The truth is that I cant live without you. Those were the words I wanted to say as I looked up into his face but I couldn't bring myself to say them, to relinquish the little control I still had over the situation that I’ve found myself in. I may love him more than anything in the world but I cannot say it to him for fear that he does not feel the same way or that he will use it to control me. Instead I simply smiled and drew myself further into his arms and softly kissed his lips, trying to show him how I felt without having to say the words. Pretty soon the chaste kiss had turned into something more - a searing heat that started from my lips and worked its way down my body to pool in my lower stomach. Eventually he draws back from me with a shuddering gasp trying to pull himself together. The look he gives me as he holds me in his arms says that just maybe he knows the truth about how I feel about him but underneath sadness that I cannot trust him enough to say it.
“We can’t its not proper.” His breath feels so warm against my throat as he leans down to whisper in my ear. “What would the ton think of out prolonged absence?”
“I don't care. Its our engagement party.” It was intended to be a determined protest but as his lips skate over my throat my voice grows weak and my knees start to buckle. “I want you so bad Jules I don't care what society says is proper, take me here now.”
“Ma petite ma petite, if you think I will take you for your first time ever here in a parlour at a ball containing all of societies gossip mongers you have another thing coming.” His lips brush lower as he speaks brushing the top of my collarbone as his hands rise to cup my breasts, full and tight under my silk dress. My breath starts to come in gasps as desire pools deep within me causing my skin to burn with an invisible fire. “Besides the wedding is only a week away.” His voice contains a tantalizing promise that makes the muscles in my lower abdomen clench tight.
His words are saying one thing but his actions speak another more sensual thing, until I’m confused and don't know what he means or wants to do. I decide to just go with his actions and not think too clearly about anything other then the feel of his hands on my body and his lips skimming my skin. The feelings are so intense that no words are needed. After a few minutes of his exquisite torture he leans his face back up and kisses my lips gently with a tenderness that says just maybe he loves me too. Yet neither one of us can bring ourselves to put forth our feelings to bridge the final gap between us and say I love you.
“Jules,” I begin tentatively. “when weir married will it still be like this between us?” or will you change I wanted to add but kept it to myself. Nether less he seemed to hear the unspoken question in my eyes. He raises his hands to gently clasp my face and stares deep into my eyes. He just looks into my eyes for a moment seeming to read into my vey soul in the one long searching look.
He eventually smiles at me and pulls me closer for a gentle kiss. “There is something I need to tell you Annabell. I know I led you to believe that this marriage is purely for financial reasons, to combine our excessive wealth but……” He seems to pause on the but as if unsure on how to say what he is thinking. I lean my face better to look into his eyes and what I see there warms me to my toes.
Could he be possibly thinking what I think he’s thinking? I know that I have loved him since I was thirteen; the day he proposed was the day that all my dreams came true. Even though I thought that he didn't love me like I loved him I would still get to be his forever. But could it be true that he loves me back?
“Annabell I love you.” I feel my heart stop at his words and my hand flies up to my mouth to disguise my shock and the smile of joy that lights up my face. “I have loved you ever since I first laid eyes on you at your thirteen birthday that's why I proposed marriage to your father because you are the only woman I have ever wanted.”
“Oh Jules you don't know how very long I have waited for you to say those words.” I throw my arms about him in a hug pulling my face into his neck so that I could breath in the scent of him-warm slightly musky with a sprig of cinnamon. “I have loved you ever since I first saw you that day as well.”
At my words he draws my face up to his and kisses me deeply lingeringly seeming to savour the feel of my lips against his lips. His hands running up and down my body sending shivers of pleasure running through me our kiss turned into something more a promise of what was to come in a weeks time. I pull back from the kiss to smile at that thought. He smiles back and holds onto my hand leading me out of the parlour back to our engagement gala. “Come we should get back before anyone misses us.”
I pause just inside the room surveying the crowd of gaily dressed people here to celebrate us, our love and I look up at him and smile. “I love you.”
“And I love you my ma petite.” Then together we walk into the room our hearts free of the heaviness and fear that had filled them earlier, safe in our knowledge of our love for each other