“With all the flashes I saw, ye must have quite the collection from tonight.” They had arrived at the back of the field where the performers’ caravans were parked. Each had large tanks of water to power their engines attached to the rear with chimneys coming off the roofs for the excess steam. It was a rather ingenious design, she noticed, very much like the private horseless carriages used by the well-to-do.
“I did.” She fiddled with the strap of her satchel. “I have pictures of almost everyone who performed tonight.”
“Did ye miss someone?” he asked as he pulled a large key from its hiding place over the doorway and unlocked the door.
“Well … yes.” The door opened and he turned the gas lamps up to bathe the room in a pale orange glow. “I never had the chance to take your picture.”
Alasdair paused in the door frame, the light from the lamps illuminating him from behind and the image this created made her shiver, tongue darting out to wet her lips. It was a forward thing to say and she had no illusions to how her voice had sounded when she spoke. It was unlike her, and risky, and she loved the look on his face in reaction to her words.
“And would ye like that?”
“That was the reason for my frustration earlier, not being able to find you for that picture. Would it be too much to ask for a ride and that as well?”
“Not at all.” He stepped aside to let her in. It took only three steps to ascend the stairs and step inside. In those few seconds she brushed against him and the feeling was felt even through the layers of her dress. The caravan was larger than one might think, the wood all stained dark. Cabinets lined the upper walls against a red and gold ceiling and little windows were covered by orange drapes. An intricately cast potbellied stove stood to the left, beside it a steamer trunk. To the right a table folded out of the wall along with a chair and a few empty shelves stood out from a low cabinet whose door was open. Toward the back a gold curtain blocked any further view. She could only assume that was where he slept.
“It’s lovely in here.”
“This is all right for yer picture, enough light and all that other stuff artists go on about?” He let the door stay open and leaned against the wall. The skylight was propped up, letting in the pale moonlight, the drapes fluttering from the evening breeze. It reminded her of more than one instance in the books she sneaked from her aunt’s library. The scenes from those books ran through her mind, tangled limbs and soft sighs, lips caressing trembling flesh until the characters fell upon one another in ways she could only imagine.
“Yes.” Her voice dropped low without her consent and she busied herself in pulling the camera from its confines.
“Any particular way ye’d want me?”
“What?” She nearly dropped the camera as she fumbled with the lock on the velvet bag, looking up at him.
“To pose.” She saw now that his eyes were a pale blue, as blue as the ocean so nearby. If she looked long enough she thought she just might drown in them.
“Oh, well, actually that is just fine.” She gestured to how he was leaning against the wall, arms folded across his chest, one leg propped before the other. The whole of his body was at an angle so that she could see every contour, every bulge of muscle straining beneath the leather of his costume. She felt so very warm and while she might not understand all there was to what went on between a man and a woman, she understood enough to know he was the cause of the warmth. None of the boys at home could hold a candle to this man. He was just as scintillating as the element he wielded.
“Go right ahead, then,” he said. His voice seemed even deeper than before, his brogue more pronounced.
Lily took a few steps back, looking down into the lens. The image appeared upside down in the mirror, the light just enough to give the smoky effect she wanted for this portrait. Even through the glass of the camera, he appeared more tempting than any man had any right to be. She swallowed hard as she finished adjusting the exposure, her finger over the shutter button. His eyes met hers as she looked up, and it felt as though he could see right through her and into her thoughts. Her fingertip hit the button and they waited for the film to settle and expose. Through the silence she realized he knew exactly what had been going through her mind, his pale eyes which never left her own said more than words ever could.
“All done.” Her voice was barely above a whisper. “Thank you.”
“Yer welcome, lass.” His was low as well. With grace alike to a cat he pushed from the wall and took a few slow, careful steps toward her. Carefully she placed her camera back into its keeping place. Their gaze did not break once. Never had she been so close to a man before, and alone at that. This close she could see the highlights of golden blond in his long red hair, how the sharp planes of his face accentuated a pair of lips that she suddenly was aching to join with her own. It was also very easy to see how the leather he wore clung sinfully close to his form, leaving nothing to the imagination of what must be underneath.
The buttons down the front of her dress were quickly dispensed with, the ribbon ties below those let loose, one tugged completely free until it fell forgotten to the ground. Free of this constraint, the bodice was tossed to the side, its red-purple hue blending into the carpet. Her skirt soon followed, a pool of fabric round her feet when she kicked it away. When she looked again into his eyes she heard the little voice in the back of her mind teasing her that he would not like what he saw—a waist unfashionably unrestrained, wide hips and thighs that could never be called slim. Instead she saw a gaze even more heated than before, the pale irises alight with blue fire as he took her in from head to toe. He drew her close again, hands reaching out to grasp her hips, driving her back until the backs of her knees hit the edge of his bed. The ties along the modest neckline of her chemise were pulled loose, the top hooks of her corset unlatched, and she was made to sit down upon the feather mattress.
He towered above her for a moment and she leaned back on her hands, heavy breasts jutting out and straining against what little held them from spilling out into his palms. Then he was kneeling on the bed, one hand bracing him beside her, the other pulling the flimsy material covering her down so hard she swore she heard it rip in half. But that was all the time to think before his mouth was on her breast, lips closing over her nipple and sucking hard.
Lily let her head fall back, her breath catching in her throat as she felt tongue and teeth play on her virgin flesh. When she felt him bite down, her arms lost what little strength was left to them and she fell back. One hand lay limp while the other buried into his hair. His arm moved to run a hand down her side, trailing down until it reached the bunched hem around her knees. The thin fabric was shoved aside, his hand leaving a tingling trail along her bared thigh. Higher and higher it crawled and with it her leg opened to accommodate it. When those long probing fingers found the wet heat between her thighs, it took everything she had not to fall apart then and there.
“Ye’re so wet for me.” His breath blew across her wet nipple, making the tight bud pucker even more. “So wet it’s dripping down to that pretty ass of yers.” Her face flushed first at his words and then at his actions as he took her ass in both hands, shoving her farther onto the bed and lifting her to his mouth. One long stroke of his tongue over her sex had her gasping, and a lick to her throbbing clit had her nearly shouting. He devoured her like a man starving, that penetrating gaze never leaving hers as she spiraled higher and higher toward ecstasy. Her own ministrations while alone in her room never had her almost tearing at the sheets, had never so totally enveloped her body in such fervor. When that sinful tongue stabbed inside her, curling up within her tightening muscles, her thighs shook and her hips rocked against his mouth. The growl that followed gave way to a more aggressive assault, his mouth moving from plunging within her to laving her nub with an intensity that finally freed the screams of ecstasy from her lips.
“Oh God!” Her head tossed from left to right, her eyes squeezed tightly shut. “I can’t … I can’t.” She tried to pull her traitorous body away from a pleasure so extreme she thought she might faint from it all, but he would not let her.
“Aye, ye can,” he rumbled into her quivering flesh. “Now lie back and take it.” He dropped her hips to the bed, flung her legs over his shoulders, and resumed his onslaught to her desperate cries. Long fingers tweaked and teased along her dripping folds, probing the heated channel his tongue had taken before. As one pushed within her, she could not help the slight stiffening of her body. His fingers were far larger and thicker than hers and even through the pleasure there was a sting with the new invasion. But as he pumped the digit in and out, she relaxed and could not withstand the urge to move her hips with him. A second finger joined the first, stretching her farther than she had ever been, scissoring inside her as she felt so much pleasurable heat building within her she felt she might go up in flames.
When she finally came, it was to a hoarse scream abetted by the hand she bit down on, her back arching to an almost impossible angle and stars bursting behind her closed eyes. Lily fell back upon the mounds of pillows, her breathing labored, her body shuddering from the little aftershocks that pulsed through her veins and made her muscles feel drained and limp, but in a good, sated sort of way. Above her Alasdair peppered her quivering thighs with light little kisses, moving up her body until he lay beside her. With one arm propping him up, the other running fingers still wet with her juices along her curves, he kissed her lips and nuzzled her messy hair.
“For a virgin ye’re not as meek as I’d imagine.” She froze. “I thought respectable, untouched ladies like yerself were supposed to be terrified of what happens between men and women.”