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An Innocent at the Gentlemen’s Club

Written by Christine Merrill

Chapter Twenty

When she had first seen Benjamin Snyder, she’d never imagined that he would be the sort of man who would hesitate in the presence of a naked woman. But now, just as the girls said he did, he looked into her eyes, and not at her body. Their gazes locked for what seemed like forever. And then he replied.

‘Oui.’

He removed his coat and hung it carefully on a peg on the wall, then did the same with his waistcoat. Then he kicked off his boots and placed them by the door. Only then did he come to sit beside her, gathering her in his arms to kiss her.

It was as she’d imagined on the night he’d rescued her. She felt safe and warm. And something else much more delightful. She must have kissed him correctly when she had done it in the prison, for he was kissing her with an open mouth again, moving his tongue against hers.

His hands were moving on her, as well. They trembled as they touched her breasts. When she did not pull away, they became more confident, and she was rewarded for her bravery with sensations she had never felt before. Her nipples grew hard, though she felt warm to the tips of her toes. And when he took them between his lips, kissing them with his tongue as he had her mouth, she wondered if it might be possible to die of happiness.

He paused only a moment, to strip off his shirt, tossing it to land beside her gown. Then he took her hands and placed them on his chest, encouraging her to touch him as he was touching her. He felt strange and wonderful, all hard muscle covered in soft hair.

His touches were gentle, even though his fingers were large and rough. And when they slid between her legs… She grabbed his arms and held on to them for support as his fingers moved over her and into her, stroking until she was weak and trembling, begging for more.

He pushed her away and stood to remove the last of his clothes. She was panting at the sight of him, as if she had been running as fast as she could towards something just out of reach. Seeing him in his nakedness, she began to understand what it was that she wanted. The paintings on the walls of the club did not do justice to the body of Benjamin Snyder.

He sat beside her again and pulled her up into his lap so she could straddle him, face-to-face. Then he kissed her on the mouth again and pushed slowly into her.

The shock of it made her gasp and draw her knees up towards her chest. But somehow, that made it all easier. She was able to adjust her body to fit his, and move to counter his movements. And the trembling she’d felt inside began again, stronger this time and more urgent. It was like the moment right before a song began, when all of her being seemed to fill with music until there was no choice but to let it out.

But this was not a solo. This was harmony. Together, they reached a crescendo that left her both drained and exultant. After, there was a peace and silence so profound that it was as holy as anything she had known in the convent.

Without letting go of her, Benjamin fell back onto the bed, pulling her with him until their heads rested on the pillows and a blanket covered their cooling bodies. For a moment, there was nothing but the sound of the ropes under the mattress creaking to conform to their weight.

‘C’est magnifique,’ she whispered, yawning.

He laughed. ‘For me, as well.’ Then his face grew thoughtful. ‘And how do you like my room?’

‘The room?’ It was an odd question. She had not given it any thought. ‘It is bigger than mine,’ she said at last.

‘Big enough for two,’ he said. ‘I have the adjoining space, as well. The owners promised me, should I marry…’ He paused again, as if afraid to go on.

‘There would be a space for your wife and les bébés,’ she finished for him.

‘You needn’t worry about Danvers any more. But if there are other fellows who seek to take advantage…’

‘They will think twice when they see my husband,’ she said, finishing with a laugh.

‘But it is more than just expedience,’ he assured her. ‘And more than what happened today. I…’ He rolled away from her, pounding his head against the pillow behind him, as if there were a way to force the words out of his own mouth.

‘Je t’aime,’ she said. ‘Je t’aime, Benjamin.’

Je t’aime, Paulette,’ he said, with a happy sigh. And then he rolled back to her, to love her in a way that did not need words.

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About the author

I live in rural Wisconsin, about ten minutes outside of pizza delivery...

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Christine Merrill

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