Eleven Years Later
The feel of Duncan’s chest pressed to her naked back, the hard, hot wall of muscle, had her molding herself to him. His flaccid length was nestled against the cheeks of her bottom and she wiggled against him. Duncan’s mouth landed on her shoulder while he reached around her, and cupped her breast, massaging, and teasing the nipples into hard little buds.
His dark hair brushed silkily against her skin, while his tongue rekindled the fire from last night. Eight years of marriage and a set of twins—a girl and a boy—had not restrained his lust for her and neither had it damped hers.
He trailed one rough hand down her stomach, the trail of it leaving a molten trail of gooseflesh as it went. His fingers found her soft curls and began to caress through them before reaching between her legs. Obediently, she opened for him, allowing him to explore known territory.
She moaned as a finger slipped inside her and she pressed back against him even harder. Twisting her head around, he met her lips with a kiss while he stroked her intimately. Her tongue met his, and they kissed languidly, taking turns to suckle and tasting each other’s lips, before he pulled away.
He pulled her close to his chest, fingering her softly while she felt his length stiffen behind her. “Pleasure yerself love, let me see ye,” he murmured in her ear while his hand found her nub and began to caress it.
Isabella grasped her breasts and began to knead them while he stroked her from deep inside. She continued until her peak was nearing and her short gasps betrayed her. His fingers slipped out of her and his hand cocked her knee up.
Placing one arm around her waist, he murmured, “I’m going to take ye this way, sweetling.”
Still mired in her pleasure, she felt fingers spread her opening just as the tip of him slid inside her. Deeper and deeper his thick shaft filled her until the square of his pelvis met hers. His hand slid up her quivering belly to her breast and began fondling her. “I love being with ye…inside ye. Tell me when yer ready.”
“Now,” she sucked in a breath to feel his hips begin to rotate, before he was thrusting slowly, withdrawing, then pushing deep again. Isabella was soon lost in the pleasure of the slow torture.
His hand was on her breast and his mouth on her neck as they made love, his tempo never increasing as she met his thrusts. The slow glide of him, his warmth on her back, the heavyweight of his bollocks on her skin as he took her was past erotic, it felt sacred.
“God’s truth, I love ye,” he whispered on her skin.
He trailed his fingers down from her breast to her side to press on the nub, rubbing slowly like his thrust. Her hand clenched the sheet as the thrust of his hips sent his length deep, to the lip of her womb.
Her eyes were clenched tight and her breath escaped in small gasps, with each deep plunge. “More, please, more.”
Duncan pried her hand from the sheets and took it down to where they were merged, he placed her finger on her bud, moving it with his and she uttered a cry. He moved his hips in slow sensuous circles and whispered in her ear, “Feel that?”
She nodded breathlessly, while her fingers slid even further to where they were joined, his hardness sliding deep inside her, she felt him, slippery and hard, sliding against her fingertips. Almost eleven years in, it sent a thrill through her to know she could do that to him.
His thrusts never stopped while he brought her wet fingers to his lips and sucked them into his mouth, then released them to grab her hip. His thrusts grew harder and her desire flared hotter. His hand was holding her tight, pulling her into his deep thrust and the pant of his breath on her neck had her racing to match him.
“Let me hear ye,” Duncan coaxed, his growl low in her ear, “Dinnae hide yer pleasure from me.”
Isabella arched back into him, grabbing his hip as she felt him swell within her. “Yes, yes, feels so good, almost…almost there,” she gasped out, then his teeth were on her shoulder and his bite had her exploding in sensation, his name a cry on her lips, and her body squeezing his shaft with spasm after spasm.
Duncan's hard thrust had him filling her inside, even as she continued to shudder against him. When she quieted, he held her close, and began to kiss her neck, nipping her skin from her ear to her shoulder. “Good morning to ye too.”
With her breaths still staccato, she sighed. “A better morning, I’ve never had.”
He pulled from her and spun her on her back while he pinned her with a sardonic look. “In all the years we’ve been married, ye’ve never had a better morning? I daenae choose to believe that.”
Isabella caressed his cheek, “You forget love, that just like wine, your loving gets better with age.”
“Now, ye’re just trying to sweet me up,” he accused mockingly. “What do ye want from me, love?”
“Nothing,” she said reaching up to stretch, “We’d better get up. Cameron and Connie will be up now, that is if they aren’t up already.”
Thinking of his twin hellraisers had Duncan sitting up and grinning. To be fair, it was only Cameron, the boy, that was the hellraiser. The girl had a more tempered spirit but she could be fierce when she needed to be.
“Ah, yes, our dear bairns,” he murmured. “Are ye happy how they’re growing?”
Sliding from the sheets, Isabella stood and his eyes naturally followed her. At thirty, the woman was even more desirous to him than when she was nineteen. Her womanly figure had come in but the svelte sinuousness gained from years of sword fighting kept her trim. His eyes ran over the smooth dip of her spine to the rounded globes of her behind.
“I can feel you looking at me,” Isabella said, craning her head over her shoulder with a teasing light in her eyes, “Whatever is in your head, put it aside. We’ve had our fun, now is time to cater to our children.”
Heaving a weighty breath, Duncan swung his feet out from the sheets and stood. “A bath?”
“Aye,” Isabella replied and he smiled at her accent. Ten years on, she had caught on to his Highland cant. She even uttered the random Gaelic words once or twice. While donning a robe and tying off the waist, she nodded, “A bath would be best.”
He only had to send for the water and soon, two burly boys came in, handling buckets of warm water. As they filled the wooden tub, he studied his wife, sitting in a throne-like chair with a peaceful look on her face.
Her face had a hint of flush—a remnant of their previous activity— and he found it charming. How very fortunate he had been to stumble on Miss Dellendine’s home so long ago.
When the boys finished, he closed the door but Isabella had gotten to the bath first. He walked slowly over to her and she scooted further to let him in. Shedding his robe, he sank behind her and reached for the cloth.
“So,” he kissed the back of her neck. “What’s on the roster for today?
Leaning back on his shoulder she smiled, “Cameron wants to try the dirk, and Connie wants to learn how to make flower chains. That boy is going to pester and irritate her to the point he’s going to be eating dirt.”
“That’s me girl,” he grinned. “Like a she-bear. Calm and all when she’s all right but poke and prod her, she will strike. I wonder where she got that from.”
His quip earned him an elbow in his stomach. “Duncan, love—”
“Be quiet,” she sagged on his chest as he washed her, rubbing the soft material next to her skin, over her high, firm breasts, her stomach, and her trim waist.
“Aye, me lady,” he chuckled while taking care to rub the cloth over the red marks his mouth and hands had left on her skin. The Scottish summers had given her a tan but her skin was still pale. Duncan did not mind the marks, seeing them on her made him feel proud, somewhat animalistic, like a lion marking its territory.
Isabella turned and took the cloth from him, to wash his chest. “Have the bolts of cloth from Dumfries come in yet?”
“Nay,” he groaned with his head falling back. “And neither has the medicine from Glasgow either. The villagers are on edge.”
“Want me to talk to them?” Isabella offered, “They do seem to take to me more than you at times.”
“And thank god for that,” Duncan huffed, “Or they might have drawn and quartered me by now.”
She slapped his chest., “Stop it, you know that is not true. The villagers love you.”
“We’ll see,” Duncan kissed her cheek, “It’s time to get out or our bairns will be running in, like that time when—”
“Please, don’t remind me,” Isabella's face went pale and he snorted. That night, almost two years ago, they were about to make love when Cameron had decided to run into the room, just as Isabella had mounted him. A quick grab of the sheets and a swift lie that she and his father were playing horsy. Cameron had scrambled on the bed, begging to play too.
He and Isabella were still joined but moving was out of the question, as the one sheet covered them both. If anyone moved, someone was going to be naked.
Isabella had marshaled all her sweet, motherly gifts to coax the rambunctious boy back to his room. With him gone, they had stared at each other before bursting into laughter. Needless to say, making love had been postponed that night.
Lifting out of the tub, Isabella dried off and went to dress, while he did the same. She still wore his trews on occasion, especially when riding but she dressed to fit her role as a Laird’s wife.
The castle was alive, even though it was just past dawn as he and Isabella went to check on their children. Their room was empty, but that was expected. Cameron had inherited his mother’s ability to wake up at dawn and he usually dragged his sister with him. They were probably in the back yard or in the kitchen.
Duncan’s days started early, but he never went off without spending some time with his children. They were the second-best thing to him. Before they even entered the kitchen, he heard Cameron’s loud babbling.
They entered the warm room where Cameron was standing on his chair and balancing a mug on his forehead. His sister was ignoring him, with a pad of paper on her lap and a stick of black chalk.
“Look, Connie,” the boy called while using his hands to balance. “Look!”
“Yer gonna hurt yerself,” Connie said with her tawny-blue eyes down at her sheet.
“I’m nae!” He defended even while trying to balance and look at her. Resulting in him almost toppling off the stool. Duncan grabbed him and plucked the cup off his head.
“That’s enough, ye madcap,” he said while depositing the boy on his feet. “Yer sister is right, ye were going to hurt yerself.”
Sliding up to her daughter, Isabella peeked. “That’s pretty, Connie. When did you start it?”
“When Cameron was about to kill himself,” the child said plainly. She dropped the paper, holding a drawing of a flower on it, and clambered onto her mother’s lap. “Can I not be his sister anymore, Mama?”
Duncan clamped his jaw to stop the laugh that almost burst out. Isabella traded a humored look with him then shook her head, “Sadly, Connie, ye’re stuck with him for life.”
“Nay when I get married though,” the girl noted. “Me husband will scare him off.”
His eyebrows darted up. When was this self-awareness coming from in a seven-year-old child? Connie looked at him. “Right, Papa?”
“Aye, lassie,” he grinned. “Yer husband will make sure he doesnae bother ye anymore.”
Connie reached out for him and he pulled her away from her mother. She sat on his lap and smiled, “I cannae wait till I grow up.”
“I can,” he exclaimed while Isabella went to get some warm food for them. “I absolutely can wait for ye to grow up.”
His son reached over and tugged his sister’s hair. “I ain’t going nowhere.”
Spinning on his lap, Connie landed a thumper on her brother’s head. “Leave me alone.”
Shaking his head, Duncan laughed. Tugging Connie away from her brother, he reached over and ruffled his son’s hair. Isabella brought over a platter of beef, bread—enough for two as Cameron always ate from his father’s trencher—and a cup of nettle tea. She pried Connie off his lap, sat her on a chair then placed a bowl of porridge before her. Cameron was on his father's lap and aimed a superior look to his sister.
“We’ve averted one disaster for the mornin’,” Duncan said while looking with love at his family, a gift he had never expected to have but was given anyway. “Can we get through this meal without another and save the following of them to be spaced out during the day?”
Isabella laughed, “History says no, love, but let’s attempt to defy fate.”
He chuckled, secretly thinking that he had been the one to defy fate…with his near death so long ago.
“Mama,” Connie said, “for me birthday, may I have a sword?”
Cameron chimed in from around a mouthful, “I want one too!”
“I ken what I want for my birthday,” Duncan grinned.
“Connie and Cameron have wooden swords for theirs. You,” Isabella said while standing and pointing to him, “are going to sleep on the floor for yours.”
“Ye’ll join me, aye?” he mouthed.
Perhaps this—his wife, his family, his happiness—was fate’s way of repaying him for nearly taking his life. And fate had better let it stay that way.
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