“Where I go and what I do is none of your business. You are neither my husband, nor brother. You most definitely are not my keeper.”
He pressed closer, and her breath almost stuttered to a complete stop. Idly, he lifted his hand and curled the hair that spilled over her shoulder around his finger.
“Maybe someone should be appointed as your keeper. You could use some direction in life.”
“And you have a wealth of experience in advising decent young woman?”
He lifted his hand, and cupped her chin with long, lean fingers. Slowly his thumb swept across her mouth. Unbidden warmth spread beneath her skin as she recalled the last time they’d crossed respectable boundaries. She turned her head, her eyelids fluttering down.
That one movement was her undoing. With eyes tightly closed, her other senses took over. His utterly male fragrance danced beneath her nose. Crisp and clean with a hint of shaving cream and sandalwood. No man had ever stood so close, creating a shocking intimacy and her heart thrummed in anticipation of his next advance.
“I have a wealth of experience in ways you couldn’t begin to fathom. I was a Rake, Miss Bingley, a man who thought nothing of seducing little girls like you.” The heat of his breath brushed the shell of her ear and his fingers continued to toy with her lock of hair. “I would sweep them into my arms and kiss them until they could think of nothing but me.”
Without thought she turned her head back toward him and their lips inadvertently touched for one searing second. He recoiled as though burned and stepped back to a respectable distance. Instantly she missed the heat of his body and fought a strange desire to boldly follow his retreat, to press her body against his.
As though reading her thoughts, his countenance darkened, his grey eyes turning the color of frosty steel.
“Take care who you try to entice with your beauty and wealth. The next man to find you alone in a hallway may take more from you than one kiss.”