Chapter Twenty-Two (continued)
Ketteridge, Leicestershire, April 5th, 1816
Alex looked up from his writing when the clock in the hall struck eleven. Goodness, had he worked that long? Yet why had he the feeling of having accomplished anything at all? He stretched his stiff body and limbs and stood up. One of the French windows had been opened to the back terrace because of the unusually mild weather they were experiencing this early in April, and a waft of fragrant, fresh air washed over him. He was drawn to the window, as if it were a portal to a secret kingdom and eagerly stepped out onto the terrace.
A soft breeze caressed his overheated cheeks and ruffled his already untidy hair. It was a mild spring evening with a full moon illuminating the gardens, the scent of freshly cut hedges inviting him to stroll. His gardeners had been busy, he saw. The lawn had been mowed and clipped, the kitchen gardens were ready for planting and the roses were pruned and ready for summer to come. He could hear the tinkle of water coming from the sunken garden, luring him to go and see.
What he saw was the ethereal figure of a slender beauty sliding toward the fountain in the centre of the large, octagonal basin and dipping a hand into the water. Before his mesmerized eyes, she stepped into the basin and bent down to scoop up handfuls of water. She was swathed in a transparent gown through which the moonlight outlined her exquisite curves. Alex feasted on the soft peaks of her breasts, hard and aroused, and darker under the thin fabric, the silvery skin of her slender arms and throat rising from it, the long line of her legs culminating in the round halves of her bottom. Rowena!
Alex found himself lost in the image of his beautiful wife, his body reacting vehemently when she slid her wet hands over her arms, then knelt in the water to wash herself in it. When she rose, her gown was clinging to her figure. He swallowed in agony when she impatiently stripped off the wet garment and tossed it onto the heap next to the basin. Her gown, he guessed, not that his brain was functioning as it should. She began bathing herself languidly in what he knew must be the pleasantly tepid water. The sun had shone fiercely all day.
God, he wanted her …
Oh, this was so very pleasant! Rowena had no inkling why she was standing there, naked and wet in the fountain’s basin. She only knew that she had to give in to the unsurmountable urge of succumbing to the magic of the spring night. When she had been a little girl, her mother had taught her how to celebrate such rare nights of mild weather. She and Rowena had bathed in the pond at Daveston Hall whenever the first mild night occurred. It was a breech of her normal schedule of being put to bed at seven and it had only been on these special evenings that she was allowed to stay up later. So Rowena guessed she was only celebrating spring and the memory of her dearest mama whom she had loved above all others.
The water was cool, even though the sun had warmed it throughout the day, but she did not mind. She scooped it up and spread it over her body in delight. Her hands caressed and soothed, and aroused at the same time. How extraordinary. She closed her eyes and let the soft breeze waft over her cooling skin. Soon she would have to go inside again and to bed. Just a little bit longer …
Warm, strong hands came from behind her and cupped her breasts. She gasped when she recognized her husband’s caresses and arched her back to give him better access. Alex … as naked as she was … oh, bliss!