THE ACCIDENTAL BRIDE
Please be aware that this excerpt contains sensual content that is only suitable
for adult readers who are comfortable with frank language and descriptions of
Now living together, Lizzie and John enjoy a state of blissfully uncomplicated pleasure, and an increasingly tumultuous sex life in their luxurious new home. Physically they're a perfect, loving match...
But John is still a man of emotional secrets, and when an old flame from the past turns up unannounced, his and Lizzie's relationship is suddenly thrown into question... even though he's asked her to marry him and join his aristocratic family.
Despite his proposal, Lizzie still finds it difficult to tell exactly where John's heart really lies and whether he's able to abandon the past and start anew. In the craziest of circumstances, she accidentally fell in love with him... but will it be just as easy to accidentally lose him?
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The garden was mysterious after dark. The air heavy with the scents of pine, lemon and night blooming flowers. Lizzie had never visited this part of France before, and had never stayed in a villa. Everything was new to her, latent with promise, thrilling to the senses.
Where was he, this man of hers whom she lived with? He was as mysterious in his own way as the garden and its ambiance, yet closer to her, and more intimate with her, than any human being who’d ever lived.
The path amongst the trees was uneven and not lit, although she could see a lantern ahead. Glad of her flat sandals, she picked her way along it, nervous. He’d promised her a treat, but knowing the perversity of her lover’s imagination sometimes, well, that could mean just about anything. Something to long for, or something to fear. Well, a little.
The night breeze was warm and balmy, riffling through the branches and making the leaves dance, but she shivered in her thin, loose-fitting cotton dress. It wasn’t her usual style, and she wasn’t wearing underwear, but that was what he’d suggested – specified – so she’d complied. It was like being more than naked, lightly clad like this, and somehow the spirit of the garden was mischievous, and had searching hands and probing fingers that sometimes brushed against her body beneath her thin dress. She would have paused on the path, to touch herself, but she knew he was waiting for her ahead, her beautiful man.
Speeding up, she strode down the path. So what if she tripped; she just had to be with him. And there was nobody to see her tumble except the flitting night insects, and whatever scary snakes or frogs lurked in the undergrowth. Another reason to get a move on and reach him!
Ahead, now, the lamp flickered. Yellow light that seemed to dance. Intrigued, she hurried on, and after a moment, emerged into a little clearing. What was it about them and clearings, in woods? It’d brought the very devil out in them in the past, and she sincerely hoped it would do the same tonight.
It’d certainly created a demon out of her lover. She scudded to a halt, breath knocked out of her by the sight of him, so magnificent.
The glorious man she lived with was sitting at a long, rustic table set in front of a little summerhouse-like structure. Like a Lord of Darkness or the monarch of the night, he lounged in a high-backed wooden seat that fit his lithe body like a throne. It was turned to one side, and he’d stretched out his long legs before him; his pose was relaxed. Despite her awe of him, she had to bite her lower lip to stop herself grinning at the sight of his strong, gorgeous thighs, and his knees, and his calves.
He was wearing black denim jeans and low black canvas boots. Not exactly the leather trousers and riding boots she’d once described to him from one of her mad fantasies, not long after they’d met. But a good approximation, all the same. The giggles threatened as she imagined him really wearing ‘leather strides’, as he’d call them. He’d look fabulous in leather, of course, but it was such a 1980s rock god dominant master type cliché.
‘What’s so funny?’ he said as she drew near, then halted at respectful distance.
Ack, he’d seen it. Seen her fighting not to laugh. She was for it now. His brilliant blue eyes were dazzlingly fierce behind the black silk domino mask he wore. Another ‘prop’ straight out of her fantasy, pure drama, and all the more so against the gold of his curling blond hair.
‘You may speak,’ he said, his voice soft and husky, and musical with an amusement that matched her own.
This was going to be fun; even if it would hurt a bit too. There was a broad strip of black leather draped across the table, in the pool of light created by the old-fashioned oil lantern. Beside it lay a thinner, much more dainty strip, this one with a buckle. Alongside these sat a small, carved wooden box and a black silk mask much like the one he was wearing.
‘Nothing is funny, master,’ she said, eyes lowered, even though it gouged her not to be able to look at him, at his dear, handsome face, ‘I’m just a little bit nervous, master. Sometimes I laugh when I’m on edge…’
‘On edge, are we?’ Stirring in his seat, he reached for the big strip of leather and toyed with it for a moment, as if demonstrating to her how fearsome it was. When he let it drop, he laid his long, elegant hand across his chest, as if he were demonstrating, or exhibiting that to her too. He was naked from the waist up, and his smooth skin gleamed lightly gold, having already caught a little bit of a tan from their sojourn here. The soft peppering of his sandy body hair made her fingers tingle, wanting to touch it, to tug it, or perhaps to fondle and pinch his nipples in the way he liked so much, and which sometimes made him growl and throw her on her back to ravish her.
‘Well, I certainly am. I don’t know about you.’
Uh oh! She’d done it again. As she always did. Acknowledging herself as possibly the world’s most useless submissive, she stared down at her sandal-clad toes again, trying to get back into her role. The way he hissed slightly, through his teeth, told her of his amusement, and his fond despair of her ever getting it right.
You wouldn’t want me to, even if I could, though, would you?
He liked her the way she was, lack of discipline and adherence to the niceties notwithstanding.
‘That’ll cost you, slave.’
I thought it might.
She didn’t speak though. She was getting to the stage now where it was difficult. It was hard to frame words, and stay in a role, when you were being turned inside out by rampaging lust. He was the most gorgeous man on the face of the earth to her, and possibly might be to the majority of other women who set their lucky eyes on him. It was still hard to believe he was hers, this gilded god, or as near as dammit. He’d chosen to be with her. She had no way of knowing whether that choice would last forever, but now was not the moment to debate the unknowable future.
All she did know was that he was honouring her fantasy. This wasn’t the dungeon she’d told him about, all those weeks ago, on the phone. But like the jeans, it was near enough.
‘Move a little closer.’
She shuffled forward across the brushed flagstones, still fighting the irresistible temptation to just ogle him. Closer, she could smell another delicious odour in the night-blend. His distinctive cologne; spicy, fresh, yet fruity. A bit like him. Nearer, if she were allowed to look, she’d see the distinctiveness of his beauty too. His elegant, sculpted face, his sensuous mouth, and the faint lines around his eyes, just visible behind the mask, the weathering that made him far more handsome than a younger man would have been. He had the bearing of a mature man, and an aristocrat. Which was just exactly what he was, even though he was wont to dismiss the latter as meaningless.
Attempting to stand statue-still, she shook, overcome anew by him as she always was.
‘Don’t be afraid, slave.’ There was a smile in his voice, familiar to her, and beloved. ‘I won’t hurt you.’ He paused again, and the faint creak of old wood told her that he was adjusting his position in the throne-like chair. Was he aroused? Oh, silly question… Was the sky above the trees midnight blue? ‘Well, I won’t hurt you any more than you want me to.’
© 2013 Portia Da Costa and Black Lace Books
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Lizzie and John's love story began in THE ACCIDENTAL CALL GIRL and THE ACCIDENTAL MISTRESS.