Lord Vile (Beastly Lords Book 3)(3)

By: Sydney Jane Baily


Michael stumbled out onto the terrace after one too many dance cards had been dangled before his face, and one too many glasses of champagne had found their way down his throat. In fact, he carried one with him at present.

Downing the bubbly liquid, he set the empty glass on the edge of the terrace’s stone railing and made his way down the steps into the silence.

Having stayed away from so-called polite society for many months, he couldn’t imagine why he’d talked himself into this particular ball. Actually, yes, he did know. He’d read the guest list in the newspaper, knowing she would be there, the woman he’d loved and lost.

Of course, he knew she was married, and happily, too, which he didn’t begrudge her one bit. After all, it wasn’t her fault his treacherous parents had lied to them both and ended their engagement due to her lack of fortune. Yet, like an animal which can’t stop licking a raw wound, he liked to make certain he still fancied her above anyone else.

Seeing her, on the rare occasion he did, confirmed this fact. Seeing Jenny Blackwood, now the Countess of Lindsey, reminded him of what he’d lost and why. It renewed his anger and refreshed his bitterness against those who professed to love him most. His own parents.

Betrayal most foul! Pulling a sterling flask from his pocket, he took a sip of brandy and sauntered onto the brick path leading farther into the garden.

After a minute, he crossed a sickeningly romantic bridge over a tiny fake stream and found himself next to a gazebo, dark except for two torches, lit to show guests they’d reached the end of the garden. Beyond was a brick wall higher than his head.

Taking another sip, he thought he was seeing a vision. Not the first time, either, since his favorite state lately was ‘half seas over’ if not fully passed out.

Before him came an enchanting creature in such a pale pastel shade, she was practically glowing in the moonlight. She seemed to float toward him, and as she did, bone deep, he knew he wanted her.

When the torchlight caught her golden crown of hair, he made a sound, alerting the bewitching goddess to his presence. She froze. Yet, instead of fleeing as a sane and reputable maiden should, she took a step closer.

Slipping the flask back into his pocket, he held out his hand. Silently, she took it, letting him draw her close.

“I had no idea when I came out here, I would encounter such a creature as you. You are so lovely.”

She trembled.

But was she real? There was more than one way to discover if she were.

Wrapping his arms around her, still feeling her shuddering movements, Michael decided she must be real and quite cold. He would do his best to warm her.

Lowering his head, he brushed his lips against hers. A bouquet of some exotically lush, floral scent tickled his nose, and her soft lips were warm and encouraging.

Mm, she smelled good. No doubt in the cold light of day, she was older than she appeared in the dimly lit garden. Yet for this moment, he would accept she was a sprite, sent for his enjoyment.

He settled his mouth upon hers once again, tasting her sweetness. Tilting his head slightly, he found they fit together perfectly, and when he licked the seam of her lips, she opened them with the smallest gasp. It inflamed him.

Apparently, she was willing.

Glancing around, he took in the glossy white gazebo, also seemingly glowing in the torchlight. Inviting, beckoning, the ideal spot!

With finesse, though he tripped slightly on the threshold, he led her into the secluded place. How thoughtful of their hosts.

There was a divan, undoubtedly used for reclining whilst reading a book during the day. What a mundane waste for such a magical place!

It took only a single step and he had the back of her skirts pressed against the settee cushions, and then they were both falling upon it. Too small for stretching out comfortably, yet it offered them a suitable place to engage in a quick sensual dalliance.

His goddess went rigid as soon as she was prone beneath him. He couldn’t imagine she didn’t want this as much as he did, since he could feel her warm and curvaceous body thrumming under his. She was made for a man to embrace and to enjoy.

“My lord?” Her first words to him were soft and questioning.

Mayhap he was taking too long to please her.

He lowered his mouth to hers again, and as he kissed her thoroughly, she relaxed. What’s more, he could feel her heart beating a strong tattoo of desire. His own was doing the same.

Raising himself up and reaching between them, with practiced hands, Michael unfastened the fall of his trousers, letting his manhood spring free.

He watched her eyes in the darkness. Though he couldn’t determine their color, he could see them widen with delight. Ever so gently, he lifted the hem of her dress, smoothing his fingers up her stockinged legs until—her fingers suddenly met his, holding her gown in place across her thighs.

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