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by Christy Poff
Category: Erotica/Erotic Romance/Suspense/Thriller
Description: Carl Sandeford is the successful head of emergency medicine in Charleston. He has a gorgeous wife and a great life while he is a silent partner in a club catering to sexual fantasies. Cassie Sandeford, a successful interior artist, designed all of the fantasy suites at Midnight Ecstasies, her husband's other interest. They enjoy a life others can only dream of or would maybe kill for. A serial killer has different intentions for the club's guest list and the owners. Will their midnight ecstasies fulfill their fantasies or become fatal nightmares?
eBook Publisher: Whiskey Creek Press, 2008
eBookwise Release Date: August 2008
3 Reader Ratings:
Available eBook Formats: OEBFF Format (IMP) [281 KB]
Reading time: 174-244 min.
"Christy Poff's newest release MIDNIGHT ECSTASIES not only provides readers with a powerful love story but also a riveting suspenseful aspect which completely captivates you. I love the close relationship between Cassie and Carl. They've got a chemistry between them that practically leaps off the pages. Carl's involvement in the case is fascinating. As a physician, silent partner of MIDNIGHT ECSTASIES, and friend he's got far more on the line than anyone else involved. He's such a caring man that you just can't help but feel great empathy for him and his plight to protect those around him. Ms. Poff has never failed to pen stories to keep readers coming back for more and MIDNIGHT ECSTASIES is no exception."--From Chrissy at Romance Junkies--5 Blue Ribbons!
Carlton Sandeford--Carl to his friends--headed the medical center's trauma unit and emergency medical department. At six foot three and muscular in build, he cast an intimidating figure but once someone got to know him, he turned out to be one of the gentlest human beings in the business. Carl's body solid from constant workouts, he wore his dark hair close cut and it matched his dark sapphire blue eyes. Carl had a well-deserved reputation for being meticulous with treating his patients and made sure he did everything he could for the people he came in contact with.
He always made himself available to consult with the police department on some of the stranger cases or ones requiring his exacting touch. He enjoyed working with Alexander Walker, his brother-in-law and a damned good cop. As head of the detective division, Lex could use whatever resources he had at hand to solve a case and Carl had become his most valuable one.
They had known each other since they attended private school together and remained close when Carl went off to Harvard to study medicine and Lex went south to Florida State for criminal justice and Seminole football. They got together after college and settled into the same area on the outskirts of Charleston, South Carolina. While both had influential jobs in the city, they preferred to live in the country.
Carl bought a huge mansion north of the city. With it came lots of acreage and all the privacy he could ever ask for. He especially liked the pond on the lower end surrounded by magnolias and dogwoods, the vision of the perfect setting for his wedding to Cassie, the love of his life.
He rolled over and tried not to disturb her when the phone rang.
"This had better be good!"
"Hello to you, too."
"Lex, it's three o'clock in the morning."
"I've got another murder. I need your..."
"Yeah, yeah ... Where?" Carl took the address down, hung up and tried to get out of bed.
"Where do you think you're going?"
"Lex needs some help."
"Lucky you..." she said sleepily.
"Go back to sleep. I'll be back as soon as I can."
"Promises, promises. Tell Lex I said hey."
"I love you, Cass."
"I love you, too."
She moved toward him and the sheet slid away from her naked body, Carl groaning at the thought of leaving perfection as he ran his hands down her sides as if mapping her body in his mind. Gently holding her breasts as he kissed her, Cassie pulled him to her, the heat hotter between them.
"I'm sorry I have to leave."
"Go and I'll wait right here for you to come back."
"I love the sound of that. Do me a favor and cancel me out of golf today. I'd rather soar with a beautiful eagle than sink one."
"Sounds like a plan."
He got up and dressed in blue jeans and a dark blue sweater. He heard her moan and knew he had seduced her--his main goal. A loving couple with a unique bond between them, they could read each other's thoughts and feel the other's emotions. In some cases, they felt the other's pain. The sound of her moan stirred him to not want to leave her because after five years, they still acted like newlyweds.
* * * *
Carl met Lex at the address he'd written down. The police officer assigned to keeping uninvited onlookers out greeted him and let him enter the crime scene. He looked around the first floor and saw nothing out of place.
"Doctor Sandeford, up here," a police lieutenant called.
Carl climbed the steps then followed the hallway to the bedroom at the end. He took a deep breath before he entered then looked around the room. Pulling on latex gloves, he walked over to Lex who stood at the side of the bed. Carl didn't like the look he saw and figured the serial killer had struck again.
He quickly thought back to the first two murders and remembered the woman had lived alone and when she had been found, she had been bound like this victim, a lei around her neck. The second couple had been bound the same way with chains draped over the bodies and the bed. He saw the latest female victim bound as the others had been and more than likely forced to face her husband. He could see nothing around their necks as with the previous victims though a small item had been shoved into the husband's hands. A closer look and he discovered a small umbrella like the bartenders put in those tropical drinks.
"Carl, thanks for coming over so quick."
"I see number three?"
"Yeah, and I think I found a connection between them."
"What?" Carl asked as Lex cleared the room and closed the door.
"What?" Carl felt like Lex had shoved a knife into him.
"Carl, I'm sorry, but unfortunately it fits. The same perp did all three. I finally realized what connects them and if I'm right..."
"I've got a problem."
"Maybe, maybe not. How many know of your involvement?"
"You, Cassie, and Xander, of course. When I go there, I'm treated like any other member."
"Good, I needed to hear you say that. It keeps you off the suspect list. Can you do me a favor?"
"Employee files and guest lists for the last two months. I need to know what rooms they used."
"You'll have it all by noon. Anything else?"
"Yeah, all the help you can give me."
"You've got it."
Carl left his brother-in-law to finish the initial investigation.
* * * *
"Xander, it's Carl."
"Yes, sir. What can I do for you?"
"I need our employee files, the guest registry and the room schedules for the last two to three months sent over to Detective Alexander Walker's office before noon."
"The place had been connected to three murders. We want to stop it now."
"Yes, sir. I'll get right on it."
"Thank you and, as always, I trust you to keep this between us. You and I don't need our arrangement to become public. We've done well up to now and I truly want to keep it that way."
"I agree. You gave me a hell of a chance here. I'm not about to screw it up."
"Good. Call me when you've delivered everything to Walker. I want you to do this and no one else. Walker is a good man, a good friend and my brother-in-law and the files and records will be kept confidential unless necessary."
"Will do, Carl."
Carl sat back in thought. Xander had come to him one day after he had been in Sandeford's care in the ER due to an auto accident. Xander had been very grateful Carl had been the one to save his life and he offered the physician a proposal for a different type of entertainment business.
Midnight Ecstasies had not been conceived of as one business but several under a single roof. The restaurant created an intimate setting in which each table sat a good distance from the others and gave guests privacy while they dined on elegant delicacies. A bar and lounge operated next to the restaurant, secluded and private.
Patrons could enjoy the guestrooms, unlike any found in finer hotels or they could enjoy the pride and joy of the entire operation--the fantasy suites. One could spend an evening in an Arab sultan's palace room decorated with pillows scattered on the floor and soft diaphanous curtains draped throughout the room--the ambiance soft, romantic and very luxurious.
The Caribbean and Hawaiian suites went with island motifs. In the Caribbean, the illusion of tropical breezes gave way to the serenity of the sea while the Hawaiian exuded the warmth of a Pacific summer day--hot with a hint of gentle island breezes. The rooms had climate-controlled atmospheres and made them two of the most requested suites for guests.
For couples who wanted to go back in time, Midnight Ecstasies provided rooms furnished in period settings. Choices ranged from a Southern motif from the Civil War, the gaslight era of Victorian England and even the elegance of 1940's Hollywood.
They had rooms for the more adventurous couples--ones into bondage and domination though the management made sure nothing got out of hand. The owner had restrictions controlling anything which could cause bodily harm or serious physical injury. Latex and extreme acts had been discouraged.
Xander had one suite he referred to as The Doom Room. Gothic in atmosphere, it had been designed for those who desired to visit the world of vampires and the afterworld. This had become another favorite with its dark overtones. With so many different themes offered, everyone left happy and satisfied while they harbored a desire for more.
When Carl agreed to be an extremely silent partner, he laid down one definite stipulation. There would be absolutely no prostitution. All the couples either arrived together or sometimes, they made their initial contact in the restaurant. At registration for the suites, both names went on the record, a good thing for all concerned. Carl did not want the club embroiled in any divorce proceedings either.
Xander had absolutely no problem with Carl's wishes though he did have his own request. Carl held his breath and found himself pleasantly surprised.
"If she would be kind enough to agree, I'd like your wife to take care of the room decors. I'd really feel privileged if she would use her talents to ensure the right atmospheres."
"You'll have to ask her but I don't mind," Carl remembered answering. He remembered her reaction to Xander's request, too. Xander met with her a few days later at their home.
"Mrs. Sandeford, here's my proposal for Midnight Ecstasies. I'd be truly proud to have you do the interior design on all of the rooms."
Carl snickered as he thought about her going through the proposal methodically as she read it. She told Carl later she noticed Xander's nerves as time slowed and seconds became unending for him.
"Sure. Why not?" she replied.
"What?" Xander asked. Carl remembered his partner being very apprehensive about his desire for her to do all of the suites. Xander knew what he would ask of her, relieved when she agreed to do everything.
"You do realize if my husband wasn't involved in this project the way he is, I would have said no? This should be very interesting."
To this day, Carl could see her eyes twinkling with devilish amusement.
Carl sobered a little when he realized the maniac behind the serial murders had to be stopped before their very profitable enterprise went down for the count.
* * * *
Carl returned home around eight and quietly climbed the long winding stairway to the second floor of the house he and his wife had shared since their marriage. He hoped she had fallen back to sleep because he had yet to figure out how he would explain the latest developments. Opening the door so he wouldn't wake her, he was taken by surprise.
Cassie waited for him. As he neared her, she slyly let the sheet slip down to bare herself to him. An all too familiar groan echoed in the room and as he came to her side, he removed his clothes and slid into bed next to her.
"Minx," he lightly scolded and she smiled.
"I love you, too."
While she kissed him, her fingertips teased him, his reaction pleasing her. He gasped when her hand caressed him. Their kisses deepened with extreme passion as he pulled her closer to him.
Carl groaned, his emotions wild over Cassie, the only woman he had ever been involved with who could stir him and affect him the way she did. She made his life worth living.
They had met again in New York when he attended a medical convention and she worked for one of Gotham's largest interior design firms. She had immense talent and a meticulous eye when it came to color and shape, so much so she'd been specifically requested by several of Manhattan's elite residents. She had been totally unaffected by her client's stardom which made her well respected and very sought after.
Cassandra Walker had a reputation for taking meticulous care in her work. When she designed a room, she refused to use ridiculous and frivolous dustcatchers to enhance the room's beauty. She didn't believe in clutter like some of those Boston decorators used on This Old House. After all, furniture had always been designed to be functional.
Not to be mistaken, she didn't criticize those designers, but how could a decorator put a table designed for setting useful things on in a room then place items on it to make it look like something it wasn't? She had trouble explaining herself until she hit on one thought. Sofas had been made to sit on, not used as a storage area for numerous pillows, some too frilly to be used for anything but decoration. It made no sense to her so she didn't decorate like that. If her way of thinking did not endear her to others in the industry, Cassie couldn't care less. Carl had always loved that about her.
He kissed his wife as they sank together underneath the slippery satin sheets they both preferred.
"Did you cancel me out?"
"Good, because I definitely plan to enjoy my wife for the rest of the day."
* * * *
Cassandra Walker--Cassie to her friends--had blonde hair, blue eyes and an exotic beauty, which her high cheekbones only enhanced. She had some Cherokee blood in her heritage but her Scandinavian ancestry had always been the most obvious when it came to her magnificent looks. At least, her husband described her that way.
She had been born in Deer Park, New York, a suburb of New York City located on Long Island, a town where everyone knew everybody else. Quaint, it had never been considered strange since most of the residents seemed to be made up of New York City police and firefighters. She had grown up with a lot of them, the daughter of a deputy police chief, never realizing how many friends she would lose in the worst terrorist act ever to occur on the soil of the United States of America.
Growing up, she excelled in her classes and, as a top soccer player, she received a full scholarship from a midwestern university plus an offer from the Women's World Cup team. Instead, she chose to go to school in Manhattan where she enjoyed interior design and found success at it. Upon graduation, she received offers from several design firms and decided to go with Absolute Design located in the West Village.
Her employer promoted her several times while she added to her resume. She had been with them for several years when she reached the highest position possible. It afforded her the opportunity to pick and choose her clients, an enviable position. She landed on the party A-list and constantly attended openings, receptions or anything her boss deemed important to the business. At one of these occasions, she bumped into a doctor in town for a medical convention.
"Ah, Cassie, how are you?" Thomas Shayne, an associate and the host of the party asked as he caught up with her.
"Thomas, I'm fine. You?" she greeted him and gave him a quick kiss.
"Peachy. I'd like you to meet a friend of mine. Cassandra Walker, Doctor Carl Sandeford."
"It's a pleasure," she said, smiling when he took her hand. She thought she recognized something familiar about the man but it didn't hold a candle to the heat traveling through her from this one light touch between them. If this happens at his touch, I wonder what he's like in bed. She caught herself, having never had erotic thoughts about the men in her life, especially ones she met for the first time.
"The pleasure is definitely all mine." It seemed he also felt the same sensation and selfishly wanted more. They spent most of the evening talking.
"How long will you be in the Big Apple?" she asked hesitantly.
"The rest of the week unless I find something of interest to keep me here longer."
"What about your job?"
"I'm way overdue for a vacation. In fact, they have a bad habit of reminding me just how much time off I have coming."
"And where is this?"
"Charleston, South Carolina, ma'am."
Cassie picked up on the slight hint of a Southern accent in his voice.
"And your affiliation?"
"Charleston Memorial. I'm head of the trauma unit and emergency medicine department."
"It is? I have a friend who ... My God, it can't be..."
"What?" she asked.
"Do you have a brother named Alexander?"
"Why do you ask?"
"Lex Walker is my best friend. He has a sister I haven't seen in a hell of a long time."
"I'm afraid I'm guilty."
"There's how many years between you two?"
"Twelve. Our mother miscarried several times between Lex's birth and mine. There was a brother born halfway between us but he died at seven--I think around the time I had my first birthday, but I can't remember."
"You have truly become a very beautiful woman and, it seems, a very successful one."
"Thank you. I've been fortunate and very blessed. I'm really embarrassed at not recognizing you. Lex talks about you all the time."
"That makes both of us."
They talked a while longer and reminisced about times past. Carl couldn't believe how she had blossomed into such a gorgeous beauty. He suggested they leave the party and take a walk. She agreed and they set out to find Thomas Shayne, their host.
* * * *
Leaving the party, they walked toward the Waldorf-Astoria where Carl had been staying. He invited her to have a nightcap in the lounge. Cassie accepted his invitation because, for some reason, she wanted to be with him for as long as she could.
They talked and remembered, laughed and once or twice cried over lost family and friends.
"Excuse me, sir. The lounge is closing in a few minutes."
Carl paid the bill and left the bartender a very generous tip. They left the lounge and walked into the lobby.
"It's been a wonderful evening."
"Shall I call you a cab? Walk you back to your car?"
"Can we talk some more? I kind of don't want the evening to end."
He gazed into her eyes, the fire in them hypnotic. He went to kiss her, both of them feeling like magnets being drawn to each other. One kiss led to another while they felt a fire ignite and burn within them like they'd become one unit of energy.
"Come up to my suite. I'll sleep on the couch if you want. It's too late for you to be out on the streets going for your car."
They kissed again and she nodded as he pressed the up button for the elevator. They entered it still kissing and wrapped in each other's arms. He pressed the button for thirty-six.
"I don't usually do this," she commented between kisses.
"Neither do I," Carl said as he pulled her closer to him. Their hands all over each other, Cassie melted to his touch and he to hers. He lifted her up and pressed her against the back wall of the elevator. When he slid the hem of her dress up, her legs instinctively wrapped around his waist. Carl held her close to him.
Carl wanted her. He ran his tongue over her naked shoulders to the base of her neck where, it seemed to her, her life's blood and energies were being sucked away by him. She felt weak in his arms, in love with the feelings he had started. He quickly stopped when the elevator did, put her down and fixed her dress. When the doors slid open, he led her down the opulent hall to his room.
He swiped the keycard, unlocked the door and pushed it open, hearing her gasp at the sight of the room in front of her. He smiled at the memory of when he last saw her in the Low Country, barefoot and laughing. It had to have been twelve or maybe fifteen years before. He remembered her beauty then but it could not compare to her magnificent allure now. He had fallen in love with her and somehow he would marry her.
She stood in the living room and looked around at the piano by the window. She went to it and ran her fingertips along the keys. He knew her roots and had followed her through Lex, a proud brother to say the least.
"I see you've done well, Doctor Sandeford."
"I've been lucky on the market and with other investments. I dabble in real estate and have several winning thoroughbreds."
"I see. Lex told me how you've worked with him. He won't stop talking about how well he's doing because of your help."
"We've had some fun."
"Very profitable fun."
He laughed and the sound of it warmed her.
Carl remembered watching her every movement as she looked at different things in the room. He started with her full and flowing blonde hair and stared at it as it tumbled down her back and gently blanketed her shoulders. To get lost in that ... His gaze strayed further as he took in every curve of her body. He noticed every little movement, the quiver of her nerves and her attempt to ease them.
He thought about the dress she wore, a lacy black strapless number and one of the slinkiest things he'd ever seen. Perfection. She wore stiletto heals and looked taller, her legs lovely. Remembering the feel of her skin when he held her in the elevator and wanting her more, Carl watched her slide onto the sofa and cross her legs as she sat back into the wealth of pillows.
Carl hoped they could recapture the feelings from the elevator but refused to push things. He picked up the phone and called the front desk requesting extra towels and a robe plus a bottle of champagne and a huge shrimp cocktail. He hung up and could sense her eyeing him as he had her while a thrill ran through him.
It took every ounce of self-control he had to keep his distance from her, terrified of screwing up. He had never felt like this about any woman before and he did not intend to let her go. He turned and they stared at each other as a fire ignited while they mentally undressed the other. They heard the knock on the door and both came back to the present.
* * * *
Carl poured two flutes of champagne. With them in one hand, he picked up a small plate with several shrimp and cocktail sauce on it then went to sit next to her on the couch. He gave her one glass then picked up a shrimp to feed it to her. Taking it in her mouth, she seduced him as she licked the sauce from it. She returned the favor then took a sip of champagne.
"Shall we go back to our conversation from the elevator?" she asked.
He took her glass and placed both flutes on the coffee table.
"Here or in there?" he asked.
"I don't care. I just want to pick up exactly where we left off."
"You mean..." he asked, his heart pounding in hopes his imagination hadn't gotten the better of him.
"If I remember right, you had me against the wall while you tempted every part of my body."
"Well, then," he said, pulling her to stand in front of him, "if I am right, I was kissing here ... then here ... then as I kissed here, I did this." Carl slid the hem of her dress up again, this time above her waist.
"And I did this..." she said, wrapping her legs around his waist.
While he kissed her, he undid his belt and pants and slid them out of his way. They picked up exactly where they'd left off as he pressed her against the doorjamb of his bedroom then pulled the top of the dress down so it met with the hem bunched at her waist.
"Your tits are gorgeous," he said before taking one nipple in his mouth and suckling it while holding her ass in his hands, his fingertips arousing her.
Gasping from his touch, Cassie closed her eyes from the sensation as she moaned. He teased her with his shaft driving her into a frenzy. Pulling his tie off, she ripped his shirt apart while kissing his neck. Cassie and Carl barely heard the flying buttons hit the wall.
"My God, woman, we have all night and if you say yes, we can have the rest of our lives together."
She paused, stunned as she stared at him.
"What are you saying?"
"Marry me. I've never felt like this before. You've given birth to feelings I never knew I had inside me."
"But..." she started as she lowered her feet to the floor using the wall for support.
"I realize it's only been a few hours but I know I love you and I want you to be my wife. Feelings like this--suffice it to say, my instincts have never been wrong."
"I don't know what to say ... I've been in love with you forever..."
"Yes would be nice." Carl kissed her again and felt her reaction. He picked her up and carried her to the side of the king-sized bed in the suite he'd taken several days before. He'd never imagined this night would happen but it had and he planned to make the most of it.
She put her hands on his muscular shoulders, solid and strong, and leaned on him for support.
The touch of his hands on her back, the feel of her dress sliding down her body to the floor, the sensation of his fingertips as they played gently with her nipples--all this sent her reeling. He knelt before her and slid her panties off then, after he got up, he lifted her onto the bed, removed her heels and stockings.
Pulling back to look at perfection--a gorgeous woman and everything about her perfect--he kissed her, tasting the sweetness of her skin while he explored her body. He heard her gasp when he parted her legs, his tongue lavishing her with attention. Exploring her hot pussy while teasing her clit, Carl drove his tongue into her body, tongue fucking her while his body cried out in need. She cried out when he took her to the edge and pushed her over it, her body shaking uncontrollably as her hands held the quilt with a viselike grip.
His hands went to her breasts, squeezing as she pressed her pussy to his face. Her body rocked, writhing in harmony with his onslaught.
"My God, Carl, I will. I swear I will."
"If you want me, I want you. I will marry you." Cassie screamed his name.
"I want you to be my wife. Do you know how happy you've made me?"
"I think so." She pulled him close and kissed him, her eyes widening when he entered her. Her body enveloping him, he eased out then in and out again before driving into her and finding a spot within her which caused her to cry out once more. He grabbed her shoulders as he thrust into her again, her body one with his. Cassie cried out, the pain feeling so wonderful she could not believe it.
"Cassie, I love you. I am your servant. Please, tell me what you want..."
"Don't you ever dare stop! My God, you're wonderful and you're perfect. Oh..." she cried out when he drove into her again and rode the tempest only she could be. He loved her until he filled her body with an explosion of his life into hers. He felt her legs encircle him, the firm grip of her body still holding him inside her.
"Fuck me again, Doctor," Cassie cried as she pulled him to her and their lips met in a kiss. They explored each other more and learned all they could.
"I love you, baby."
"I love you, too, Doc."
* * * *
They woke in the morning after spending hours making love to each other. They explored each other's bodies and memorized every little thing discovered. She curled into him and cuddled with him, making him feel warmth--one which instantly turned to heat.
"Good morning," she said, feathering kisses over his neck and face.
"Morning. How do you feel?"
Carl smiled at the realization of what she would be calling him for the next sixty or seventy years.
"And are we still..."
"...Getting married? Damn straight!"
"Good," he said, fearing she would have changed her mind once the idea settled in.
"Doctor Sandeford, I fell in love with you from across the ballroom all over again. I had a serious crush on you when you hung out with Lex. I never believed in love at first sight until last night. My God, you're good." She laughed. "There is no way I'm going to let anyone else get a taste of what you did last night."
"I feel the same way. Where have you been all these years?"
"Growing up and living in New York. Thanks for waiting for me."
"Right now, the pleasure is all mine." He grinned and loved her again before they spent the better part of the day in bed. He missed several seminars and she took the day off after she canceled several appointments. Carl and Cassie had fallen deeply in love and for a lifetime.
* * * *
They married six months later at Saint Phillip's in Charleston, South Carolina. Lex stood as Carl's best man while Cassie's friend Samantha--Sam to her friends--acted as maid of honor.
"I'm so happy for you."
"Thanks, Sam. I can't believe it's only been six months."
"Talk about a whirlwind romance."
Since the night in New York, her life had changed to an incredible point. Her firm had opened an office in Charleston with Cassie heading it up. While setting it up and getting it off the ground, she planned a huge wedding and spent as much time as she could with Carl. Thank God for him! I've found a true gem.
Carl put together the reception at the Planter's Inn, a unique hotel in the heart of one of the most beautiful and historic cities in the world. He had told her not to worry about anything but the ceremony itself. She had the church taken care of in no time, which left her to get her gown and the bridal party together.
Sam helped by getting the girls together to get their gowns and the fittings done. They wore dark blue gowns, perfect for November while Sam wore royal purple, a color which brought out her dark eyes. With the attendants taken care of, Cassie only had to worry about her own gown.
She found a simple design while frilly at the same time. Low-cut and off the shoulder, the dress had long sleeves, tight along the length of her arms. The dress itself hugged her body until her waist where it tapered out into sixteen tiers of antique lace. She wore no veil and chose to pull her hair loosely off her face though most of it tumbled down her back, as Carl adored. Never, ever put that gorgeous mane of hair up again--an easy request to fulfill.
Antique white Victorian boots finished off the outfit. Sam went over the traditional list of something new--her dress--old--her hairpins which had been a gift from her grandmother when she turned twenty-one--borrowed--the bracelet she wore--and blue--the sapphire pendant Carl had given her for her birthday.
"You're all set!" Sam proclaimed as she handed the bride the bouquet of flowers.
"Thanks for being here."
"Wouldn't have missed it for the world."
* * * *
The ceremony lasted about an hour. After Father John recited the readings and the traditional vows, Carl and Cassie said their own. Carl slipped her gold wedding band onto her ring finger then kissed her hand while he gazed into her eyes.
"I am forever your servant, Mistress," he whispered.
She slid his ring on then kissed his hand as he had hers and smiled.
"My life, my love, my master," she whispered.
"What God hath brought together, let no man put asunder. May I present Doctor and Mrs. Carlton Dale Sandeford."
Their guests stood and applauded. The happy couple kissed, lost in the moment.
"I love you, Cassie," he said as he drew back to gaze into her eyes.
"God, I love you, too, Carl."
They turned and headed out of the church to a waiting limousine. They left and the driver followed Carl's instructions to take the longest route possible to get to the hotel. Carl put the privacy screen up and, after he poured champagne for them, they toasted. He took the glass from her, setting it on the counter by the wet bar then gazed at her before he kissed her.
As he did, he slid the gown down and exposed her naked breasts to his inspection. She moaned softly while he teased her as his tongue flicked over one nipple and his fingertip played with the other. All she could think about was him, his touch and his love.
"Can we detour some more?"
"Why?" he asked innocently while knowing full well what she wanted.
"I want you now," she told him with a plea in her voice.
"Mistress, your wish is my command."
Carl buzzed the driver, a man who'd been with him for years, and told Russell to find somewhere to park the limo. Then he could get out and take a walk for a bit. He didn't have to see Russell to know the man smiled.
"Now, where were we?"
Carl loved his wife. Amused, he watched her frantically remove his black tuxedo coat and throw it to the other side of the car. The black shirt came next. God, he's hot when he wears black. She went to his waist and fought the pants to get them off, all the while, Carl kissed and teased her into an erotic frenzy. Before she knew what happened, all she was left wearing were her favorite thigh-high stockings and her boots.
"Carl, please, do anything to me," she cried out.
She pulled his face to hers and he could see the fire in her eyes. He sensed her hunger and fed off it.
"Give me a child."
"Yes, Carl, please."
"I'll do my best to fulfill your wish, Mistress of my heart and soul."
She cried out when he drove into her, loving the way he always hit the one spot that made her lose any control she might have. She winced and closed her eyes tightly, afraid they would pop out from the force of the orgasm washing over her. She begged him to love her and, when he finally let himself go, she screamed his name.
"You're awesome," she complimented.
"I have a lot of inspiration," he told her, putting his lips between her legs and loving her again. While he drank from her, she moaned, trembling from his insistence and determination. Sitting up, he smiled at his beautiful wife who kissed him right before she surprised him by taking him deep in her throat and tasting his seed after she began torturing him before her pace increased, driving them both. His hand went to the back of her neck, pressing her closer while his other reached for her nipple, quickly pinching it. Carl groaned when he exploded into her and she smiled.
"Happy wedding day, my loving husband."
"Come here, bride."
He sat her on his lap. She grabbed his cock, guiding him to her entry and making sure he loved her again. This time, he took her screams within him and held her, loving her even more. What was my life like before she came into it?
"I have a surprise for you."
"I don't see anything wrong. In fact, I think you're perfect."
"I'll bring our clothes. Come with me."
They got out of the limo, Russell nowhere in sight. Her mouth dropped, looking around the beautiful walled-in courtyard secluding them from the outside world. With their clothes draped over his arm, he led her to the front steps.
"My gift to you, baby."
"But you told me..."
"I know. I wanted to surprise you."
"So that's why you wouldn't let me..."
Carl nodded before carrying her inside and taking her directly to their room where he gently laid her on their bed. He'd designed it, the headboard and the footboard made from black wrought iron. Smiling, he gently pushed her over the satin quilt before beginning to lazily love her. His hands teasing her, her body reacted as she tried to stop him.
"What about the reception?"
"Six o'clock--we've got hours."
"No, I am a slave to your love."
"Shall we make sure you did as I asked earlier?"
"Definitely," he replied as he straddled her. He slid down the length of her body driving her crazy. This time when he thrust into her, she grabbed the headboard riding the waves of his emotions.
"Cry out, my love--as loud as you want. I love you."
"Carl ... Oh ... More, my lord, more."
"As you desire."
They fell asleep in each other's arms until an alarm went off at five. Carl lifted her up and carried her to the shower where he bathed her. As they kissed, she washed him, his reaction to her touch evident. He groaned when she caressed him then again when she went down on him. He filled her with his essence, Cassie taking every drop he could give her. Carl grabbed her and lifted her against the wall to pin her as he plunged deep within her. As she enveloped him and felt him swell, she cried out.
"What do we do if we can't get enough of each other?"
"I like the way you think."
* * * *
The happy couple finally made their entrance around six-thirty. He wore a black Versace suit, with a black shirt. Hot and sexy, he's all mine! He'd helped her dress in a peach-colored floral dress with matching stole. It fit her tightly and showed off every curve of her luscious body before it flared out to a full sweeping skirt. Low-cut in the front and extremely low in the back, Cassie definitely became the woman of every man's dreams.
As they entered, Lex introduced them to their guests before he announced the traditional first dance. When they took to the dance floor, Carl held her tight against him. She gazed into his eyes before she drew him into a long passionate kiss, both oblivious to the thunderous applause from their family and friends.
"Where are you sweeping me away to?"
"It's a surprise, my love. I'll let you know but suffice it to say, you look great and just right for our honeymoon."
"Please, don't keep me in suspense."
"What you don't know will not be able to ruin things and I want everything to be perfect."
"Damn it, you're stubborn."
"And proud of it, Mistress."
"And if I order you to tell me?"
"I'll take my chances with your punishment."
"I have sufficient time to come up with one then."
"I pray my mistress is merciful."
"Watch it, pal. I could become your dominatrix."
"Promises, promises." He laughed as he whisked her over the floor.
* * * *
Hours later, they finally made their exit from the reception. He led her outside into a private courtyard of the hotel where he motioned to a table set for two in the center of it. A lone waiter stood waiting for them. He seated Cassie then Carl before he poured them champagne into extremely elegant crystal flutes.
Carl nodded and the waiter moved away and left them alone. He took his glass and raised it to his wife.
"To my wife, Cassandra Sandeford, I pledge my love and heart and soul to you. I love you, Mistress, and I vow to always make you happy. I toast our marriage and our life together but most of all, I toast you--my lovely wife and soon-to-be mother of our children."
Cassie's eyes welled with tears by the time he finished. He leaned over and kissed her, brushing the tears away.
"Carl, that was so..."
"I need to add one more thing."
"I will try never to bring tears to your gorgeous eyes again unless they are of joy."
"I love you and I toast you, the most wonderful, romantic and handsome man in my life. I love you and I swear to be there for you whenever you want or need me. I want so much to have your family because I will always have a part of you with me when I carry them for nine months. I don't care how many we have, my love. If they are ours, they will be cherished and loved. God, I love you, Carlton Sandeford, and I'm damned happy and privileged to be your wife."
* * * *
They spent their first night as newlyweds at the hotel where they made love and enjoyed the Jacuzzi among other things. They forgot time, rapt in each other. The heat between them continued to intensify.
As they sat together in the spa, Cassie imagined what a little Sandeford would look like. Will we have boys or girls? How many? She could not believe her thoughts or how much it meant to her to have children right away. Her mother had always told her a couple needed time to grow up together, get to know each other, travel and Cassie had always agreed with this until she met Carl.
She leaned against him and silently prayed she was pregnant. She didn't care how large a family she gave him though she did have to admit she wanted them early so they'd be able to enjoy their later lives together. Her mind raced because she wanted him every waking minute, every sleeping moment, twenty-four/seven.
"How much for your thoughts?"
"I have everything I want."
"What's going through my beautiful wife's mind?"
"I was wondering what our family will look like."
"That's easy. They'll look like their mother."
"I think they'll take after their father."
Carl grinned and she felt tremors go through her as she stared at his smile of beautiful white teeth, strong but devilish. She pulled her eyes away from his face and looked at their hands. His left hand held hers, their rings together. She choked back tears and hoped he wouldn't see.
"Why are you crying, Mistress?"
"How did you know?"
"I can feel your emotions. How can I make it better for you?"
"You already have. You're here with me. These are tears of ignorant bliss. I'm in love with my husband and I can't see straight. My God, I can't even get my thoughts together. I'm a mess but I'm happier than I've ever been in my entire life. Lord, I didn't want to do this especially after your awesome toast. Now, I'm crying my eyes out."
"You are pregnant, my dear."
"What?" she asked, turning to look at him in disbelief. Her quick movement caused water to spill out of the tub but they didn't notice.
"It's the only explanation. My sister, Janelle always goes through this when she just finds out. I mean, I've witnessed the phenomenon all four times."
"I hope you're right. I mean, who cries on their wedding night?"
"My beautiful pregnant wife and I don't mind. I love you."
Cassie hugged him then lay against him and sobbed while Carl held her.
"Make love to me, please."
* * * *
They flew to Miami the next day then he drove her to a small island in the Keys. So very small in size, the island had no name. He parked his truck--a 1999 Dodge pickup--in front of a small grocery store where they bought enough supplies for several weeks. From there, he led her to a medium-sized boat and helped her onboard before he loaded their luggage and supplies.
The trolling motor came to life and he steered the boat down a small waterway to an inlet. Her eyes widened at the beauty of the cove they entered. He guided the boat to a small dock and cut the motor.
After unloading the boat, Carl led her up to a small cottage.
"Where are we?"
"This island has no name. I could never think of anything which fit it."
"What are you talking about?"
"I own this place and have for the last several years."
"What else haven't you told me?"
"If I tell you everything now, they'll be no surprises later," he told her as he grinned.
"I think you just named it."
"Cassandra Key," he answered with a smile as she reddened.
They spent the next two weeks enjoying the peace and quiet of the remote little cay. They sunbathed on the white sands, clothing not an issue. They loved each other, their lives perfect.
The night before they planned to return to Charleston, he found her sitting in the surf. Naked, he could see she enjoyed the feel of the water as it came up to her then went out. Beautiful ... He watched the last remnants of the sunset dance in her hair and had never seen a more magnificent sight.
"I know you're watching me, sweetheart. Come join me."
Carl smiled. Since their wedding, she had been able to sense his presence and his feelings like he sensed her. He knew she worried about something, because she hadn't been herself all day. He went to join her and as he sat next to her, she clutched her stomach.
"Mistress?" Carl called her by his pet nickname for her.
"I'm fine. I ... Oh, shit!"
Carl came closer to her and held her. She felt feverish, beads of sweat dotting her forehead.
"You're not fine. You have a fever."
"It'll pass," she assured him.
Carl put his hand in the water then on her forehead to cool her down, as he placed the other on the back of her neck.
"I'm sorry. I seem to be ruining everything."
"Never. I just want you to do one thing when we get back. Go see one of the girls in the lab for a blood test to confirm it."
"I'm fine. Really," she protested.
"Listen to me, my darling wife, I told you before you are pregnant. I want you to get a blood test to be sure."
"How is it you've known since we were in the Jacuzzi?"
"Besides our emotional bond, I'm one of the best in my profession. I know a pregnant woman when I see one."
"Do you really..."
"Insatiable lust will do that. You can't screw around like we have been and not come up with one plus one equals three."
Cassie smiled. Carl pulled her close and brushed her hair from her face.
"That's what I like to see," he complimented her while trying to get her mind off the things troubling her. She leaned against him and the warmth of his body next to hers made her feel as if nothing in the world could ever hurt her. Rising to her knees to face him, Carl stared at her and loved her as she put her hand to the side of his face. Her mere touch sent thrills through him, his reaction immediate.
Straddling his legs just above his knees and leaning into him, Cassie whispered her love for him while brushing her nipples over his chest. Groaning as she sent him soaring to heaven, he had never seen her like this--wanting, fearful and needy--but now, it tore at his heart.
Cassie took his cock and teased it, her tongue laving his slit. She sucked his life from him, Carl wanting to give her more. He loved her passion but something bothered him.
"Will you still make love to me when I am as big as a house?"
"Always. My God, yes!" He pulled her to him and kissed her, laying her down in the surf. "Mistress, get ready for the ride of your life."
She pulled him to her when he thrust into her and cried out again, the sensations phenomenal.
"More, my darling, please. More," she begged.
"Tell me what to do, Mistress."
"I don't know why but I need you to ride me as hard as you can."
"I won't hurt you. I can't..."
She put her fingertips to his lips.
"I may be pregnant, I may not be, but I will not break. Do it, please."
"May God help us!"
He held her so tight he felt positive he left bruises. Crying out, she dug her nails into him while he thrust into her. Feeling her crème drowning him while he easily slid in and out of her hot body, she moved with him, Cassie begging for more. He gave her what she wanted and, it seemed, the more he drove into her, the more she craved.
No matter what, Carl would give Cassie anything.
* * * *
Cassie experienced different emotions and went to the small beach in front of the cottage--their small, cozy and intimate haven. Shedding her clothes on the porch with the intention of enjoying the water, she wound up sitting on the sand letting it caress her body. I love the freedom of this place.
As she sat and thought, her mind tried to sort out her urgent need to have Carl's children but still could not come up with a good reason. She knew everything in her wanted this and she came to discover it didn't really matter. Why?
Very aware of him in every way, Cassie knew when he came into the room with her even if he hadn't made a sound when he entered. She could feel his feelings and had been able to read his mind on several occasions in the last few days. They had a unique bond--she cherished it even though she didn't understand it.
Carl Sandeford, a wonderful man she loved more than life itself, and she needed him--his strength, his love, his passions for everything. She worshipped his magnificently perfect body and she had to admit sex with him had been fantastic. No other man she had ever been with could fill her the way Carl did. No other could make her feel the ecstasy he did.
She discovered something else about herself. With the others she had slept with, something always seemed to be lacking. She now knew the reason. Carl would do anything she asked and she loved it. During a momentary lapse while he loved her, she had pleaded with him to push it to the limit and do it as hard and as forceful as he could. He had and fireworks went off inside her. She felt things she never had before and she wanted more and more and...
Carl did what she wanted. She found out he had a raw natural power within him and it came to life in her and their love. She still wanted more though she knew he had been holding something back.
Sensing him behind her, they talked. She had been fighting off nausea and had attributed it to something she ate. Instead, he informed her he felt positive she was with child. She had hoped but, at this point, it didn't matter. Cassandra Sandeford wanted her husband to love her as hard as he could. She needed to surf the waves of the paradise only he could send her to.
Cassie begged him and Carl finally gave in, her husband loving her as he thrust his awesome cock into her waiting body. Feeling him swell within her as her body enveloped his shaft, the touch of his hands on her shoulders and his power as he held her against him drove her crazy. Inseparable, Cassie's body molded to his when she dug her nails into his massive shoulders as if holding on for dear life.
Crying out as much in pain as in pleasure, she needed and craved more, her body demanding more of him. Fighting back tears of joy as she gazed at the man in her life, she heard him growl when he exploded inside her, the both of them riding the climatic sensation. He kissed her and their passion intensified. Cassie might be his mistress but Carl had definitely mastered her.
She sensed him moving but refused to let him go.
"Please, don't," she whispered.
"What, my love?"
"Don't let go. Don't leave. Don't stop. I..."
"I love you, Mistress."
He stood up and pulled her with him. They looked at each other and Cassie choked back tears.
"What's wrong?" he finally asked her.
"Not one damned thing. I'm just so happy you are all mine."
"Can we come back here again?" she asked, reminding him of a child pleading for another trip to Busch Gardens.
"Baby, Cassandra Key is half yours. We own it together and we can come back here anytime you desire."
She smiled as she gazed up at him.
Nausea overwhelmed her. Carl caught her as she fainted then carried her to the rear of the cottage where he entered straight into the master bedroom. He laid her on the bed and grabbed a quilt to keep her warm. He quickly put on a pair of jeans before he brewed Cassie a cup of hot tea. He set it on the nightstand then took her hand in his.
"Cassie, I love you and the baby you're carrying."
* * * *
The next day, they returned to their home on the outskirts of Charleston. He carried her across the threshold and directly to bed. While she got comfortable, Carl called the hospital and requested a lab technician come to his home.
"Carl..." she softly admonished him.
"A quirk of the job." Carl laughed.
When she arrived, Carrie McCoy went to the task of drawing Cassie's blood to confirm her pregnancy. Carl had been positive but wanted the test done anyway. He worried about her symptoms even though they all added up to one diagnosis. Oh well, this is a privilege of being head of trauma.
"I'll call you as soon as I get the results," Carrie told him.
"Thanks, Carrie," Carl said as he showed her out. Now, the waiting begins...
* * * *
Cassie lay back against the mountain of pillows. While she waited for Carl to return from seeing Carrie McCoy out, she remembered their last evening in Cassandra Key. It had been wonderful making love on the sand in the surf's cool waters. She could still feel him as he loved her.
Her thoughts came back to the reason she'd sat on the beach in the first place. She tried to understand her obsession about having Carl's children immediately. Why right now? We have our entire future ahead of us.
Exhausted, she closed her eyes and rested. The reason slammed into her. I'm terrified Carl will leave me. It's not his fault and he did promise to stay with me for life but promises were set aside all the time for various reasons. She went back to many years before.
Alexander and Carl had left to go fishing in North Carolina. They planned to spend a week or two away but the trip had to be cut short because Lex had to return to comfort and take care of his little sister. The third day of their trip, Cassie's life changed forever.
She had been in the yard of their father's New York home playing. She had gotten thirsty, gone into the kitchen to get something to drink and heard it. The sound of a loud explosion echoed through the house and in her mind, even to this day. She remembered she dropped her glass and ran out to her favorite hiding spot where she waited for whoever had been in the house to leave. She heard the screeching of tires as a car sped away. Slowly, Cassie made her way to the house and went to find her father.
Cassandra Walker, eight years old and a happy child, saw her life as she knew it torn from her when she found him lying in a pool of blood on the floor in the sunroom, one shot ending his life. Police found her holding him and crying, staying with him until one of the servants came back from running errands and called for help.
Lex returned home that night after cutting his trip short. He held his sister and took charge of her for the next decade. He spent the months after their father's murder in search of the one guilty of random acts of robbery and murder. The two men had been convicted and sent to jail while Cassie locked herself away in her own prison and didn't talk for a year.
Cassie told herself she wouldn't lose Carl the way she had lost her father but she still felt the apprehension, the underlying terror of losing him. If pregnant, she would have a piece of him within her always, the drive behind her obsession.
"Where are you?" Carl remembered asking his beautiful wife, obviously deep in thought.
"I understand what's wrong with me."
"Do you remember when my father died?"
He had lost contact with Lex after the murder while his friend devoted his life to raising Cassie. They had gone their separate ways and met up when they attended a party in Charleston years later when their friendship picked up where it had left off. Lex sent Cassie off to a private school in Louisiana before she went to college in New York, Carl not seeing her after the start of the fishing trip until they met again several months back in New York City.
"Well, I didn't talk for a year. My world had crashed in on me because the man at the center of it had left me plus Mom had died earlier. Lex raised me at the cost of his own happiness and, as I found out later, your friendship. I want a baby--this baby--so much because you are the center of my world and deep inside, I'm terrified of losing you like I lost Dad." She choked back tears.
"Baby, I'm not going anywhere," he assured her as he held her trembling body.
"Somehow, I believe you. Being here in your arms is everything. I'm so sorry..."
"There's nothing to be sorry for."
The phone rang and Carl reached to pick it up.
"Sandeford? Yes ... Yes ... Thank you, Carrie."
He hung up and looked at his wife.
"I was right. We'll be proud parents in eight and a half months or maybe a little longer."
She threw her arms around him as she cried with relieved elation. He held her and loved her more knowing their lives would only get better.