Chapter Twenty-Two (completed)
Ketteridge, Leicestershire, April 5th, 1816
There surely was no greater feel than Rowena’s skin, Alex thought. Smooth and soft, silken and fragrant with her own sweet scent. He gently kneaded her breasts while he slid his
erection between the half-moons of her bottom. She moaned his name and opened her thighs just a little, allowing the head of his cock to stroke her pleasure centre. Jesus, he almost spilled then and there! Gritting his teeth, he kissed the long column of her slender neck, licked and nipped the gentle curve of her shoulder. She responded by rocking against him and rotating her hips to caress his aching erection between her soft, hot thighs. He used one hand to stroke a breast while he lowered the other to rub her pleasure bud. She came with a keening cry while her inner muscles closed about his fingers like a vice. He swiftly turned her and hooked her thighs, lifting her, so that he could impale her on his rock-hard cock. Her body, still slick outside as well as inside, easily and lightly moved over him, stroking and milking him until he spilled deep inside her with a loud, roaring groan.
They stood locked against each other for long minutes, until Alex felt Rowena shiver in his arms. He stepped out of the water, put her down, and grabbed her discarded robe from the grass where she had left it. Without a word, he kissed her brow, then draped the robe over her. Swiftly he collected all their clothes and trust them into her hands. Then, without any visible effort, he scooped her into his arms and carried her inside. They encountered no one on their ascent to Rowena’s bedroom, where he laid her between the covers. She was still shivering, so he climbed in beside her and gathered her close. Sleep claimed them within seconds.
Alex cracked open a reluctant eye only to squeeze it shut instantly thereafter. The sun was blazing brightly yet aggressively upon him. Blast, what time was it? He cautiously opened his eyes again. He was in Rowena’s bed, memories of the previous night causing him to get aroused all over again. They had loved each other two more times after their episode in the garden, and his ardent wife had given him all the passion she had. Passion only an innocent recently awakened could have had. He had been the one to awaken her, he now realized with a burst of pure male pride.
A baby’s gurgle draw his gaze to the sofa where Rowena sat. She was lifting Emma to her shoulder with both breasts on display. Holy heavens, but they were splendid breasts. Lust swirled through him causing his cock to twitch and ache, but that was not all. Another less easily identifiable emotion struck him like a blow; tenderness. Tenderness, him? He had never been tender to … to anyone! He should get up and go about his day, since he had lots of matters to attend to, yet he stayed where he was, gazing at the pair of them in blessed contentment.
Little Emma Rose was now three months old and a beauty like her mother. Her eyes were the same dark brown and her fluffy hair was the same dark. She was an active child, always happy to discover new things, curious to a point, even if all she could still do was lying in her cradle. When they put her on a blanket in the morning room while they breakfasted, she was already trying to roll over onto her stomach. She could not, yet, but it was not for the lack of trying.
Yes, Alex mused, he was content, yet he would have to leave them very soon.
“I am preparing to leave for Carlisle, Rowena. I would like to sort out what has happened to your inheritance and make sure there is no longer cause for trouble where your brother is concerned.”
Rowena looked up and smiled at him, though inwardly she was shocked at the thought of him leaving.
“Do you still consider him a liability, then Alex? I was under the impression you scared him off sufficiently when we were in London.”
“Rowena, the man has committed fraud to deny you your rightful inheritance. He murdered Johnston, or have you forgotten that?”
“No, I have not, though we might find that difficult to prove before the courts. And just so you know, Alex, I am not letting you leave on your own. Who is accompanying you, pray tell?”
“Porter, of course, and Middlebridge.”
“Well? So are Emma and I. Lord Carlisle offered us hospitality on his estate, remember? We will go there and make use of his solicitor to seek out information about Roderick’s schemes.”
Alex found he was not averse to that proposal, even though he vowed to himself not to let Rowena stray from Carlisle’s estate. He would do the investigation all alone, since he was not prepared to bring danger to his wife and child.