Seen and Not Heard

Seen and Not Heard by Anne Stuart Read Free Book Online

Book: Seen and Not Heard by Anne Stuart Read Free Book Online
Authors: Anne Stuart
Tags: Fiction, Contemporary Romance, EPUB, romantic suspense, mobi
comfortable chairs and sofa were covered in a pink chintz, the watercolors were of the Lake District, the curtains were Irish lace. Well, even the worst abomination of a country could have its merits.
    She moved slowly, carefully across the room to the little table that held her precious store of cognac. She poured herself a small glass and took a deep, warming sip. By this time of night she began to get a little weary, she had to admit it. But there was always one thing that could manage to give her energy.
    The photos were arranged on the baby grand piano, each in its silver frame. Nicole, solemn, dignified as only a too-serious five-year-old could be, even in happier times. Isabelle, her mother, Harriette’s only daughter, with her too-large nose and her laughing eyes that were now forever closed. Jacques, Harriette’s husband, a man with too little imagination and too much morality, but a good man, nonetheless.
    And Marc Bonnard. Handsome, charming Marc Bonnard, in a matching silver frame. He’d been startled whenhe’d seen it, and professed himself flattered. Harriette had only smiled sourly.
    She moved to the piano and stared down into Marc’s wonderful eyes. “You bastard,” she said, the words a ritual, “you murdered my daughter. And I will make you pay for it.” Holding her glass of cognac in a silent toast of vengeance, she drained it.
    And ten blocks away, Claire shivered in Marc’s arms.

CHAPTER 4
     
    There was rain that night. Claire lay on the too-soft bed, clutching the freshly laundered sheet in desperate fingers, digging her feet into the mattress. Marc’s slender, delicate hands held her hips, allowing her no movement, as he used his mouth on her.
    He was very good with his mouth, but tonight he was inspired. No matter how she writhed and struggled he wouldn’t let her go, and she knew she’d have bruises on her hips tomorrow. She was sweating, aching, desperate, as he slowly, carefully brought her just to the point of orgasm. And then he backed off, just long enough for her to regain a small portion of her self-control, only to begin the slow, maddening process all over again.
    He was relentless, indefatigable, and Claire was weeping, helpless, her heels drumming against the bed as she sought a release he refused to grant her. She bit her lip, hard, to keep her pleas from bubbling forth. It would do no good, it would only incite Marc further, and besides, she didn’t want to risk Nicole hearing. She suffered in silence, her body convulsed in tiny spasms of useless reaction as he took his time in a ritual he had long ago perfected, but this night brought to astonishing heights. That it was closer to torture than to love occurred to her when her mind was too clouded and aching to block out the disloyal thought.
    “Marc,” she moaned, unable to help herself, “please …”
    But it was endless long minutes before he finally took pity on her and ended her torment. As he gathered her trembling, weakened body into his arms she had the brief, unpleasant thought that tonight his lovemaking had been rather like a cat playing with a succulent mouse. And the tiny death it had ended with was unpleasantly like a real death.
    Her shaky muscles tightened as she rejected the thought. Marc’s body was dry and hot, wrapped around her, and belatedly she realized she hadn’t been allowed to touch him at all.
    “Marc,” she whispered, her voice raw, “don’t you want me to … ?”
    “No need, darling,” he murmured, biting her ear. He always bit just a little bit too hard, and once more her muscles screamed in tension. “You were so exciting that things just took care of themselves. Do you know how exquisite you look when you struggle against me?”
    There it was again, the unpleasant image of an animal caught in a trap. She turned to look at him, and his eyes glittered in the darkness, his mobile, handsome face wreathed in tenderness. He could convey emotions so well with just the slightest twist

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