Sexual Deceptions Book 3
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by Brenda Williamson, Rayne Forrest
Category: Erotica/Erotic Science Fiction/Romance
Description: "Tempting Her Heart" Marigold is used to having money. When her father dies, leaving her penniless, she believes marriage to a wealthy man would correct her situation. Only the fellow she chooses has a poor, yet extremely attractive cousin, who distracts her at every turn with his unique charm and searing passion. Felix doesn't like the con his cousin is pulling on Marigold. But when he figures out she's playing the same game, he sees nothing wrong in pursuing her for fun, until seriously falling for her gets in the way. When the deceptions unravel, Marigold has to decide between a dream or the wealth of love Felix offers her. "Money Back Guarantee" Slade Martin is under attack. An electronic thief absconded with all his liquid personal wealth. The obvious culprit isn't the guilty party, and Slade gets help to find the real perpetrator from a surprise source--Iris D'Vance. Iris D'Vance is determined not to repeat her mistakes with men, until she meets Slade Martin, and decides all bets are off. Slade needs her help, and offers her a money back guarantee she can't turn down. Slade and Iris join forces to unravel the plot to ruin Slade, and discover sometimes a money back guarantee is better paid off in trade.
eBook Publisher: Whiskey Creek Press, 2009
eBookwise Release Date: September 2009
3 Reader Ratings:
Available eBook Formats: OEBFF Format (IMP) [235 KB]
Reading time: 136-191 min.
TEMPTING HER HEART
* * * *
Marigold poked at the food on her plate. Her charmed existence was over. It ended the day her father died. They had had wealth, possessions, and an expensive way of life. She was accustomed to having anything she wanted. Now her many luxuries were gone. It was a hard fact to deal with and a situation she had to find a solution to overcome. No more salons, no more jewels, and especially no more extravagant clothes. Even her home was lost. The penthouse suite in the finest hotel in the city belonged to some obscure corporation. If she'd had any idea about the debts her father had collected, she might have curbed some of her excessive spending.
"What are you going to do, Marigold?" Her friend Lucille nibbled nervously at the edge of a pastry as they sat in the hotel dining room.
Located on the one hundred fiftieth floor, the quiet restaurant was centrally located in the highest structure in the world. The building was her parents' creation, their pride and joy. How it could have been lost to financial debt still left her stunned. Nevertheless, no matter what, she intended to get back her inheritance--the lifeline to her past, the crowning heirloom for her future.
"I don't know." Marigold pushed her plate away, unable to eat and think at the same time.
"You haven't even started looking for another place to live," Lucille reminded her with that reprimanding tone of practicality.
"I know." She sighed.
The hotel was the only place she felt at home. She had lived there all her life.
"The place is sold, Marigold."
"I know. I know. Do you think I'd forgotten?" she snapped, overwrought with worry. "I'm sorry. I'm working on a plan. Really I am."
"A plan? What plan? You know the new owner is going to catch on that you're still living here, and for free." Lucille frowned. "You don't have any money to pay the kind of rent they'd want for the penthouse."
Marigold watched her friend continue to take small bites of the pastry with the belief she wasn't breaking any dieting rules. Lucille lived on the theory that if she didn't actually eat the thing, but rather tasted it, there were no worries.
"I guess when I'm found out, I'll concern myself then on where I should go." She lifted a slice of toast, chomping into it with frustration. "Besides, it's a corporation. It'll be months of arguing amongst the board of directors before they decide who gets the penthouse suite."
Marigold leaned back in the chair.
"And what if it's sooner?" Lucille's pessimistic tone disturbed her.
She wondered the same thing while lying awake in bed at night. Where would she go? How would she survive? What kind of trouble would there be?
"Never mind about that. Let's discuss my plan."
"What plan? I thought you didn't know what to do." Lucille froze with her pastry poised for another nibble, and stared at her. "It doesn't involve doing anything illegal, does it?"
"I'm going to find a wealthy man and marry him."
The pastry dropped from Lucille's fingers to the plate on the table. "You're going to marry a man just for money?" she gasped.
"Why else would I marry? It's not as if I'd enjoy someone being in charge of my life." She reached over and picked up the blueberry confection. "In the history books, women married for position and financial security all the time."
"That was several hundred years ago. We've come a long way since then."
"Oh, look who's talking. You have a monthly inheritance check from your grandmother's estate. When you marry, you get it all. It's not like you've gone out and worked."
"I'll have you know, I've been managing my finances on my own since I was sixteen. I've done quite well with small investments. Just because I don't have to get my hands dirty doesn't mean I'm not capable of supporting myself."
"So you won't look to marry for money?"
"That will be the last detail on my list of merits for my future husband."
"Oh, you have a list, and what might his number one quality be?"
Lucille snatched back her pastry. "I think love is the foremost necessity."
Marigold had held that same naïve wish at one point. Now she had to think practically. "Well, for you that may be an option." She got up and paced around the table. "You have money and can wait forever."
"Why, thanks a lot. Your consideration of my single status is not very nice."
"I'm sorry, Lucille. I meant your wealth gives you the time to find a man to love. If the government gets wind of my poor status, I'll not have the luxury of even making my own choice. They'll issue me some wretched misfit who has money, but can't manage to get a woman to marry him even for that. If I don't accept that, and if I don't get married soon, I'll be forced to live in the catacombs under the city streets with other homeless runaways. I don't have the luxury of time anymore."
Marigold saw the usefulness of the law; she just never believed it could affect her. Ever since it was passed over fifty years earlier, there had been conflicts. But the government was right; they couldn't feed the poor forever. The welfare system, once a helping hand to single mothers, had turned into an encouragement for people not to try to get a job.
"You know you're more than welcome to come live with my family. The government doesn't enforce those laws against poverty outside the city."
"Lucille, it's nothing personal, but your family is a bit ... a bit stifling. As is that country life. I'm used to the city, the hustle and bustle of people, and things like that. I could never live outside my native surroundings."
"Even if it means living belowground?" Lucille shook her head. "I couldn't do it. I hear bad things happen down there."
"Oh, how would you know that? Never mind, I'll be married long before that should happen."
"Well, you have it much easier than I do," Lucille groaned. "If I had your looks, I would have been married long before now."
"Don't be absurd, Lucille. You're beautiful."
"I'm twenty-eight and I can't remember the last time I was on a date. That's termed a spinster according to the encyclopedia of social graces."
"I told you to throw that antique book away. It's making you think weird." Marigold gripped Lucille's hand. "Women don't need men other than for procreation, and even then, if you're married, you can buy sperm or just buy a child."
"Weren't you the one just talking about history and how women marry for money?"
"Dire circumstances lead me to take drastic measures. It doesn't mean I like what I have to do."
"Nevertheless, I don't know what you've got planned for children, but I'm hoping to produce my own offspring, and I want to do it before I'm fifty!" Lucille yanked her hand away and stood. "I want to be loved and adored. I know this is hard for you to understand, but I like the idea of a man wanting to be in charge of me."
"You don't mean that. You're an attractive, brilliantly intelligent woman. So you're having a slump in dating. It doesn't mean you have to get all freaked out by it. When the right man comes along, you'll know it. He'll treat you well and respect you as an equal. Now, no more talk of looking for a supposedly extinct Neanderthal. I have an invitation to a party at the Empire Ballroom. Some gala to celebrate some corporation's something or other."
"That's very informative, Marigold."
"Needless to say, it's a posh event with a room full of rich people--wealthy men to be exact. You and I are going to find us suitable men to fit our lifestyle." She closed her eyes. "I'm going to be rich again if it's the last thing I do."
* * * *
Felix watched Richard walk toward him with the most beautiful woman he'd ever seen. Her blond hair spiraled in long curls, dripping like silk over her ivory shoulders. Blue-green eyes sparkled from beneath her dark lashes, which were cosmetically stained if his guess was right. Flawless, porcelain-smooth skin had all the signs of surgical enhancement, except there were tiny lines at the corners of her mouth and her eyes when she smiled. Either an artistic surgeon had flawlessly balanced her appearance, or she was one of God's perfect creatures.
He didn't dare blink for fear of discovering her to be ordinary.
"Darling, this is my cousin, Felix Wainwright," Richard introduced the lady. "Felix, this is Marigold Winthrop."
"Miss Winthrop, it's a pleasure." Felix lifted her hand to his lips, eager to brush a kiss over her satiny knuckles.
"Felix?" She giggled. "That's a funny name."
He raised a brow, surprised and taken aback by the tone of her comment. If she meant to be insulting, then her manners could be the flaw that ruined the faultless image she projected. He knew her by name because she was on the guest list. Little did he suspect she would attend the gala and do so with such a regal air of haughtiness.
"And Marigold is a common weed," he retorted, just to see what her reaction would be.
"Richard, did you hear what he said? He called me common." Her eyes were ablaze with anger. "Make him apologize."
If the demand had not been made in a spoiled, all-important tone, he would have apologized. Yet, as he stared into her eyes, he noted a glimmer of amusement. Did she play with him?
"Marigold, you insulted him first," Richard cajoled.
"It was an honest observance whereas he outright insulted me," she replied with less vehemence.
"Are you sure it was an insult?" Felix felt an attraction that went beyond Marigold's looks and the banter.
"Yes, I'm sure." She tipped her chin a little higher, showing the fine lines of her sleek neck.
"Then you haven't seen marigolds in a pasture. The beauty of every orange or yellow flower is set off by the emerald green of the grass, making them an untouched splendor in nature. You, Miss Wainwright, have an equal uniqueness that sets you apart from those surrounding you."
His poetic words silenced her just as he thought they would. Women always shut up when they heard a compliment coming their way.
Marigold stared at him, her gaze flitting from his eyes to his mouth. Did she feel the same desire he did, to press her lips to his and kiss with fervent, lustful hunger? He hoped so, because before the evening ended, he would kiss her. Even if she weren't agreeable.
"Richard, I need to freshen up. Will you excuse me?" She began to back away, never taking her eyes from Felix as she spoke to his cousin.
"Certainly, I shan't leave this spot," Richard answered.
Felix watched Marigold turn. A sly smile curved her mouth upward, producing a cute dimple in her cheek and a few more tiny lines at the corner of her sparkling eyes. She wasn't the kind of woman who would want to hear about those wrinkles, but he loved them.
As if the devil sat on his shoulder, whispering dares, Felix thought about Marigold in a way his cousin wouldn't appreciate. He tried to reject the ideas streaming through his head, but just observing her sashaying walk thwarted his efforts.
"Isn't she marvelous?" Richard let out a sigh. "I had no idea Frank Winthrop's daughter even remembered me. Then, out of the blue, there she was in front of me at the refreshment table. She's just perfect for my needs."
"You still plan on that fool idea of marrying a girl for her money?" Felix folded his arms, not sure how serious to take his cousin's interest in Marigold.
"You bet I am and Marigold is beyond perfect. She's young, pretty, and the heiress of a wealth beyond imagining."
"Could be she has bills to pay with that money."
"Don't we all. I wish I'd never heard of Herron Spacelines. That bird dropped from the sky before I could blink an eye and it took all my liquid assets."
"You know I could lend you money." Felix made the offer again. He didn't like investing in the rocket flight industry, but he'd do anything to help his cousin.
"No, I'll do it the old-fashioned way, like many ancestors before me, and marry into it."
"Women aren't that gullible, Richard. They have minds of their own, and very tight holds on their purse strings." He thought of his parents and how much in love they were, even marrying poor outside the laws of the city. They were happy, as long as his mother controlled the finances. He prided himself upon inheriting his financial skill from her.
"Marigold's not that way. She's ... how do you say ... a bit self-absorbed?" Richard confessed.
"The word is spoiled. Are you serious about her?"
"I can imagine I'll find some pleasure in her bed. Why all the questions?"
"I'll tell you later." He patted Richard on the shoulder. "I have someone to see."
"Sure, Felix. Later then."
Felix made his way to the female refresher room and waited for Marigold to emerge. If Richard were in love with Marigold, he'd never consider getting in the way of their romance. But with the scheme Richard had laid out about marrying for money, he felt the lady was fair game.
Felix stopped the first woman he saw exit. "Excuse me, are there many ladies in there?"
"Pardon?" The woman gave him a puzzled look.
"My friend has been gone for quite a while and I was wanting to know if she's all right?"
"There's only one woman in there and she's..."
Felix didn't need to hear anything else. Lust impelled him to open the door and go inside.
"What are you doing in here?" Marigold stood in front of a steel counter attached to the wall. She continued to examine her face in the mirror with a calmness that expressed a total lack of surprise for his presence in the woman's facility.
"Didn't you want me to follow you?" He moved closer.
"I didn't give you one bit of thought." She ran her hands under the faucet where the sensor turned on the water and then moved to a drier.
"My mistake then." He turned to leave.
"Wait." She spun around.
"Yes?" He didn't let her see his grin.
"Richard can't know." Her businesslike expression turned him on.
While he had read her so well, he really liked the way she, too, had a knack for knowing what someone else needed.
Felix returned to her, close enough to smell the sweetness of her perfume. "I'm not in the habit of sharing my sexual trysts with him." He touched her hip, folding his fingers around the curve.
"I'm serious." She gave him a stern arch of her brow.
He preferred women who were playful and carefree. There was a sense of that in Marigold, but she wasn't displaying anything close to it. Had he been wrong?
"He'll never hear a thing from me." He grabbed her other hip, ignoring the way his heart hammered inside his ribs with a furious warning to check his emotions.
Already too drawn to her, he pulled her from the counter, pushing aside his instinctive caution.
She leaned against him. "I suppose I'll have to trust you. However, by the hard feel of your erection, I think you'd lie about anything to get relief." She rolled her hips, putting pressure on the sensitive area.
"A man doesn't think with his cock, honey."
"No, but he can be led around by a woman holding it." She pushed her hand between them and rubbed over the closure of his trousers. "Tell me I'm wrong."
Her playfulness had emerged.
"Show me proof." He tipped his head back, savoring the feel of her hand sliding beneath his waistband, down between his legs, cupping his balls.
She opened the closure of his trousers on the upsweep and the coolness of her fingers folded around his stiff cock. Yes, she could lead him anywhere. He already knew where he wanted to go.
"Studded." She purred, stroking the top of his shaft with her thumb.
Surgically implanted nodules ribbed the surface as if he had a line of pearls beneath his flesh. He heard in some countries men even used pebbles. His implants were much better.
"What are these, glass?"
"Steel, and hardwired to my nervous system." He grabbed her around the waist and pulled her up against him. "You've proved your point. Now give me relief, and then you'll see the miracle of technology at work."
He reached down and jerked up the tight skirt of her gown on both sides until he had it bunched around her waist. Nothing else hindered him from rubbing a finger down the cleft of her bare bottom or grabbing the firm cheeks and hoisting her to his waist. Her legs folded around him, just the same way her arms did, and he carried her into a partitioned stall for more privacy.
"You are going to make this quick, right?" Her fingers tickled his neck where she mindlessly twirled his hair along the nape.
"I'll do my best." He maneuvered her around on his hips, positioning his cock against the split of her sex.
The warm, wet passage didn't accept him on his first attempt and he pulled back, not wanting to hurt her. He tried again, pulling her forward, inching his way into her tight channel.
"I won't break," she whispered, pressing her mouth to his.
Felix thrust, pushing her up against the closed door with his hips. Marigold's whimper drew him back. Her kiss turned aggressive and he slammed into her again. Her nails dug into his scalp.
"Don't stop." She nipped his bottom lip. "Make me feel that cock of yours."
His flexing rhythm picked up pace, as her moans echoed in his mouth. The closer he came to spilling himself, the further away he wanted to be from doing so. He enjoyed the way Marigold clung to him, the small sounds of her pleasure whispering against his lips.
"You're so well hung. Did you have the length and width enhanced?" Her breathless pants puffed air over his face.
"Just the steel pearls. The rest is all me."
"All you really fills me well." She pressed her mouth tight to his again, spearing his tongue with her own.
Felix's desire for a quick bang when he came in looking for her was gone. He thought of places in the building where he could take her to make more of his time. Once she started panting hard, kissing became impossible. The end was near.
He felt the vibrations fluttering under the taut skin of his erection. He'd held off his thoughts long enough. When he imagined the implants rolling, the electrical circuitry hooked to his brain turned on the mechanisms in the individual metal balls.
"Oh, yes," she cried. "Oh, my God, that's so ... so wonderful. Don't stop."
Her head whipped from side to side as her insides clenched on his shaft. Short squeezes gripped and pulled him deeper. His body grew tense. When the tightness in his testicles finally let loose, he pounded uncontrollably with jerking spasms that spurt stream after stream of his semen. He'd never felt so exhausted and exhilarated at the same time. Marigold's cooing sounds of enjoyment threaded through his body like a string weaving around his heart and tugging. The burning sensation seizing his chest wouldn't stop. He chalked it up to his last meal--a touch of indigestion. Then Marigold rested her head on his shoulder. She breathed in short gasps. Heat radiated against his neck.
"That was amazing," she panted.
Nothing was hotter than her sentiments or the way she relaxed, her head tipping forward onto his shoulder.
He tightened his embrace, locking her to him for a few seconds.
When one of her legs slipped from his hip, her foot landed on his. He gave her balance by grasping her other leg by the thigh, and then he lunged into her one last time. The feel of her warm vagina responding gave him the desire to want more, but he eased back, slipping free. The kiss of her nether lips on the end of his cock almost brought him forward, except Marigold twisted out of his grasp.
"Richard will be wondering where I am." She grabbed a handful of paper sheeting and left the stall.
They were still alone in the facility.
He remained in the stall, wiping himself off. By the time he turned, Marigold was cleaning herself with the wet tissue paper. He watched her. With similar moves to female masturbation, her hand rubbed back and forth. His limp cock jerked and tried to stiffen. He tucked it away and pressed the closure on his trousers shut.
"You can go," she said with a dismissive tone that actually hurt him. "I wouldn't want Richard seeing us together. He might think something happened."
"Yes, that would be a shame if he found out I serviced you before he did." He pulled open the door and left her standing, her mouth agape.
He wanted to wait, do the right thing and escort her back to the party. Only she had plans that didn't involve him, the one who had just catered to her whims, and he reacted terribly to his hurt feelings.
* * * *