A/N: This one is too long to be a snippet and continues from the previous extra during Chapter 30 from Along Came a Spider 2. I couldn’t resist wanting to hear Senior’s naughty bedtime story. My thanks to Midnight Cougar for looking these over. xx
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The lights are dim in her room, and she’s standing at the end of the bed facing away from me when I close the door. I barely hear the sound of the metal latch engaging over my unsteady breaths, as I lean against the door in my self-imposed exile.
The sound and confirmation of my arrival cause her to turn her head slightly, as her hands move to the hem of her shirt, pulling it over her head in one smooth motion. Once it drops to the floor, she returns her hands to her hips. My eyes are glued to her thumbs as they hook under the waistband before she eases the material past her hips, stepping out of them. Glancing at me over her shoulder, she’s completely nude, and it feels as if my heart could beat out of my chest at the incredible sight of her body.
This must be what a heart attack feels like. Or a stroke.
Swallowing with great difficulty, I watch as Victoria walks around the bed, pulls back the covers, then slips between the sheets. Once she settles near the middle, she pats on the open space in invitation next to her.
“I’m ready. Time for my story?” she asks hopefully.
I close my eyes for a moment, attempting to gather myself, since like the fool I am, I promised to tell her a bedtime story. After her provocative unveiling, I’m not sure I can move away from the door, let alone form words into sentences.
After attempting two deep breaths, the second steadier than the first, I open my eyes at the welcoming sight before me. Why is this such a struggle? I’ve been around beautiful women my entire life, married three of them, yet . . .
Because it’s her, you idiot.
She’s not my type, but I’ve been so intrigued since our introduction that I can’t get her out of my mind or the image she just gifted me on a silver platter. I didn’t see everything, but it was more than enough to know I should be excusing myself from the room and her life.
But I don’t. I gather enough strength to push off the door, moving toward the bed.
“Right.” I nod. “A story you want, a story you’ll get.”
Her eyes light up. Watching me closely, she runs her hand over the sheet, grazing my leg, as I settle into the spot beside her on top of the covers.
After clearing my throat, I ask, “Do you always sleep . . .?”
“Nude?” she finishes with a wiggle of her eyebrows. “No, but I’m hoping the whole 4-D experience comes with your storytelling.”
I don’t miss her emphasis on one of those words, suspecting where she’s going with this.
“4-D? What do you mean?”
“It’s when you go to a place like a movie theater and you experience things that are happening on the screen. For example, in a winter scene, the room is suddenly cold with snowflakes falling. They’re usually made from soap. Or someone is near the ocean and a wave hits, then a fine mist of water sprays the audience. And you promised me a naughty story. So . . .”
That’s what I thought she meant.
“I see. Well, let’s try to manage your expectations, shall we? Ready?”
“I’m so ready for this.” She grins, turns on her side to look up at me, then snuggles against me, sliding her hand to rest on my chest.
I cover my hand over hers, hoping to prevent it from roaming, and release another deep breath.
“Once upon a time, in a land far away,” I start, trusting this standard fairy-tale beginning will buy me a little more time since I’m creating this story on the spot.
“Why can’t it be nearby?”
“Whose narrative is this?” I tease, then begin again. “Once upon a time, in a land nearby, a beautiful young woman traveled across the countryside to the edge of the sea in anticipation of an adventure into a new world.”
She smiles. “Sounds fun.”
“Her King was a handsome devil.” I wiggle my eyebrows, enjoying the play on my surname.
It’s a stroke of brilliance. Maybe I can do this after all.
“I bet he was.” She giggles, and it’s an addictive sound that makes my heart soar. “What did he look like?”
Her prompting makes this a little easier.
“In his youth, he had a boy-next-kingdom quality.” More of her giggles spur me on. “As the years passed, his once boyish features matured into a man with rugged good looks. Strands of gray were now sprinkled throughout his dark black hair. His crystal blue eyes were no longer filled with naivety, but tarnished with loss and tragedy.”
She nods. “And her?”
My eyes travel over her beautiful face, noting each feature. “With a fair complexion, her skin was speckled with freckles everywhere the sun reached. While her red hair flickered like fire in the wind, her blue eyes sparkled with promise in the same way he watched the ocean at sunset. She affected the most unsuspecting of men and was kind to all with an intelligence far superior to others.”
Victoria arches a challenging eyebrow. “Sounds unusually familiar. She could be a Disney princess. I thought this was supposed to be naughty.”
“We’re getting there,” I promise. “She kept her body carefully concealed by layers of tattered clothing from years of working on her family’s lands. It was perfect—curved like the river that snaked through his kingdom. In private moments before bed and upon waking in the mornings, her hands explored her ample bosom, teasing those delicate pink peaks until other areas ached with need.”
“You’re good at this.” Her voice is softer and a bit rough. Shifting against my side briefly, she rests her head on my shoulder.
I smile at her approval, wrapping an arm around her, careful not to let my hand drift, then continue.
“The King sent a proclamation across his kingdom, seeking women like her, to wed the men in their newly settled lands.”
Victoria snorts adorably. “Always with the marrying and populating.”
“At the age of twenty-four, she was healthy and strong, but she had yet to marry, as many in her family had hoped. Suitors—she had plenty, but ultimately, she refused them for one reason or another.”
“Girl knows what she likes and isn’t afraid to wait for what she wants,” Victoria suggests.
“The arduous journey to the new world would be no match for her unparalleled curiosity and sense of adventure. With the other excited women, she was eager to board the boat, but she was delayed before reaching the boat’s gangplank.”
I nod. “You see, she caught the eye of none other than the King who had traveled to oversee the first departure of women to the new lands.”
“Was the King married?”
“No new queen?”
I shake my head. “None.”
“Mmmm,” Victoria contemplates my words for a moment.
I wonder if she already recognizes the parallels of this story to ours.
“Upon catching his eye, she noticed the King began to move toward her. She was taken aback when he positioned himself between her and the boat, preventing her from boarding. Holding out his upturned hand, it was an unspoken offer to remain in the homeland with everything she knew, while the boat behind him tempted her with a new adventure she found intriguing.”
“The King gave her a choice?” she asks.
“He did, feeling confident about his chances with her. No one ever refused him, and the King waited for her acceptance.”
Victoria grins. “Uh-oh. I have a feeling she’s going to ruffle his feathers.”
“Indeed. After a bow and curtsy to him out of respect, she continued with the other women, stepping around him, ready to board the boat.”
“I bet he didn’t like that,” she concludes.
“Oh, but he did. Despite everything the King could give her, he respected her choice and watched as she sailed away with the others excited for the journey to come. The King returned to his castle where he chose to have his dinner alone in his room that night. Staring up at the stars outside his window, he hoped that she would find what she was looking for.”
Victoria frowns. “This is sad. I should have requested a happily-ever-after.”
Good to know. Let’s see what she thinks about this turn of events.
“In the days, then months to follow, he missed the woman, in the sense of what could have been between them. He longed to know what would prompt her laughter or tears. Until one night, there was a light rapt upon the door to his chambers. Ready for bed, he worried any news arriving that late couldn’t be good. Once he opened the door, there she stood, slightly disheveled and exhausted from her journey back home. Her eyes brightened at the recognition she found in his warm gaze.”
Victoria gasps. “She came back.”
I nod. “Before she could ask for forgiveness at her departure, he silenced her by pressing his lips to hers in a kiss that would take her breath away. He didn’t need anything but her. As they kissed, he held her against his chest and walked her backward toward his bed.”
“We’re finally to the good part.” My snuggler’s eager eyes dance with excitement.
I pause for a moment, hoping to exceed her expectations with what I’m about to describe next. I can’t remember ever doing something like this for anyone, and it’s an unexpected first for me. Clearing my throat, I lower my voice slightly, then continue.
“Despite the fire building inside him in anticipation, he covered her with kisses as he took his time undressing her, pulling the hooded cape from her body first. Next to go was her overdress with its laces in the front. His fingers fumbled them repeatedly, prompting their mirrored smiles and laughter as he yanked them loose until she was standing in front of him in only her chemise.”
“How scandalous.” After licking her lips, her teeth tug on her bottom lip, then she chuckles impatiently. “More. I need more.”
As if I won’t cave to her every request.
“Her chest heaved and eyes widened as he removed his nightshirt, standing before her, free of any shame or guilt for what he intended to do. In that moment, they were as close to equals as possible. He was simply a man who shared one look with a woman that tilted his entire world on its axis.”
“That was some look.” Victoria smiles softly. “I know the feeling.”
“At his inviting nod, her eyes roamed his body, still fit, but now, it held the battle scars from years of defending his kingdom alongside his men. Unable to resist, her lips moved gently over the rough patches of skin, expressing her gratitude and acceptance of each. As her eyes moved lower in curiosity, she reached out, curling her hand around his . . .” I search for the least offensive term before settling with, “. . . protruding length.”
“Did the charismatic Mr. King just use the word protruding?” Victoria taunts, trying to contain her laughter.
I laugh, feeling the warm flush of my face. “His eyes closed at the feeling until he could no longer withstand her tempting light touches.”
“Such a seductress,” she teases.
Her hand attempts to move out from under mine with her own naughty intentions, undoubtedly to roam lower, but I hold it firmly in place on my chest.
“Once his eyes opened, brimming with lust, he gathered her thin underdress to her hips, then lifted her off the floor. She settled her legs around his waist and held onto him tightly before the softness of his bed met her back. On his elbows and knees, he hovered above her, overwhelming her with more kisses. Settled into the cradle of her legs, he watched her face as he easily pushed his body into hers without hesitation.”
“Mmmm.” Victoria’s hips press firmly against my side, and I feel her gaze on me.
I pause, then whisper, “She held her breath at his . . . intrusion while her body adjusted to accommodate him. He had no idea what brought her to him that evening, but he was determined if he wasn’t her first, then she would be his last.”
Victoria is quiet, and I regret my words instantly.
My eyes find hers. “Too much?”
I know I’ve said too much—way too much.
Victoria’s eyes shift to my mouth before returning to my eyes, and she whispers, “Not at all.”
I grin, ready to stop this torture. “The end.”
Only it doesn’t feel like the end, but a beginning.
A next step. Our next step.
“That’s it? You’re ending it there?” she asks in disbelief.
“I am. I’ll let you know how it turns out.” I wink, then unwind myself from around her before I do exactly what I described, which is inappropriate when we have yet to share a first kiss.