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An Experiment in Love

Written by Louise Allen

Chapter Twenty

'Darling Chloe.' Kit stood just inside her bedchamber door, tall and handsome in the candlelight—wearing nothing, she guessed, but that silk robe. 'You look so lovely. Since I saw you coming down the aisle I haven't been able to take my eyes off you.' And it was miraculously true, Kit really did think her lovely.

'Are you tired?' he asked.

That, she supposed, was a tactful code for May I make love to you?

'Not at all.' She smiled and flipped back the covers to make room for him. Kit put down the candle, shrugged off the robe and slid in beside her. Chloe blinked and managed to breathe. Not as alarming as those very ferocious Japanese gentlemen, which was a relief. He took her in his arms and kissed her and she curled her arms around his bare shoulders, loving the feel of his skin and glad they had kissed before. At least she was getting the hang of that.

After a long, delicious, moment he released her and propped himself up on his elbow. 'Are you all right, Chloe? Not nervous?'

That was her cue. 'Not nervous, no. But I am rather worried I may not be fit enough, or flexible. I have been exercising, but I still cannot do the splits…'

'The what?' He sat bolt upright.

'Where one leg goes one way and the other the opposite way. Some of the books—'

'What books?' Kit sounded rather agitated.

'I had to do book research you see,' she explained, scrambling out of the other side of the bed.'My aunts aren't the sort you can ask about that sort of thing. But I found these books locked up in the library.'

She opened the hatbox and carried them over to the bed. 'They appear to be very comprehensive.'

Kit was crimson, the blush spreading right down his chest. After what seemed to be a struggle to find the right words he said, 'And you've read them all? What did you think of them?'

'They made me feel very flustered,' she admitted. 'And I wished you were there so we could…'

'They didn't frighten you?' He set the books aside and ran the back of his hand gently down her cheek.

She pushed one of the books back to him. 'I hoped that one was rather exaggerated.'

Kit glanced at it and tossed it to the other side of the room. 'Vastly. Chloe, darling, none of these are for virgins or newly-weds.'

'No? But how do I know what to do?' This was so confusing. How could she have got everything so wrong and muddled when she had been so rational and practical about it all? She asked to kiss him and embarrassed him. She dressed up for him and he did not like it. She researched physical relationships and he appeared to be disconcerted. Was love not susceptible to rationality after all?

Anxious, she looked at Kit. 'I wanted to get it right, you see. I know how important it is.'

'But none of that is.' With a sweep of his hand the books tumbled to the floor. 'And I will show you what to do.'

And he did.

Much later, Chloe lifted her cheek from Kit's chest and peered over the edge of the bed at the heap on the floor. 'You aren't cross with me? About the books?'

'No.' He pulled her back, safe and warm into his embrace. 'It's one of the things I love about you, Chloe darling, the way you research everything. How solemn you are and how enthusiastic when you make a discovery. Like just now.' His smile became wicked.

'You love me?' It was a miracle and it was nothing to do with rationality at all, she realised. This was the chemistry of the heart.

'I love you more and more every day.' Kit's smile faded into something so near to vulnerability it took her breath. 'It crept up on me. Do you mind?'

'Mind? Kit, I have been in love with you for years.'

He pulled her back down. 'Then let's research some more,' he murmured. 'Goodness knows what we might discover.' And he kissed her.

THE END

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About the author

I have been immersing myself in history, real and fictional, for as lo...

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Louise Allen

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