His Scandalous Mistress: The Master's Mistress / Count Toussaint's Pregnant Mistress / Castellano's Mistress of Revenge - Кэрол Мортимер - CHAPTER FOUR Читать онлайн любовный роман

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His Scandalous Mistress: The Master's Mistress / Count Toussaint's Pregnant Mistress / Castellano's Mistress of Revenge

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CHAPTER FOUR

‘YOU can’t possibly believe that?’ Elizabeth gasped incredulously, when she could finally speak at all, her cheeks pale and her eyes wide as she stared across the width of the table at Rogan.

Not surprising, really, Rogan accepted grimly. It couldn’t be every day she heard a man accuse his own father of being responsible for killing his mother!

He stood up abruptly. ‘Let’s get out of here,’ he rasped.

Elizabeth Brown continued to stare at him as she rose unsteadily to her feet, belatedly turning back to pick up her shoulder bag at she realised she had forgotten it in her obvious shock at his statement.

‘Rogan?’ she prompted shakily once they were outside on the pavement.

Rogan’s fingers curled about the top of her arm, his face stern as he walked across the square to where Elizabeth had parked the car. ‘Brad wasn’t standing behind my mother pushing her when she fell off the cliff to her death,’ he explained. ‘But the adulterous snake might just as well have been!’ he added coldly.

Elizabeth’s head was buzzing with the things Rogan had just said about his parents. But not so much that she wasn‘t completely aware of the touch of those lean fingers wrapped strongly about her upper arm… ‘I—I don’t know what to say… ’

Rogan’s mouth twisted derisively as he watched her fumbling in her shoulder bag for her car keys. ‘That must make you unique amongst your sex!’

Elizabeth was aware that Rogan was probably being flippant as a means of alleviating the intensity of their conversation, but that didn’t make his deliberate taunt any less insulting. ‘You really are a male chauvinist, aren’t you?’ she muttered as she finally found her keys and unlocked the doors.

Rogan quirked an eyebrow. ‘If I was a male chauvinist I wouldn’t allow you to do the driving.’

Elizabeth frowned at him over the top of her bottle-green Mini. ‘It’s my car!’

He gave an unconcerned shrug. ‘I believe chauvinists are only concerned with their own fragile egos rather than ownership.’ He opened the passenger door and climbed inside.

Leaving Elizabeth with no choice but to do the same. All the time aware that there was nothing in the least fragile about this man’s ego!

She gave Rogan another frowning glance before switching on the ignition and driving out of the town square and on to the coast road that led back to Sullivan House.

The coast road consisted mainly of high cliffs that dropped down to the beach or the rocks below. The same high cliffs from which Rogan’s mother had fallen to her death… ?

For some reason Elizabeth had thought that Maggie Sullivan’s premature death had been from some unnamed illness. To learn that she had actually fallen to her death from these high cliffs because her husband had been an ‘adulterous snake’ was more than disturbing in view of the behaviour of Elizabeth’s own father, and her mother‘s response to it…

As a result of that, Elizabeth had deliberately kept her own adult life free of emotional entanglements; she certainly didn’t welcome anything that reminded her of the pain and disillusionment that had been so much a part of her own childhood.

Perhaps it might be better if she postponed cataloguing the library at Sullivan House for now and came back later in the summer, when things might be less emotionally fraught?

When Rogan had returned to NewYork and was no longer present at Sullivan House to disturb her, for instance…

And she was once again disturbed—by his close proximity in the confines of her car!

Barely leashed power oozed from every pore of Rogan’s muscular body, sending out a purely physical challenge that heightened Elizabeth’s senses, both sight and smell. Her fingers tightened about the steering wheel as she resisted the urge to reach out and touch the lean strength of his hands where they lay clenched on his powerful thighs.

She’d never reacted to a man in this way. At least… she never had until Rogan Sullivan’s sudden appearance at Sullivan House last night. Since then her nerve-endings—and every other part of her!—had been on constant alert.

‘What are you thinking about?’ he suddenly wanted to know.

Elizabeth’s fingers gripped the steering wheel even tighter. ‘I was simply wondering if your long hair is a reaction to being in the army for so many years, or if you’ve just forgotten to go to a barber recently.’

‘Liar,’ Rogan murmured huskily, well aware that Elizabeth had been shooting him surreptitious glances from beneath those sooty lashes for the last few minutes. And he was experienced enough to know that Elizabeth Brown was aroused by what she saw when she looked at him.

Her eyes were fever-bright. Her cheeks were flushed. Her breathing was soft and uneven. Also, her breasts were full, with the nipples showing hard and aroused against the soft material of her blouse.

Every starchy inch of Elizabeth Brown was aware of him, and he found that knowledge delicious!

She bristled at the accusation. ‘I—’

‘You’re clenching your left hand again, Elizabeth,’ he warned softly.

She frowned at the observation, but instantly lessened the tightness of the grip she had on the steering wheel. ‘You—’

‘Admit it, Liza.’ He deliberately gave her that sexy smile as he used the name he knew she objected to so strongly. ‘When you look at me, you like what you see!’

Her jaw tightened disapprovingly, although the blush in her cheeks and the catching of her breath in her throat told a completely different story… ‘I told you not to call me—’

‘I like calling you Liza.’ Rogan turned in his seat so that he could look at her fully. ‘With your eyes shining brightly, and that colour in your cheeks, you’re much more of a Liza than you are a stiff and unapproachable Elizabeth,’ he said appreciatively.

‘Stiff and—!’ She gave an impatient shake of her head. ‘Are you deliberately trying to annoy me?’

He quirked dark brows. ‘Am I succeeding?’

‘Very much so!’

He grinned unrepentantly. ‘Enough to make sure that you definitely decide to high-tail it out of Sullivan House as soon as you can make the appropriate excuses?’

That blush in her cheeks deepened as she gasped softly. ‘How did you know… ?’

‘That’s what you were thinking about doing a few minutes ago,’ Rogan finished dryly.

‘You’re pretty easy to read, Elizabeth.’ He gave an unconcerned shrug. Rogan hadn’t just learned to analyse computers over the last fifteen years; he had learned to read people too.

Although this woman was a little more complicated than most. No, make that a lot more complicated!

Why did a beautiful woman in her late twenties bury herself in academia? To such an extent that she even chose to occupy her vacation time buried in the wilds of Cornwall, cataloguing a private library? Did she ever let anyone past that spiky exterior? Rogan wondered. More to the point, had she ever let a man past that bristly exterior and into her body… ?

Elizabeth wasn’t sure she liked Rogan finding her ‘easy to read’—especially considering some of the thoughts she had been having about him since first setting eyes on him the previous night!

Her mouth firmed. ‘I have no intention of “high-tailing it out of Sullivan House”, as you put it.’ Not any more, she didn’t. Not when he seemed to have so easily guessed that he would be the reason for her leaving! ‘Your father engaged me to catalogue his library, and if you still want me to continue, then I will fulfil that obligation.’

His mouth twisted. ‘Big on obligation, are you?’

Elizabeth stiffened at the taunt she heard in his tone. ‘I believe that once given a person’s word should be honoured, yes.’

Implying, Rogan would guess, that someone close to her—or someone she had allowed close to her?—had once let her down pretty badly.

He nodded. ‘Are you hoping to find even more valuable first editions?’

‘It’s possible, yes,’ she acknowledged cautiously.

Rogan chuckled softly. ‘You don’t have to be so cagey, Elizabeth, I’m not about to steal any of them and sell them off for a huge profit!’

‘It would hardly be stealing when the books appear to be yours now,’ she reasoned.

‘But you do think I’m going to sell them off for profit at the first opportunity, don’t you? Don’t bother to deny it, Elizabeth.’ His tone was grim now, as he saw the truth of his accusation in her face. ‘You’re obviously as big on making assumptions about people as you are on honouring your obligations!’ he accused, with obvious disgust.

Was she? Elizabeth wondered. Perhaps. Where this particular man was concerned, anyway. He seriously threatened her peace of mind…

‘I—What are you doing in here?’ Elizabeth came to a stop in the library doorway as she saw Rogan, sitting behind his father’s leather-topped mahogany desk, her laptop open in front of him.

He looked up to raise an unimpressed eyebrow. ‘As the new owner, don’t you think I have a perfect right to be in here?’

Well… of course he had a right to enter his father’s library. His library now. Elizabeth was just surprised, having come to the library with the intention of working again this afternoon, once she had been upstairs to freshen up after they’d returned from town, to find Rogan had beaten her to it.

She stood in front of the desk to arch her own auburn brows. ‘Find anything of interest on my laptop?’

Rogan sat back. ‘Your laptop?’ he murmured slowly. ‘I thought it was my father’s.’

Elizabeth smiled at having at last been able to disconcert a man who was so self-confident he made her want to scream. ‘I prefer to work with equipment I’m familiar with.’

There it was again, Rogan noted with a frown. Elizabeth Brown liked her life ordered and predictable, even down to the laptop she used for whatever work she happened to be doing.

Rogan grimaced. ‘I had some e-mails I wanted to send.’ Damn it, if he had known this was Elizabeth’s laptop he might have had a look through some of her other files. Just in the interest of gaining further insight into what made her tick, of course. It was something Rogan was always careful to do with the people that were around him on a day-to-day basis.

He already knew what Elizabeth did; it was the rest of the information on her that was still a little sketchy. Where she came from. Who her family was. Who her friends were.

For different reasons, most probably, Elizabeth kept her personal life as close to her chest as Rogan did his own…

‘Sorry about that.’ He shut the laptop down before standing up, his eyes narrowing at the instinctive way Elizabeth instantly took a step away from him.

What the hell?

Was this woman scared of him?

No, that wasn’t fear Rogan could see in her eyes, but something else. Something much more interesting…

Elizabeth took another step back as Rogan moved out from behind the desk, once again finding herself overwhelmed by the sheer animal magnetism of the man. He really was like that predator she had been reading about last night, his movements slow and stealthy, soundless on the carpeted floor.

The muscles moved smoothly in his legs and beneath his tight-fitting T-shirt as he came ever closer, the very air about him seeming to part in deference to all that rippling power.

Her eyes were wide with apprehension. ‘I—What are you doing?’

He raised dark brows over those inky eyes. ‘What does it look like I’m doing?’ Even his voice sounded lower, husky, purposeful…

Elizabeth swallowed hard. ‘I came in here to work—’

‘Later.’

‘Later?’ she repeated, with a nervous sweep of her tongue across suddenly dry lips.

The blackness of Rogan’s gaze locked on to that nervous movement. ‘Later,’ he confirmed gruffly.

He was standing so close to her now that Elizabeth could feel the heat of his body enveloping her, and that heat and the subtle scent of him were acting like a drug on her already heightened senses.

The same senses that had been on alert from the moment she first set eyes on this man.

Sight. Smell. Touch…

Elizabeth gave a shake of her head in an effort to clear her mind of the foggy haze that seemed to be encompassing her. ‘I don’t know what game you’re playing, Rogan—’

‘I never play games, Liza,’ he assured her softly.

He had called her by that hateful name again, but for the moment Elizabeth was too concerned by the threat he represented to her, to her equilibrium, to bother correcting him. ‘You’re playing one right now. And it isn’t funny,’she reproved.

Rogan didn’t find this situation funny, either. In fact, he deeply regretted having started this, and was no longer sure who was challenging whom.

Elizabeth’s eyes were such a deep and drowning blue. Those sooty lashes a dark sweep against the creaminess of her cheeks. Her mouth, those full and pouting lips that had just felt the moist touch of her tongue, was tempting him to do the same. She smelled so damned good too: a mixture of some elusive floral scent and a warm and sexy femininity…

Rogan gave a low groan in his throat as he felt his body respond to her, his thighs stirring, hardening, pulsing.

Aching!

‘Rogan… ?’

Even the way she spoke his name, so huskily, so warily, was arousing. Too much so for Rogan to be able to resist tasting her. Just one taste, he promised himself. One taste of her lips, with the feel of those slender curves pressed against his much harder ones, the crush of the softness of her breasts against his chest, her thighs against his, and he would let her go.

Elizabeth barely had time to raise her hands, with the intention of warding Rogan off, before his arms moved about her. He pulled her in tightly against the hardness of his body and his head lowered so that his mouth could claim hers.

Fiercely. Hungrily. Crushing, parting her lips beneath his as he deepened the kiss. His tongue surged past her lips and into the heated cavern of her mouth.

The hands she had raised to hold Rogan at bay instead clung to him. Her fingers curled into the front of his T-shirt as she met and returned the intensity of that kiss. Those fingers tightened and she held on to the black material for support as desire ripped shockingly through her body. She could feel her breasts swelling, the nipples hard and aching, the warmth between her thighs becoming a burning sensation as she felt herself becoming wet and swollen with a need she had never known before.

She could feel the pulse of Rogan’s arousal against the flatness of her stomach as he pressed her even closer against him. Every long, thick, hard inch of him throbbed rhythmically against her, in a promise that would ease the increasing ache between Elizabeth’s own thighs as he surged powerfully inside her.

Rogan knew he had to stop this. Now. Before things got completely out of control.

Except she tasted so good. Felt so good. The softness of her curves was a perfect fit against the hardness of his.

All of her was perfect, Rogan discovered as he moved his hand beneath her blouse to touch the silky heat of her bare flesh, caressing upwards, until his fingers curved about the soft, up-tilting swell of her breast. Not too small. Not too large. Just a perfect fit in the palm of his hand.

His own body throbbed anew as Elizabeth gave a throaty groan and her head dropped back to break the kiss. As Rogan moved the soft pad of his thumb against the puckered pout of her nipple her breathing becoming laboured and ragged, and he kissed down the length of her creamy throat to push aside the collar of her blouse so that his tongue and teeth could seek out the hollows at the base of her neck.

She tasted better than anything Rogan had ever experi-enced before. The feel of her skin against his lips was a beguiling combination of feminine softness and spice.

He could feel the heat of Elizabeth’s arousal as she pressed her hips into his, sensed how ready she was for him.

So ready Rogan wanted to lie her down on the carpeted floor and take her right here and now. To thrust into her time and time again, until she screamed out his name as she climaxed, wildly, fiercely, as spasm after spasm of pleasure wrapped itself around him and she took him over that edge with her.

Rogan nudged her back towards the desk, feeling the added pressure of her body against his as the wood pressed against the back of her legs. He pushed those legs apart to step in between them, grinding his arousal against her tempting heat in an effort to relieve some of the fierceness of his own need.

He succeeded only in increasing that need until he could only move rhythmically against her, the barrier of their clothing no hindrance to the heat, the satisfaction he found between Elizabeth’s legs as he continued to surge against her. Again and again. Harder. Faster. Until Rogan felt he would lose his mind if he didn’t soon possess her for real!

This was insane, Elizabeth acknowledged achingly, as she felt the thick length of Rogan’s shaft pressed against the swollen nub between her legs, creating a fire deep inside her that quickly spread and threatened to flame totally out of control.

She couldn’t do this…

She wouldn’t do this!

‘No, Rogan!’ she gasped, even as she pushed against the hardness of his chest. ‘No!’ she cried again, entangling her fingers in his over-long dark hair and pulling his head back and away from her when her verbal protest had no effect on those questing, arousing lips. ‘No,’ she said again firmly, and she looked up appealingly into the unfocused darkness of his eyes.

Eyes as wild, dark, and dangerous as those of the lethal predator she had initially thought him to be!

The very air between them seemed to crackle with tension, and Elizabeth could only wait tensely to see if her pleas would have any effect. Because if they didn’t then she knew she was seriously in danger, crushed as she was be-tween Rogan and the desk, every hard muscle and sinew of his body imprinted upon her own. There was no way, absolutely no way, that she would be able to physically fight off a man as large and fit as Rogan undoubtedly was. And at this moment, breathing in his scent, still weak from the touch of his hands against the bareness of her flesh, she wasn’t sure that she really wanted to…

She continued to stare up at him for long, timeless seconds, not breathing, not moving, the palms of her hands damp with tension, her legs trembling beneath her.

His jaw clenched even as the fierceness slowly left the dark unfathomable depths of his eyes. He stepped abruptly away from her, the muscles still tense in his back as he turned away from her to smooth the wildness of his hair back from his face and draw deep, controlling breaths into his lungs.

Allowing Elizabeth to draw in a couple of much-needed breaths herself.

What on earth had happened just now? More to the point, how had it happened?

She rarely even dated, let alone allowed men to get close to her in this way. This totally physical way!

She hadn’t exactly allowed Rogan to get close to her; he had just taken the opportunity.

And she had responded…

Responded to that animal magnetism that drew her like a moth to a flame. To the hunger of his lips on hers. To the caress of his hand against the bareness of her skin. To the fierceness of his hard and demanding thighs pressed so intimately against hers…

Elizabeth felt another warm rush of heat between her legs just at remembering the hardness of Rogan’s thighs pressed against the throb of her own arousal. An arousal he had found with unerring accuracy as he rubbed himself against her and took her ever higher, ever nearer to a release she had never known.

She had wanted Rogan just now. Desperately. So much so that she wouldn’t have been able to stop him if he had chosen to continue kissing and touching her. If he had thrown off their clothes before laying her back on the desk and satisfying their desire for one another.

Dear God… !

.

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