tagRomanceRayne Ch. 05

Rayne Ch. 05


The following week an invitation arrived from Gabriella. She wanted him to escort her to an afternoon concert at Vauxhall. Rayne chuckled at the invitation, Vauxhall, an afternoon concert; she definitely had decided to play it safe. Well, well, he would have to see what he could do to upset her strategy. He would issue an invitation of his own. He knew her well enough to know that she couldn't resist a challenge. He dashed off a note to her confirming their afternoon engagement and included at the bottom. "My dearest Gabriella, I really expected something a little more daring from you. I issue you an invitation, if you dare accept it. Have dinner with me, at a place of my choosing. I can promise you an interesting time" at the bottom he had simply scrawled a capital R with a flourish. He sent his footman straight away to Rue St John 332 and instructed him to await a reply.

Gabriella opened the note and read quickly through it and laughed out loud at Raynes audacity. But, he had definitely piqued her curiosity, and it had been months since she had had an adventure. Maria was shaking her head at the girl with the dancing green eyes. But Gabriella ignored her and laughed as she replied to Raynes note "It will be my pleasure to join you for dinner...at a place of your choosing." And with a giggle she penned a capital G with swirls and embellishments and handed the note to the footman. She raced upstairs and began throwing gowns on her bed. She raced out to the balustrade and called down to Maria, "Well, what are you waiting for? Get up here and help me pick something out."

Maria, mumbling and grumbling trudged up the stairs. But when she reached the top and Gabriella enveloped her in a tight hug she hushed her grumbling and smiled impishly at the exuberant girl. "Okay missy, you need an afternoon gown and you will have to return here to dress for dinner. But where do you think he will bring you. A place of his choosing, it could be anywhere from the finest restaurant to his bedroom. You little idiota you are hoping it will be the later aren't you?" Maria demanded.

Gabriella at least had the grace to blush before she responded, "Of course not Maria, how could you think such a thing?"

"You forget I saw the way you clung to him in your sleep, as well as the hunger on his face as he devoured you with his eyes."

"But Maria, you said he would protect me. You said he was the one."

"Ah, but who will protect you from each other?" That was the part of her vision that she had never told Gabriella. The dark one would save her from the evil one, but the dark one would not be easily controlled. It was that part that frightened Maria, but she knew that fate could not be changed, one must face one's destiny. She would light a candle and pray that he wouldn't destroy Gabriella when he learned the truth.

Rayne found himself whistling as he dressed for the afternoon concert and was a little disconcerted that he should be so happy to be attending an event that he normally considered to be quite boring. But then he picked up Gabriella's return note and threw back his head and laughed. She had sealed her fate when she had agreed to his invitation. He was most assuredly looking forward to dinner and dessert.

He was greeted with a glare from Maria when he arrived at Gabriella's. "Now Maria, whatever did I do to deserve that look? I rescued your baby; I am doing my duty as protector in escorting her to the concert. What more could you ask of a protector?" Rayne inquired with a teasing tone in his voice.

"Protect her? You have not yet begun to protect her. It will not be so easy once it starts, the evil one will see to that!"

"Maria!" Gabriella stood on the stairs her green eyes stormy with anger "you forget yourself. Rayne, please excuse Maria, she sometimes speaks when she should be silent."

He could see that it hurt Gabriella to say the things she had said. Maria turned on her heel and left the foyer, but turned just before she walked through the door and said in parting, "It's silence you want, so be it!" She swept through the door as regal as a queen. Rayne felt that he had just witnessed a battle of two wills that were both strong as iron.

Once in the carriage, Gabriella chatted on about the weather, the latest fashion and gossip. Yes, she was determined to keep this conversation of safe footing. Rayne was agreeable to this, after all he had the whole night, she just didn't know it yet. As he smiled lazily at her, he was mentally undressing her and as he felt himself begin to harden at the mental picture he was creating he decided he had better pay closer attention to the conversation.

Gabriella seemed to thoroughly enjoy the concert, although Rayne would have been hard pressed to say what the concert was about. Throughout the entire concert he had sat watching Gabriella and wondering exactly what Maria had meant by the strange things she had said. Knowing he would only have the answers to those questions when Gabriel chose to confide in him, he concentrated instead on thoughts of the evening ahead. He was an expert lover, and he knew that not because of conceit, but by the long line of conquests he had made in his lifetime. A sensual smile graced his face as he contemplated Gabriella's surrender to him.

Gabriella, who Rayne had thought was absorbed by the concert, had in fact paid little attention to the musicians or actors. She had been consumed by thoughts of the upcoming evening. She knew Maria believed Rayne was the "one". But she would have to be assured herself of that before she divulged her secrets to him. If she chose unwisely and told the wrong person, it could well mean her death. She did not fool herself into believing that Torquemada had stopped looking for her. She knew she couldn't dally much longer in London. She needed to feel the roll of her ship beneath her feet, the salt spray in her face and the sun on her back. She missed the crew and she missed the adventure. She gave Rayne a sidelong glance from beneath lowered lashes, although Rayne was proving to be a very pleasant diversion she knew she would have to resume her search for Torquemada soon. She knew Rayne was watching her, and that thought along with the intense gaze of his penetrating blue eyes made her slightly breathless. She had never had difficulty controlling the men in her life. All had sought the one treasure she had as yet chosen not to give up, but she wasn't so sure Rayne would be so easily controlled.

As they strolled, arm in arm, through the walks surrounding Vauxhall they spoke of non-consequential things. Both had thoughts of other things. They stopped for refreshments at a local café before returning to Gabriella's home. Rayne had seen her safely to her door and had taken her hand and pressed a kiss to the back of it before turning it over and boldly kissing her palm, and lightly touching his tongue to her palm. A shiver ran over Gabriella's entire body and she felt as if it was a promise of things to come.

Rayne dressed for dinner in his traditional black, but looked nonetheless elegant as usual. He arrived and was speaking with Maria, who was being decidedly cool tonight. So, he gathered she was not over her tiff from earlier in the day. He glanced up and was stunned at the sight that greeted his eyes. Gabriella stood at the top of the stairs with one hand on the railing. She was wearing a traditionally Spanish styled gown. It was ruby red with black lace; it clung to her body creating a feast for his eyes. The bodice was tight and low cut and her breasts all but spilled forth from their prison of satin and silk. The dress hugged her hips that were softly rounded. Her hair was piled high upon her head and held in place by a traditional Spanish comb. There were tiny ringlets escaping their confines to fall alluringly around her face, framing it and making her appear soft and vulnerable. As she descended the stairs Rayne felt himself begin to harden, and with all the will power he had, he forced himself to still. But he wasn't sure just how long his body would listen to his will.

Maria, seeing Gabriella dressed in the dress and looking so much like her mother had at that age, and seeing Raynes reaction, swore beneath her breath "Dios mio!" If Torquemada could see the beauty that the child had become, he would never stop pursuing her. As it was he wanted her only to punish her for escaping his clutches so many years ago and depriving him of raping the twelve-year-old she had been. Maria knew of Torquemada's depravity, she had witnessed him first hand rape both little girls and boys alike, and laugh at their shrieks of pain and fear. He had seen him rape a little girl of less than seven and at the moment of his climax he had slit her throat and the sight of the blood spewing from her throat had caused him to harden again instantly. It was then that he had turned on Catalina, Gabriella's mother and as he had raped her he had told her of the things he would do to her daughter when he caught her. But Gabriella knew nothing of that; Maria had kept the knowledge of his depravity to herself. Gabriella had suffered enough as it was. Now, here was Gabriella looking for all the world like Catalina had and although she was still as pure as the day she had been born, Maria knew the fiery passion that lurked just beneath the beautiful surface was waiting to be ignited by the right man. By the dark one as foretold in the vision at her birth. She feared for Gabriella, but knew she could do naught to change the course of her destiny. She sighed with worry as the dashing young couple walked past her with eyes only for each other.

As Gabriella walked ahead of Rayne down the steps to the awaiting carriage, the sensual sway of her hips inflamed his desire. He entered the carriage and sat opposite her, for all of two seconds before pulling her onto his lip and into his arms. His lips found hers and tasted deeply of her nectar. She tasted sweet and as he ended the kiss a tiny moan escaped her mouth, only to be captured in Raynes as he renewed his assault on her lips. Gabriella caught Raynes face between her hands and much to his surprise she in turn ravaged his mouth until her lips were swollen with desire. She felt the hard proof of his desire against her derrière and shaken by the feelings he was causing in her shakily suggested that perhaps she should return to her seat.

"As much as I want to refuse your suggestion, I think perhaps that would be prudent." Rayne wouldn't admit just how much those kisses had affected him. It bothered him that she could make him feel more with mere kisses than any other woman had ever made him feel with their entire bodies. But it was more than just lust; it was a feeling coupled with tenderness and an overwhelming surge of protectiveness.

"Where have you chosen for us to dine tonight?" Gabriella asked and held her breath until Rayne answered.

"Actually that's to be a surprise. He reached inside his dinner jacket pocket and pulled out a domino mask, which in fact was an elegant blindfold. "I'm afraid in order for this to be a complete surprise, I'll have to ask you to put this on."

A surge of nervous anticipation swept through Gabriella. "How do I know I can trust you to be a gentleman?"

"You don't, love. But I don't think you want me to be a complete gentleman, do you? I know you like adventure as much as do I Gabriella. You, like myself, have been without a good adventure for far too long. Push the edge, Gabbi, be the woman you were meant to be. The dress, daring and seductive, it is you, so become that enchantress, trust me." He held out the mask to her.

She knew it was up to her, if she refused he would take her to a respectable eating establishment and it would be a perfectly normal evening. Rayne was leaving it up to her, even though she had agreed to an evening of his choice. But, she knew he was right, it was time to fulfill her destiny and she was as sure as Maria now, that Rayne was her destiny. She slowly reached out and took the mask from him, leaned across the carriage and brushed a kiss filled with promise upon his sensual lips. She sat back and put on the mask.

The minute the mask was in place she felt all of her senses heighten. She knew without a doubt that he was leisurely letting his eyes rove over her body and she felt the heat of his gaze as it caressed her breasts as surely as if it had been his hand. Her nipples hardened and she knew he saw that too. By the time the carriage rolled to a stop she was nigh to screaming with the pent up anticipation. Rayne lifted her from the carriage and led her up a flight of stairs. She heard a door open and close, and there was the smell of flowers, like gardenias. She couldn't hear anything else and then Rayne whispered in her ear, "We have to go up a long staircase, would you prefer for me to carry you?"

"Won't the other people find it strange?" Gabriella was hoping to find out a little about where they were.

"Actually, no one here will think it strange in the least." He smiled at her attempt for information.

"Is it very long?"

"Yes, quite."

"Perhaps it would be best if you carried me then."

Once he had her permission, Rayne swept her into his arms and headed for his destination on the second floor. Once he had reached the room he sought, he reluctantly put Gabriella on her feet. She reached to remove the blindfold and his hands stilled her. "I have found that if one cannot see their other senses are heightened and the feelings they experience are multiplied. Thus, if one experiences pleasure it is bliss, and fear turns to excitement with the right incentive. Care to experience those sensations?" Rayne all but dared her to play his game.

"How will I eat if I am blindfolded?"

"Why, I will feed you of course."

"Of course" she said softly. "Very well, but, I can choose to end this game whenever I want, by simply removing the mask. And you will not do anything that I do not wish you to do?"

"You have only to say 'no'" Rayne assured her.

With that settled between the two of them Rayne led Gabriella to a chair and seated her in it. She was more than a little nervous and he noticed how her teeth worried her full lower lip. He realized that she did this whenever she was nervous, it was a most engaging habit.

She could hear the sound of Rayne as he moved about the room and wondered exactly what he was about. She strained to catch each sound and she heard the soft clink of glasses and the sound of a liquid being poured. Rayne returned to her and touched her face softly by running his finger down her jawline. "Would you like something to drink?" he asked quietly.

Gabriella ran her tongue over her lips and nodded. She smelled the wine as the glass neared her lips and Rayne tilted the glass to that the liquid entered her mouth. It was a sweet red wine, and the wine seemed to enter her blood and pulse throughout her body. Giving her strength and courage to play his game, on her terms. "You know there is sipping wine, and then" she paused for effect, "there is sipping wine. Would you like a drink?" she asked seductively.

Rayne smiled as he recognized her eagerness to play the game. "Yes" was all he said. She stood slowly and turned toward the direction his voice had come from and put out her hand until she felt the solidness of his chest and then she held her hand out in silent demand of the wineglass. Rayne placed the crystal wineglass in her hand and she brought it slowly, not to his lips but to hers. She drank deeply and then she pulled his mouth down to hers and slowly let the wine warned by her own mouth trickle from her mouth to his. Rayne had never experienced anything so erotic in his life. He took the wineglass from her and repaid her efforts in kind, turning the amorous experience into a deep kiss that left them both breathless. He turned her around until her back was against his chest. He began to caress her body. His hands encircled her tiny waist and spanned her ribcage in a sensual caress that made her feel faint. His hands slowly made their way upwards and Gabriella waited in breathless anticipation for his hands to capture her breasts. She craved the touch of his hands on her body and wondered just how it would feel to have his naked body pressed close to hers. Just as she thought he would caress her breast he stepped away from her and took her by the hand and let her to a chaise lounge where he had her recline.

"Open your mouth" he urged.

She was reluctant, as she knew not what he had in mind, but after a prodding kiss from Rayne she opened her mouth and felt something cool on her tongue. It was round and smooth, and as she closed her mouth she was delighted to find it was a sweet juicy grape. She chewed the grape slowly savoring the flavor and found to her enjoyment that Rayne was right, not being able to see did heighten the experience.

"I told you I would feed you, why did you not believe me?"

"I wasn't sure exactly what you had in mind. I could just see you dropping peas down my dress" she laughed.

"Well, if I drop anything down your dress, I promise I'll retrieve it!" Rayne offered.

"Now I have to worry that I've put ideas into your head!"

"Well, I must say the thought had already occurred to me. Here try this."

She felt something firm, slightly rough and sweet smelling enter her mouth.

"Bite" Rayne commanded and she did. It was a delectably juice strawberry. In fact some of the juice from the strawberry escaped the corner of her mouth, only to be licked away by Rayne. He gave her another bite of strawberry, which they shared as they kissed. She and Rayne shared grapes, strawberries, kiwi, pineapple, banana, melon and apples over the course of the next hour. She had never dreamed that eating fruit could be so sexually fulfilling. By the time they had finished the fruit and several glasses of wine she was so aroused she felt she would scream in frustration.

Rayne would press his advantage until she felt sure he would make love to her at any moment, only to back off, leaving her feeling very frustrated. Rayne was enjoying this meal very much. Even though it was taking all of his will power to hold his passions in check. One part of him wanted to rip their clothes off and make wild passionate love, the other part of him wanted to draw this out until both of them could stand it no longer. He knew from experience that the longer he could arouse her, the harder her climax would be. He knew this would be her first, and he wanted it to be unforgettable. He could see her passion waiting to be unleashed and he wondered how much longer he himself could wait.

He fed her choice bits of beef, pheasant, and Cornish hen using his fingers, which she sucked and licked with each bite until he was groaning with need himself. The meal was punctuated with kisses. Instead of something rich for dessert, Rayne choose to return to the strawberries dipped in champagne and then they drank the champagne, sharing it as they had the wine. He left her side for a few minutes and then she smelled the most unusual smell.


"Yes love?"

"What is that scent? I've never smelled anything quite like that before."

"Do you like it, sweeting?"

"Umm, it smells, I'm not sure, not just sweet, or flowery but I'm not sure...seductive?"

He laughed softly, "Then the outrageous expense and trouble it cost me was worth it. It's incense from the Holy Land. I'm glad you approve," he said as he pulled her to her feet. His mouth claimed hers and he drank deeply of the sweetness there within until her lips were bruised from his kisses. He unfastened her gown and it fell to the floor before she was aware of what his hands were about. His lips pressed moist kisses down her throat, which she gave him complete access to by leaning her head back as a soft moan escaped her throat. His hands and lips worked magic on her body raising her to a fevered pitch. His tongue swirled around her nipple before capturing it between his teeth to worry it. He suckled her breasts, alternating between the two of them causing heat, like molten lava to course through her veins, igniting her whole body. Her hands caught his head and held it to her breasts as he nibbled and suckled, and still he slid lower down her body. There was a breeze from somewhere that caressed her body causing her sensitive nipples to harden to hard rosy buds. His tongue found her navel and dipped inside. God her skin was like silk, golden bronze and she smelled and tasted like honey. Rayne couldn't get enough of her. He laid her gently back on the chaise lounge and she felt his weight as he lay across her and kissed her again, raining kisses all over her eyelids, nose, cheeks and lips.

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