Tarnished

Chapter 45

“Charles Edward Carson! What do you think you’re doing?”

Charles was so startled by Elsie’s voice that he tumbled back onto the bed, scowling up at her. “Elsie!” he grumped.

“Don’t you Elsie me. Answer my question.” Elsie demanded, her hands on her hips as she stared down her husband.

Charles frowned. “Well what does it look like? I’m getting out of bed.”

Narrowing her eyes, Elsie moved to stand in front of him. “Oh no you most certainly are not.”

“I’ve been in bed for two weeks, Elsie! I’m fine.”

“I know precisely how long you’ve been in bed. I also know that Richard said to keep you there for at least another few days.”

“Elsie, I think I know my own,” Charles started to argue but Elsie interrupted.

“No. Charles Edward Carson you,” her voice cracked and her stance slackened. “Charlie, please? Will you do this for me?” she asked as she looked up at him, blue eyes filled with tears. “I could have lost you. Just do what the doctor says, hmm?”

Reaching out, Charles pulled Elsie to him, wrapping his arms around her as she leaned against him. “Alright, Lass. But, could we compromise? I’ll stay in my pajamas and dressing gown if you’ll let me come down and rest on the settee. I miss you and I’m tired of these four walls.”

Wrapping her arms around his neck, Elsie pressed a kiss to his head. “If you promise to stay there and not try to do anything.”

“I’ll only get up if I need to.”

Leaning back, Elsie cupped his face. “I’m sorry for startling you, for being so,”

Charles put a finger on her mouth and smiled. “You forget. I like it when you yell at me.”

Elsie smiled and shook her head then moved closer, her mouth covering his. One hand curled around his neck, the other tangled in his hair as she felt him pulling her even further into his embrace. Her heart pounded as she lost herself in the kiss, her teeth gently nipping at Charles lower lip, eyes blinking open in surprise when she felt the tip of Charles’ tongue against her own. “Mmm,” she moaned low in her throat then pulled back, gasping for air. “Charlie,” she breathed, her forehead bumping gently against his.

Charles’ hands moved to rest on her hips as he held her steady, his own body trembling as he did his best to not gulp for air and to calm his heart. “Elsie, did that bother you?” he asked quietly, wanting to make sure that she had only pulled out of their kiss due to the lack of air, not because he’d gone too far.

Elsie’s mouth turned up in a wide smile as she giggled slightly. “Charlie,” she murmured. “Did it sound like that bothered me?” she asked, a blush tingeing her cheeks as she thought about the sound she’d made.

Charles’ mouth turned up in its own wide grin at the sound of his wife giggling. He couldn’t ever recall hearing her giggle in all the years he’d known her. And the blush on her cheeks as she asked about her moan – dear lord, the moan. “No, it most certainly didn’t. It sounded like you were enjoying yourself. I just had to make sure.”

Gently massaging his scalp with her fingers, Elsie nuzzled his nose. “Which is what makes you the man I love so very much.”

Patting her hips, Charles winked at her. “Never as much as I love you, Elsie Carson,” he whispered.

Elsie shook her head. “No competing, Charlie,” she chuckled as she leaned down to kiss him again.

Charles hummed into the kiss, enjoying how free she was being with the affection. Not that he was complaining, or ever would, but it was something new. Feeling her tongue gently pushing against his lips, he opened his mouth to let her explore, moaning as she deepened their kiss. She was a quick study it would seem.

Not that he minded.

Not at all.

She was driving him crazy.

Her tongue exploring his mouth.

Her fingernails gently scratching at his scalp.

Her hand working its way under the collar of his pajama shirt.

And the noises she was making.

Dear heaven.

It was good that he was sitting.

Elsie felt one of Charles’ arms move around her waist as the other hand still resting on her hip tightened its grip slightly. She gasped when his mouth moved from hers, to press kisses over her face and then behind her ear.

She blinked as she shivered and moaned.

Well that was new.

“Ooh,” she moaned again when Charles repeated the action. “Charlie, that’s,” she tried then let her hands fall to his shoulders. “Please, Charlie,” she whispered.

“Please what?” he whispered against her skin as he kissed down her neck.

“Do that again,” was her breathy answer.

Charles smiled. So his lady liked that, did she? Moving his kisses back up to the spot behind her ear, he felt her shiver again and smiled at her half gasp, half moan. It would seem he’d found a sensitive spot.

Elsie felt her knees growing week and tightened her hold on her husband.

Dear heaven above.

Who know it could be like this?

Well, Isobel did.

She’d told her kissing could be very enjoyable.

She wasn’t kidding.

Of course she hadn’t warned that it could knock a person off their feet.

Good thing Charlie was holding onto her.

She’d be a heap at his feet if he weren’t.


Elsie smiled as she pulled the blanket over Charles’ feet. He’d mumbled and managed to nearly kick it off. She knew he was probably a bit warm, so she hadn’t pulled the blanket up past his waist. Tenderly and lightly, she caressed his face, sighing as she thought about what they’d gotten up to earlier.

Sitting back down in her chair close to the fire, she picked up her knitting.

The kisses they’d shared before today had been nice, and pleasurable, but the kisses today…

Well, now she understood how kissing often led to other things.

Her tongue brushing against his, his tongue gently exploring her mouth, she shivered just thinking about it.

And it had all just happened.

As had Charles’ hand sliding down from her waist to the curve of her buttocks.

That had made her moan as much as his kissing just below and behind her ear.

Laird, what that had done to her.

She had felt tingling all over her body at that.

It was as if he’d pushed some sort of button.

A button she’d nearly begged him to push again.

And yet, she felt no shame in it.

It hadn’t unnerved her.

It had exhilarated her.

Made her feel alive.

Made her want more.

And he’d given her more.

Until he’d stopped and smiled up at her, gently assuring her that he was enjoying their kissing, but they’d best stop before they got too carried away.

Too much, too soon, he’d warned.

And she’d taken a deep breath, nodding her agreement.

Her body was getting ahead of her mind but she knew that her mind would catch up.

And if they’d gone too far – well, thankfully Charles had kept his head.

Though how, she had no idea.

She rolled her eyes.

Oh yes she did.

He’d been drawing on the control he’d used as a butler.

Damn him, she silently cursed – a smile on her lips as she shook her head.

No.

Bless him.

Yes.

Bless him for loving her so completely.


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