Adrianna stripped down to her chemise, and hung her dress over a nearby branch. She slipped into the water and let out a contented sigh; this was exactly what she had needed. Time to just be alone and relax, to be herself again. She certainly didn’t feel much like herself when she was around their visitor. No, every time she was around the Earl of Hollingsworth she seemed to forget how to speak. It was horribly embarrassing, but then again, so was walking into things, and she’d done quite a bit of that lately as well. Thank God he didn’t seem to notice much! It was beginning to go past embarrassing to just plain annoying.
She was normally a very smart person, and she’d never had any problems talking. If anything, she talked too much, according to her mother. So why was she suddenly struck with this awkwardness? A man. A big, handsome, strong, rich man. It was really all his fault, who could blame her? The man was too perfect, and if she could only find the flaw, she was sure she could get her head back together and act like a normal person around him. She was known for her beauty and wit and brains, all she had to do was embrace that side of herself again. She would not keep acting like a lovestruck idiot every time the blasted man came around.
A sound made her look to the shore, where who else but the Earl of Bloody Perfection stood there staring at her. When she saw him she tried to stand up, slipped and went under. Suddenly he was in the water dragging her up.
“Are you alright, my lady?” he asked worriedly as he held her close.
“Wha-What are you doing here?!” she sputtered, horrified that he had once again witnessed her embarrassment.
He sighed and ran a hand through his wet hair. “You have avoided me all bloody week! I can’t get within twenty feet of you in the castle, so I followed you out here.”
“And what is it you so desperately wish to speak of?” She was painfully aware of the wet chemise clinging to her skin and his hard body pressing against hers.
He lifted her face till she met his eyes and saw the hunger there. “I find that I’m no longer in the mood to talk,” he murmured before his lips found hers.
The kiss was gentle and a bit coaxing. After a moment, she felt his tongue lightly brush her lips. She gasped. He took the opportunity to deepen the kiss. At the same time she felt his hand slide up caress her breast. In her excitement, she couldn’t seem to breathe! When she pulled her mouth away he slid his mouth down to her neck and across her collarbone.
He picked her up, walked to the bank and laid her down. He kissed her again as he slid his hand down the front of her body. She shivered as he lightly cupped the spot between her legs. As he started to rub he let out a small groan and dragged his mouth down her neck and to her chest.
“Adrianna? Adrianna, are you still out here?”
Adrianna jerked upright in horror. “Oh! Hurry, you must hide. Quickly man! Do you want to end up married?” She looked at him in bewilderment. She could hear her cousin making her way towards them. If he didn’t react soon that was exactly what would happen. Instead of moving, however, he just sat there looking at her.
“That’s exactly what I want, darling,” he grinning wickedly as he pulled her to him for another smoldering kiss.