This Duchess of Mine Page 50


She laughed. “I can’t see you!”

“I know that,” he muttered. “But you’re not afraid of the blindfold anymore.”

“No.”

He moved away. “I’m sitting up against the headboard,” he said a moment later. “Why don’t you join me?”

Jemma sat up cautiously. Now that he wasn’t touching her, a sense of inadequacy and vulnerability flooded back. “Where are you?” There must have been something tremulous in her voice, because his arms wound around her a moment later and he hauled her into his lap.

“Right here,” he said. “Holding you.”

And just like that, she felt fine again. “Your move,” she said.

“Wait a moment.” He felt around and came up with the bottle. His fingers touched her lips and then the lip of the bottle followed. “Drink,” he commanded.

She let the Champagne cool her throat. He pulled the bottle away and drops ran down her face and neck.

His fingers were there, feeling the cool drops, and a moment later his tongue followed. “Elijah,” she breathed. He lapped the drops of wine from her throat, and a shiver went through her whole body, clenching her thighs.

“You like that?” he asked.

“Your move,” she repeated, shaking the feeling away.

“Pawn to Queen’s Four,” he said.

She answered instantly. “Pawn takes Pawn.”

He gave a groan, but there was laughter in it. “Do I have to give you a boon, or do you give me a boon? I forget.”

“You lost a piece, so you have a boon.”

“How detailed may I be?”

“Very detailed,” she said, mentally lining up her next four moves. She planned to sacrifice three pieces in a row. And she planned to be very detailed in her requests, and she’d be tremendously surprised if Elijah managed to keep track of the game after that.

“I would like you to touch me. Touch my chest.”

She could feel her smile all over her body. “I would be happy to do that. Why don’t you lie down?” Since she had been in his lap, she ended up lying on top of him when he pushed himself flat.

She spread her hands over his chest, feeling the warmth of his skin under her fingers. His chest was wonderful, all hard muscles and textures that were entirely different from her own. But it wasn’t enough to touch him with her fingertips; her breasts felt full and heavy. She leaned down, her lips grazing his face. The delicate silk of her nightgown slid over his body like water. He didn’t make a sound.

“Do you like this kind of touch?” she whispered.

His answer was gasp and a prayer. “Yes.” His hands were running through her hair, skimming over the blindfold, and everything she couldn’t see on his face and couldn’t hear in his voice, she knew from the tension in his hands.

“Good,” she murmured throatily, coming back to a sitting position. His hands fell to her hips and tightened there. It was odd and wonderful to be unable to see. She found his nipples, brushed them gently and then dealt them a rougher caress with her thumb. Still he said nothing, though she felt a tremor quake through his body.

“Queen takes Pawn,” he said. His voice sounded far too controlled for her liking.

Carefully she rolled off his body, a little afraid she would fall off the bed and end up ignominiously sprawled on the floor.

“Your request, milady?” he asked. “I am at your command.”

“My nightgown,” she said. “Will you take it off?”

There was no fumbling from him. She lifted her arms over her head, expecting the whisper of silk, but instead strong hands clenched at her neckline. With one fierce ripping sound, she suddenly felt the kiss of air on her skin. He pulled the cloth away from her, without a touch. Still, she could feel him towering beside her.

“Knight to Queen’s Bishop’s Three,” she said, her voice a hungry whisper.

“Queen to Queen’s Rook’s Four.”

Jemma pulled herself together, quelling the hunger for his touch. “Knight to Bishop’s Three.”

“Knight to King’s Bishop’s Three.”

How could Elijah’s voice sound so untouched, so steady? “Bishop to Bishop’s Four,” she continued, pushing her voice above a whisper. The chess game in her head grew more complicated. Elijah was playing defensively, but brilliantly. She attacked, preparing to safeguard her king by castling. Elijah responded, attacking one of her knights. The dance of chess pieces became ever more intricate as they moved about the board.

“Pawn takes Pawn,” he said some moments later.

“Milady?”

She felt a little dizzy. “I have a two-part request.”

“I’m not sure that’s legal,” Elijah said. His voice was husky and dark, and ran like brandy through her blood. He didn’t sound like Pitt’s opposition in the Lords, like the bright young hope who would save the English nation.

“I’d like you to—to touch my breasts, just as I did your chest.” She’d never said such a thing out loud, and she had to steady her voice. “If you would be so kind. And I want you to tell me what it feels like.”

“Tell you how it feels for me?”

“Talk to me,” she said, sliding flat and stretching her arms above her head to the wooden headboard.

“Tell me what you feel, since you can’t see my breasts. I loved what you told me in the baths.”

She felt maddened with desire, waiting for the touch of his hands. When finally—finally!—she felt strong hands cup both breasts, she let out an involuntary moan. And when he started moving his thumbs, she found herself shaking, her breath coming fast.

“Tell me,” she gasped.

“You have the most beautiful breasts in the world,” he said, and the guttural sound of his voice told her everything she needed to know. He was being a little rough now, and she couldn’t help twisting up against his touch. “I can’t feel well enough with my hands to describe you, so…”

His lips set trails of fire across her body. He spoke the whole time, talking of sweet curves and cherry something, but she wasn’t listening. Without her eyesight, her body seemed to have taken over. She couldn’t stop moving, twisting under his hands and his mouth, begging silently.

It was hard, surprisingly hard, to remember the chessboard. But she did, and they played on, until:

“Bishop takes Knight,” Elijah said, his voice dark and sweet.

“My turn,” she said with a gasp, breaking free. She found his head with her hands and pulled him down to her lips. “Kiss me,” she breathed.

Elijah’s kisses were like words. This kiss was a rough caress, a controlled warning from the pirate king to the maiden. Tremors of fire crept down to Jemma’s stomach.

“Queen takes Bishop,” she said, shocked to hear the hunger in her own voice.

“I’ll take a kiss like this,” he whispered, and he thrust his hardness against the cradle of her legs. Their kiss was like a fire in the blood. Jemma found herself instinctively arching against him.

“Pawn to Queen’s Rook’s Three,” Elijah murmured.

Then she tried to remember what move should come next. She knew it all…she knew the next move. But just when she almost remembered, Elijah ran a hand down her body and her mind went blank. Was it a pawn she meant to move? To take his bishop, perhaps?

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