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And she wanted them for herself as well. Whatever this was, building inside of her—this tension, this desire—it needed

release, and Penelope couldn't imagine that that moment, that those feelings wouldn't be the most exquisite of her Me.

"Tell me what to do," she said, urgency making her voice hoarse.

Colin spread her legs wide, running his hands along her sides until they reached her thighs and squeezed. "Let me do everything," he said, breathing hard.

She grabbed at his buttocks, pulling him closer. "No," she insisted. 'Tell me."

He stopped moving for the barest of moments, looking at her in surprise. "Touch me," he said.



Her hands on his bottom relaxed slightly, and she smiled. "I am touching you."

"Move," he groaned. "Move them."

She let her fingers drift to his thighs, swirling gently as she felt the soft springiness of hair. "Like this?"

He nodded jerkily.

Her hands slid forward, until they were dangerously close to his member. "Like this?"

Abruptly, he covered one of her hands with his. "Not now," he said harshly.

She looked at him in confusion.

"You'll understand later," he grunted, spreading her legs even wider before sliding his hand between their bodies and touching her most intimate place.

"Colin!" she gasped.

He smiled devilishly. "Did you think I wouldn't touch you like this?" As if to illustrate his point, one of his fingers began to dance across her sensitive flesh, causing her to arch off the bed, her hips actually lifting them both before sagging back down as she shuddered with desire.

His lips found her ear. "There's much more," he whispered.

Penelope didn't dare ask what. This was already an awful lot more than her mother had mentioned.

He slid one finger inside her, causing her to gasp again (which caused him to laugh with delight), then began to stroke her slowly.

"Oh, my God," Penelope moaned.

"You're almost ready for me," he said, his breath coming faster now. "So wet, but so tight."

"Colin, what are you—"

He slid another finger inside, effectively ending any chance she had for intelligent speech.

She felt stretched wide, and yet she loved it. She must be very wicked, a wanton at heart, because all she wanted was to spread her legs wider and wider until she was completely open to him. As far as she was concerned, he could do anything to her, touch her in any way he pleased.

Just as long as he didn't stop.

"I can't wait much longer," he gasped.

"Don't wait."

"I need you."

She reached up and grasped his face, forcing him to look at her. "I need you, too."

And then his fingers were gone. Penelope felt oddly hollow and empty, but only for a second, because then there was something else at her entrance, something hard and hot, and very, very demanding.

"This may hurt," Colin said, gritting his teeth as if he expected pain himself.

"I don't care."

He had to make this good for her. He had to. "I'll be gentle," he said, although his desire was now so fierce he had no idea how he could possibly keep such a promise.

"I want you," she said. "I want you and I need something and I don't know what."

He pushed forward, just an inch or so, but it felt like she was swallowing him whole.

She went silent beneath him, her only sound her breath running raggedly across her lips.

Another inch, another step closer to heaven. "Oh, Penelope," he moaned, using his arms to hold himself above her so as not to crush her with his weight. "Please tell me this feels good. Please."

Because if she said otherwise, it was going to kill him to pull out.

She nodded, but said, "I need a moment."

He swallowed, forcing his breath through his nose in short bursts. It was the only way he could concentrate on holding back. She probably needed to stretch around him, to allow her muscles to relax. She'd never taken a man before, and she was so exquisitely tight.

All the same, he couldn't wait until they'd had a chance to do this enough so that he didn't have to hold back.

When he felt her relax slightly beneath him, he pushed forward a bit more, until he reached the undeniable proof of her innocence. "Oh, God," he groaned. "This is going to hurt. I can't help it, but I promise you, it's only this one time, and it

won't hurt much."

"How do you know?" she asked him;

He closed his eyes in agony. Trust Penelope to question him. 'Trust me," he said, weaseling out of the question.

And then he thrust forward, embedding himself to the hilt, sinking into her warmth until he knew he was home.

"Oh!" she gasped, her face showing her shock.

"Are you all right?"

She nodded. "I think so."

He moved slightly. "Is this all right?"

She nodded again, but her face looked surprised, maybe a little dazed.

Colin's hips beg

an to move of their own volition, unable to remain still when he was so obviously near to a climax.

She was pure perfection around him, and when he realized that her gasps were of desire and not of pain, he finally let himself go and gave in to the overwhelming desire surging through his blood.

She was quickening beneath him, and he prayed that he could hold out until she climaxed. Her breath was fast and hot, and her fingers were pressing relentlessly into his shoulders, and her hips were squirming under him, whipping his need into a near-frenzy.

And then it came. A sound from her lips, sweeter than anything ever to touch his ears. She cried out his name as her entire body tensed in pleasure, and he thought—Someday I will watch her. I will see her face when she reaches the height of pleasure.

But not today. He was already coming, and his eyes were shut with the fierce ecstasy of it all. Her name was ripped from his lips as he thrust one last time, then slumped atop her, completely bereft of strength.

For a full minute there was silence, nothing but the rise and fall of their chests as they fought for breath, waited for the tremendous rush of their bodies to settle down into that tingly bliss one feels in the arms of one's beloved.

Or at least that was what Colin thought this must be. He had been with women before, but he had only just realized that

he had never made love until he'd laid Penelope onto his bed and begun their intimate dance with a single kiss upon her lips.

This was like nothing he'd ever felt before.

This was love.

And he was going to hold on with both hands.


It was not very difficult to get the wedding date pushed forward.

It occurred to Colin as he was returning to his home in Bloomsbury (after sneaking an extremely disheveled Penelope into her own house in Mayfair), that there might be a very good reason why they should be married sooner rather than later.

Of course, it was quite unlikely that she would become pregnant after only one encounter. And, he had to admit, even if she did become pregnant, the child would be an eight-month baby, which wasn't too terribly suspect in a world full of children born a mere six months or so following a wedding. Not to mention that first babies were usually late (Colin was uncle to enough nieces and nephews to know this to be true), which would make the baby an eight-and-a-half-month baby, which wasn't unusual at all.

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