Sweet Revenge Ch. 11byharemgirl©
Late afternoon sun streamed into the parlor through tall windows, and it cast a warm glow over the two occupants of the room. Richard sat wedged in a corner of the settee with Karina cuddled in his lap. Contentment lay like a heavy mantle around them, as he stroked her hair and placed a kiss on the top of her head.
"Ah Richard," Karina said with a dreamy sigh, "I wish we could stay like this forever."
His deep, throaty chuckle made her tilt her head to meet his eye. He ran a fond hand over her belly and grinned at her. "I thought you were anxious to birth our child, Karina. You were saying just last night that you didn't know if you could stand to be pregnant for another six weeks."
Their baby chose that moment to squirm and stretch, and they both laughed at the sight of her tummy moving beneath his palm. Karina placed a hand over his, and her eyes shone with love as she smiled up at him.
"It seems your son agrees with me. He must be running out of room in there from the way he's been kicking and squirming lately."
Richard's face glowed with paternal pride as he caressed her stomach. "You sound certain it will be a boy. Perhaps you are carrying a girl instead."
"Would you be disappointed if I were?" Karina asked with a playful grin.
His eyes caressed her face, finally settling on her lips. He kissed them lightly, nibbling and teasing until she moaned. He drew back and gave her a tender smile.
"I would not be disappointed in the least if you were to give me a daughter with her mother's golden hair and eyes as blue as the sky."
"It would serve you right if I did," Karina said, laughing lightly.
She threaded her fingers through the hair at his nape and began to spread kisses along his neck where his shirt hung open. She could feel his erection growing hard beneath her bottom, even through the layers of her skirt.
"I would love to see you fretting over your own daughter, trying to make sure some lusty man didn't steal her away and force her to become his mistress."
Richard's answering growl made her giggle. He opened the buttons on her bodice and chemise with quick efficiency while he captured her mouth for a more thorough kiss. By the time he released her lips, they were both breathing rapidly.
He gave her a wicked grin, dropping his gaze to her bosom. He spread her garments wide, and he skimmed his sun darkened hand over the ivory perfection of her quivering breasts. Karina arched her back with a moan, pressing one generous mound against his palm. Richard's grin widened, and he watched with fascination as her delicate pink nipple tightened into a puckered rose beneath his softly stroking fingers.
"Well if she is half as beautiful as her mother, I will have to keep her under lock and key until I can find a suitable husband for her."
"Where's the fun in that?" Karina asked.
She shrugged her dress and chemise off her shoulders and leaned back against the arm of the settee, knowing that her pose gave him an enticing view of her upper body. She threw Richard a sultry smile from beneath her lashes as she located the waistband of his trousers and quickly unbuttoned them. His cock sprang free, straining against the warmth of her palms as she stroked him. Richard groaned weakly, and she grinned.
Precum began to ooze from the tip of his erection, and Karina captured a drop on her finger. She met his eye as she brought it to her mouth. She licked the droplet off before sucking the entire digit into her mouth for a thorough cleaning. This time, Richard's groan sounded pained, and she giggled.
"Shouldn't our daughter be allowed to experience this much joy?" There was a sparkle of delight in Karina's eyes as she licked another drop of his fluid from her finger. "Shouldn't she get to taste the delights to be had with her lover?"
"You little vixen," Richard growled, flushing red from her teasing. He knew she had forgiven him, but he still felt embarrassed by his previous behavior and the current predicament it had placed them in. He captured her wrists and held them on her stomach as he met her eye. "You know how much I regret what I did to you. I would die before letting any daughter of mine be abused in such a way."
Karina wriggled her wrists, and he consented to release them. She cupped his cheek in her palm, and her smile was full of tenderness.
"That shall be your penance, my darling. I intend to relish watching you squirm when our daughter grows up and begins to draw men's eyes. But for now," she stretched up to kiss him, pressing her breasts wantonly against his chest, "you can make amends to me by finishing what you've started." She unbuttoned several buttons on his shirt and slid one hand inside to tease his flat nipple. Her warm breath teased his neck as she leaned close to whisper in his ear. "I'm desperate to feel you inside me."
He gave her a lopsided grin as he slipped her dress down over her hips. He pulled her pantalets down as well and dropped them on the floor, leaving her in her stockings and garters, draped sideways over his lap. He cupped her bottom and lifted her as if she weighed no more than a feather despite her swollen belly. As he guided her down onto his erection, his grin widened.
"Whatever you say, Karina. If you insist on continually reminding me of my sins, I will be forced to keep making amends."
Karina moaned her approval and tried to answer his thrusts, but she was impeded by her protruding tummy. Richard firmed his grip on her hips and nuzzled her neck.
"Relax, my angel. Let me pleasure you."
Karina melted in his embrace. She closed her eyes and luxuriated in everything he did to her. Richard used his hands, tongue, lips and teeth to lavish her with gentle devotion as he thrust into her with rhythmic strokes. When he located her clit and fondled it with his knowing fingers, she couldn't hold out any longer against the tempest of delight. She released a hoarse scream and buried her face in the crook of his neck to muffle the sound. Richard was a heartbeat behind her, and he groaned as her pussy clamped down hard on his pulsating cock, milking him with her rippling contractions.
They drifted for a space, floating on the waves of contentment that always followed their lovemaking. Richard's heartbeat gradually slowed beneath Karina's cheek, and she sighed.
"I love you," she whispered.
"I love you too."
He tilted her head back for a kiss. Their lips had barely touched when they heard the sound of a coach rolling up the gravel drive. Karina shot him a panicked look and tried to scramble off his lap. In her awkward state, she nearly landed in a heap on the floor. It was only Richard's strong arm around her waist that saved her.
"Easy, my sweet," he said with a chuckle. "The door is locked, and we've still got a couple of minutes before anyone comes knocking."
As Richard spoke, he stood her to her feet and bent to retrieve her discarded clothes. Karina yanked them on, and her fingers shook as they fumbled with the tiny buttons and ribbons.
"Allow me," Richard said with a grin. He quickly fastened her clothes and tucked a stray lock of her hair back behind her ear. His grin widened as he took in her appearance. "Well, your clothes and your hair look presentable. I'm afraid I can't do anything about your kiss swollen lips or your passion flushed cheeks."
Karina shoved his chest with both hands, groaning in irritation when her effort didn't budge him. She glanced over him and met his eye with a haughty brow raised.
"You might want to give your own appearance some thought, sir. I believe your trousers are open, and unless you wish to advertise what we have been doing, I suggest you button them."
She chuckled as he rushed to comply. With a quick glance to confirm that Richard was decent, Karina unlocked the parlor door. By the time Harrison the butler knocked, the couple was seated demurely on the settee.
"Come in," Richard called.
Harrison opened the doors and acknowledged them each with a shallow bow. "My lord, my lady, you have a visitor. She says that she's expected."
"Ah yes, show her in at once!" Richard's face was lit with eagerness.
A curious frown furrowed Karina's brow as she turned to face him. Richard had made a point of keeping her presence in his home a secret. They hadn't had any visitors that she knew of since her arrival.
"You're expecting someone?"
Before he had time to answer, the sound of footsteps heralded the arrival of their guest. Karina turned to face the doorway, unaware that Richard's smiling eyes rested on her to see her reaction.
"Fatima!" Karina gave a squeal of delight and scrambled as quickly as she could to her feet. The two women met in the middle of the room, and they embraced each other fondly. "Fatima, I can't believe you are here! I thought I would never see you again."
"Me too, my dear. I was so happy when Rashid sent for me." She turned as Richard hugged her tightly against him. "Oh, it is so good to see you both."
"I knew you would come." He brushed a kiss on each of her wrinkled cheeks.
"I wouldn't miss the birth of your child. Of course you knew that." Fatima's eyes dropped to Karina's belly, and she smiled. "You are looking well, Karina. I don't think I have ever seen a lovelier pregnant woman."
Karina laughed with pleasure. "Thank you, Fatima." She looped an arm through the older woman's elbow and led her to the recently vacated settee. "Come have tea with us. You must be exhausted from your trip."
A maid appeared with the tea cart. Karina poured tea and served the delicate cakes as Fatima recounted recent news from the village. It was nice to hear about the people who had become her friends, and Karina listened with interest. Fatima finally cleared her throat and glanced uncertainly at Karina before continuing.
"And then, there is Samiya."
Karina stiffened at the mention of the woman's name. She set her cup down to disguise the trembling in her hands and met Fatima's eye. "Oh? Is there news of her as well?"
Fatima nodded, a hard glint in her usually soft brown eyes. "When the villagers found out what she had done, they were ready to tear her apart, limb from limb. Amir was very level-headed about passing sentence though." Fatima gave a brief laugh as she remembered. "He offered her a choice. She could be banished into the desert, which would likely mean death. Of course, Samiya, being the selfish bitch that she is, begged for mercy. She groveled at Amir's feet, pleading with him and saying that she would do anything he asked of her if only he wouldn't banish her. So, Amir granted her mercy."
Fatima giggled, catching Richard's curious eye. "What was Amir's alternative?" he asked, already beginning to sense that he would approve.
Fatima smiled, letting the suspense build just a bit longer as she looked first at him and then Karina. "After Samiya had sworn that she would abide by his judgment, Amir pronounced that she must marry Jafar."
Her statement was followed by a brief moment of silence before Richard burst into laughter. Fatima joined him, and Karina looked back and forth between them, wondering what was so funny.
"I don't understand," Karina said. "Who is Jafar?"
Richard sobered just long enough to answer her. "Do you remember the huge, hulking man who lived on the very outskirts of the village?" He saw she didn't recall and continued to describe him. "He is well over six feet tall and he must weigh between three and four hundred pounds. He can't even sit a horse because he is too heavy."
"And he always smells terrible because he refuses to bathe," Fatima added with a chuckle. "He has rotting teeth, and he is so ugly that even a mother would have trouble loving his face."
"I remember him," Karina said, beginning to see the humor. "If I recall correctly, he had a wife who died, leaving him alone to raise their six sons."
"Seven," Fatima corrected her, "and they are very naughty. They have been running wild since their mother passed away, and Jafar has been anxious to marry again. He always had an eye for Samiya. Unfortunately for him, she never would give him the time of day." Fatima started laughing again. "Of course, given the circumstances, Jafar magnanimously agreed to accept Samiya as his wife."
"Poor Samiya!" Karina said with feeling and joined them in a hearty howl.
Fatima finally managed to catch her breath enough to say, "No one saw her for weeks after they were married, because she was so busy entertaining her new husband and trying to keep up with his rowdy children. And now, she is carrying child number eight, and believe me, she looks much worse for wear! I don't think Jafar intends to let her go very long without a child in her belly. I assure you, her punishment was far worse than being banished!" All three erupted into laughter again.
When their chuckles finally subsided, Fatima gave Richard an assessing look. "Oh yes, and there is one more bit of news." Seeing that she had his interest, Fatima continued. "Before I left Cairo, I heard a rumor that four British noblemen had been attacked in their homes. Apparently, a band of men broke into each of their bedrooms in the middle of the night. They were castrated and beaten."
Karina gave a shocked gasp. She looked at Richard, remembering what he had said about the men who had raped her. He showed a sudden interest in his tea cup, as he kept a carefully blank expression. When he spoke, his voice was remarkably calm.
"Did the authorities make any arrests?"
"Before they even had any suspects, more rumors began to circulate that the men had been participating in acts of depravity. It seems the men had been abusing innocent women and holding indecent parties. Everyone in polite society was shocked and disgusted by their actions. When public opinion began to turn against the men, the authorities dropped their investigation into the attacks."
Richard squeezed Karina's hand, and she realized for the first time that she had been gripping her cup until her knuckles turned white. Their eyes met briefly before she dropped her gaze to her lap.
"It sounds as if they must have abused the wrong person," Richard said quietly. The look in his eyes made Karina shiver slightly. Sensing her unease, he gave her a smile, and the deadly look evaporated. "Fatima, I'm sure you would like to rest and freshen up before dinner. I'll show you to your room."
Later that night, Karina and Richard lay in bed. She was cradled with her back against his chest, and one strong arm was wrapped protectively over her belly. They had enjoyed a pleasant evening with Fatima, but Karina couldn't get their earlier conversation out of her mind. She caressed his arm and turned to look at him from over her shoulder.
"You didn't seem very surprised by Fatima's news about those men. Did you have something to do with what happened to them?"
Richard met her gaze, trying to read the thoughts in her beautiful eyes. "Would you think less of me if I did?"
Karina turned in his arms to face him. She cupped his cheek and gave him a lingering kiss, full of devotion. When she looked at him again, her eyes were brimming with tears.
"No, my love. They got what they deserved. And I am relieved to know they won't be able to continue abusing other women. But it makes me afraid of what other actions you might have taken in my defense."
Richard stroked her hair back from her face and traced his thumb over her cheeks, wiping away her tears. "Karina, I gave you my promise that I would be careful, and I have been. I vow that you and I will marry and grow old together. I want nothing more than to hold you like this when your golden hair has changed to silver and our children have grown to have children of their own. I am not going to do anything to jeopardize that future, but if I don't take action, that future will never be secure. Stuart Rawlins will always be a threat to us, standing like a ghost to cast his shadow over everything we do."
She knew with sudden certainty that he had already set other plans in motion. "What are you going to do?"
Richard closed his eyes briefly before once again meeting her searching gaze. He didn't want her to worry, but he knew he had to be honest with her. "I am going to free you from your marriage. I leave for London tomorrow morning. I'm glad that Fatima arrived so that you won't be lonely while I am away."
Karina gasped and shook her head. "But Richard, you can't go now! Can't you wait until after the baby is born?"
He placed a finger over her lips to still further protests. "I won't be gone long, Karina. A week at the most, and I will be back. When I return, I intend to have a special license so that we can be married. I don't want our child to be born as a bastard."
Seeing her confusion, Richard sighed. He didn't want to tell her too many details about his plan, knowing that she would only worry more.
"I sent for Stuart weeks ago, Karina. He is due to arrive in two days, and I intend to confront him once and for all. He has to answer for all the crimes he has committed. If everything goes well, he will be out of our lives forever."
Seeing her bottom lip trembling, he tilted her face up for another kiss. He pressed his forehead against hers, feeling the soft fall of her breath on his face as he met her watery stare. "Trust me, Karina."
Karina couldn't speak around the lump in her throat, so she merely nodded. She wrapped her arms around his waist and hugged him tightly to her. Several minutes passed while Richard stroked her hair and her back. His hands eventually drifted down to cup her buttocks. As his caresses grew bolder and more insistent, she could feel his cock growing hard against her thigh.
Karina looked up at him with one brow raised in question. "Isn't your lust ever satisfied, my love?"
A slow grin spread across his handsome face as he eyed her naked breasts. "How can it be, when you always tease me with your luscious body?" He cupped her breast in his palm and groaned with delight. "My God, Karina. You grow more beautiful each day."
Karina giggled and kissed his neck. "You must be blind. I think what you meant is that I grow fatter each day. If my belly gets any larger, you won't be able to make love to me anymore."
"There will always be ways that I can make love to you, my angel." Richard's voice was a husky whisper.
He kissed his way over her breasts, stomach and inner thighs before he reached her core. His tongue seared her and his teeth tormented her. He licked and nibbled every dewy fold as he worked his way to her clit. He teased it with his tongue, alternately suckling and nipping the tiny bud. Using two fingers, he located the sensitive bundle of nerves inside her snug passage and pressed. Karina rewarded him by moaning and arching her hips toward him.
Richard settled in to feast, inwardly smiling at her sighs and gasps of pleasure. His fingers quivered inside her, winding her tension ever tighter as he worshipped her body. He loved her tangy taste, and he savored every drop of her essence, but his gratification was a secondary goal. He channeled every ounce of effort into pleasing her, and he wasn't satisfied until Karina was writhing in desperation, frantic for release.
"Richard," she sobbed, "please!"
He enveloped the swollen bud and suckled hard, plunging his fingers inside her slick heat. Karina screamed, locking her thighs around his head as her world careened. Richard soothed her with his tongue, gently lapping at her juices as her sweet cries of pleasure drifted over him.
When her thighs finally relaxed, he kissed his way back to her mouth. She could taste her own musky flavor on his tongue, and she moaned. Richard turned her in his arms until he was once again snuggled against her back. The heat of his erection scalded her bottom, and she gasped when he lifted her leg and plunged into her pussy without warning. She pushed back against him to take him deeper, and he growled his approval.