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become so muscular from doing physical work all day, they were

impressively defined, dark as any natives, their hair growing long

though they kept their beards trimmed. The work between them

fell into categories of responsibility dictated by natural ability, and

there was very little discord.

In fact, they all got along remarkably well, their situation

forging them into a family, the very difference between their

personalities a boon. She found the same nuances in all three of

them as lovers. Charles was teasing and playful in bed, and often

he would stay inside her after their first climax, talking, kissing

and touching until he hardened again and repeated the

performance. Anthony was the opposite…a careful lover who was

obsessed with her breasts, lavishing his attention on that portion of

her anatomy until they were both so aroused they climaxed quickly

once he actually penetrated her.

And Jonathan.

Jenna lived for the nights when she was his. She enjoyed sex

with the others, there was no denying it and she didn’t try, but it

was different with him. Combustible, often wild, always intensely

pleasurable. He was inventive and demanding, but also tender and

skillful. Even during the day, she often stayed near him, and it was

natural for her to sit next to him when they ate or gathered around

the useless but traditional signal fire. He seemed to have exclusive

rights by some sort of unspoken agreement to have authority over

anything that involved her.

Savage Shores

71

She gloried in the possessive look in his aqua eyes when he

looked at her, and wanted him to admit his feelings for her were

more than just simple passion.

Of course, she reminded herself often with dreary practicality,

what would be the point? It wasn’t as if he could marry her and

they could forge a normal life together. All she could have was his

physical affection.

It didn’t feel like enough.

72

Emma Wildes

Chapter 6

Seabirds circled and called, the forms indistinct against the

void of blue above, the sun blazing down with fierce intent. The

breeze was warm as well, a breath of hot moving air that did little

to relieve the oppressive heat. The monsoons had left, but there

was something approaching. Jonathan could feel it. Standing on

the beach, he scanned the horizon but it appeared harmless and

serene, the ocean glimmering in its usual endless vista.

Next to him, Anthony said, “I think we’re in for some bad

weather, Jon. In fact, maybe we should go to the cave tonight.”

“Shit, I hate the trek to that damned place,” Jonathan replied

darkly, “but I’m afraid you’re right. The air is practically

simmering.”

“One of us will have to carry Jenna,” Anthony murmured. “Her

skin is too tender for the thorns and insects.”

Both of them transferred their gaze to the water, where she

stood waist deep in the gentle surf, her shining blond hair tumbling

down her graceful back in long tangled curls, her firm breasts high

and pink-tipped. She was nude, but then she often was, none of

them were self-conscious of going without clothing anymore. A

little farther out, Charles swam in long powerful strokes, more at

home in the water than anyone Jonathan had ever seen.

Periodically they would splash each other and laugh, like two

carefree children, her musical mirth a pleasure to hear. Like the

three of them, she was smoothly muscled from swimming and

walking so much, her limbs long and luscious, her entire body a

golden brown from going without clothing in the sun so often.

Savage Shores

73

Even her breasts and bottom were gloriously tanned, and her

beautiful halo of silken hair streaked with pale glimmers, so long

now it fell below her hips. She had been beautiful and desirable

when they had first been shipwrecked, but now she

was…incomparable.

“How long have we been here, if you had to guess, and I know

that is all you can do.”

Turning, Jonathan glanced at the man he now considered a

close friend. “Months. At least four. Maybe five.”

“That sounds about right if the monsoons came when they were

supposed to.” Anthony nodded, his brown gaze still fixed

thoughtfully on Jenna’s lithe figure. “And in that time, Jon, how

often has Jenna had her female courses?”

“Once,” Jonathan answered with resignation.

“I think,” Anthony said calmly, “you need to talk to her.”

“This was bound to happen, of course.” Jonathan rubbed his

jaw with uncharacteristic uncertainty. “Has she said anything at all

to you?”

“Not a word. I swear I think she doesn’t realize she’s

pregnant.”

The subject in question shrieked suddenly as Charles came up

out of the sea and grabbed her, lifting her in his arms, playfully

threatening to toss her into the water. Her slender body gleamed in

the sun.

“I cannot believe it wouldn’t occur to her, but we of the upper

classes do pride ourselves on keeping our young well-bred women

ignorant about their bodies,” Jonathan said sardonically. “She’s

intelligent, but if one is not armed with information, how can a

person come to any correct conclusion? She’s probably just

grateful to skip her flux. I know I would be if, God forbid, such a

plague descended upon me. The way time passes here, she no

doubt lost track of when it was supposed to come in the first place

and as each day went by, forgot she was expecting it. I don’t know

74

Emma Wildes

exactly how women deal with such things, but I have had many

mistresses and they seemed to be able to gauge carefully

their…availability.”

Anthony lifted his brows. “Her breasts are larger already.”

“I’ve noticed, thank you,” Jonathan said shortly.

“Not that they weren’t perfect before…but they are spectacular

now.” Grinning, Anthony took a theatrical step backward as

Jonathan shot him a killing look.

“She belongs to Charles today, so forget about her breasts.”

Often enough, both Charles and Anthony liked to needle him over

Jenna, and he tried to not get irritated, but still did so with

annoying frequency. Frowning, he said, “I have noticed she isn’t as

slim either, she is beginning to show a little evidence of the

growing child. If one didn’t know her body intimately, she is

slender enough that maybe they wouldn’t see it, but I do.”

“Will she be pleased or upset?”

It was the question that had bothered Jonathan all long. “That’s

why I haven’t said anything before now,” he admitted. “Pure

cowardice. I honestly don’t want to see her unhappy over

something that is so monumental and life-changing. Face it, we are

all going to be different when this child arrives. It frightens the hell

out of me to think of protecting a vulnerable babe in this place,

much less the thought of Jenna having to deliver it without the

benefit of a mid-wife or any medical care. I have no idea what to

do.”

“I have some experience,” Anthony said, still watching the two

young people frolicking in the water, Jenna bending over to send a

spray of brilliant water at Charles, both of them looking like nubile

young savages. “Where there are soldiers, there are camp women.

The combination often results in babies. I’ve seen some born. They

tend to not wait even if a battle is raging. I know the basics,

anyway.”

“That’s something,” Jonathan said gratefully.

Savage Shores

75

“You need to speak with her right away, Jon. It can’t be put

off.”

“Yes, I know. I’ll do it now and get it over with.”

* * * *

Wading out of the water, Jenna lifted her brows in question,

seawater running off her body and onto the warm sand. “The water

is nice...are you going in for a swim?”

“No.” Jonathan held out his hand. “Come, walk with me.”

Since it was unusual for him to approach her when he wasn’t

on duty to protect her, and because he looked a little strange, she

said slowly, “Is something wrong?”

“Not in my opinion. Just come, Jenna.”

Not even letting her retrieve her skirt, he grasped her hand and

began to walk along the beach. Still in the water, Charles called

something and Jonathan turned to wave at him in dismissal, his

handsome face serious under the grazing of dark whiskers on his

jaw and chin.

Nude, her hair dripping, Jenna walked obediently beside him as

he led her away, the beach glistening before them in a pale arc into

the distance. His expression was unreadable. He said abruptly, “Do

you understand exactly how procreation works?”

Blinking, a little confused, Jenna said, “What?”

“How babies are made,” he clarified, his blue-green gaze

direct. “Do you understand that when a man comes inside a woman

and deposits his seed near her womb, a child can be conceived? If

it is only one time, a child can result. If it is multiple times, a child

becomes more and more likely. When I make love to you, and I

climax, the residue that seeps from between your legs later is my

sperm, made by my body to impregnate you.”

Put so graphically, she couldn’t help but understand. “I know

that,” she said faintly, though the truth was, she hadn’t particularly

76

Emma Wildes

grasped how the entire process worked. With only her father as a

parent, the subject had most certainly never arisen.

Jonathan stopped, the light breeze ruffling his long dark hair,

his gaze at once tender and compelling. “Do you also understand

that when a woman has her courses, it is because her body readied

for conception, but it didn’t happen? But if her flux does not come,

and she has had sexual intercourse
frequently
, it is likely she is

going to have a child.”

His emphasis on the word frequently sent the blood into her

neck and cheeks. Suddenly she felt as if the world slipped out from

under her and she stepped back abruptly, shaking free of his hand,

her mind whirling. It was a fact that she hadn’t bled in the regular

way for a long time.

Could it be true
?

“Jenna.” The way he said her name was gentle. “Are your

breasts a little tender? They look fuller, even more enticing than

before. And you are sleeping in the afternoons, resting so you can

grow this life within you. I don’t think there is any question of

your condition.”

“I’m going to have a baby?” She wasn’t sure how to feel, her

legs suddenly weak.

“I think so. In fact, I am quite sure.”

A thousand thoughts slid through her mind in a second.

“Here?” she said suddenly fearful. “With snakes and leopards and

God knows what makes that horrible sound in the night…”

“We’ll protect you and the babe,” Jonathan said, his gaze

steady. His smile was almost tentative, a difference from his usual

arrogant expression. “Are you upset?”

“I don’t know,” she answered honestly. Her hand went to her

stomach, feeling the taut skin there, flat against the very gentle

swell. It seemed suddenly that what he said made complete sense,

all of it, and that maybe somewhere deep she had known

something was happening to her body. “You must think I am an

Savage Shores

77

ignorant fool to not have guessed this myself,” she mumbled. “Do

Anthony and Charles know?”

“Yes—at least Anthony does, and Charles will not be

surprised.” Jonathan smiled wider, catching her and bringing her

close, encircling her with his strong arms. “You are not a fool,

Jenna, but a product of your upbringing. We are all not only older,

but vastly more experienced. And as for myself, I am pleased with

your condition.”

“You are?” Tilting her head back, she studied his expression,

resting against him. He looked sincere and relieved maybe that she

had not flown into a bout of hysterics. Then a thought occurred to

her and she flushed. “You can’t even know it is yours,” she said

reluctantly.

His long fingers caught her chin, tilting her head upward. “Do

you want this babe to be mine?” he asked in a husky voice, his

azure gaze mesmerizing.

She did, heart and soul. “Yes,” she admitted.

“Then as far as I am concerned, it is. If for no other reason than

it grows inside you.”

For the first time since she had offered herself to them all what

seemed a lifetime ago, he kissed her when it was not going to be

his night, his mouth warm and gentle, his tongue slipping inside to

taste and caress. She capitulated with joy, her bare body against his

strong tall form, her arms clasping his neck. It was a long, tender

embrace and when he broke it, he smiled again, not looking in the

least like the jaded aristocrat she knew, nor like the impassioned

lover of her dreams. “I am going to be a father,” he said with open

wonder.

* * * *

The animals, too, seemed to know something monumental was

going to happen. The underbrush of the jungle was unnaturally

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