|The Games We Play
by Fanta C ©
was split into 8 parts. Jump to any of the segments from here:
her wedding day Bella was a mass of nerves. Her mother and bridesmaids had
been helping her prepare all morning. The time had come for them to take
their places, but before they did, Isabella snuck a look at Nicholas. He
was standing at the front of the chapel looking as grim as Death and none
too happy to be there. Gavin was behind him and he saw Isabella peeking
around the corner at the back of the church. He could tell by her expression
that she was nervous. As well she should be.
He had spent last night trying to convince Nicholas out of the idea of leaving when Isabella became pregnant, with no luck. He had even tried to broach the subject about taking away the babe, but Nicholas had practically bitten his head off. Nicki then managed to drink enough brandy to cause him to have a massive headache this morning, so he wasn't in the best of moods. Gavin tried to reassure Isabella with a gentle smile but he had a feeling he hadn't done much good. The priest took his place and the music started.
Nicholas stared silently at the women walking down the aisle toward him and taking their place behind where Bella would stand. Finally, she was coming toward him and it was as if a ray of sunshine had burst through the dark windows of the church and illuminated everything in its radiant, heavenly light. She seemed an angel come down to earth just for him. Her hair hung in cascading waves to her waist and she had a halo of white roses set upon her chestnut curls. Her dress scooped low to expose an ample amount of the ivory flesh of her breasts. Breasts that yesterday he had been caressing and tormenting with his knowledgeable fingers.
God he had to stop thinking about that! He hadn't been able to sleep last night because his thoughts had dwelled on her, her body, her attitude, the way she stood up to him like no other woman had. He wasn't looking forward to the wedding night. He knew that bedding her would make it harder when he left. But he couldn't deny himself the pleasure of her body. He had proven that each time he had bedded her before.
She stared at him, looking for some sign that his anger might have cooled, but she saw only contempt in his eyes. She had thought that was what she wanted, for him to be totally indifferent to her, to ignore her unless there was some social affair to attend. But now, seeing him standing there so rigid and expressionless she knew that wasn't at all what she needed.
Mentally she made herself stop thinking like a lovesick young girl. She had always been strong and in the coming months she knew that she would need that strength; when he left and when he would take the babe that she knew she would give him. But now she wondered if even she would have the strength to endure both losses.
The ceremony proceeded, the couple standing a foot apart from each other, not even clasping hands, as was tradition, during the exchange of the vows. It moved fairly quickly, and soon enough the bride and groom were walking back down the aisle, still not touching, and under the rain of rice they headed into the banquet hall to celebrate.
Isabella took her appointed place next to her new husband. Husband, a word she thought she would never call any man. She glanced sideways at him, and watched as he roared with laughter at something that Gavin said to him. He looked so at ease and happy, so unlike he was with her, that her breath hitched in her throat.
He caught her staring at him and she quickly turned away, saying something to her mother. He didn't know what to do with her. She was so confusing to understand. One minute she was responsive and yielding and the next she was scornful and heartless. He had sworn that her words wouldn't wound him, but they had, more than she would ever know. And he would stick to the vow he made and leave when she was with child. He would never let her closer than he had to. He wouldn't risk his heart like he had again.
Malcom Bennet stood to propose a toast to the newly wedded couple. "Daughter, your mother and I had the pleasure, and sometimes pain, of raising you. It was our greatest hope that someday you would marry. For a while that hope was becoming a desolate fantasy, and then Lord Montgomery asked for your hand. We only hope that you can find true happiness in marriage and childbirth with your new husband. Now get up and dance with the Earl, so the rest of us can dance as well."
Isabella looked at Nicholas with apprehension coiling tight like a fist in her stomach. He looked just as uncomfortable about it as she. Slowly he stood and took her hand, helping her rise. Carefully he led her out onto the ballroom floor and took her into his arms. She cautiously avoided looking him in the eye as he twirled her gracefully around the floor, her skirts swishing against the colored marble. Watching them one would have thought that they had been matched for years, perfect their moves that so complemented each other.
"Well, I must say Bella, that you must have had a great amount of practice to move so gracefully. Did you dance with many men while growing up, learning to tease them with the swishing of your skirts against their legs, tantalizing them with the scent of roses on your skin, the feel of your warm breath brushing against their neck as they bent down to whisper something in your ear? Are you a proficient flirt and tease?" he whispered scornfully.
She just stared at him, startled by the cold viciousness that filled the depths of his eyes when he watched her. What had she expected? A warm look filled with caring. She turned away, loath to deny the charges, knowing that he would believe what he wished, no matter her protests to the contrary.
"What, Isabella? No denials?" he laughed softly in her ear, causing shivers to course down the length of her body. He knew just what to do to get a response from her.
"What is the point of denying it? If I did you wouldn't believe me. You would just go on thinking what you wanted, finding me guilty in your mind."
They finished the minuet in silence, avoiding each other's eyes. When they walked off the ballroom floor, it seemed to everyone in the room that the couple was not happy in each other's company, and many wondered why they had bothered to marry at all.
"Mother, I swear to you that this marriage will never work, and I curse the day that you and father fated me to this. I am doomed to spend the rest of my life married to a man who loathes me," Isabella complained as they ascended the stairs to her rooms to prepare her for her wedding night.
Genevive looked away ashamed of her part in her daughter's unhappiness. For years she had wanted nothing but her daughter's happiness and joy. She would never let Bella know that she was remorseful over this. It would only make her daughter beg for help to escape her husband. "Why would Nicholas loath you darling?" she asked, not understanding why the Earl would offer for a girl he did not care for at all.
"He hates me because I said something heartless to him yesterday." she replied, muttering "Not that I blame him," under her breath.
"You needn't be so melodramatic, Isabella. It's not as if we sentenced you to death. And I'm sure Nicholas doesn't hate you. Maybe, if you can't come to love Nicholas, you will find happiness in motherhood," Genevive coaxed hopefully.
"That won't be possible if he takes my children from me," she muttered under her breath as they walked into her room. Slowly her mother began to help her from the constriction of her wedding gown and into the elegant nightgown that had been given to her by her sister for her first night as a married woman.
She let it slither over her head, a rush of cool midnight blue silk with spaghetti strap ties at each shoulder and slits up both sides to her hips, exposing her long, sculpted legs. Isabella turned around and her mother unbound her hair for her and she shook it, letting it fall in untamed waves to her lower back.
"Daughter, I take my leave now and leave you with this thought. Try to make the most of what you deem a bad situation, though, Lord knows, no other woman I know would see it that way." She whispered her final thought and quietly slipped out the door.
Isabella paced restlessly around the room, not dare glancing at the bed, knowing what would soon occur there and how she knew that she would enjoy it. She could never hide her excitement from Nicholas. He fueled her body as if she were dry wood just waiting for a match to light her. He was that match and when she was lit she burned out of control, taking him with her. And she would accept it, for he would not let her turn away from him and make this a marriage in name only. She knew that she couldn't abide a marriage such as that either. Her body lived for the pleasure that she knew only he could give her.
Nicholas stood outside her door, hearing her pacing nervously around the room waiting for him. He had planned on making her wait for several hours, giving her a chance to become thoroughly agitated, before making an appearance. Finally he saw the lights go off under the crack between the floor and the bottom of the door and he heard the bedcovers rustle as she turned back the sheets, climbing between them. Now was the time to make his entrance.
He opened the door slowly, not making a sound as his bare feet slid over the wood floor. He shut it behind him, not even letting the small click of it shutting reach her ears. He leaned back against the door and stared at the bed where she lay, her thick chestnut hair fanning behind her like a regal crown. Her eyelashes fell like dark crescent moons against her pale ivory cheeks and her full, pink lips were slightly parted and gentle breath was exhaled between them. She looked like an ethereal angel. He was loath to wake her but he didn't intend to be cheated out of tasting the pleasures of her body just because she looked like an angel in her sleep.
"Isabella," he said sharply. She jerked awake, as though she hadn't been sleeping deeply, and sat upright, glaring at the intruder to her sleep.
"Were you ever planning to show up or was it your plan to make me wait for a couple of hours then come and demand your husbandly rights?" His expression of shock betrayed him and she knew that she was right. "You look surprised Nicholas. I don't blame you. Not many people know of my ability to know the way a person thinks through just a few meetings. Why do you think I shut out the light and climbed into bed? I knew you would come once you thought me to be asleep."
"Did I give myself away while I stood outside your room?"
"No, but it is my wish to have this over quickly so that we may forget about this night, though I know that I have many to endure in the months to come. But I wish to get it over with all the same, and have a peaceful nights sleep once you retire to your own chamber."
"Endure, Bella? You won't have to endure anything tonight. You will be an active participant in the excruciating pleasure that I can give you." He smiled sinisterly. Slowly he stripped away his drawers, the only article of clothing he had been wearing, and watched as her eyes grew wide, taking in his naked body.
She stared at his muscular male body, remembering the way he filled her, possessing her completely. Remembering the way he had thrust into her, touching her womb, pushing her to complete surrender of everything she was.
He stalked her, advancing on her, waiting to see if she would withdraw or if she would stand her ground. She stayed where she was, not looking away as he reached over and untied one of the straps of her nightgown and let it fall, exposing an ivory breast. He cupped it in his palm and stroked her nipple until it beaded into a hard nub. Gently he pinched it and smirked when she tipped her head back, her lips parted into a small O of surprise. He pulled back the bedsheet that had covered her. Still stroking her breast, he undid the other strap of her nightgown and let it slither to her waist. Then he slowly pulled the gown off of her and threw it across the room. He stepped back slightly, his gaze traveling over her body, which was bathed in moonlight streaming in the window behind her.
Her breasts rose large and proud, his hand having gone back to stroking one. Her stomach was flat and smooth. His gaze didn't stop there though. It was drawn to the thatch of chestnut curls between her long, sculpted legs. Slowly his gaze traveled back up until he was staring into her eyes once more. Her body had changed, maturing in the three years that he had been gone. He had clearly seen how much she had changed the other day at the lake. Breasts that he remembered as small and pert, had become large and round, more responsive to his touch. Her body had assumed an hourglass figure, totally different from the slim, petite girl he had initiated sexually on that stone bench five years ago.
He climbed onto the bed, stretching his hard, muscled length against her. Reverently he cupped her other breast, chaffing that dusky rose nipple as well, and leaned down to kiss her lips. The kiss began with a gentle hesitantness, but soon they both discovered they wanted more and it deepened to all consuming. Isabella slid her arms around Nicholas's neck and pressed herself as close to him as she could, not shying away at the feel of his hard, aroused manhood against her. He clutched at her lower back, trying to pull her even closer, as if he wanted to absorb her into him. His tongue gently parted her lips and thrust inside her mouth tasting her, the sweetness that seemed to be hidden behind walls most of the time, was present, his for the taking. And he took it without hesitation.
When her tongue touched his, he thought he felt steam pouring from his body. Their tongues mated, entwining, in a preview of what was to come.
This wasn't going the way he had planned. Of course he wanted to pleasure her and find pleasure in her body, but he hadn't counted on the feelings that she could evoke in him by just lying naked in front of him, as still as a porcelain statue. He wasn't supposed to be getting so involved in this. He had always been able to keep his emotions separated when he made love to other women, yet he couldn't seem to do it with her. He never could whenever they were together. She made him feel things that he didn't want to feel. She made him love her. Everything she did intrigued him; the way she her temper flared, the way she walked, her petticoats swishing lightly, the way she kissed. As he reached out to cup her cheek in his palm, he vowed that he would not care for her. He would not. He had offered his love once and wouldn't be so foolish again.
"Nicholas, I want you. . ." she said softly, her body arching under his caresses.
She broke off when he placed two slender fingers against her lips.It seemed that those few words broke a dam of pent up longing inside him and he rolled, bringing her on top of him. She straddled his waist, staring down at him. Nicholas's hands settled on her knees, then moved slowly upward, caressing her softly, causing goosebumps to spring up over her silken flesh. Deftly he leaned up and captured a puckered nipple between his lips swirling his tongue over it, his hands stroking the soft flesh of her inner thighs..
Shock waves rocked her body, shooting from the tips of her breasts to that most secret part of her and she tipped her head back in silent agony. She wiggled against him causing him to tear his mouth from her breast and groan.
She stared at him, not wanting to be a passive participant in this, but wanting to touch and taste him as he was her. Before he could stop her she slid off of him and knelt between his legs.
"What are you doing, Bella?" he asked hoarsely, his eyes heavy lidded withpassion.
"You always seem to be in control when we're together. I want my turn." Without waiting for a response she leaned up across his chest and ran her hands over the soft whorls of golden hair that blanketed his sleek muscles. She dragged a slender finger with a sculpted nail down the center of his chest, over his stomach, and all the way to his groin. She was fascinated by the way his muscles leapt with each caress of her hands over his taut, tan skin.
He watched her, his breath coming in soft, shallow pants, as her lips finally descended toward his flat, brown nipple. Like he had done to her, she closed her lips around it and flicked her tongue back and forth, tormenting him. Her roaming hands wouldn't be still and his eyes, which had drifted closed, snapped open when he felt her hands come around his hardened shaft, squeezing softly then releasing, only to start again. His back arched off the bed, lifting her with him.
When she slithered down his body and flicked the head of his penis with her tongue, he thought he was going to explode. Tantalizingly, she ran her soft pink tongue down the entire length of his shaft. He felt his blood running hot through his veins, pulsing through him and held onto his control only by a thin thread. Before he could stop her, not wanting to spill his seed, she took him fully into her mouth and began to suck slowly, her hair falling around her in a soft curtain.
It took a few agonizing seconds, but he finally reached down and lifted her hair out of the way to watch her torture and torment him. Finally, right when he thought he would burst, spilling himself into her mouth, he reached down and pulled her up so that she laid, once more, across his chest.
Then he rolled her under him and he shifted comfortably to fit between her legs. "My turn," he whispered, his voice soft and hoarse. He then spread soft, butterfly kisses to her earlobe and sucked on it gently while his hands roamed untamed over her body. She was screaming with need when he slid down between her legs to put her through the torture she had made him endure. His hot breath fanned the curls at the apex of her thighs, stirring them softly. Gently he parted the folds of her womanhood and she moaned softly when his mouth latched onto her, his tongue slipping inside to taste her. He groaned when the warm honey of her essence flowed into his mouth. He was thrilled to know that she was as aroused as he. Slowly he drove her mad with need, her hips lifting into his hands, trying to get closer to the sweet torture that he was putting her through.
Just when she thought she couldn't bear anymore, the tight coil of desire that had been building inside her burst, sending radiant waves of ecstasy flashing through her body in blinding rays. Her whole body arched as convulsive shudders wracked her. She clutched the bedsheets in a frenzy of completion.
He gave her no time to think. While her climax was pouring through her he slid up over her, bracing his weight on his forearms. He reached back with one arm and raised Bella's legs around his waist, then he slid, ever so slowly into her welcoming heat, stretching the resisting muscles of her passage.
God, she was as tight as a fist closing around his hardened length and squeezing. He pushed into her, her muscles stretching under the gentle pressure of his thick length sliding into her. He thrust little by little into her, driving her insane with the feel of him, but not giving her all of him just yet. He looked down on her; her eyes clenched shut and her arms wrapped around his shoulders, her fingernails digging into his skin making crescent moons and even drawing some blood. She looked every bit the wanton woman in the throes of ecstasy.
"Nicholas. . . please!" she cried lifting her hips to try and force him completely into her. At the same moment, he thrust deeply, the head of his shaft touching her womb. Her cries echoed off the walls of Briarwood and the people still celebrating in the banquet hall smiled ruefully to themselves.
She pressed her face into the damp curve of his neck, breathing in his scent. She felt his muscles trembling, knowing that he was holding back, not wanting it to be over right away. She knew that his control must have been close to snapping, feeling the shaking of his body, and the sweat that slicked his back and chest and beaded on his forehead.
She moved against him, testing his length with a slow dip and arch of her hips, her body accepting the thick length of him.
"Bella," he groaned.
was split into 8 parts. Jump to any of the segments from here:
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