|The Games We Play
by Fanta C ©
was split into 8 parts. Jump to any of the segments from here:
restraint shattered and he moved within her. She writhed beneath him, rising
to meet his every thrust, meeting his passion, trying to ease the tendrils
of desire that weaved inside her. Her hands clawed his slick back and she
twisted beneath him, trying to get closer, reaching for the shattering climax
that she knew was coiling inside her like a spring.
He thrust harder and faster, not being able to get deep enough. She made a mockery of the tight control that he usually kept in tight rein. She met him thrust for thrust, her nerves screaming in agony for the delicious torture to end, yet never wanting it to be over.
Nicholas's control finally snapped and he felt her inner muscles clench him as his seed spurted from his body in hot bursts at the mouth of her womb. She cried out at the feel of his seed, the driving pumps that accompanied those bursts, and the world shattered around her, her back arching and her hips rising off the bed, lifting into his, spasms shaking her to the very soul.
Nicholas collapsed into her arms. She slid her hand down his back, absorbing the damp heat of his skin. She smiled against the top of his head, the golden waves tickling her chin. He lay as naked as a babe in her arms, his face turned into her shoulder, his weight pressing her down into the soft, goose-down mattress. The heat of his body kept her warm.
She breathed in the scent of him, the spicy unique scent that she had always been aware that only he possessed, mingling with the scent of love making. She ran her hands down his back soothing him as an aftershock of climax shook him, causing her inner muscles to tighten around his shaft. There weren't any words to describe the splendor of it.
He cared for her, even if he refused to admit it. He had taken his time, kissing and caressing her. He had taken her with gentleness and passion. These weren't the actions of a man who hated her, who only wanted an heir. And it wasn't simply lust. It couldn't have been. Lust would have driven him to ram into her with unbridled passion.
He stirred, bracing himself on his forearms to look down into her face. She stared up into the stunning beauty of eyes the color of India jade. Turmoil swirled in those heavenly green depths.
She slid the tip of her forefinger over the smooth curve of his lower lip. "That was wonderful Nicholas. I've never felt quite so spectacular," Isabella said slumberously.
He glanced away from her. "It was just sex, Bella. A pleasant diversion that, for as long as men and women have been on Earth, has been required to produce a child. Women have always been used sexually to provide men with heirs to a throne, a title, or an estate. Truthfully, you are nothing better than a whore who sells herself for a couple of pounds at the local whorehouse, except that you are well bred, have good manners, have been schooled so that you are intellectually stimulating, and know how to entertain a large group of socially prominent people."
She stared at him, her eyes wide with confusion and brimming with tears. "Why are you saying these things Nicholas? I am not a whore. I don't give myself to any strange man who will pay twenty pounds for use of my body. The only reason you got the privilege is becuase we married. I am not a whore!"
"Yet you gave yourself to a strange man. You let him take your innocence on a cold stone bench at one of the most important balls of the Season. I didn't even have to pay for the use of your body. You let me have it. You saved me twenty pounds by giving yourself to me that night. I was just going to go down to the waterfront and pay for a doxy, but you gave me another option." He sighed softly. "Think what you want, Isabella. But the fact of the matter is that as of today, you sold yourself to me. You're my whore as far as I'm concerned."
Anger flickered with the frustration deep inside her. She wanted to scream, to grab him and hold him until she was certain he didn't mean any of the ugly things he said.
He pulled out of her and climbed out of the bed, turning to her, his face carved into hard lines, his eyes glittering with suppressed rage. "You are my wife to give me an heir, that's it. Don't expect anything else from me, except my presence in your bed every night until you conceive." He pulled on his drawers.
She clutched the bedsheet against her breasts as he walked to the door. He paused at the door leading to the withdrawing chamber. "I'm through with you. At least for tonight."
"You can forget about coming back. Ever!" she snapped pridefully.
He stalked her, each stride filled with the powerful grace that was so much a part of him. "Get this straight, Bella. You're mine." He cupped her cheeks in his hands. "I'll take you when I want you. Where I want you. For as long as I want you." He clamped his mouth over hers, devouring any protest that she might have made. He kissed her until he felt the tension seep from her body and she was pressing against him. Too soon he was stepping away, leaving her dazed and hungry for all he could give. She sagged back against the pillow staring up into his furious green eyes.
"You're mine," he growled, his voice low and husky.
She watched him march across the room. He left, closing the door that led to the withdrawing chamber between their apartments, with a click.
"Beast," she cried furiously, turning into her pillow, scalding tears burning the backs of her eyes. But she refused to let them fall. She had shed more tears in the past three weeks than she had in a lifetime, and they had accomplished nothing, except making her feel empty and weak. They couldn't make the wounds go away and when they were dry you still had to face your life and the problems that were still there, looming in wait.
She drew in her breath, easing the tension in her chest, quieting her emotions. She had to look at this calmly. She had to find a way past the barricades he had erected between them.
She thumped her fist against the soft mattress. He wanted her. Even though he vowed that she was to be a mare used to breed his child, he had taken her with gentleness, when he could have taken his pleasure on her body, not giving her any satisfaction. She had to believe that he cared for her a little, because she knew she couldn't let him walk out of her life.
The next few weeks were spent in uncomfortable silence. Except for the few balls, society dinners, and picnics they attended and the nights they spent in Isabella's bed, the newlywed couple avoided each other like the plague. But not by Isabella's choice.
Ever since the wedding night Nicholas had been teaching her all the pleasures of the marriage act. It was both gentle and rough, but no matter what he always made sure that she was fulfilled before him. Except for the first two nights, when he returned to him room after making love to her, he had stayed with her, holding her close as if her cherished her, as if he loved her.
Love. An emotion Isabella thought she would never feel for the man she called her husband. But she felt it just the same. At night, when he slept beside her, holding her close, their bodies still intimately joined after hours of love making, she would watch him, perhaps laying her hand against his cheek or his muscled chest. She watched the way his mouth parted with each intake of breath, the way his long, golden eyelashes rested softly against his cheek, and she knew she loved him.
She loved him and probably had for five years, holding herself away from marriage because she knew that she didn't want anyone else. She just hadn't been able to admit that there was a man alive that she could love.
Now she risked losing everything. She had been foolish enough to believe that her freedom meant more to her than him and now he had vowed that he would leave when she became pregnant, and she was. She had probably conceived when they made love at the lake almost two months ago. She had known she was pregnant on her wedding night, not telling him, because of the vow he had made. But she couldn't hide it much longer. Soon she would begin to show and he would leave.
She lived for the nights they spent together because it was the only time she could show him how much she loved him. In every move, every action, every touch, kiss, and breath, released on a cry of ecstasy, she told him how much. Though she had to practically bite her tongue to keep from letting the words she so wanted to say burst out.
Making love with him was the only way to say it, because once the sun's rays appeared over the horizon, he slipped from her bed and became the same Nicholas who vowed to leave once she was with child.
She tried to busy herself with the running of everyday business in the house and planning meals for each week, but nothing could keep her mind off of Nicholas, her love for him, and the way he might react.
It turned out that she didn't have to tell him. She had gone out riding Khan early in the morning and when she returned it was to find Nicholas bearing down on her as she turned Khan over to the stableboy.
He grabbed her upper arm in a tight grip and dragged her into the house. He didn't stop or let her go until they reached his chambers, where he practically threw her onto a settee.
She glared at him. "Really, Nicholas. Was it necessary to drag me through the house in front of the entire staff?"
"Shut up, Isabella. I'm in no mood for your sarcasm."
"Well then what do you want?"
"You lied to me and have been for weeks," he stated simply pacing agitatedly, then finally coming to a stop in front of her, his feet spread apart, his hands clasped behind his back.
"About what?" she asked quietly, beginning to dread the path this conversation was taking.
"You know damn well what! You're pregnant, aren't you?" His voice crackled with harshness and she could almost see the anger flashing through him like lightening.
She tried to bluff hoping that he would believe her over whoever had told him. "Why would you think I was pregnant? And who ever would give you such a ridiculous notion?"
"Ridiculous? It's not ridiculous when I overhear your personal maid saying that you haven't had your flux in almost two months and that she figured you were with child!"
Isabella cringed under the truthful sting of his words. But she refused to be bullied like this. She rose and imperiously she straightened herself to her full height, not caring that she was a good foot shorter than him. "So I'm pregnant. If I had told you, you wouldn't have even had a wedding night! I knew that I was pregnant before that night, but I wanted to be with you! The nights I spend in your arms mean everything to me and I don't want to lose that!" she cried angrily, the tears that she had been holding back for almost a month, spilling down her cheeks like a flash flood.
For a moment he was at a loss for words. He didn't know what she was trying to say, but right at the moment he didn't care. "I bid you farewell Isabella. A staff with be left to see to your needs and I will leave you a generous amount to provide for you through the year. Each year you will receive, from a solicitor, enough to see you through. But I warn you, Madam, it will only be enough to keep you in style so see to it that you spend wisely, for I will send no more than what is doled out each January first."
She reached for him, her fists knotting into the lapels of his jacket, clinging to him. "Please don't go. Don't leave me here!"
He quickly loosened her hands from his jacket and held them away from him. "I'll be leaving tomorrow as soon as I'm packed. I am not sure of where I am going to reside just yet, but rest assured, I will not be writing. I don't not wish any unwelcome visits. Gavin will be stopping by from time to time, checking on you, making sure that your pregnancy is going well. He will let me know when you are to deliver and I will return to take the child once he or she is born."
She fell backwards to the settee, sobbing into her hands. He strolled casually to the door as if he destroyed people every day. He looked back at her one last time, almost regretting his vow. But nothing short of Death could keep him here. For the past two months he had been living in his own private hell, loving a wife who didn't love him in return. Sure she enjoyed having him in her bed, but love and lust were not the same thing. Looking at her sobbing on the plush bench he rued the day that he every thought to offer for her.
With a heavy heart he pushed open the door and walked out of her life.
The months passed slowly for Isabella. Each day it seemed to her that her body grew larger with babe. She was slightly worried. When she had been pregnant with Hope she had been nearly half the size she was now. It was a struggle for her to climb stairs and she could no longer keep up with the running of the house and Emma had decided to come and keep Isabella company. Together they had redecorated the nursery, hanging pale blue lace curtains at the windows and decorating the large wooden cradle with powder blue blankets and lace trim. Isabella was sure that the babe would be a boy, though she had wished for a girl. A girl like Hope, but not replace her. No child could ever replace Hope in her heart.
She was at the end of her seventh month and she and Emma sat quietly in the salon knitting clothes and blankets. Emma kept glancing at Isabella, wondering why they had gone to the trouble of decorating the nursery when it was apparent that Nicholas intended to carry through with his threat.
She was about to question Izzy about this, when she saw her sister drop her sewing from her hands and clench the arms of the chair, her face contorted in pain. Water puddled on the floor beneath the chair, and Emma, spotting it, bolted upright, calling for Gavin and Marcus who had both decided to stay with Isabella throughout the pregnancy.
They both rushed in looking slightly bewildered until they saw Emma crouching next to her sister's chair.
"Good God!" Gavin cried. "She's having the babe!"
"She can't be! It's too soon!" Marcus replied.
"You dolts!" Emma cried. "Don't just stand there. Someone go fetch the doctor. He lives not far down the road."
Gavin raced out of the room, heading for the stables to do as Emma commanded. Marcus ran forward and scooped Bella into his arms, practically running up the stairs, Emma following closely behind him. Marcus laid Bella in the bed, then left the room while Emma stripped Isabella's clothes from her, covering her with the bedcover.
Having spent many days helping the family doctor at his practice, she checked to see how dilated Izzy was. She sighed in relief when she found Isabella to only be slightly dilated. She had some time to go. Marcus came back into the room when Emma beckoned him and not much later Gavin came rushing in, the doctor in tow.
He checked Isabella out for himself then turned to The three bystanders who were anxiously pacing the room. "Has she ever born a child before?" he asked, innocently.
Emma hesitated, unsure of whether to answer or not, but she didn't end up making the choice, because Marcus answered instead. "No, this is her first child."
Emma's eyes drifted downward and with a meek voice she said, "She's born a child before."
The looks on Marcus and Gavin's faces couldn't have been more shocked. She didn't look at them, focusing her gaze on her sleeping cousin instead. She knew she had to explain. Softly she began, "Marcus, you remember when Isabella took an extended trip to Scotland in the middle of the Season three years ago?"
"You mean that's why she left! She was with child!"
"Not just any child. A daughter. Her name was Hope."
"Was?" he asked quietly, sensing he knew what her answer would be.
"Hope died within a week of being born."
His gaze softened and he turned to look at Bella, knowing that it must have destroyed her when her daughter was taken from her. "Who's child was she?" he asked quietly still staring at Isabella.
"The child was sired by Nicholas," Emma answered.
"That's impossible!" Gavin burst out. "She didn't even know him three years ago!"
Isabella awoke, the cramps becoming too painful for her to rest. She let them roll through her, and having heard the argument that was taking place she kept silent, not wanting to jump into the fray. So she let Emma fight her battle this time. She quietly observed, vowing that she would not cry out in pain.
"You obviously don't know your friend as well as you thought!" Emma countered, rising from where she sat. "He took her innocence five years ago on a stone bench at the Attherton's ball her first Season. Then a year later he offered her an escort home when her escort abandoned her. They ended up at his estate for the night." Her eyes glowered with inner anger. "Then for three years he disappeared to India and left her to bear a child out of wedlock. You should have seen her. She was scared to death, fearing she would bring shame to her family. Thank god my mother packed her off to Scotland to live in virtual seclusion with my aunt until the babe came. Then when she did, Izzy named her Hope because the child renewed her zest for life. And not a week later God snatched Hope from my sister's arms, almost destroying her. So don't you dare try to tell me that Nicholas wasn't responsible. When you see him next ask him. Then tell him I hope his hair rots and falls from his head and his skin wrinkles and peels. Tell him I sincerely wish that he would never again be attractive to any woman."
Isabella cried out suddenly, unable to hold back the intense pain that had begun rolling through her body. All faces turned to her and the doctor leaned down between her bent knees and saw that she was almost fully dilated. Maybe an hour or more and she would be ready. He placed his hands on her stomach, pressing, gently, his mouthing forming an O of surprise.
"What is it doctor?" Bella asked worriedly.
"How big did you get when you were with your last child?"
was split into 8 parts. Jump to any of the segments from here:
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