The Dowager and Rorie were staying in for the evening. It was raining even harder and they both needed a rest. Colt was staying in this evening and they were planning an intimate family dinner with just the three of them. Rorie wanted to wear a new gown that had been partially made and fitted to her today. It was informal and simple but elegant enough to wear for a private family meal. The skirt was not as full as for a ball and it was much lighter and more comfortable, but it was lovely and floated enchantingly around her legs. With her hair in a simple braid down her back with tendrils around her face, and a gossamer silver wrap for her shoulders, the ensemble was completed by the watch necklace Colt had given her for Christmas. With the necklace nestled against her breasts, she headed downstairs to the study.
They would have dinner at a small table in front of the fire since it was just the three of them. Rorie loved it this way when they did not use the big dining room. It was so much more intimate and comfortable in the study with a glass of wine in front of a roaring fire. She had seen so little of Colt since they had been in London that she felt a thrill in her veins at spending the evening with him. She had been busy since arriving in London but not as busy as she would be after she was presented to Queen Charlotte. She feared she would see little of Colt after that due to the engagements they would have as she did not know if Colt would accompany them.
As she entered the study quietly, Rorie saw Colt standing in front of the fire, staring into the flames with a glass dangling from his fingertips. Walking soundlessly, she stood behind him, not knowing what to say. Wanting to hug him, she knew that would be the wrong thing and kept her distance, even though she wanted to wrap her arms around the back of his white shirt that he wore without a waistcoat. Colt never wore a waistcoat or a tailcoat when they were not expecting company. She suspected that he hated the things. Colt still had not heard her standing there or sensed it.
Tentatively, she reached out her hand and after taking a deep breath, gently laid her hand in the middle of his back. Colt did not pull away from her touch, nor did he jump away from her in surprise. To her delight, Colt tipped back his head and leaned into her touch. In response, Rorie increased the pressure of her touch and ran her hand up and down his spine. Growling deep in his throat, Colt reached behind him and took hold of her wrist and turned slowly to face her. Icy blue eyes never leaving hers, he raised her hand slowly to his lips and pressed a kiss to the tender inside of her wrist. Feeling the tingle from her wrist, spread through her whole body caused her to close her eyes and shiver, but her eyes sprung back open when she heard Colt's quiet chuckle and her cheeks colored and she cast her eyes down. Still holding her wrist, Colt pulled her close and ran his hand over her cheek.
"You are so beautiful," he whispered. Touching his lips to her forehead and his nose to hers, he squeezed her close while running one hand down the side of her uncorseted ribcage, enjoying the natural curves of her body before releasing her and stepping away.
Rorie's face was a becoming pink and her eyes were downcast and he could see the desire in her face and in the way her bosom heaved above the neckline of her beautiful new gown. He would have to talk to Whittington about the depth of her necklines. It was all he could do not to run his fingers over her rounded cleavage and follow with his lips until he sucked those pink tips into his mouth and made her pant with wanting. Feeling the familiar swelling in his breeches, he turned away and busied himself with placing his empty glass on the edge of his desk and quelling the desire pumping through his veins.
She looked ravishing. He wanted to take her hair down and comb his fingers through it and kiss down that white throat. He had been looking forward to this evening’s dinner, he had seen her little since their settling in London and he was missing her company and while she was never far from his mind, he missed the effect she had on his body as well. Even though it was painful…she made him feel alive.
Rorie reveled in the closeness even if it wasn’t a kiss on the lips, she could tell he wanted her in the possessive way he touched her. A simple touch was all it took to reassure her of his wanting her.
“Pardon me, Your Grace, but your mum is feeling a bit under the weather and is going to stay in her room this evening” Mrs. Rockport called from the doorway with a gentle, knowing smile.
His mother was going to take to her bed, was she? She was no sicker than he was…she was meddling on purpose. With a rueful grin he said, “Thank you, Rocky, it will just be me and Rorie for dinner this evening then, so we will eat in front of the fire.”
“Yes, Your Grace, we shall serve you there. Dinner will be out soon. Would you like me to fetch some wine?”
“Champagne, Rocky, a sweet moscato please.”
“Right away, Your Grace,” Mrs. Rockport curtsied gently before hurrying off to get the Champagne. She knew the young Duke chose the champagne for the Miss Fulton and her heart fluttered a bit at the young love she saw blooming before her eyes. The Duke had grown from a trying boy to a stubborn man, but his heart was softened by this young ward. She could tell.
Rorie was grinning as Colt turned to face her with his hands on his hips. He looked so domineering and stern as he huffed out a sigh. “Was Mother sick when you spent the day with her, Rorie?” She could not help it and a chuckle slipped out at his expression and the question.
“No, Colt, I do not believe she was sick.” Rorie laughed out loud then.
A smile started to twitch around Colt’s mouth and it turned into a full blown chuckle as well. Stalking toward her, he reached for her hand and led her over to the fire where there was a small table with two wingback chairs with a view of the roaring flames.
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