Gabriels redemption, p.31
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       Gabriels Redemption, p.31

         Part #3 of Gabriels Inferno series by Sylvain Reynard
Page 31


  “Not tonight, Julianne. ” He scrubbed at his face with his hands. “Haven’t we had enough distress for one day? Go to bed. I’m not fit for company. ”

  He returned to his seat, his shoulders slumped.

  Julia hesitated, her eyes darting between the doors to the bedroom and his face. Part of her wanted to leave him to brood alone. Part of her believed that he was in distress and that if she didn’t attempt to intervene, he would spiral into a depression.

  Or worse.

  She went to him, holding out a tentative baby finger, linking it with his.

  “You’re upset. ”

  “Yes. ” His voice sounded flat.

  “Before we were together, when you’d get into a foul mood, what would you do?”

  “I’d drink and do coke. And . . . ” He began tapping his bare foot against the floor of the balcony.


  His blue eyes moved to hers. “I’d fuck. ”

  “Did it work?”

  He snorted. “Temporarily. My troubles always came back the next morning. ”

  She looked inside the bedroom, toward the large canopied bed.

  She lifted her chin. “Let’s go. ”

  “Go where?”

  “To bed. ” She tugged at his pinky finger. “To work out our foul moods. ”

  Gabriel’s eyes seared into hers. Then he seemed to pull himself back.

  “That is not a good idea. I told you, I’m not myself. ”

  “Do you love me?”

  He frowned. “Of course. ”

  “Would you hurt me?”

  “Absolutely not. Who do you think I am?”

  “I think you’re my husband and I think you need to fuck your bad mood away. So let’s go. ”

  His mouth dropped open.

  When he’d collected himself, his expression grew harsh. “I don’t fuck you, Julianne. ”

  “No, you’d rather I were someone else so you could. ”

  His eyes flashed. “That is not true. You don’t know what you’re talking about. ”

  “Oh, yes, I do. You didn’t touch me when we went to bed. I needed you but you said no. ” She stretched her arms wide. “Don’t you understand? What you crave, I need. Help me forget I’m about to lose the only sibling I’ve ever had. Please. ”

  He was torn. It was telegraphed in the way his eyes bore into hers and the eagerness that radiated from his skin.

  On impulse, Julia wrapped an arm around his back and placed her other in his hair. She tugged his mouth toward hers and kissed him deeply.

  He responded quickly, wrapping her legs around his hips. Soon he was controlling their kiss; his tongue in her mouth, insistent and urgent.

  “Take me to bed,” she begged, when he finally drew breath.

  “We aren’t going to use the bed. ”

  With a dangerous look, he carried her into the bedroom.

  Gabriel didn’t bother with lamps or music before he pressed her against the nearest wall. A distant light from the open door to the bathroom lightened the dark bedroom to gray.

  Her legs tightened around his hips as he pulled off her robe. The silk sank to the floor.

  He placed two fingers in his mouth, wetting them, before reaching down to pet between her legs. She moaned and pressed against his hand. His touching grew more desperate.

  “Are you afraid?” He brought his lips to her ear.

  “No. ” She wound her fingers in his hair, pulling his mouth to hers.

  He explored her with his tongue, licking at her lips and thrusting inside. His hand slid around to cup her backside, pulling her against him.

  “Watch,” he rasped, fluttering his mouth along her neck.

  “Watch what?”

  “Us. In the mirror. ”

  Julia opened her eyes and saw the mirror mounted on the wall on the other side of the room. Somehow, it was perfectly positioned to reflect her husband’s magnificent and naked back and the dark-haired woman who was hidden by his body.

  “I want you to see what I see when you come. ”

  Gabriel trailed kisses up and down her neck before rubbing his stubble against her chest. He cupped her breast in his hand, worshipping each one with his mouth. Licking and nipping and sucking.

  He dropped a hand between her legs again and, using deliberate strokes, petted her as his mouth closed over a rosy peak.

  Julia tried very hard to keep her eyes open, but it was difficult. His tongue teased her flesh, his lips tugging and pulling.

  She’d never seen what they looked like together. His body long and lean, hers smaller and softer. Their skin had different tones—he was darker while she was fair.

  Gabriel lavished her with single-minded attention. As if he were a dying man and this was his last assignation. Her very flesh nearly melted from the heat of his touch.

  His focus caused the world to fall away, as it always did in those moments, his probing fingers and impatient erection brushing between her legs.

  “I need you,” she murmured, pulling back so she could see him. She was clutching his shoulders, almost climbing him.

  “I need you to come first. Eyes on the mirror. ”

  He continued to pet her, resisting the urge to speed despite her desperate movements.

  Without warning, her rosy lips parted and she gasped, her gaze fixed on their reflection.

  Then with a single, deep thrust he was inside her.

  She saw her eyes widen, her fingers tighten their grip on his shoulders. She saw his strong hips and lean, beautiful backside moving apace, pushing into her again and again.

  She groaned, eyes closing.

  “I told you to watch,” he growled, nipping her ear.

  Her eyes opened and she saw him glaring at her.

  She turned to look at the mirror. He kept up his rhythm, moving and thrusting.

  Sighs and moans escaped her lips as his pace increased. And still, she did not look away.

  “This isn’t fucking,” he whispered. “Look at me. ”

  Her eyes fled the mirror and met his. The sapphire blue of his irises was barely visible against the wide, black pupils.

  “This isn’t fucking. It’s a hell of a lot more. ”

  His breathing stuttered as he thrust, his pace suddenly uneven.

  “Always. ” She began panting, her exhalations matching his rhythm.

  He opened his mouth to say something, but at that moment, she orgasmed. His words were drowned in a sea of sensation. Her eyes closed as the satisfaction flowed through her.

  Gabriel thrust deep once more and released, his teeth nipping at her collarbone.

  Julia struggled to catch her breath, resting her cheek against his neck.

  “Incredible,” he rumbled, after he’d caught his breath.

  He lifted his head. “Are you all right?”

  She closed her eyes, resting her head against the wall. “Yes, but I’m probably bowlegged. Give me a minute before you put me down. ”

  “What makes you think I’m finished with you?”

  He pushed her hair behind her shoulder, his mouth finding her ear.

  “One,” he whispered.

  Julia awoke the next morning to an empty bed. Of itself, this was not surprising. But when she discovered that the bathroom and balcony were also empty, she pulled on her robe and went in search of her husband.

  He was nowhere to be found.

  The keys to the Mercedes were on the kitchen counter, where he’d left them the night before, next to an empty bottle of Coca-Cola. He hadn’t left a note.

  A wave of hurt washed over her. The night before had been passionate, perhaps more so than any other night previous. They’d made love against the wall, on the bathroom counter, on the floor, and finally on the bed. The sun was almost peeking over the horizon when he’d finally relented and let them sleep.

  Julia had wanted to wake up with him and perhaps, to take her time expl
oring his body before languorously making love. But such was not her good fortune. Gabriel’s absence and the absence of a note made her feel twinges of anxiety. He hadn’t even left a glass of water or juice at her bedside, as was his custom.

  I wonder if this is how his other women felt after spending the night with him. If he even let them spend the night . . .

  Her anxiety morphed into unhappiness as she reluctantly climbed the stairs and returned to her room. She changed into her bikini, grabbing her sunglasses and hat before walking to the pool. A swim would keep her occupied.

  She swam laps until she’d almost forgotten her conversation with her father the day before, and Gabriel’s evident distress the previous evening. Then she set her feet down in the shallow end, her eyes straying to a pair of running shoes that were situated at the edge of the pool.

  “I thought I told you I didn’t want you swimming alone. ”

  Gabriel stood, holding out a towel. He was dressed in his jogging clothes and he was sweaty, his T-shirt soaked.

  “Good morning to you, too. ” She swam to the edge and plucked the towel from his grasp.

  “Good morning. ”

  “I wouldn’t have to swim alone if you didn’t leave me,” she muttered, climbing out of the pool.

  “You know I like to run in the mornings. ”

  “It’s almost noon. ” She wrapped herself in the towel and faced him, hands on her hips.

  He seemed agitated. He glanced at her but wouldn’t make eye contact, and his posture was decidedly uncomfortable.

  Julia wondered how a night of fantastic sex could leave her relaxed and weightless and leave him strung as tightly as a bow.

  “You could have left a note. ”

  “I could have,” he said slowly. “I didn’t think of it. ”

  “If you want to run, that’s fine. Just let me know when you’ll be back. ”

  Gabriel opened his mouth to protest but suddenly decided against it.

  “I’m going to have a shower. I made the hotel reservation for your father yesterday and arranged to have the concierge deliver a fruit basket. I’ll be in my study for most of the day, working. But I’ll take you to dinner in Todi tonight. ”

  “No. ”

  He blinked at her. “No?”

  “No, Gabriel. You can’t run off to your study after treating me so coldly. No. ”

  His expression shifted.

  “I don’t mean to be cold, Julianne. ” His voice was low.

  She stared at him.

  He scrubbed at the stubble on his chin. “I have a lot on my mind. ”

  “That’s what you said last night. I hoped our activities would have helped. ”

  A shadow passed over his features.

  He stood in front of her, reaching out to grasp the necklace she was wearing. He ran his thumb over the suspended heart.

  “You are always lovely. I could hold you in my arms and make love to you all day, but that wouldn’t solve my problems. ”

  Julia placed her hand over his. “Then tell me you love me. ”

  His eyes met hers. “I love you. ”

  She breathed out a heavy sigh. “Go find your solution. But don’t forget that you aren’t the only person in the house. I don’t want to live with a ghost. ”

  Gabriel’s eyes grew pained. He kissed her chastely, then exited the enclosed pool area.

  True to his word, Gabriel spent the afternoon in his study, behind a closed door.

  Julia had no idea what he was doing, although she hoped he was solving whatever problem it was that troubled him so deeply.

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