He was beautiful. Her exploring, fascinated gaze moved lower, stopped. This, then, was what an aroused man looked like. The fashion for tight evening breeches was revealing enough to demonstrate to even the most ignorant young woman that there was a difference between the man who had been at dinner that evening and the same man now. Magnificent. She managed not to say it aloud. There were other words—alarming, impossible—she did not say those, either.
‘Do I frighten you, Tess?’ His voice was husky with repressed emotion.
‘No. Another man would, I think. Never you. Tell me you want this, too, that you are not doing this because I asked you.’
He laughed, a gasp of pure amusement. ‘Tess, I can’t feign this.’ His gesture was graphic enough not to need words. ‘Are you sure?’
‘Nothing, except the most dire need, would have me standing in front of a man without a stitch of clothing on,’ she assured him. It is going to be all right. He wants me, I want him, we can be together, like this, for these few days.
‘You are smiling.’ So was he. ‘Come to bed, Tess, before you get cold.’
Such a prosaic thing, to scramble into bed, to feel the mattress dip under Alex’s heavier body, to see his big, capable hands pull up the covers.
‘I was quite nervous,’ she confided. ‘I still am. I have no idea what I am supposed to do.’ If she wasn’t careful she’d be chattering with nerves and that was the last thing he wanted, she imagined. Bad enough a gauche innocent; a wittering female would be even worse.
‘Then, spare a thought for the virgin male.’ He slid farther down the bed and pulled her with him to snuggle against his side. The slide of warm skin against skin was delicious. She itched to explore with her hands, but did not want to be clumsy.
‘You know the theory, or at least, you think you do,’ Alex said, his tone reminiscent. That was good, nothing was going to happen quite yet, not until she had her breath back. ‘But the fellows who impart these facts are probably boasting. You hope they are. And you’re the man, even if you are only fifteen and you haven’t grown into your feet yet and your body and its reactions are certainly not under your control. So you think you ought to know what you are doing, you are sure you have it all straight...and then you encounter the female body.’
The hand that was curved around her ribs began to stroke, the fingers caressing slowly down the side of her breast. Alex continued speaking as though unaware of what his hand was doing. Tess kept very quiet and still in case he noticed and stopped.
‘So soft, so responsive and so...complicated. There are curves, you know that, you have ogled them secretly for long enough. But then you discover the weight of a breast in your palm.’
He shifted, moved his arm and her small breast was lying cupped in his hand. ‘It is heavier than you imagine it will be and so unexpectedly erotic it takes your breath away. Then you discover this.’ His thumb moved, fretted back and forth across her nipple.
Tess gasped as the sensation arrowed down into her belly and her flesh became hard under the pad of his thumb.
‘You see?’ Alex shifted again so that he was half over her, his weight on one elbow. ‘Not only does it feel good, not only are you rewarded by that little miracle of a reaction, but you discover you have given her pleasure, too. So you try the other breast, only this time you find yourself doing this.’ He bent and took her other nipple between his lips, his tongue rubbing against her tight flesh while his fingers continued to tease the other nub. ‘And you discover for the first time how good a woman tastes and you wonder if she tastes the same all over. You forgot to kiss her at first because you were so nervous and so clumsy in your eagerness.’
He moved until his mouth was a fraction from hers. ‘So you taste her mouth.’
Tess arched against him as their lips met. He squashed her breasts into his chest, squeezed the nipple he was still fondling tight between his fingers, which should have hurt, but strangely only made the deep ache inside better, and worse. His tongue was talking now, showing her how he would go about exploring her taste, sweeping over hers, teasing the inside of her cheeks, withdrawing to stroke along her lips. He nibbled at them until she began to shift under him, restless, aching, and he lifted his head.
‘You discover that her mouth tastes different from her skin. Delicious, uniquely her, but different. So you want to taste more and you go adventuring.’ He slid down, pausing to lick across her breasts in great, wet, sweeping strokes of his tongue that made her want to giggle and moan all at once. Then down to her belly. His tongue traced her hip bones, her bony hip bones, she thought in despair. It tickled impertinently into her navel, which did make her giggle.