Chapter 22

A/N: A big thank you to everyone who voted, but the overwhelming result (84%) is that Vaughn and Estelle should continue to be… well, passionate creatures. Quick WARNING: skin will be shown! That aside, on with the chapter:

Screenshot-176“Hold on a second, sweet, I don’t think—”

Why? I’m not afraid of you.”

Vaughn sighed, pressing their foreheads together. “Don’t say that. You know it’s not true.”

Screenshot-129The pain in his voice irritated her; she didn’t want his pity. She pursed her lips stubbornly.

“I’m not a porcelain doll. You won’t hurt me.”

Screenshot-170“Won’t hurt you…?”

Those brown eyes burned into her; angry, conflicted.

“I could’ve killed Linwood tonight, right in front of you! For God’s sake woman, I’m trying to protect you!”

Screenshot-188“But he’s gone now.”

Estelle interrupted him.

“You said it yourself, he’s gone. So what can you possibly be—”

Screenshot-184“Are you real, woman? I’m trying to protect you from me! From this!”

He grabbed her hips and brought them crudely against his. Estelle bit down on her lip, fighting a gasp as sensation speared through her belly and up her spine.

Screenshot-183“I don’t want to hurt you…” He repeated, the anger ebbing out of him. “Because I know you… and I know you deserve better than a quick fuck in a library.”

His words made her wince.

Screenshot-156“So don’t make me want it.”

Vaughn whispered desperately, pulling away.

“For god’s sake, don’t make me want you more than I already do, because… because it… sweetheart, we can never do this.”

Screenshot-145Estelle reeled. Her head swam with confusion. Her body ached for something, and it frightened her that she didn’t know what it was.

It was wrong, utterly crazy that she had ended up here.

Screenshot-133So why was it that when he told her that nothing could ever happen between them, her heart felt as if it would tear in half? Why was it that now, when she finally wanted him, when she finally knew he cared for her in some way, he refused her?

screenshot-197They had met two months ago; within that time, they had argued with each other, insulted each other, offended each other… at some points they’d even been friends.

Screenshot-137But it had been wrong from the start.

She was a mere governess, amd he was heir to an Earldom, an aristocrat and, worst of all, a damaged man.

Screenshot-136He was right. They could never be together. It would be wrong. They hated each other really, this was just… foolishness.


Screenshot-158“I don’t care.”

There would be no arguments tonight, no insults, no banter. There was only them, and the glorious feeling of reciprocation. She would live for tonight and be grateful. She would cherish this memory, and make it last.

Screenshot-191Vaughn’s face was impossible to interpret, a maelstrom of emotions flitted over the darkness of his eyes, too brief to be assessed. Then his hands tightened around her waist, but the hold bore no resemblence to Linwood’s. Fires burst from wherever he touched her.

She felt secure, wanted.

screenshot-421She expected him to move back from her, give her room to breathe, but he did no such thing.  She shifted slightly, breath coming faster.

Do it. Kiss me.

Screenshot-186And he did.

Estelle shivered and stayed still as Vaughn leaned into her and pressed their lips together. It was a searching kiss, not quite gentle, but not forceful either. Estelle’s lips were nudged apart, and she complied.

Screenshot-150Vaughn deepened the kiss, flattening his hands on the wall in order to rest on his forearms and really kiss Estelle.

She arched helplessly, mind numb.

Screenshot-197His kiss was better than any mere recollection she’d locked away. His kisses made her feverish, made her burn. His breath was hers, his heart echoed the heavy beat of her own, and his lips… they stole the very soul from her body.

Screenshot-155Her brain was full of white noise. Shakily, doubtfully, she lifted her arms. As the kiss became fiercer, she groaned, jerking her hands in Vaughn’s shirt, digging through the fabric to leave imprints on the Viscount’s shoulder blades. She gasped into the kiss. His kisses were devastating. Ruthless. Unbearably irresistible.

She was appalled to realise that she wanted more of him, wanted to feel more of him, from him.

Screenshot-178As he drew away, a chorus of panting filled the room.

“Vaughn . . .

“Don’t say anything.”

There was a quiet desperation in his gaze, something dangerously violent and vulnerable all at once. It compelled Estelle to obey.

Screenshot-164She pushed him off and walked towards his room without turning back.

She knew – beyond all sanity – that Vaughn was right behind her.


Screenshot-181The next morning, Estelle opened her eyes to find unfamiliar curtains fluttering over an unfamiliar window in a room that certainly wasn’t her’s.

Her body ached all over, in all the right – and many wrong – places.

Screenshot-125For a moment, she didn’t quite understand what was happening. She reached out groggily and found that there was an indentation on the mattress beside her. It was still warm.

Memories of the previous night rushed back to her.

What . . . where is . . . ? 

Screenshot-166“Good morning.”

Estelle sat up in a hurry and turned in the direction of the voice. She felt her stomach unclench. Vaughn’s hair was still mussed and he wore his smallclothes and nothing else; the sight made Estelle’s mouth go dry.

Screenshot-131Last night . . . did I really . . . with Vaughn? Like this?

Estelle closed her eyes, feeling a bit too bared by Vaughn’s devouring gaze. The memories from the previous night circled in her head.

16444638-38e9-45c5-866d-6fbc99fcfbb7_zps840d5019That was . . . incredible. I never imagined —

She recalled a particularly embarrassing flash of herself crying out while Vaughn—

Screenshot-168“Oh, um.. good morning.”

She felt her cheeks burn with a familiar sensation. Was she blushing? How utterly ridiculous!

Screenshot-130Vaughn’s expression was unreadable once again, but Estelle detected a considerable amount of nervous tension in his forcibly relaxed shoulders.

The silence set her teeth on edge.

Screenshot-124Does this… change everything?

Estelle kept her mouth shut, hoping that the Viscount would give her a cue to act on, since they were both in his room and she was very naked in the bed they had both shared earlier.

Screenshot-128She felt she only had once chance, and desperately fished for a cue as to what she should do. Of course, the fact that Vaughn was wearing pants and nothing else did nothing to help her concentration.

Screenshot-122Estelle held her breath as Vaughn got up. When he stopped in the centre of the room, she waited for him to speak, heart pounding.

“Er . . . ?” She ventured at last.

Screenshot-177Vaughn smirked abruptly.

“You drool in your sleep.”

Screenshot-170Estelle’s mouth dropped open.

That was certainly not what she had been expecting.

Screenshot-185She would have snapped something unkind at him, had it not been for Vaughn’s eyes; the darkness there seemed to melt, leaving a quiet sadness at the back of his gaze.

Screenshot-167Realisation struck her. Vaughn . . . you . . .

Estelle was seized by the sudden fear that this might be only a fever-dream or an illusion.  She dreaded what the new hours would bring, now that she knew what she could have. It was everything she had ever hoped for and beyond.

Screenshot-151“Vaughn . . . ?” Estelle whispered, as Vaughn lifted her carefully, easily.


Please… please tell me this won’t all disappear tomorrow. “Are you . . . I mean . . . is this . . . are we –?”

Screenshot-150Vaughn tensed. Estelle bit her lip before she spoke.

“What will happen tomorrow?”

Screenshot-155Vaughn sighed, lowering her. It seemed as though he had expected her to ask.

“I don’t know.”

“But –“

Screenshot-152He dropped his head to lean his forehead against Estelle’s shoulder. It was a startlingly personal gesture, and it suffused her with warmth.

“I don’t know, Estelle. Just . . . let it be. Tomorrow will come soon enough.”

Screenshot-154Estelle opened her mouth to say something more, but Vaughn was kissing her again. And for hours after that, she didn’t have time or breath enough to say anything else.

465e3e7b-c2c8-42ed-8958-cb7af7d3f4c4_zpsc54ef4f9Each time their lips found each other in the glow of the dying fire, it felt like the only natural, right thing in the world. His touch, his scent, his taste, the way she could feel his heartbeat, it was all perfect.

It was everything.

Screenshot-174It would be easy to lay there and analyze the foolishness of what they had just done. Tomorrow, she would once again become a mere chaperone, and he would become the Viscount Afonsine. They would forget this night. They would forget these feelings.

They would forget the passion that beat hard in their blood…

Screenshot-137But that was tomorrow. Now, it was far simpler to find Vaughn’s hand, to echo his earlier smile and answer the squeeze of her hand with one of her own. It was simpler sleep to the rise and fall of his chest, arms flung about each other.

It was much warmer that way.


7 responses to “Chapter 22

  • sarcastic smiler

    That was beautiful, although it’s making me worry for their future.
    Also I must commend you for your writing style, not once did this become some smutty chapter, even though there was nudity. It’s not often you come across a writer that can do that, in my opinion at least.

  • Tiff

    I really hope Estelle doesn’t get hurt, but I’m rooting for them lol. I wonder if he’s still going to court Marielle also.

  • ahnpan

    Next next T_T! This is so exciting. D:

  • ailorn

    I was hoping they’d wait but now that they didnt it really forces the issue. It does come down to what is he going to do about this.

  • vampireXheart

    I really don’t want to wait for the next chapter :/ I want it now

    That was beautiful and I want more x__x

  • amberaura

    WOW. That was so beautifully done. It was so romantic, without being the tiniest bit smutty. I can’t wait to see how they handle things after their night of passion: will they find a way to be together, or will their class differences drive them apart?! I can’t wait until the next chapter:)

  • LilyShadowWriter

    I am both melted and broken! How could such a beautiful chapter also be so incredibly sad!?!

    Gahhhhhh. I’m so dying for things to work out between them, but I also know how completely and utterly difficult and near impossible it is for that to happen. Still…a girl can hope……

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