She’d never had a proper beau….
On the streets she’d not been permitted to have one and now every man who tried a little careless flirtation ran for the hills when he learned of her prison record.
Several minutes passed before he spoke again. “May I ask you a question?”
Sharyn put down her fork. “What is it?”
“With all your responsibilities at the school, why did you decide to open an orphanage as well?”
“It’s not really an orphanage,” Sharyn told him. “I simply took in a family of four children who had no one else to care for them.” She paused and added, “You of course know how I found Lacy.”
He ate for another moment before asking, “No other reason than to help children?”
Sharyn tossed caution to the wind. “I know what it is like to grow up in an orphanage, Detective. You can be just as cold and hungry and alone there as on the streets. I wouldn’t send my worst enemy to one of those places, let alone a child.”
He regarded her over the rim of his cup. “I didn’t know you spent time in an orphanage,” he said quietly.
“Was that not in your dossier on me?”
“No. Somehow that was omitted. I apologize if I seemed less than sympathetic in my questions about your motives.”
To her surprise, all traces of sly sarcasm had vanished from his voice. His grave expression did not mar his good looks, but rather gave them depth. Something like empathy shone in his dark eyes, and in spite of a stern command to the contrary, her heart lurched again into a curious rapid rhythm.
Lessons in Love
His smile became a new deadly sin. “Waiting for delights and then savoring them only makes experiencing them more powerful.”
He spun her around, and Deborah’s skin tingled as he worked the buttons free, his fingers’ heat radiating through her undergarments to her skin as her dress opened.
“I’ve often thought,” he murmured, nuzzling her ear, “that undressing for bed is one of the nicest things there is.”
“Really?” Deborah gasped.
“Mmmm-hmmm.” His mouth moved to sweep in a gentle stroke across the back of her neck. He reached the last button and peeled the dress from her body. It fell at her feet in a billowing heap, and she stepped out of it, kicking it aside. The unlacing of her corset was a study in torture. Finally when the corset had joined the dress, he turned her around again. The same wicked smile covered his face, and his gaze roamed over her remaining garments.
“What next?” he mused, while stroking his chin. “Shoes, I think. Mine first though.”
He yanked them off along with his socks before removing hers and casting them aside. “Stockings,” he breathed. “Oh, yes. Stockings.”
He knelt and buried his face at her waist, while sliding one hand between her legs, resting at the opening of her drawers.
Deborah whimpered as his fingers found and played with the sensitive spot, while with exquisite care, he rolled the stockings down her legs and to her feet. Those too he discarded while his other hand continued its maddening attention until she was ready to scream.
“Stand up,” she panted, pulling him to his feet.
“Yes ma’am.” His fingers found her hairpins and scattered them on the carpet. Her hair tumbled past her shoulders. “Like silk,” he murmured, lifting a long strand to his lips. “Soft and strong and sweet.”
He kissed her again, harder this time, plundering the depths of her mouth as if earlier kisses had left him unsatisfied. Deborah’s tongue met his while their hands made short work of their remaining clothes until they stood, skin to skin, and heart to heart.
“Sweet Heaven,” he whispered, his gaze taking in every inch of her. “Da Vinci had his Mona Lisa, Bottecelli had his Venus, and I have you.”