His voice dropped low, a sultry, sinful command, and Isabelle knew she should never have allowed their little talk to become personal.
However, she did not object when he reached for her and clasped her hand, pulling her past the marble sculptures in the center of the
chamber and further, to a concealed door at the back of the room.
He drew her inside and latched the lock. She swallowed with nervousness and her eyes darted across the dim lit storage room. Works
of art littered the walls and floor, and a desk filled one corner, but she had no time to consider it further. His strong fingers turned her
shoulder, and Constantine brought her against his length in one fluid motion.
"I have wanted to do this since the first time I spied you in Lord Rochester's study."
He held her, their bodies pressed together at the most intimate places and Isabelle's breath came hard and fast.
"You confuse me." Her words shook with emotion, or fear, or the unfamiliar rush of desire that pooled within her, but she did not look
away from his crystal gaze, shimmering with heat and promise in the broken candlelight.
"Am I a riddle to solve, my sweet?"
She could never confess her pathetic secret, she believed him the answer to every question of her heart.
His voice, low pitched, rich and silky, proved a lethal combination of wickedness and handsomeness and his uttered endearment caused
all logical though to dissipate, turning her into a quivering mass of foolishness. A silent warning reminded of his skill to charm and
disarm, but Isabelle believed she engaged the real man who existed behind the dashing tailoring and fabulously good looks.
"Tell me what you want, my lovely. I know you feel as I do." He tangled his fingers in her hair to knock loose the pins and unravel its
length. "Your hair is magnificent." He touched a silken strand to his lips. "It is a crime you keep it hidden from view."
Isabelle's heart beat heavily as her thoughts scattered like the hairpins that littered the floor. When had he removed his gloves? How
had they become embraced in a dark room behind a locked door?
"Tell me, what it is you desire?"
His eyes seared into her, while his clever tongue and honeyed words decimated her sensibility. All intellect fled on a wave of
concupiscence, the intense yearning enthralling. She trembled, her body pressed to his, her skirts pushed to the side as he held her in a
tight embrace against his hard length. Her gown whispered impatiently against his trousers and every point of contact, no matter the
layers of superfine or silk, burned with heat and ignited her blood.
"Constantine." His name came out on a broken plea, but for what she begged she had no idea.
"Tell me, Isabelle. Do you want what I do?"
He whispered kisses across her temple with stunning delicacy, to belie the intensity of his words or fervor of his embrace. She trembled
at the contact of his mouth on her skin as his soft lips caressed her with extreme care and left a trail of dizzying pleasure in their wake.
"I want to kiss you. To taste your mouth, those delicious rosebud lips, long and thoroughly, and discover the flavor of your kiss, the
secrets of your beautiful body, every curve, every softness..." He broke off, although his hold on her did not lessen in the least.
Isabelle's mind whirled. She had no way to make sense of the carnal images he suggested, and her body reacted, flooded with
desire as he continued to whisper and paint vivid pictures of sensuality that persisted and demanded attention. She knew of the pleasures
men and women enjoyed, but to hear them in explicit detail, while Constantine held her captive against his heated body was achingly
exquisite. And definitely wrong. She needed to stop him, but a wicked part of her, a part she never knew existed, taunted that her entire
life she'd been told she was wrong in every way. Why not surrender to an opportunity for adventure?
© Anabelle Bryant