Proof of Love

Arabella Stokes
Available in November from Champagne Books

After the meal, he lay back and closed his eyes, using his folded arms as a pillow. The breeze was warm, his belly was full, the wine was buzzing delightfully through his veins and a pair of delicious lips was -- he sat up, disturbing Susan in some very interesting explorations of his ear and the side of his neck. "What are you doing?" he asked in shock.

"I am conducting an experiment," she answered, her big grey eyes solemnly gazing into his. "I believe you are familiar with the concept."

"What blasted experiment do you think you are doing?"

"Well, yesterday, when you were, well, 'experimenting,' I realized that I have a sad lack of information on some very important questions. So I must gather empirical data, so to speak, to allow me to make better informed decisions." As she spoke, she began to stroke his upper leg. Many hours in the saddle had given him long, strong thigh muscles, along which her hand skated in a most provocative manner.

He reached out to skim one finger along the swell of her bosom, just above the top of her bodice. Surely this was her surrender. She would be his. "And what questions do you need information on?"

"In the rose garden, you mentioned," she murmured, "passion."

He leaned in to nip at her earlobe, then whispered into her ear, "What would you like to know about passion?"

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