Fire & Ice (MF)
[Siren Classic: Erotic Contemporary Romance, HEA]
Gabriel Steel’s ultimatum to Hannah Darling was simple, “Live a life of penury, or marry me.”
Forced into a loveless marriage, Hannah hates and resents her new husband’s domination. The situation is made worse by being taken from all she knows to live a simple and isolated life in Norway, where Gabriel is studying climate change. Fire challenging Ice, Holly fights Gabriel at every opportunity, determined not to conform to his wishes. However, nights spent in his arms slowly begin to damp down the flames of anger, and eventually, hate changes to love.
Love changes her attitude, and Hannah goes out of her way to be the perfect wife, and life settles into a harmonious existence. However, the arrival of Gabriel’s old flame changes everything. How can she compete with the woman who shares his interests, his past life, and now his profession? With her love for Gabriel deep and abiding, should she leave and allow him to find happiness without her? Or should she stay and fight for her man?
A Siren Erotic Romance
Her mouth compressed in discontent, she remembered just how quickly all the arrangements had been made. Gabriel had hardly given her time to draw breath, let alone change her mind, and she felt—resentful. She chanced a peek. Gabriel was engrossed in some scientific report and completely ignoring her huffing and puffing, and irrationally she also resented him for that. She sighed even louder, and this time, he looked up briefly before returning to his paper.
“Something bothering you, Hannah?”
“I said yes.”
“I heard you the first time,” he replied, his gaze still on his papers.
“Well, don’t you want to know what it is?”
“If you want to tell me.”
“You know, you could show a little more interest. I am your wife after all?”
At that, Gabriel put down his paper and looked at her. “So you want me to be interested in you? To treat you as my wife?”
“Err, yes, I guess so.”
“Very well then. Tell me, my dear wife, what insurmountable problem is bothering your pretty, little head now?”
“No! I’ve changed my mind.” She feigned an interest in her long, talon-like, red-painted nails. “You don’t deserve to know what it is that’s bothering me.”
“Good.” Appearing to lose interest, he picked up his papers again.
Good. Good! Arrogant, sarcastic pig! She ground her teeth until they ached. She wasn’t used to men showing no interest in her. Usually they would be doing their utmost to distract her out of her mood. But not him. Not Gabriel. Hateful, hateful man.
Pouting resentfully, she returned to staring out of the window. The flight continued, but the silence between them was thick, on her part with stony resentment, and on his, complete indifference.
* * * *
Landing in Oslo some hours later, they—much to her surprise—quickly changed aircrafts. Refusing to give Gabriel the satisfaction of showing her bewilderment at the turn of events, she remained silent. A chartered flight, followed by a rather long, silent, and tedious ride in an all-terrain vehicle, and after many, many hours of travel, Gabriel was finally drawing up outside a log cabin. Hannah, her mouth dry and her eyes wide with apprehension, looked out of the window through the gathering gloom and the lightly falling snow to stare at what would be her home until she could find a way to get out of this mistake of a marriage. And she loathed it.
Where were the shops, the restaurants, the theatres? This place was vile, vile, vile.
A disgusting hovel in a bloody wild backwoods.
It was three in the afternoon and was already nearly dark. October in Norway was the beginning of winter, and the temperature had already dropped alarmingly. Dark, gloom, trees, and snow, and finally, to top it all, a bloody basic cabin in the middle of nowhere. Just how much worse could it get?
And suddenly it got worse!
Standing dumbfounded in the open doorway, Hannah looked around. Gabriel had lighted some lamps, and the glow cast eerie shadows around the room. God it was awful! More than awful. It was, it was…
Words failed her, and her instinct was to immediately turn tail and run. Run as if all hounds in hell were after her. Her stupefied gaze took in the cabin. A large room, with two doors leading to who-knew-where, seemed to be the sum total of the abode that was to be her home for now. At one end of the room was a kitchen of sorts, with cupboards, a dresser, shelves, a sink, and a rickety table and chairs. The other was a lounge with a large sofa, two fireside chairs, and an enormous, stone fireplace.
Gabriel glanced impatiently at her as he bent to light the fire. “Come on in and close the door. You’ll let all the heat out.”
His words suddenly bringing her to her senses, she stumbled in, slamming the door behind her.
“You’ve got to be joking! I’m not some country hick, a bloody hillbilly that thinks this place is some kind of bloody castle with you as the prince. Be honest, even you can’t expect me to live in this, this—pigsty!”
Suppressing the desire to laugh at Hannah’s pent up fury, Gabriel instead took time to ensure the fire was burning before rising slowly to his feet. Raking her features, he leaned back against the fireplace and folded his arms across his muscular chest and stared into her outraged face.
“Curb your language, Hannah. I’m not one of your hippy friends that think a foul mouth on a woman is an attractive thing. And as to this place, I know it’s a mess. The last inhabitant wasn’t the, err, cleanest of men, but with a bit of elbow grease, sweeping, and polishing, it will be fit for a queen. So, therefore—your majesty…”
Facetiously, he bowed low before taking a broom from beside the fire and handing it to her. “I suggest you start sweeping whilst I unload the car.”
“What! You can’t expect me to, to…”
She spluttered with fury, holding the broom as if she’d like to smack him around the head with it.
“To?” His eyebrow rose in satanic amusement.
Gabriel grinned, enjoying himself.
“That’s exactly what I expect you to do. You never know, Hannah, maybe in a while you might quite like fending for yourself and enjoying what nature gives you. Up until now, you’ve led a life of ease and frivolity, so see this as the start of your lessons in humility. And…”
“I want my supper,” Hannah interrupted.
“And…” He continued as if uninterrupted. “Lesson one is, if you don’t work, you don’t eat. Therefore, I suggest that if you want any supper, you get cleaning.”
Grinding her teeth in fury at his high-handedness and his total and utter arrogance, Hannah stared furiously at his back, her hand tightening ominously around the handle of the broom. Wanting to stamp her feet in temper and throw the broom on the floor in protest, the growling hunger in her stomach instead had her pursing her lips and halfheartedly beginning to sweep the debris and dust-laden floor. Listlessly moving the brush around the floor, she surreptitiously watched the comings and goings of her husband as he unloaded the all-terrain vehicle and its accompanying trailer. The gathering boxes had her eyes widening. Just how long was their expected stay in this godforsaken place?
In fact, Gabriel was responsible for all that irked her in the world, the isolation, the loneliness, the boredom, and most of all, the hunger. Pulling back the covers, Hannah shed her slippers and slipped into bed. Turning on her side away from him, she tugged the duvet up and over her shoulders. Moments later, the lamp was extinguished, and she felt Gabriel settle down beside her. Holding her breath, she waited. Would he touch her tonight? Try and claim his conjugal rights? She hoped so, then she would have the utmost satisfaction of rejecting him. Grinning in glee at the thought, she waited. Not long now and then Gabriel would know what it felt like to be snubbed. She almost laughed aloud.
Minutes passed and as she grew increasingly tense. Why wasn’t he seducing her? Then she stilled in astonished disbelief. Gabriel’s even breathing indicated that he had actually fallen asleep. Anger rose in her like a tidal wave, and grinding her teeth, she punched the pillow. Ludicrously, she also felt disappointed, not just because she wanted the satisfaction of refusing him, but if she was honest with herself, because she actually wanted his touch. Although she reassured herself that, had he actually tried to consummate their marriage, she would have screamed the place down.
Tossing and turning, unable to get comfortable or to get to sleep, Hannah fumed silently at Gabriel’s ability to fall into an instant and restful slumber. It just wasn’t fair. Why should her husband sleep the sleep of the innocent when he was the one that forced her against her will into this diabolical marriage and dumped her in the middle of nowhere? Aiming a kick at his leg, she feigned sleep as he grunted and moved onto his back. Annoyingly, he still slept on, much to Hannah’s disgust. Another kick, and Gabriel came awake.
“What is it?”
Pretending to be asleep, Hannah slowed her breathing and stayed still. Let him think she had been dreaming and had accidentally kicked him.
“Hannah.” Gabriel reached out and touched her hunched up shoulder. “Hannah, I know you’re awake, so out with it. Why the kicking?”
Hannah remained stubbornly silent.
“Ahh, I get it! Could it be that you want my attention? That you want me to make love to you?”
Spluttering in rage, Hannah gave up all pretense of sleep and turned to face him. “My God you’re an arrogant so and so. Why the hell would I want you to touch me let alone anything else?”
“Then why wake me?”
“I didn’t. It was just an accident, but only you could be arrogant enough to think I’d wake you for, well for anything.”
“So,” he grinned into her angry, red face, “no sex then?”
“Oh you, you …”
“Yes I know, arrogant, diabolical pig. However, if I do this…”
He leaned forward and cupped her pajama-covered breast. “Or this…” He moved over her, pinning her to the bed.
Struggling, she thumped frantically at his naked back.
His lips found hers in a kiss that sent her heart rate soaring, and her hands, which had been thumping his back, begin to stroke his contours, molding and caressing his naked flesh.
Moments later, Hannah’s pajama jacket was on the floor, and Gabriel’s mouth was suckling at her breast. His tongue flicking wickedly over her hard nipples caused tiny shivers of delight rippling throughout her body. She groaned, the giveaway sound abruptly caught back by her biting her lip. God what was he doing to her? Her breath hiccupped in her chest as he moved to kiss the tender skin of her breast, the defined outline of her ribs, and lower to caress with his tongue the indent of her tiny waist. She wanted to protest even whilst her hands were buried in Gabriel’s dark hair, holding him to her. Shuddering in response to his touch, Hannah knew she should stop him, that she shouldn’t allow him such liberties, but he was doing things to her that she just found hard to resist. Moisture pooled at the apex of her thighs, and she pushed up with her hips, giving an invitation as old as time itself.
Drawing off Hannah’s pajama bottoms, Gabriel pulled her thighs apart and buried his face in the soft curls that covered her feminine mound. The ache that pulsed deep in her pussy had Hannah crying out in desperate yearning. She needed Gabriel inside her, possessing her, taking her to heaven. Bending her legs at the knees, she opened her thighs further, instinctively caught up in the magical phenomenon of the mating dance.
Fingering her opening and feeling the silky warmth of her essence on his hand, Gabriel bent his head and licked at her exposed clitoris. Crying out at this delightful invasion, she bucked under him, wanting, needing more. Her hands in his hair tightened, and Hannah pressed his head harder against her.
“Spell Mississippi,” Gabriel ordered.
“What?” Dazed, Hannah didn’t think she’d heard him properly.
“Spell Mississippi,” he repeated.
Gabriel’s tongue flicked across her clit.
Her breath caught on a gasp. “I…”
He sucked her clitoris into his hot, moist mouth, the friction of his teeth sending sparks of pleasure soaring to her womb.
“Ahh, s, s…”
Flick, flick went his tongue.
Her limbs shook, and her skin goose bumped.
He sucked. She screamed.
Flick, flick, went his acrobatic tongue as it danced across her swollen clit.
Gabriel sucked again.
Hannah almost cried, such was the agony of pleasure.
“P, p…” She all but groaned the words as her body seemed to become fluid.
Flick, flick went his unrelenting tongue.
Hannah sobbed out her bliss.
Gabriel’s hair brushed her inner thigh, sending fire scorching through her veins.
“I…” she finally whimpered.
Gabriel sucked deeply, drawing her swollen clit further into his mouth.
Hannah screamed, exploding on an orgasm so intense she nearly lost consciousness.