Read The Seduction of Sebastian St. James Online

Authors: Rachel van Dyken

Tags: #historical romance, #regency romance, #Humorous, #Rachel Van Dyken, #The Ugly Duckling Debutante, #kindle romance, #Fiction, #Romance, #Astraea Press, #London, #Historical Fiction, #Regency London, #Sensual romance, #Under 3.00 Kindle

The Seduction of Sebastian St. James (8 page)

BOOK: The Seduction of Sebastian St. James
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In one sudden movement, people began scattering about looking Emma and Sebastian up and down as if the game had now been set, the pieces laid out, and execution in order.

Feeling trapped, Emma desperately wanted to do more than run as three older gentlemen hobbled her way. Two of them looked like they had one foot at deaths door. Not to mention that they appeared to be suffering from gout. The third suitor was at least smiling, but missing all of his teeth.

Lovely. Maybe she could chew his food for him as well.

Her eyes darted toward Sebastian, sending him a look of utter misery.

She should have known his response would be to greet all three men.

Then offer them a drink.

And his support.

Curse the man.

All because of the kissing and the grapes. Well, he would pay—dearly.

As if sent from God, his ‘payment’ approached. Four green girls in white frilly dresses nervously walked up to him. If their faces didn’t scream ‘desperate for a duke,’ their excitable chatter and posture certainly did.

Emma complimented them on their beauty then promptly told them the duke’s favorite color was yellow.

Earlier she had overheard him complaining about yellow dresses to Nicholas.

The look on his face confirmed he wasn’t even slightly amused at her gesture.

For good measure she added, “A little hint, ladies.”She stepped forward, bringing the girls into her confidence. “He just adores attention. So don’t feel awkward at all about following him to and fro. In fact, the duke loves to feel pursued and desired. Why just this last year a girl stalked him for six months! Once he discovered her true identity, he bragged to everyone at Whites about how desired he was. So girls, it’s up to you to make him feel special.”

Wide-eyed with excitement, they nodded their heads in unison and did as she directed. Like little chicks, they followed him all around the ballroom.

She vaguely remembered she still had the three old men standing next to her. The one without gout, whom she would forever refer to as toothless, had promptly fallen asleep standing up. Either that or he was shielding his eyes from the guests in the ballroom. Safe to say he wouldn’t notice her walking away.

The other two, whom she was now referring to as balding men
with
gout, were eyeing her like a delicious morsel of food. Impossible to figure out if it was the type of treat one would eat or a sweet morsel one should never think about when staring at old men with gout. Taking into account their girth, it was a question that would remain unanswered. And for that she was eternally grateful.

Shuddering, she pushed the thoughts away, not wanting to research any further.

She made an excuse about needing to fix her dress and ran away.

Well, she walked fast, considering she had been informed repeatedly over the last day that ladies did not run.

Just as she was about to reach the door to her freedom, she was yanked out of the hallway by large hands.

It was Sebastian.

And he was hiding in a closet.

That was what they had been reduced to.

Closet hiding.

It couldn’t get worse.

And then...

“Your grace!” a young girl whined. “I am positive I saw him run over here.”

Sebastian tightened his grip on Emma’s waist in warning.

Like she would say anything to give herself away.

As if a candle were suddenly in the small closet aiding in the temperature increase, her body began to overcharge. Maybe it was the closeness, or maybe the kiss had affected her more than she thought.

Like a magnet, she was drawn to him. Couldn’t pull away if she wanted to. His hands, which had been on her waist, began sliding upwards toward her breasts. His fingers brushed provocatively all the way past them to her neck. Her breathing was laborious as her body leaned into him. Waiting for something. What, she didn’t know. His hands seemed to burn wherever they traveled. A sense of loss descended on her when he pulled one hand away and cursed.

 

****

 

Hot desire had descended in that closet. He was on fire for her. Yet this would be the second time in one night he had managed to nearly compromise her. So why couldn’t he find the desire to push her away or even apologize?

The little infuriating minx even had the audacity to lie to Nicholas and then throw him mercilessly into the pit of wandering debutantes.

At the time, he had wondered if she possessed a heart at all.

Then telling the girls his favorite color was yellow, oh yes, and to stalk him. A personal favorite. His butler would have his hide by the morning, considering Emma had left out an important piece of information. That he wasn’t currently in residence.

They needed to join forces, but not in the way that kept happening.

The kissing, it had to stop. It was already complicating things. For example, his view on finding a mate. Now plagued with images of her each time he closed his eyes, it would be that much more difficult when he had to actually find someone he would be attracted to and could stand to be in the same room with for longer than five minutes.

Emma would ruin him forever with her luscious body and challenging antics. Never had he met a girl with a more contagious spirit.

Exactly the opposite of what he needed in the next duchess. But then again, all that was necessary was an heir. However was he supposed to find a legitimate wife with all the debutantes swarming around? It would be impossible to discover if they had any substance at all.

Lost in thought he had almost missed Emma when she had sauntered by. And now she was leaning into him like some bloody wanton.

Oh, how he wanted to give in.

His hands had a mind of their own as they traced upward from her perfectly shaped waist. He only paused when her eyes began to close. Lust pounded through his veins as her smell invaded his senses. Perhaps one kiss. How could it further complicate things? Yes, one kiss, and once the night was over, he would go about finding a suitable bride. But he was a man, and although given the title of angel duke, it was deuced hard not to take advantage of this advantageous situation.

Blood pounded his ears as he watched the way her breathing became laborious. Watched in utter fascination as her breasts strained against her bodice. Just this once then, he would satisfy his desire and hers. Tomorrow was another day altogether.

And then Emma was moving closer, leaning further as his back touched the edge of the wall.

Swallowing the sudden dryness that had taken permanent residence in his throat, he braced his senses for impact. All five of them, for she was mauling him with her scent, her presence, her body…everything about her made him want to cry out in frustration.

“Emma.” He choked out her name, trying desperately to sound more in control than he felt.

Her body continued to sway in front of his.

A tendril of hair bounced out of her coiffure.

And it was his undoing.

Reaching out, he grasped at the silky tendril and lifted it to his mouth. Was he mad? Or just bombarded with lust? Because all he wanted to do was taste her. To open her up and see what treasure her body could behold. It was not merely a kiss anymore. A satisfying romp in the closet. It was so much more, too much more.

She was making him want to cross boundaries.

And the Duke of Tempest never crossed boundaries. He was the most discreet of anyone he knew, including his grandmother. Quite a feat.

“Sebastian.” Her voice, no, her plea broke the argument he was having with himself in his mind.

“Yes.” His lips trembled.

“Please.”

Oh, beg me, please. Say my name.

As if reading his thoughts, she whispered his name in reverence. Whatever had taken place in the ball was now forgotten.

It was just them.

Alone and sharing a private and provocative embrace.

Dear God, help him. He was going to ruin everything.

Might as well do it thoroughly.

His head dipped toward hers. Taking one last shaky breath, his lips descended with every intention of plundering her mouth. A little further. There was no going back. Their laborious breaths seemed to tangle, making the room seem like magic. The moment was perfect. Her eyes closed in anticipation. Reaching the point of no return, his lips brushed against hers. Tentatively at first, almost waiting for her invitation.

Boldly, she answered yes in response, and her mouth opened. The intoxicating sweetness stole his breath away as he clung to her shoulders plunging his tongue further into her invitation, drinking in her sweet nectar.

“Sebastian! I know you’re in there!” Nicholas’s booming voice went hardly un-noticed.

Before Sebastian had time to react, Emma grabbed the collar of his jacket and pushed him away. Putting her hand over her mouth, she stepped back, and then as if a brilliant idea had dawned on her, she pulled him forward. Her lips briefly touched his again. A goodbye kiss or a taunt, he wasn’t sure which, and then she stepped away again just as Nicholas opened the door. By then they were separated, but looked flushed and guilty.

“Oh, hiding. I see how it is. Well, Seb, your grandmother’s scouting the room for you. If she doesn’t find you soon, I figure she’s going to report you missing, or worse, dead. I’d make an appearance if I were you.”

Nicholas turned on his heel and stomped off.

The man would have made a good spy. How was it he knew where Sebastian had run off to?

“I should go.” Emma bit her lip and pushed by him. He didn’t miss the provocative smile she sent him.

“I might kill him, you know.”

“Nicholas?” she asked.

“Yes. I do hope you’re not too attached.”

She shrugged. “I hope you can manage to keep your head straight the rest of the night. Do try to set that kiss out of your mind while the little debutantes follow you around, your grace.”

“Minx!” he yelled, watching her run off.

He couldn’t leave the closet yet. Not if his life depended on it. Thinking of his grandmother for more than two minutes seemed to set him to rights again. Though physical evidence of his desire was still apparent, he knew he would be presentable by the time he reached the crush. As he stepped around the corner he noticed a small—no, take that back—a large swarm of debutantes waiting to trap him. Yet all he could think about was the cursed kiss he had shared with Emma. The girl had ruined him, and she knew it. He couldn’t focus on stating his own name, which the little debutantes took as him being nervous and shy.

He was going to wring her pretty neck later.

Violence was obviously in the forefront of his mind along with searing passion, and God forgive the most distressing thought of Emma Gates sprawled across his bed.

It was going to be a long night.

 

****

 

Emma watched in fascination as Sebastian danced with debutante after debutante. She couldn’t seem to hide her amusement each time they made eye contact across the room. He was sending her threats through his eyes.

Of course he wouldn’t follow through. He was too much of a gentleman. A gentleman in need of seducing. She let out a shaky laugh at the thought. No, this man was not hers for the taking. But a girl could dream. She had no idea what had possessed her to kiss the man again except for an incessant need to feel his protective body close to hers. And the amusing thought that he would have trouble pushing their scandalous embrace out of his ‘angelic’ head. Selfishly, Emma could not help but be curious, and after their first kiss had been interrupted by none other than Nicholas, well she had wanted to feel his lips against hers again. Never one to pass up an opportunity, she took it, knowing fully that a man like that would never marry a woman like her, for good reason. Besides, it would be impossible to be more ruined than she already was.

And the man could kiss.

Not that she had anything to compare it to. But she could well imagine that any man’s kisses would pale in comparison.

It was unfortunate they hadn’t met in a different way or a different lifetime. If she had to marry, she would rather marry someone she could fight and joke with than some decaying old man who would most likely die of a heart attack on their wedding night.

On cue another elderly gentleman walked up to Emma and bowed.

Perfect.

He smiled, revealing a maddeningly attractive row of straight teeth. Surprisingly enough none of them appeared to be rotting.

The night was obviously taking a turn for the better!

Possibly by the last waltz she would be approached by someone who resembled an old uncle rather than an ancient grandfather.

A girl could only hope.

The man shakily grabbed his cane and nudged her in the side.

“He’s a good-looking fellow, is he not, my dear?”

“Who?” What was this man jabbering about?

BOOK: The Seduction of Sebastian St. James
13.26Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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