The Damaged Heart (MF)
[Siren Classic: Erotic Contemporary Romance, HEA]
An icicle heart that melts under a gentle touch…
The advertisement—Wife needed, a virgin and a homemaker. Who in their right mind would reply to such an arrogant, chauvinistic requirement?
Abigail Bountiful, plain, shy, and ordinary, is a city girl in need of a home, and desperate measures are called for.
Gabriel Strong is gorgeous and powerful and, to Abigail’s naive, young eyes, the very epitome of manhood—so why does he need to advertise for a wife?
Out in the Alaskan wilderness, the journey of discovery begins. Locked in each other’s arms under the heavenly phenomenon of the aurora borealis, will they realize their love for each other? Or as tragedy strikes will they be torn apart by grief? Or by the she-wolf from Gabriel’s past?
A turbulent adventure at the Arctic circle, cold wintry days and hot erotic nights, limbs entwined under star-filled skies, and a wild, consuming passion—will lust turn to love?
A Siren Erotic Romance
Lifting the heavy skillet off the stove and her heart pounding in her heaving chest, she ran toward the back door and listened. There was definitely something outside. Hesitating, she wondered, would it be prudent to wake Gabriel, or should she try and handle this on her own? Worrying at her bottom lip, she felt indecisive. If she woke Gabriel, then she could imagine all the kafuffle that would go with it. Marianne and Francis was sure to get up to see what all the commotion was about, and well, if it was nothing, then not only would she feel a fool, but she would have awoken the entire household for no reason. Then, of course Marianne would never let her hear the last of it, already of the opinion that she was an insignificant nobody and not worthy of Gabriel’s attentions. And if all that was outside was a rat or a mouse, then she just wouldn’t be able to bear the ridicule which would be sure to come her way.
Fingers tightening on the handle of the skillet, she made a choice, and, reaching out, she turned the key in the lock and let the door swing back on its hinges. From the safety of the doorway, she peered through the gloom. Her breath frosting in the cold night air, she squared her shoulders and stepped out onto the veranda. Looking both ways, she couldn’t see anything out of place, except the broom which seemed to have fallen down. Otherwise everything was as it should be.
Taking care as to where she put her feet in case there was a rat, she picked up the broom and propped it back up against the wall. Unsure as to whether to go back for a coat, then instantly dismissing the thought as she was only going to be a moment, she gingerly went down the steps and began a tour of the outside of the house, her numb fingers still tightly clenched around the skillet.
A wind had got up, flattening her nightgown against her shivering body and tossing her chestnut curls wildly about her head. A full circuit of the house later she realised just what a fool she’d been. There was nothing out here, not even a rat. It was far too cold for anything to risk being outside, unless of course they were completely insane. Which she supposed said something about her, as here she was, half-naked, enticing not only frost bite, but God knows what else as well. And for what? Shaking her head, she continued to berate herself. Why had she behaved so stupidly? But innate honesty forced her to answer, to admit—well, to impress Gabriel with her bravery and sense of duty of course.
Realising rather belatedly that she had strayed too far from the house and that she was risking hypothermia, she turned back toward the welcoming light of the open doorway.
Frozen to the spot, a screaming in her head blotting out all other thoughts, she watched with wide, horrified eyes as a grizzly ambled its way from behind the fir tree near to the house. Clamping her mouth shut on the scream rising in her throat, she shook with terror. Before her frightened eyes, the world around her seemed to move in slow motion. Snowflakes appeared to hover indecisively in the dark sky, the old weather vane came to a halt, and snow falling off the small fir tree at the side of the house momentarily gave the impression of hanging motionless in the air. She blinked and—everything began to move again. The snow dropped with a wallop, the flakes fell rapidly to the ground, and the weather vane squeaked as the wind took a hold, making it spin crazily around.
Unable to think straight, she struggled to remember the things Gabriel had taught her. Frowning she tried to resist the temptation to run. Oh! What was it he had said?
Taking a steadying breath, she collected her thoughts as best she could. He’d said, “If you come across a bear, leave it well alone.” Well, that was easy. Biting her numb lips, she relentlessly worried their delicate surface. What else was it he had said! Run? No, no not that, bears chased you when you ran. Walk? Stay absolutely still? Well, that was a sure thing, seeing as she was slowly stiffening into an ice statue anyway. She bit back a nervous snort of laughter. She’d always resorted to flippancy in times of worry or stress, a defence mechanism left over from her childhood. Frowning, she forced herself to concentrate. This was not the time or place for flippancy.
Her breathing low and rapid, short, sharp breaths that almost stopped in her chest, she stood absolutely still. The bear sniffed the air, almost as if he was tasting it, and her face crumpled, tears forming on her lashes like silver pearls. Rising on its hind legs, the grizzly opened a mouth which was almost as large as her head and snarled its displeasure. She took a hesitant step back. Its teeth were huge, and now aware of her presence, its small, dark eyes locked with hers.
Clutching the skillet more tightly, she wondered, should she throw it and hopefully frighten the bear away? Or would that enrage it even more? The urge to run became insidious, winding its way into her mind like a ghostly phantom. It would only take seconds to reach safety, but—she glanced at the door then back at the bear—which one of them was quicker? He was big, she noted and swallowed convulsively, very big and heavy, but, would that make him slower? With her thoughts tumbling over each other in a desperate attempt to make sense and with her mind held in the powerful grip of unspeakable terror, she made a decision—to make a run for it.
With that in view, she flexed her wrist, testing the weight of the skillet. Scuffling slightly, her soft bootees wet and laden with snow, and now completely convinced she could outrun the grizzly, she took a tentative step in the direction of the house. The bear, once again on its hind legs, tossed its head and roared, the sound demonstrating his primal supremacy.
“Abigail, don’t move.”
Decision made, she carefully lifted his hand off her breast and scrambled to her knees, nearly falling off the bed in the process. Moving cautiously, she started to slide the covers down. Nervously catching her bottom lip between her teeth, she inched the duvet over his hips and lower, holding her breath at every small movement that came from him. The dark arrowing of his pubic hair caught her attention, just a little bit further…
Hysterical excitement curved the bow of her lips. What if he should wake now, just as she was about to see him in all his naked glory! She checked a laugh, glancing quickly up. Dark, fathomless eyes met hers, laughter lurking in their depths.
Gabriel’s eyes opened and he watched as red crawled up her neck, turning her cheeks crimson and enhancing her breasts with a rosy hue.
“Can I help you?”
Abigail could feel her eyes growing as wide as saucers. “No, well err, yes, I was just getting up actually.” She dropped the cover as if it had scalded her.
He glanced at his watch. “At four in the morning?”
Four! Disbelievingly, she looked over toward the clock. “Oh, oh well, err, I didn’t realise. It feels like I’ve been in bed forever. What I mean is—I’m not tired anymore.”
He grinned, a disarming, mesmerising smile that mocked her uncertainty.
“In that case, my sweet Abigail.” He cupped her bountiful breasts, feeling their weight. “Perhaps we can carry on where we left off, mmm?”
“Oh, mmm, err if you’re sure?” Abigail’s whispery voice trailed into silence at the look in his eyes. “What I mean is...”
“Yes, I know exactly what you mean.”
Bending his head, he took a deep, drugging, soul-wrenching kiss and, with his hands caressing their way around her body, started to do unmentionable things to her as she quivered uncontrollably. Placing another hot kiss on her neck, his lips then caressed her shoulders and the valley of her throat, before sliding down her body to pay homage to the flat lines of her stomach.
“Please,” she pleaded wild with desire, “please, Gabriel, suck my magic button.”
Laughter filled his eyes at her childish expression, the movement of his mouth no more than a gentle smile over the soft curls of her mound. Reaching her “magic button,” his tongue lapped and licked the throbbing nub to life. The tingling his attentions induced became an ache which spread up and throughout her pelvic region to settle deep into her womb. Breasts heaving as excitement tipped her over the edge and with her breath growing shallow, Abigail exploded once again into an orgasm, closely followed by a second one as his fingers sought entry into her already-quivering pussy and thrust deeper and deeper into her body.
Then it was Abigail’s turn to pleasure Gabriel, and as his penis was offered for her attention, she gasped as she now took in its size. She’d experienced it stretching her wider, filling her, but she’d never seen it this close. It was huge—like a marrow, really long and thick. She swallowed. Would she be able to pleasure him the way he wanted? Feeling uncertain, her hands grasped it loosely and she eyed it with apprehension, certain it would choke her. The eye of his cock gleamed at her, a drop of his seed teetering on the end, enticing her to suck. Taking its length more firmly between her hands, she opened her mouth, and although nervous, she enthusiastically took him in. It felt soft, like silk, and tasted slightly salty. She wasn’t sure if she liked it, so she sucked harder, drawing out more of his essence. No, she grimaced. She didn’t like it. It was vile, but Gabriel obviously enjoyed what she was doing, so she continued. Moving his hips, Gabriel pushed his cock further into her silken mouth, allowing it to dance its way along her tongue to the back of her throat. She gagged, momentarily caught off guard. Pulling his hips back, his gesture one of consideration for her inexperience, he was stopped from pulling away altogether by Abigail grabbing his length and holding it fast.
Beginning to work her magic, she licked and sucked, poking the eye of his cock with her acrobatic tongue.