"
She tried once again to think of Julian, yet it was Jason's body that she felt, Jason's face that she saw when her eyes opened. At her words, he pounded into her as if in punishment. She climaxed. Jason felt his muscles flex, tighten. He came hard, filling her with his hot come.
He watched her through a daze, holding her close in his arms. He felt guilt wash over him as his eyes roamed over her flushed body. When he glanced down at the sheets, stained with her blood. He shouldn't have taken her in anger. Yet the jealousy he'd felt when he realized Dunsforth had been her first had been too strong to ignore. But he wasn't the first. Jason was.
He saw a small tear slid down her cheek. Penelope seemed withdrawn now as she stared blankly at the ceiling.
"I plan to make him my lover after we marry." His hand tightened on her stomach. "The hell you will."
"Don't act shocked, Jason." Her voice was oddly flat and it only made him feel worse. "You had planned on taking a mistress as soon as we were wed. A woman should be able to have her lovers, too."
Jason said nothing. He had thought about it, long before he was reacquainted with Penelope. Now the thought of bedding another woman no longer seemed appealing. And the thought of her in Dunsforth's arms only made him angry.
"You don't love him, Penelope."
She turned her head slowly to him, her eyes wet with unshed tears. "Because he's a commoner in trade?"
"Because he's not your equal in passion."
"I find his passion to my liking."
He clenched and unclenched his hand, willing his jealousy and anger. "Whatever you did with him," He began slowly. He wasn't sure how to go on. It was only fair that whatever she and Dunsforth had done be forgotten. After all, he hadn't exactly been celibate before Penelope. "I don't wish to know. In the morning, I want you to start distancing yourself from him. I won't send him away, for I have business to discuss with him. I'm not proud that I took you in anger, but it's done."
Penny stared at him. "Have you never been in love, Jason? You're two and thirty. You must have loved at least once in your lifetime."
"No, I have never been in love."
"Then I pity you. It's a wonderful feeling. It fills you up with warmth and it makes you smile even when you feel sad. It's knowing the other person is there for you no matter what. They respect you as you respect them. It's undying, profound, it gives one hope."
"All those characteristics can be said for friendship."
"How jaded you've become. Julian makes me feel all those things. So you see, Jason. After I marry you, after I have given birth to your children and become your Duchess, my heart will always belong to Julian. I'll always have my love for him and you cannot change that or take it away from me."
She slipped out of bed. He didn't stop her as she bent to pick up her gown. She slipped it on and left the room without a word. Jason lay back on his bed. Eventually his eyes started to close and he slept, though her confession of love for Dunsforth haunted him and his dreams.
That night, after everyone had returned and settled into their beds, Alex slipped into Emma's room once again. He made love to her twice more.
Sated, Emma rested her head on Alex's chest while he idly stroked circled on her bare back. She could hear the steady beating of his heart and it seemed to beat as one with hers. They had about one more week with each other and she wondered what would happen then. Most likely they would go separate ways, never to see each other again.
True, they moved in the same circles, but nothing could come from seeing each other regularly. She was looking for something more and Alex Coulter, Earl of Whittenhall certainly wasn't the type to want a lasting relationship. She told herself for the millionth time that night that she would have to be satisfied with just these two weeks with him. And she was convinced that half of their passion would be missing if it weren't for the thrill of sneaking around. In normal circumstances, the likes of Alex would have been unworthy of her attention, she reminded herself. It was only the thrill of his forbidden touch that led Emma to make love with him.
She wouldn't fall in love. Couldn't.
Then she felt him place a tender kiss to the palm of her left hand. When she looked up, he smiled. She couldn't help but smile back, but it was the realization that she did love him a little that had her heart racing.
The Earl of Whittenhall was the worst person to fall in love with.