... The tension between them ballooned outward as she stalked past him to the lavatory and slammed the door behind her.
And it hadn't even been hard to do. He might be fuming, but he would come running, she was sure of it, as she touched her throbbing lips and peered at herself once again in the mirror.
She had come close, so close to just melting in his armsand if she had done that, where would she be now but at his mercy?
No, it was meant to be the other way around, she thought, as she unfastened the pin and removed the shawl.
Already her pulsating body urged her on; there wasn't a pause between memory of his kisses and the desire to yield everything to him, and only him.
She was beguiled by the wonder of it as she untied the black velvet skirt and unbuttoned her shirtwaist and let them slip to the floor.
She had prepared well for this eventuality. All night long her naked limbs had been caressed by the supple lining of the velvet skirt; all night long her gartered black silk stockings had hugged her thighs in a sensuous contrast of which only she was awarethat of being simultaneously dressed and undressed. She wore nothing else underneath but the black sateen corset that was trimmed with lace and silk.
And what if Culhane walked in the door this very moment?
Her body seized with that heady uncontrollable feeling of pleasure, and she raised her arms to lift her hair off of her neck. Her body arched forward, almost as if she were offering herself.
Yes, that was just right: she would offer and let him take ...
... let him come ...
She wanted to envelope his mind with the sense of her; she wanted to will him into that little room with all the power of her femininity. She wanted...
... let him come ...
She concentrated that desire directly at him, until the waiting, the excitement pulsed to an unbearable pitch.
And thenlet him COME ...
"Dammitaren't you done yet?"
He pounded on the door once, just once, and it opened almost as if he had breached it by pure strength and fury.
And she was there, molded by the low light and the minuscule space, her back to him, bent over, her naked bottom shimmying with effort to retrieve something.
And then she realized he was there and she sent him an insolent look over her shoulder, braced her hands on her thighs and just waited as if she knew he could not resist the temptation of her nakedness.
As if she were waiting to feel the hot clasp of his hand against her cushiony bottom; as if she were inviting him to slide his hand in that sweet crease between her buttocks.
She knew he would not refuse such a blatant invitation. She looked away as he moved toward her, so that she could experience the sheer shock of pleasure feeling his hand cup her buttocks, and slide all over them, feeling their rounded contour; and then the agonizing wait for him to work his hand between her legs to that tingling pleasure point.
Oh, and then something different, something incredibly powerful and voluptuous, his fingers pushing inward and inward, so gorgeously unexpected and erotic that she arched herself and thrust against them.
How many fingers? Two, threeyesmore, more ... she felt him grasp her hair and pull her head back to meet his kiss.
"Who wants ... who?" he whispered fiercely against her lips before covering them with wild biting kisses that sent her bucking against him, and he knew it was not only she who wanted.
He wanted, he needed, he felt the mesmerizing glimmer of something beyond his pure male possession of her, and it was good, it was good.
He held her nakedness in his hand and her tongue in his mouth and she undulated frantically against the inescapable push of his fingers in that secret wet place between her legs, and he wanted to drive that pleasure deep within her forever.
And she wanted him deeper and deeper, and harder against that shimmering pleasure point; she loved the feel of him there, thick and unrelenting and she desperately wanted to escape whatever it was that was coming.
She couldn't bear it, she couldn't ... one more step, higher and higher, one more ... she thrust against him wildly, seeking the far pleasure that was an instant beyond her grasp, an instant ... building, building, shimmering with promise, breaking suddenly and without warning, she wasn't expecting itand there it was, peaking and breaking, and she stepped off the peak and fell into a luminous, shattering, bone-melting ecstasy...
Beyond Desire (reissue)