The Magic of You Page 29

a time and so many doubts, the stubborn man 359 was going to be hers.

"We're going to go up in smoke before I ever get you to bed."

She would have laughed for sheer joy if she'd had the chance, but he was kissing her again, his tongue delving deeply, and all she could do was hold on and ride with the storm. Yet what he'd said guaranteed he'd given up the fight. Whether he'd made the decision willingly or just couldn't resist anymore, Amy had nothing further to worry about.

They did somehow get to the mattress tucked into the corner on the floor. It wasn't overly large, but they weren't there to sleep or stay out of each other's way. She had no dress to hamper her movements. This time her legs could part to receive his weight where she wanted it most, and the feelings she remembered from the last time he'd covered her like this had been real; were there again to amaze and excite her.

He couldn't stop kissing her, his need to taste her still too strong. She couldn't stop touching him, her need to know his skin as well as her own compulsive. But soon it wasn't enough. As before, when he had lain on her on that country road and driven her wild with the movements of their bodies, she knew there was more to experience, and she couldn't wait any longer to know it all.

She had to tell him with her body, since he was barely giving her a chance to breathe, much less speak.

But she wasn't exactly sure how to communicate what she wanted, except to grasp his buttocks and hoist herself up to meet them.

She was sure she'd caused him pain, his groan was so loud. But his hand was suddenly between them.

Lucky for them both that her cotton sash was tied in a feminine bow instead of in a dependable knot, so it came loose with no effort, as did the smaller cord bow on her trousers. In seconds her clothes were

gone, his cutoff pants merely lowered, and he was driving into her in one fell swoop.

It wasn't a severe pain that came with his invasion. Amy's body was too eager and preppared for that.

But it was noticeable, enough to cause her to stiffen slightly. He must have noticed, too, because he reared up to look at her, and there was clear surprise in his expression.

She was afraid he was going to leave her, when

she was already adjusting to the heat and fullness 361 of him so deep inside her. She felt like she'd splinter and dissolve into a puddle of raw nerves if he did.

"Don't think, just feel," she whispered as she pulled him back down and kissed him for all she was worth.

It was a moment more before he gave in to her suggestion and joined his tongue to her erotic dance.

One hand buried itself in her hair; the other reached down to guide her legs around him, lifting her, causing a deeper penetration that ignited the fever in them both. He thrust, hard, fast. She opened, took, and gave back.

It was more thrilling than anything she could have imagined, that maelstrom of intense pleasure that followed her into the storm, then burst into unrivaled bliss. And he was there to hold her, to share it, to lengthen it, and to guide her gently back.

"Oh God, oh God, oh God," she vaguely heard him groan against her neck.

She couldn't have said it better.

"I still won't marry you."

Amy lifted her head from Warren's chest

to look at him. He'd been silent for quite some time, but she knew he was brooding and stewing over what they'd done. Yet he hadn't pushed her away, had been holding her quite close, in fact, which had contented her to remain silent as well.

But his brooding must have got the better of him, because his tone and statement were declaring war.

Amy wasn't in the mood to oblige him.

"Now why doesn't that surprise me?" was all she said.

"It's why you did this, isn't it?" he accused her. "To get me to marry you?"

"We made love because we both wanted to."

"That wasn't lovemaking, it was lust."

She could have hit him for that. Instead she grinned at him and said, "Fine. You were having lust, I was making love." Then, with her eyes never leaving his, she leaned down and flicked her tongue across his nipple.

Warren shot off the mattress instantly. Amy almost laughed. The man was definitely in trouble, now that she could do things like that, and she could. She wasn't about to let him keep her at a distance any longer.

But he was still striving to keep things as they had

been. "Blast you, Amy, you were a 363 virgin!"

There it was, what was sticking in his craw. She smiled mischievously at him. "Told you so."

"You knew what I thought."

"Yes, and that was too bad of you, to slander me in your mind like that. But as you can see, I never held it against you, did I?"

"I wish to hell you had."

Her eyes traveled down his long body, slowly, coming back up to rest on a very splendid display of masculinity. She cocked a black brow at him, and couldn't hold back the grin he termed like a gamine.

"Are you sure?"

He roared in frustration that he could conceal nothing from her just now. Amy took pity on him for the moment, since what she wanted was for him to come back to bed so she could better explore that magnificent body of his.

"I'll admit I'd hoped this would improve our relationship, but if all you want to be is lovers, so be it."

That didn't get the results she wanted. He wasn't the least bit relieved and went on the attack again instead.

"Damn it," he snapped. "When are you going to behave normally?"

"When are you going to realize that I am--for me."

She stretched beneath his gaze, sinfully enticing. Was it in the blood? he wondered. How could she make all the right moves, say all the right things, when she actually had no experience of such things? And how could he resist her when she was lying there on his bed, na**d, and deliberately provoking his passion again? He couldn't.

He dropped to his knees beside her, his hands drawn straight to those high-tipped br**sts that beckoned. She arched into his palms, a sound of pleasure purring deeply from her throat, one leg coming up to rub sensuously against his back. Warren closed his eyes to learn her by touch alone, and because he'd never last otherwise, she was so beautiful in her lack of inhibitions.

Silky smooth, so delicate, so womanly. This was no child. Warren's eyes opened to stare at the black fleece between her legs, the rich curve of her hips, the ripe fullness of her breasts, the sultry expression she wore as she watched him looking at her ...

He'd used her age as an excuse 365 to keep his hands off her. But that was all it had been, an excuse, and one that was certainly no longer valid. However, there was no denying she'd been an innocent all along, albeit a very provocative innocent. And she'd never tried very hard to convince him of that glaring fact, had she?

Warren's fingers slipped into the heat between her legs as he leaned over her to say against her lips, "I'm going to beat you after this for deceivingme."

"I didn't--was

"Be quiet, Amy. I'm going to love you right first, how it should have been for someone of your innocence."

She sighed into his kiss, not the least bit worried about what was going to come afterward. In fact, she was going to love him until the day she died for the tender side of him that he was about to show her.

Amy couldn't stop touching and caressing Warren. The amazing thing was that he was letting her, even though he was perfectly sated now and would probably have liked to go to sleep. She wasn't the least bit tired herself, but then, how could she be after all she'd

experienced tonight?

She'd been right in her certainty that making love to him would change things. They were going to start a new relationship now, had already started it. It wasn't leading toward marriage yet, but it would eventually. She was still positive of that. And in the meantime, Warren was going to become so used to her loving that he wouldn't be able to do without it. She'd see to that.

Taishi had come by a while ago to retrieve her, but Amy had made no move to go with him, and Warren had made no move to let her up off the mattress. He in fact had given the little man such a mutinous look that he'd backed out of the room without a word and locked them in again. Amy had giggled for five minutes. Warren had finally shut her up by kissing her again.

Now she wondered aloud, "Care to tell me what you're doing on this ship?"

"I could ask you the same thing."

"I was going to seduce this man I adore, but no one bothered to tell me he'd moved."

"That isn't funny, Amy."

"The truth rarely is," she replied dryly. "So what's your excuse?"

"This girl's uncle insisted I 367 rescue her from a situation he felt I was to blame for."

Amy sighed. "I should have known Uncle James would have had a hand in it. I suppose I owe you an apology for that."

"No, you don't," he replied, feeling guilty for letting her think that was the only reason, though he didn't own up to the truth.

"Are you very upset about having to give up this infamous vase?"

"Earlier this year I might have been. Now it doesn't seem all that important."

"And that will be the end of it?"

"I'm afraid not. They're going to kill us as soon as they get the vase."

She sat up in surprise to look at him. "Do you really think so?"


"Well, that's not very sporting of them, is it?" she said rather huffily.

He pulled her back down to his chest. "Why aren't you scared?"

"I'm sure I will be when the time comes, but I can't think when I'm scared, so I'd as soon put it off."

He squeezed her, telling her in his way that he appreciated that she wasn't screaming and crying over what couldn't be helped.

But after a moment, a suspicious thought occurred to her. "I hope you're not going to tell me that you finally gave in and let me seduce you because you don't expect to live much longer."

"You didn't seduce me. I attacked you."

"Rubbish. It was a well-planned seduction --well, half-planned anyway, since I didn't really think I'd be getting over here-- and answer the question."

"I don't intend to die any time soon. Is that answer enough?"

"How do you plan to avoid it?"

"The vase is my only leverage," he explained. "So I need to figure out a way to turn it over and still retain the upper hand."

"Have you?"

"Not yet."

"Zhang claims you stole the vase," she remarked almost offhandedly.

"He's a liar," Warren said bitterly. "The bastard wagered it against my ship in a game of chance. He lost, but that wasn't part of his 369 plan. He tried to kill me to get the vase back that very night."

"Rather unfair, wouldn't you say?"

"A man like Yat-sen doesn't believe in being fair. He only believes in getting what he wants. Sounds a bit like you, doesn't it?"

Amy blushed furiously, the attack was so unexpected. She supposed she shouldn't have brought up a subject guaranteed to stir up Warren's resentment, when that resentment could so easily become a backlash against her, which was what it had just done. And he wasn't finished.

"You ought to be spanked for getting yourself into Zhang's clutches. If you'd stayed home like a young lady ought to, they wouldn't have got either one of us."

"That's quite possibly true," she said hesitantly and took a chance, rolling onto him. "But you're not going to spank me when you can make love to me again instead."

"No," he agreed even as he positioned her to receive him, "I don't suppose I am.

Chapter 35

The storm that had remained southwest of the ship all day yesterday doubled back and washed over it today with a vengeance. Warren didn't get his daily workout. In fact, Taishi looked exceedingly haggard as well as drenched when he came by with the rest of Amy's belongings and some leftover scraps from the galley that morning.

Amy had started to complain about the meager fare, but Warren forestalled her, well aware that the ovens would be shut down in weather like this. He wanted to be out in it himself, doing what he did best.

And he would have offered his services, not that he thought they'd be accepted, if it weren't for Amy's fear of the storm.

It was the first time Warren had seen her frightened, really frightened. She dealt with it by chattering incessantly about the most ridiculous things, pacing nervously, and every once in a while moaning, "I hate this. Why don't you make it stop?"

Ridiculous and quite amusing, though he didn't once laugh at her. He actually found that he didn't like her being afraid, that he wished he could stop the blasted storm for her. But all he could do was reassure her, when he knew 371 very well that they were facing the kind of weather that could cripple a ship, and since they were no more than halfway to their destination, that could strand them to the point of starvation--if they didn't sink first.

He certainly didn't tell his cabinmate that. And he might prefer to face the elements, but being holed up with Amy did have its advantages, now that he had given in to her temptations. She also kept his mind off the storm by the necessity of having to keep hers off it, and it seemed only one thing could achieve that.

But they could spend only so much time occupied in bed, however pleasant that time, especially when it became increasingly difficult to actually stay in it without holding onto the mattress.

Amy's lighter weight was rolling out of the bed for the second time when Taishi returned unexpectedly, letting in the rain with him. He didn't even notice her na**dness, his terrified eyes going straight to Warren.

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