Page 9 of Earls Prize Curves

Propriety be damned.

A sharp gasp fell from her ruby lips, and the undulation of a hard swallow pressed against his palm. “My lord.” Her chin tipped up, blue eyes searching his determined expression.

“Call me Hugh when I have you at my mercy, little lamb. Niceties aren’t required while thoughts of claiming you on this balcony battle my common sense.”

Another labored gulp, and his hand twitched, aching to massage the vulnerable column, to press deeper and discover her reaction. Lusty approval? Virginal disdain?

“Claiming me? But you took issue with the book I read about such things,” she scoffed.

Leaning in to nip her ear, his admission came as if dredged from the darkest part of his soul. “Because I’ve barricaded these irrational urges from the moment I met you, knowing you’re too young, too innocent. Then I found that damned book and became envious of a fictitious earl. Do you want to learn, little lamb? Want to know what it feels like to have a man pumping between your thighs? His tongue licking at your honey?” Hot lust careened over his nerves before settling in his engorged cock. “I’m your man. I’ll be your tutor.” He sealed the promise with a lick behind the fragile lobe.

“How can I be sure you won’t leave me ruined?”

She must have realized how silly she sounded as her spine stiffened against his chest. Of course, he’d ruin her—pleasure her sweet body until whoever became her husband would pale in comparison to the memory of Hugh’s lovemaking.

A rumble of approval battered his ribs. Yes, she’d only ever think of him, his touch. “That is to say, how can you guarantee the secrecy of our liaison. Your first marriage was a consequence of such an arrangement.”

It wasn’t lost on him that she’d yet to refuse him. That she only worried about the future after they tired of each other.


“I’m older and wiser now. There are ways to protect against getting you with child, and I have an old hunting lodge at the edge of my country property. Secluded in a forest of trees, no one ventures that far north. We can meet there.” A plan weaved its way through his head as all the reasons why he shouldn’t entertain the notion—namely his daughters—melted in its wake. He loved Mary and Sarah, make no mistake, but this pull towards Miss Netherfield would not be thwarted. At least not by avoidance, which only left seeing it through to the end.

But deflowering a virgin? Stealing her virtue?

An inkling of shame slithered down his spine until a soft voice filtered through the guilt. “When? I can tell my parents I’ve been invited to a holiday in Bath by Sarah and Mary, if you can figure out an excuse to give the girls.”

And just like that, all of his hesitations evaporated. The woman was willing. He wasn’t some dastardly villain forcing her into a decision. However young she may be, at twenty-two years of age Miss Netherfield was capable of making her own choices; she’d said so herself.

“Two weeks hence. I’ll arrange for the girls to visit their aunt for a week.” Which would solve his earlier problem of having Aunt Ida explain the inner workings of the marriage chamber. Instead of her coming to Covington Hall, he’d send his daughters to her.

“Then it’s a deal. And I’ll judge whether this wolf is all he purports himself to be,” she teased, lightening the mood after their negotiations. Squeezing her neck gently, a prelude to his proclivities in bed when it came to her, Hugh arched her head back, bringing her lips within a butterfly’s wing of his mouth.

“Trust me, little lamb, when I finish eating you up, there will be no doubt.” How enjoyable the feast will be, he thought, envisioning lithe legs braced over his shoulders as he devoured her quim. “But for now, I’ll settle for a kiss before releasing you.”

Her lashes fluttered closed as a subtle exhale blew past parted lips. Grinning at the acquiescence, Hugh brushed an exploratory kiss over her cheek before landing on a plump bottom lip, sucking on the tender delicacy. The faint taste of sherry clung to her, and eagerness for more propelled him forward, tongue smoothing along hers in a duel for supremacy.

And Miss Netherfield put up quite a fight. This wasn’t her first kiss, and the knowledge chafed. Who else had she shared her favors with?

Not that you have any room to judge.

When he loosened his grip and retreated, Clara tried to follow, an adorable mewl of disappointment emanating from her throat. “That’s enough for now, little lamb. Your chaperone is probably looking for you as we speak. Run along before she finds you alone with me.”

A mutinous look crossed her face as if to challenge the command. But reason prevailed, and with a sigh of resignation, Clara slipped out of his embrace, scurrying from the balcony, while Hugh shuddered in relief.

He’d been on the cusp of taking more than he should.

Another moment and he might have forgone their planned liaison for instant gratification—stuffing her full of his cock here at the Tipton Ball.

“Steady on, old chap.” He berated himself. In a fortnight, Hugh could indulge in every single one of his fantasies with the minx.

If she showed…

She will.

Hugh recognized the reckless streak inside Clara. It reminded him of his younger years when he chased anything in skirts, which led to his earlier-than-planned marriage due to Louisa’s pregnancy. The thought of Clara’s life following the same path chilled him. He’d do everything in his power to ensure her protection, ensure her ability to choose the life she wanted and when.

As much as he could in their short time together.

Tags: Jemma Frost Historical
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