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"Let me undress you." He murmured the words against the now damp material of her shift. "Sit down."
He guided her to one of the settees and knelt at her feet, slipping off her boots one at a time, and slowly sliding his hands upward, under the hem of her riding skirt and shift, so he could remove her stockings. His fingertips brushed smooth enticing skin and he took his time, knowing she watched the progress of his hands.
"Shall I take off the rest?" Still kneeling, he looked at her, holding her gaze. "I want to see all of you, Tori."
"I..." she faltered.
He tensed. If at any time she objected, spell or no spell, he would stop. Persuading her to make love with him by fair means or foul was one thing, forcing her was absolutely something else altogether. "Yes?"
"I want you to," she admitted ingenuously. "Don't ask me why because it's utterly shameless, but--"
"It isn't shameless," he interrupted, pulling her back to her feet to turn her and unfasten her skirt. "It's meant to be."
Her skirt slid to the floor and he admired the graceful curve of her back, and her long legs. David lifted her hair and kissed her nape, inhaling her sweet fragrance. She shivered as his hands came around to caress her breasts. "David."
"I never imagined ... this." There was shock in her voice.
He had. One thousand--no, more--sleepless nights. Not to mention the restless afternoons, the early empty mornings, the litany went on and on. How long had he been in love with her? Probably since the day they met. Even as a young child he remembered being fascinated by her angelic beauty and her spirited, lively temperament. "I've imagined it enough for the bothof us," he admitted quietly, his body screaming for him to get her out of her chemise. "Lift your arms."
God help him, she did. Slowly, in a graceful motion, she elevated them over her head and he lifted the hem of her shift and pulled it off. Then he took her shoulders and gently turned her back around to face him.
At that moment, he might just have stopped breathing.
Eyes downcast, gloriously nude in the slanting sunlight coming in the long windows, her long lustrous hair tumbled down her back and brushed her hips. She was every masculine fantasy he'd ever had, worth every tortured moment when he imagined her someday marrying someone else. "You are so very beautiful, Tori."
The emotion in his voice made her look up finally despite the evidence of her embarrassment in her pink cheeks. Those glorious blue eyes held a hint of reproof. "I never knew you thought of me in that way, David."
She had every right to wonder why he hadn't courted her like an ordinary gentleman would have, sending flowers and the sappy poems he'd written, paying social calls, but aside from the fact he wasn't an ordinary gentleman in the least, he really wasn't interested in discussion at the moment. He tugged his cravat free and his shirt came off in record time. He gave both a toss and sat down to take off his boots, his admiring gaze skimming her body. Those glorious full breasts were tipped with delicious rosy nipples, her waist slim, the downy triangle at the apex of her thighs a dark gold.
"Believe me, I think of you as a woman, Tori. You're about to see proof of that." His fingers went to the fastenings on his breeches.