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WHAT A WICKED EARL WANTS
by Vicky Dreiling

Genre: Regency Period, England, Historical Romance

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He pulled on the fingertips first to loosen the glove. Then he reached for her upper arm and encountered silky smooth skin. As he slowly rolled the long glove down her slender arm, he imagined doing the same with a stocking and kissing the soft flesh he revealed.

Her breathing was a bit faster now and so was his. He pulled on the fingers of the other kid glove to loosen it. Then he began to roll it inch by inch down her arm. As he removed the glove, he met her gaze and almost staggered at the sultry expression in her green eyes. He stood there, powerless to move. The tension was palpable and her rose scent was like a potion swirling inside him with every breath. But he could not just stand here forever. So he cupped her elbow and led her to the billiards table and handed her the cue stick.

“It’s heavier than I expected,” she said.

He stood behind her. “Put your right foot forward and your left one back.”

She followed his instructions. “Now what?” she said, her voice a bit breathless.

“Lay the cue stick atop your hand between your thumb and forefinger.”

“This is a bit awkward,” she said.

“You’ll grow accustomed,” he said. “Now, grip the end of the stick, and slide it back and forth over your hand.”

She tried and fumbled with the stick.

He drew closer and put his hand over hers. His breath stirred the curl by her ear. “The stick is a bit long for you, but I’m sure you can accommodate it. Relax and keep a steady back-and-forth rhythm.” Lord, he was getting hot just thinking of what he was describing.

“Like this?” she said, her voice a bit husky.

“Excellent,” he said. “See the blue ball?”

“Yes,” she said in a whisper. “I doubt I can hit it hard enough.”

“I’ll show you.” Then he wrapped his hand over hers at the butt of the stick and helped her slide it fluidly over her hand. “On the count of three,” he said.

A little huff of laughter escaped her. “Concentrate,” he said near her ear.

“Yes,” she said softly.

“One,” he whispered.

She inhaled on a ragged breath.

“Two.” His groin tightened again.

“Three.” He thrust the stick forward. The cue ball smacked the blue one, sending it spinning into the pocket.

He propped the cue stick against the table. “Well done.”

She gazed at him over her shoulder. “You made the shot.” Her mouth was so close, and he wanted her too much to hold back. When their lips met, he turned her in his arms and pulled her up on her toes. He leaned over her, supporting her back with his hands. As she wrapped her arms around his neck, he captured her lips, and she opened for his tongue. She made a soft feminine sound, and all he could think about was eliciting far more from her.