With him.

No other man could unlock her. She said she felt nothing when he was gone. She felt alive when he was near. Warm and soft, wet and willing. Eager to be touched.

“That was”—she gave a soft, breathy sigh—“wonderful.”

He rubbed his face against her breast and laughed, his heart filled with joy. He, too, felt reawakened after being dormant too long. She had pursued him, needing his desire to set free her own.

“Your whiskers burn,” she complained, pushing at his head.

The image in his mind of such an obvious sexual mark on her made his cock throb in frustrated protest at its deprivation.

But the fantasy he had nurtured over the years was not of his own gratification. He wanted hers, needed it. Before the night was over he would bind her to him with pleasure, enslave her with desire, teach her all the many facets of sexual culmination. Her love was the ultimate prize, but her lust was vital, too.

“Can I burn you in other places?” he asked, lifting his head.

Her tongue darted out to wet her lower lip. Colin took over the task, licking across the plump curve with the very tip of his tongue. It was an enticement, an intimation, a hint.

From the way her breath caught, she comprehended his intent. “You jest.”

“Never. I want to taste you, Amelia. On the outside and on the inside.”

He could almost hear her brain working. Considering.

“I find it easier to conceive of my tasting you in that fashion,” she said slowly, “more so than I can the reverse.”

His arms shook at the thought, and he rolled to his back to avoid collapsing atop her.

“You would like that,” she mused aloud, noting his reaction. “Does a woman’s mouth feel so different from her quim?”

“I love that you are inquisitive. I pray you will always be.”

“One day I should like to teach you something.”

“Siren. You already have me bewitched. Must you reduce me further?”

Her hand brushed lightly across the ridges of his abdomen and circled his upthrust cock. He exhaled harshly as she sat up and turned to face him. Reaching out, he caught her shoulder and stayed her. Despite her inability to see, she turned her head toward him. Her free hand reached for the fichu.

“Not yet,” he said.

“I am ready now.”

“I am not.”

She seemed prepared to protest, then changed her mind. Instead, she stroked gently up the length of his shaft. He grit his teeth and fisted the counterpane.

“I want to do to you,” she murmured, “what you did to me.”

“You know men are less fastidious than women when we reach orgasm.”

“But the sensation is the same, is it not?”

He smiled. “I would imagine so.”

Amelia sat up and tucked her legs beneath her. With two hands, she fondled him, squeezing and caressing. The sensation originated at his cock, burned up his spine, and seared his heart. There was reverence in her touch. Awe.

The edge of a nail traced the line of a vein, and he groaned, a low, pained sound.

“Tell me what you like,” she breathed. “Tell me how to please you best.”

“You already please me best.” Colin caressed the elegant curve of her spine.

“Then tell me how to please you better.”

“If you did that, I would spend in your hands.”

“Or my mouth?” Her head tilted to one side in question.

“Not tonight,” he choked out. His bollocks drew up, and he pulled them down with a quick tug.

She felt blindly until she comprehended what he had done. “Why did you do that?” Her cool fingers touched his balls, rolling them gently, then tugging them.

Unlike when he had performed the task himself, Amelia’s ministrations had the opposite result. Colin felt as if his testicles were attempting to crawl up inside his body. He pushed her hand away. “Bloody hell, do not do that!”

“That was amazing,” she said, with that awed tone that drove him to madness.

Pushed to the edge of reason, Colin rolled over her and settled between her thighs. The makeshift blindfold twisted with his movements, but he caught it quickly and pulled it into place.

“You feel so good.” Amelia’s small hands moved across his shoulders. “You are so big and hard . . . everywhere.”

He heard anxiety in her voice and sought to alleviate it. “I will please you,” he promised, supporting his weight on one forearm and reaching low to massage the tender flesh of her cunt with the heel of his other palm. She moaned and rolled her hips into the pressure. “What you felt before is nothing to how it will feel when I am inside you.”

Her slender arms wrapped around his neck and pulled him near. “I want that. I want that with you.”

“Yes.” He licked along the shell of her ear, making her shiver. “You are a sensual woman. It’s there in the way you move, the way you look at me, the way you are built.”

“I am too slender,” she said in a quiet voice.

“You are perfect. Some women are fashioned to suit all men. You were crafted for me alone. My blood runs hot, my passions high; therefore you were made for endurance. Your limbs graceful, but lithe. Your curves lush, but not limiting.”

He pushed a finger inside her, testing her soreness. Her answering moan of welcome was all the encouragement he needed. Fisting his straining cock, he positioned the thick head at the tiny slitted entrance to her body. Cum was dribbling from the tip, the shaft too eager and determined to lubricate his way. It wasn’t necessary. Amelia was so wet and hot. With the veriest roll of his hips, the fat crown slipped inside her.

“Oh, God . . . !” she breathed, her mouth opening on gasping breaths.

Colin’s entire body strained with the pleasure of her grip. The scalding heat inside her swept upward from his cock and over his skin. Sweat misted, then pooled in the small of his back as his back bowed with the effort he maintained to keep his entry slow. She would need time to adjust to his size and the novel intrusion of a man’s body into hers.

Amelia’s hands caught his hips, and her hips began a tiny rolling motion that nearly unmanned him.

“Bloody hell!” he gasped, jolting as his seed spurted out in a desperate bid to relieve the torturous pressure in his bollocks.

“I need you deeper,” she begged, and he was so grateful for her that he took her mouth in a lush, frantic kiss. Her lips closed around his tongue, sucking it with such fervor his cock swelled in jealousy.

Using his weight, Colin pinned her to the bed, sinking another inch inside her, his hands cupping her face and gentling her ardor.

“Amelia . . .” He groaned and nuzzled his sweat-slick cheek against hers. “You are making it impossible for me to initiate you as you deserve.”

“I ache inside,” she cried, holding him so tightly. “And you are not there yet.”

“You are tiny and untried, and I am thick and hard. If I go too quickly, it will bring you pain now and soreness later.”

“You are too big . . .”

“No, damn it all!” He did not want to be surly, but her hungry cunt was tugging on the head of his cock, goading his primitive instincts to take over and leave the gentlemanly ones behind.

“Then let me watch. Perhaps if I can see, I would be less anxious. This moment is too intense without my sight. Every noise, every touch is magnified.”

Colin went rigid. Now was not the time, and yet he could not bear for any part of this night to distress her. He was in heaven. He wanted nothing more than for her to be also. “I am afraid of what will happen if you see me now. If you turned me away, I do not think I would survive it.”

Her lower lip quivered. Then she asked, “Do you have one of your masks with you?”

“You ask me to withdraw?” He stared down at her with wide eyes. “Are you insane? I am inside you.”

“Not all the way,” she argued. “Not as I need you to be.” Her voice took on the pleading, cajoling note that he had never been able to resist.

She would kill him, he realized with an odd mixture of pride and wryness. She would never be passive in the bedroom, just as she had never been passive out of it. He half feared the day when she’d be fully awakened sexually. How would he survive the full assault of her feminine wiles? He wasn’t yet buried to the hilt and he felt like he was dying.

“It excites me,” she whispered, releasing the stunning statement with panting breaths. “The sight of you in the mask.” Her fingers came up and traced the shape of his lips. “You have such a wicked mouth. I have dreamt of it. Longed for it to move across my skin and whisper hot words of wanting.”

Shuddering with desire, Colin pushed restlessly into her streaming cunt. She was melting around his cock. Her nipples were hard against his chest, her stomach was quivering against his.

“It would please me to watch you. Do not deny me.” Her hands cupped his buttocks and tugged, pulling him fractionally deeper.

She became tighter the deeper he went, her virgin tissues resisting the remolding of her body to fit his.

“Please . . .” she breathed with such heartrending yearning. “Do not leave me in the darkness at this moment in my life.”

Cursing, Colin wrenched himself free, his body shaking with its need. He rolled from the bed and stalked on nerveless legs to the armoire where his valise waited. Reaching inside it, he withdrew the mask, which he had kept as a tangible reminder of the stolen moments he had shared with Amelia.

He stared down at the gleaming white item in his hands with a building resentment for its purpose—that of keeping Colin Mitchell away from the woman he loved.

How he wished he would have seen where this deception would lead when he first purchased the mask! One look at Amelia—a sip of water for a man dying of thirst—was all he had expected the ruse to provide.

“Hurry,” she urged in the throaty voice of a consummate seductress. The feminine allure so practiced and studied in other women was simply innate to her.

Colin lifted the half mask to his face and tied the black satin ribbons that would hold it in place, then retied the ribbon that restrained his queue. Turning his head, he looked at her and knew he would not leave this room as the same man who had entered it.

She reclined against the piled pillows, her legs and arms crossed modestly, the blindfold gone. In her verdant gaze he saw lust, longing, and appreciation of such magnitude that he could scarcely breathe.

Pivoting on his heel, he faced her directly, affording her a clear view of his raging cock and taut musculature. He watched her swallow hard and understood how intimidating the sight of him must be. She was a tall woman, but he was still much taller. He was more than twice her size, his body hardened by both his common lineage and frequent physical activity.

And he was in full rut. Thick veins pulsed with his raging blood, and he fisted the shaft to ease the pain of it.

“Does the sight of me this way arouse you,” he asked, “or frighten you?”

Amelia licked her lips. “I am not frightened,” she whispered. “I am nervous and perhaps apprehensive, but I do not fear you.”

“You are a strong woman,” he praised, striding swiftly toward her.

Without preliminaries, he kneeled on the bed and climbed over her, tugging her arm out of the way so he could claim a nipple with his mouth. He attended the stiff peak with hard, rhythmic suction, urging her silently to make some sound of her delight.

Her hands cupped the back of his head and held him to her breast. “Come inside me,” she whispered. “I hate this feeling of uncertainty and ignorance.”

Sitting back on his heels, Colin pulled her legs over either side of his own, spreading her thighs wide to expose her cunt to his gaze. With the angle of the pillows and her semi-reclined position, she had a clear view. Before she could register the size of her tiny pink slit compared to the girth and length of his cock, he was in her, pushing the thick head into the tender opening.

She whimpered and dug her nails into his thighs.

Holding her hips, he took her, rocking gently but relentlessly deeper and deeper. His gaze moved between the place of their joining and her beautiful face.

With his back shadowing her from the rapidly dwindling glow of the fading fire, he could not discern color, but he saw the telltale shimmer of sweat on her brow, and her eyes glistened with a sheen of tears.

“Am I hurting you?” he gasped, his fingers bruising her as she responded to his voice by rippling along the buried length of his cock. She was so damn tight and hot, it felt as if he were fucking into a tightly closed fist.

“No . . .” Her voice was thready and faraway sounding.

Colin lifted one of her hands from his skin and set it over her distended clitoris. “Stroke yourself,” he instructed.

To his utter delight she obliged without embarrassment, her long, slender fingers circling the slick flesh with only slight hesitation.

Her lovely cunt responded as he had known it would, clenching and grasping at him with renewed fervor. With every suck, he pushed deeper, groaning with the ecstasy of it, gulping in desperate breaths of air filled with the scents of sex and honeysuckle.

She began to writhe and mewl in a show of such wanton craving, he would wonder later how he managed to work inside her completely without coming at the midway point. Finally, with a last desperate lunge, he hit the end of her, the sensation of being balls-deep inside her enough to make his eyes tear.

Amelia cried out as Montoya’s hot, heavy length finally struck deep. A flare of torturous relief spread outward from the aching spot inside her that begged to be rubbed, and then coiled tight again.

When he held still, she struggled, circling her hips, grinding against the root of his shaft. The growl that left him was more animal than human, and her body shivered in response, spurred to greater lust by the sound.

He held her still with powerful hands, his gaze burning from within the eyeholes of the mask. His beautiful mouth was hard, his jaw taut.