Desperate Desires (A Sweet and Spicy Novella)

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The Duke could feel her eyes poring over him. He knew she was studying him at great length. Lucien wondered who had put her up to this wild scheme of hers.

"Don't you think this charade has lasted long enough? I think it's quite safe to say that you have unmanned me. If my hands were free, Madam, I would clap for you as did our good friend here who so obviously obeys your every command."

Lucinda thought the Duke was even more handsome up close. No two ways about it. Not an effeminate kind of beauty either, for he was rugged with chiseled, aquiline features and a thick head of black hair. He appeared solidly built. The way his leather breeches hugged his muscular thighs, and having felt the muscles of his chest as she'd searched for his weapon, Lucinda understood why the noblewomen of the ton were in hot pursuit of him. She smiled liberally.

"Our good friend, Your Grace? Why, you hardly know us yet."

"You seem to think that I will be getting to know you, Madam. But then again, once I get my hands wrapped around that little throat of yours, I'll soon know everything I need to know about you. Starting with who put you up to this."

"Tsk, tsk, tsk," Lucinda clicked her tongue. Feeling magnanimous in the face of her apparent victory, Lucinda's smile spread to her voice.

"Poor Duke. You've never been tussled about so, have you? I'm sure no one's ever thought to defy you. You, fourth Duke of Carlsborough, with nine estates and counting, rich beyond imagination. Women throw themselves at your feet. Royalty and mere peasants alike bow in your presence. Hmmm…this must be quite a humbling experience for you."

The Duke's voice was menacing. "For your sake, Madam, I pray this is but a joke. If not, once I'm through with you, not even your giant of a friend will be able to protect you. You will not get away with this."

"But I've already gotten away with it, Your Grace. I have swept you off the streets of Covent Garden so stealthily, that not even your loyal servants realize you have been abducted. I'm rather pleased with myself. So forgive me for pointing out that on this night, even the great Duke of Carlsborough must bow to my superior cunning."