Happy Valentine’s Day, and do I have the perfect read for you…..Desert Orchid, Chapter Seventeen…..

desertorchid17

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Copyright © C C MacKenzie 2014 Desert Orchid

 

Chapter Seventeen

Five days later, one of the many things that intrigued Charisse about her new husband was his apparent inability to simply be still.

The idea of relaxation was a complete anathema to Khalid.

The morning after the massage, her gasp of awe as she’d stepped out of the sliding doors of their bedroom had made him laugh into her hair. He’d held her tight as she’d leaned back into the hard length of his body. She’d simply inhaled the clear mountain air and absorbed the reality of the stupendous views of mountain tops for as far as the eye could see.

Amir had rarely taken her out of Onuur. As part of his quest to complete her education, and for her to experience other cultures, Amir had taken her to a mountain resort in the African country of Zimbabwe. The resort of ‘Leopard’s Rock’ was a place with stupendous views right over the mountains of the moon into Mozambique. The views here reminded her of that amazing sight.

The vast property, carved out of rock, had a comprehensive library she loved to explore. As well as a state-of-the-art gymnasium, there was a rock pool with gin-clear water fed by an underground spring. There were a couple of entertainment rooms, one of which held a cinema screen with six velvet loungers, the colour of red wine, and large enough to fit two people.

Just last night he’d made love to her in one of those loungers while enjoying a movie.

Khalid also spent a great deal of time drawing using pen and ink. And usually he was drawing her, which was taking a bit of getting used to, especially the way that intense gaze analysed her face, and her body. Those darkly brooding eyes missed absolutely nothing. He was beginning to know and understand her in ways that made her uneasy. He saw too much. He’d taken possession, not just of her body, but of her mind.

The trouble was, Charisse mused, as she floated on her back in the heavenly cool water of the rock pool, that though he understood her, Khalid himself remained a man of mystery. Every time she thought she’d found the heart of him, yet another layer appeared.

She’d begun to suspect that emotionally he deliberately kept her at arm’s length. Now she wondered why that was, and what she was going to do about it.

Something else that bothered her was that a full night’s sleep eluded her husband.

Even after making love he appeared to find it impossible to switch off.

Not once had she woken to find him asleep. Although he permitted her to rest and recover after making love, she knew that if she’d been physically one hundred per cent fit, he would turn to her many times during the night. His hunger for her body showed no signs of abating. Not that she was complaining, the feeling was mutual and she loved every single thing he did to her.

However, the one subject that he refused to discuss with her was the boating accident, which had had such a devastating impact on him, and on his relationship with his family. Her instincts told her that if she could just get him to open up and talk about the event, she might develop an insight into what tormented him.

Two days ago she’d been relaxing by the pool and mentioned something his mother had said about his sister. The agonising look on his face was something she’d never forget in a hurry. He’d stood and simply walked away. It had taught her to think carefully in case she spoke out of turn. But having to take care with her thoughts, her words, had meant Charisse couldn’t relax and just be herself.

In her old life, Amir had demanded that she question something she did not understand. He’d encouraged her to analyse and dissect a situation or problem in order to find a solution.

Now, she discovered she was unable to do that with her new husband. And she was intelligent enough to understand that the tension and anxiety she was experiencing around Khalid, because she was not being her authentic self, would only get worse if this situation continued. Khalid was perfectly correct. He was a difficult man to live with, and their tricky bonding situation was affecting her usual good humour.

He also didn’t want to know anything of the events that had led to her father’s physical abuse, which was  all the more bewildering when she considered the lengths he’d gone to, and how determined he’d been, to ensure she accepted the physical scars that marred her flesh. There hadn’t been a repeat of the wonderful massage, either. She still hadn’t learned how to ask him for pleasure. And tried not to be bitterly disappointed that he hadn’t taken her to the dizzy heights of their first night together. Just thinking about it now made her nipples bead too tight as a liquid heat throbbed between her legs.

“Darlin’, Tell me the thought that’s just gone through that beautiful head,” Khalid drawled from his position under a vast sunshade. He was lazing on a lounger with a pad and pencil in his hand. As usual he was drawing her.

Charisse closed her eyes and just let herself float.

He did, did he?

Irritation with his attitude and his demand to know her thoughts coiled in her belly.

Reluctantly, she opened her eyes to find him standing at the edge of the rock pool. He wore multi-coloured board shorts, his eyes fixed on her. Yet again, her lungs squeezed at the picture of pure male perfection. His strong arms were folded across a wide muscular chest bronzed by the sun. Black hair tied back at the neck. A wave of pure lust threatened to overwhelm her. With interest he studied the traitorous heat flooding her face. Then his sharp gaze dropped to her screaming nipples and those dark eyes narrowed fractionally.

Eyes that saw too damned much, she decided, feeling annoyed and strangely vulnerable.

No way was she going to tell him she was recalling the deep pleasure of having her bottom massaged. Why should she encourage the gorgeous specimen of manhood standing there looking too damned hot for his own good. Plus, she didn’t want to beg for it. Why should she?

So she frowned at him, and pouted in a way that had dark brows wing into his hair.

He ran his teeth over his bottom lip—always a warning sign.

Nerves might clutch in her belly, but on this occasion, Charisse decided to ignore the warning.

“My thoughts are no concern of yours,” she informed him, not bothering to hide the bite in her voice. She moved her arms in lazy circles, tipping back her head in the water to enjoy the heat of the late afternoon sun on her face. All the while she watched him under her thick lashes.

The flash in those dark eyes alerted her to his present mood.

Not good.

“Get out of the pool,” he ordered in a do-not-mess-with-me voice.

Her heart beat a little faster in her chest, with excitement, and with something that felt like fear.

However, the little devil that lived in her psyche, and rarely gave her any trouble, nudged her now. She was perfectly happy where she was, thank you very much. Plus, she was sick of him always getting his own way. It was okay for him to crawl around her mind, but not for her to talk to him about the things that mattered in his.

“No,” she said. And tossed in a glare for good measure.

He blinked.

Then those eyes went too dark as they held hers with an intensity that made her throat go bone dry.

What on earth was she doing?

Challenging him was like poking a big bad tempered panther with a pointy stick.

When he spoke the deadly softness in that deep voice made her tremble,

“Believe me. You don’t want me coming in there to get you, baby.”

For two seconds she toyed with telling him to get lost before she decided against the idea.

Throwing him a look that would melt solid steel, Charisse took her own sweet time as she swam to the steps.

Climbing out of the rock pool, she turned her back to him as she bent to wring water out of her hair. The white string bikini she wore was no more than three small scraps of fabric that hardly covered the bare essentials. These days she’d learned to overcome any inhibitions she might have with her body since Khalid made sure she was as comfortable naked as she was clothed. Hardly surprising, since she spent most of her time naked around him.

He held out a big white towel.

The scent of him as he stood too close jangled her nerves.

She took the towel with a muttered, “Thank you.”

After all good manners cost nothing.

And as her heart thudded against her ribs, she hid her face in fluffy white cotton trying to gather her scattered wits. Why was she so on edge and snarky with him?

Avoiding his eyes, she spent a long time dabbing at her legs, arms and her torso.

Her wound was healing nicely, and the arnica ointment Junah religiously used every day was doing the trick. Excellent food and plenty of rest had helped, too. Today she was feeling better than she had for months. She was filling out a little, she noticed, as she pressed the towel to her breasts.

The late afternoon sun was still fierce and Khalid took her hand to tow her under the shade of a vast cream umbrella.

It never ceased to amaze her how a simple touch of his hand had the nerves jump deep in her belly. Right on cue her nipples responded. He took the towel from her and patted it across her shoulders, her back, before turning her to face him. She kept her eyes firmly on his wide chest. And her mouth watered to press her lips against those tight dark nipples. Her gaze ran down the light sprinkling of sleek black hair that slid down in a dreamy path over rock hard abs and down under the waist of his slow slung shorts. And she couldn’t fail to notice the thick hard bulge of his arousal.

Knowing the move would be like a red rag to a bull, Charisse licked her lips.

“Look at me.” With a reluctance that made his lips twitch, her eyes met his. “I asked you a question.”

Her inner devil gave her another nudge.

With each word she poked her index finger into that rock hard chest, “My thoughts are none of your business.”

He caught her hand, brought it to his mouth. One after the other he sucked each finger so slowly, so thoroughly, that arousal flared between her legs. She had to bite down hard on her bottom lip to trap the moan in her throat.

“What’s the matter, baby? You look all hot and bothered and… frustrated. You been having wicked thoughts?”

Her eyes dropped to his mouth as he gave her fingers a final lick with the flat of his tongue. A sensation that made her shudder as she felt the slippery heat of his tongue in her secret places. Instead of releasing her hand, he took her fingers in his own and slid them down her torso, over her flat belly, under her bikini bottom and into the hot, slick, heat between her legs.

Stunned disbelief had her eyes glued to his.

She couldn’t breathe, couldn’t think as he guided her fingers to pleasure herself again and again until she gasped and shuddered.

Just as she’d begun to ride their joined fingers, he stepped away.

Shame burned her cheeks and her eyes slid from his.

Immediately, strong fingers gripped her chin, forcing her to look into his eyes.

He watched her with an intensity that made her heart go wild in her chest.

“I’m not having you look at me like that. Take off the bikini.”

Alarm flared in her chest. “What about the servants?”

Those dark eyes never left hers. “In their quarters until I require them. Strip.”

He released her and then turned to sit among cream cushions on a comfortable chair. Then he sat back and relaxed as he watched her struggle with the wet knots of her white bikini. By the time she’d managed to undo the top and slip out of the bottoms, the jumpy nerves in her belly were screaming.

Before she could utter a single word of complaint, she was scooped up in his strong arms, and he marched through the open glass door of their bedroom.

Khalid growled low in his throat and tossed her onto the soft bed.

He stripped out of his board shorts, his thick erection reaching for the ceiling.

Crisp cotton sheets cooled her fevered flesh, but Charisse barely had time to take a breath before he lowered himself on top of her. Every inch of skin heated by the sun touched hers, the sensation almost made her go up in flames of need.

How could he possibly have known loving Charisse could be like this?

Something had changed with her.

Instead of giving in to the need to take her fast and furious, Khalid decided to take it slow and easy. This time his kiss was soft, a delicate brush of the lips, not a crushing plunder of that soft mouth. He took his time savouring the taste, the flavour of her. Her mouth was so sweet, so soft, so wet. His tongue slid in to tangle with hers, and when she moaned he could have wept with the pleasure of it.

His hands went on a slow, gentle, discovery of her body. And she shuddered deliciously under him as he explored the soft fullness of her breasts, her belly, her hips. His knee gently nudged to push her legs apart. Mouth still fused to hers, he sighed in contentment as he settled his hips into the welcoming cradle of her hips. And it felt so good.

He didn’t speak.

He didn’t need to.

It appeared his wife knew exactly what he wanted her to do. Her endless legs wound around his hips as she tilted her pelvis to let him take her.

As slowly, slowly, he entered the doorway to heaven, he took her hands in his, their fingers threaded together. His thrusts were so slow and easy and deep. Her soft sighs and gentle cries of pleasure almost made him weep. Now those big blue eyes went hazy with desire and pleasure.

“Look at me, baby. See what you do to me.”

She blinked and her eyes focused on his and he knew he could drown in those sky blue depths. The sly voice in his mind tried to intrude on this special moment, but he thrust it away. And he opened his heart, his soul, to this amazing woman. She was so brave, so loving, so giving. “I love you, Charisse. Come with me, baby. Come with me.”

She opened her mouth to speak, but no words came out, only a low cry of completion as they soared together, two hearts beating as one.

Khalid’s body was still joined to hers, as he took her mouth again.

He’d never made love to her like this, as if she was the only woman in the world for him.

And her whole being sang from the glory of it.

Using lips, teeth and tongue, he nibbled a gentle path across her jaw to the sensitive spot where her pulse thundered under her ear. And Charisse couldn’t help it. Tears spilled over to leak into her hairline and the pillow. A sob escaped from her throat and his head jerked up to stare hard at her for a long moment, until he realised they were happy tears. And those eyes went soft and tender as he sipped the salty fluid on her cheeks. Reaching up to grip his hair, she indulged herself by tunnelling her fingers through those locks of dark silk.

“I love you so, so, much, Rock Star.”

He raised his head and gave her a genuine smile of such happiness it made her heart tremble. God, he looked fabulous when he was relaxed and so terribly happy. As her hand cupped his face, and her fingers stroked the taut skin across his cheeks, his brows, she clearly saw the little boy in the man.

“I already told you I can’t sing,” he admitted with a grin. “Tone deaf. Sarif used to say I sounded like a desert dog howling at the moon.”

Her laugh made him wince as his shaft twitched inside her. “It’s a bit sensitive,” he growled, and pretended to bite her neck.

“Sorry. I’ll try to keep still.” He tried to withdraw from her, but she clamped her long legs around his waist, and squeezed. “No. I like it this way.”

Khalid stared down into her eyes, kissed her mouth. “You’ve become very demanding. I’m too heavy for you.”

She shook her head. “That was the most wonderful lovemaking. Thank you.”

That smile came again, this time even wider. “It was my pleasure, darlin’.”

Again, he kissed her and this time it was so very soft, just a whisper. It was like a benediction, and Charisse felt something fundamental shift between them. He hardened inside her. They hadn’t just had great sex. They’d made love. Now he took her hand and pressed his mouth to the palm before pressing it to the strong beat of his heart.

Then he leaned on an elbow, slid his hand down her thigh to pull up her knee, opening her wider to him as his hips thrust slow and easy. The sensation of him swelling inside her caught the air in her lungs.

“What happened to recovery time?” she wondered.

He blushed.

She couldn’t believe it, Khalid embarrassed?

“Only with you, baby. It’s never happened before. I can’t get enough of you.”

“Kiss me, Khalid.”

His mouth explored hers, as his lips teased and tantalised and tasted. He savoured and sucked, nibbled and explored as his hips continued to stroke his rock hard body against her sweet spot. Then he rolled his hips and nothing could stop the hot passion of their coupling. He slipped his tongue inside her mouth in a shallow rhythm that sent her soaring, and she gave him thrust for thrust as they climaxed together.

As he collapsed on top of her, it was difficult to breathe, but Charisse didn’t care. Yes, he was difficult to live with, too bossy and dominant. But she wouldn’t change a single thing about him. She loved and was loved. What more could any woman ask for?

 

Copyright © C C MacKenzie 2014 Desert Orchid

 

Hmm, things going too smoothly for Khalid and Charisse?

Stay tuned for Chapter Eighteen…..

Christine X

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