Chapter 48

Charles continued to touch Elsie, her sounds encouraging him and letting him know she was enjoying his caress. Moving his hand from her breast, he skimmed his fingers over her ribs, pausing on her hip before moving to gently cup a firm, rounded buttock.

Elsie’s breath caught when Charles gently squeezed her buttock, then slide down over the curve to her thighs, slowly bunching her nightdress up in his hand. Keeping her eyes closed, she tried desperately to control her breathing, but the feel of Charles’ hand against her bare skin made her gasp and grip his arm, her fingernails digging into the muscled flesh. “Charlie,” she panted.

“Easy, Elsie. Do you want me to stop?” he asked as he hesitated, waiting to make sure she was still alright.

“No. Please. I’m okay,” she managed after several gulps of air, her hand moving to clutch at his, urging him to continue moving.

Moving his hand further up, he stopped when her nightdress was gathered around her waist. Closing his own eyes, he reveled in the feel of the silky smoothness of his wife’s skin. “You’re so very soft, Elsie,” he whispered. Opening his eyes, he watched her face in the dim light of the fire, the glow making it difficult for him to see the flush of her cheeks and neck. Watching her expression, he continued to caress over her buttocks and thighs, his fingers inching a bit under the material of her nightdress to feel the dip of her waist.

Elsie turned onto her back and looked up at Charles. “More,” she whispered.

Charles slowly let his hand wonder to her stomach, his thumb caressing a circular path around her navel before moving up and over her ribs. Slipping his hand higher under the nightdress, he gently cupped her breast, humming his pleasure. She was everything a man, this man, could ever want in a woman. Soft, toned, curvy – all of it. Flicking his thumb over the taut nipple, he smiled when Elsie hummed and pushed herself further into his hand. “Like that?” he asked.

“Mmm,” she hummed. “Very much.”

Moving his hand to the other breast, he repeated the actions, leaning over to press a kiss to Elsie’s mouth when she moaned his name. Their kiss grew heated as he continued to touch her, slowly and carefully moving his caress lower.

Elsie lurched and pulled from the kiss, shaking her head and trying desperately to get away. “No. Stop. Please, I,”

Charles immediately moved his hand away from Elsie, resting it on his hip. “I’m sorry, Elsie. Easy. We’ll stop now. I think we got a little too carried away.”

Elsie rolled onto her side, burying her face against Charles as she began to cry. “But it felt so wonderful,” she whispered. “I want this, Charlie. I want it.”

“I want it too, Elsie. Not just for my own needs, but because you deserve to know the pleasure a man can give a woman when he loves her and takes the time. I want you to know that a husband can give as much as he takes in bed. But, Elsie, I don’t want that if it causes this. If we only ever kiss and touch a bit, that will be enough. I love you.”

Elsie moved back and reached for Charles’ hand. Bringing it to her lips, she kissed the tips of his fingers, the back of his hand, then turned it over and placed a lingering kiss to the palm. “Thank you for trying and for being so very patient and understanding,” she whispered as she looked at his hand. “So large and strong, but when you touch me they’re soft and tender. How is it that hands so big can show more tenderness than a hand weaker and smaller?”

“Because the man that owns the hands would never do anything to hurt you. The man loves you. It’s the man, Elsie. He was evil in heart and mind, Lass. No matter who it was, his touch would always have been the same. To hurt and try to destroy No tenderness, no love. He didn’t know the meaning of the words.”

Elsie looked up at her husband, lifting a hand to cup his cheek. “I always knew beneath that gruff butler mask was a man with a very tender heart.”

“My heart hasn’t always been very tender, Elsie, but I would never hurt another without due cause.”

Elsie nodded. She knew what he was talking about. She knew that he’d nearly strangled Connell to death before he’d realized what he was doing and stopped himself. Turning onto her side, her back facing Charles, she snuggled against him. “I’m sorry,” she whispered.

“You have nothing to apologize for.” Charles whispered as he held her close, pressing a kiss to her head. “We’ll try again whenever you like. I’m not going anywhere, remember?”

Elsie smiled and nodded. “Mmm, I remember. I want to keep trying until I’m okay with it all.”

“As long as it takes.”

“Could be fun,” she whispered.

Charles chuckled and gently squeezed her. “Most definitely fun.”



“Tomorrow night, maybe I could touch you?”

“You can touch me whenever you like, Elsie, but you’re right. Maybe it would be good for you to touch me. That way you can see what your touch does to me and become familiar with my responses so that they don’t startle you.”

“Well I already know one response,” she murmured as she pressed back against him.

“Elsie Carson.” Charles growled as he rested his hand on her hip. “How is it that doesn’t frighten you?”

Elsie shrugged. “Because you’ve never tried to do anything, and have done everything you could to keep me from feeling it. I’m just sorry to leave you in such a state so much.”

“Don’t you worry about that. We’re going to concentrate on you first. Once I’ve given you pleasure, then we’ll worry about mine.”

Reaching back, she clasped his hand, her fingers twining with his as she pulled his arm around her. “Good night, Darling. Thank you for loving me.”

“You’re very welcome, though you don’t have to thank me. Loving you is my pleasure.”

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