Darkness Finds the Heart

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Chapter 20

For the last part of their honeymoon, the Harcards were in the DC/Baltimore area. Khryssa’s mother wanted them at an event she produced. It was a gala affair to benefit the arts. The only reason that Khryssa felt obligated to attend was because her mother was on the board of directors that year.

This benefit was her mother’s second child. Khryssa often thought it might be her favorite. It didn’t talk back as Khryssa usually did as a child. The event had just begun. Now it was cocktail hour in the Sculpture Court at the Walters Art Museum.

Sipping on a glass of wine, she was speaking with one of the curators of the museum when she felt a hand glide against the bare skin of her back. With a slight tilt of the head, a glance of her husband was caught. Khryssa knew who it was before she ever saw him. His nearness made her blood positively sing.

Xavier was a handsome man. With his light blond hair and blue eyes there were times that he could still look like a schoolboy. His lips could be kind or cruel; either way it was seductive. Xavier’s sharp cheekbones were his most striking feature. The entire package gave the man a stunning appearance and one that Khryssa appreciated. He looked resplendent in his tux.

“Xavier, you are acquainted with Jean Grueryer, yes?”

Harcard extended a free hand, the other still against the warm skin of Khryssa’s back. “Yes we have met in Italy on several occasions. You are well Jean?” He inquired politely.

The other man gave a sniff and a sneer. A hand was not extended in kind. He was none too pleased to have the conversation with Khryssa interrupted. “Not as well as I was three minutes ago.” Jean Grueryer shot Harcard a cold stare.

With a show of affection to Khryssa, Harcard kissed her lightly on the corner of her lips. She blushed beautifully. “Well then I am sorry to give you the bad news that I need to sweep my wife off for a few moments. I am sure our paths will cross again Jean. Perhaps, one of these days, I will be able to have you for dinner.” The dinner parties in the Harcard residence were well renowned.

Harcard led Khryssa off and far away from the other man.

With a whisper, she spoke. “Thank you. I needed saving desperately there.”

Guiding her through the sculptures, Xavier paused. “Your greatest asset at times are your manners, my dear. They are also your worst enemy.” They kept walking. There was a small area curtained off within what would normally be the lobby of the second floor. Somehow they had managed to duck the ever patrolling security force that was demanded Khryssa have with her at all times when she was in the US. Pausing there, in the quiet and privacy, Harcard looked into the bright eyes of his wife.

“You are holding up well my love?” He trailed a single fingertip along her cheek while speaking.

“Yes.” She did not elaborate. There was no need tp/

Leaning in, he kissed the top of her forehead. Lingering there he caught her scent. The warmth of soap and shampoo were savored with the sweet and spice of her perfume. There was an underlying scent as well. It would be undetectable to virtually anyone but him. Xavier could taste the scent of her need.

Hidden behind the curtains in the sectioned off area, they took the opportunity for the silence and to people watch through a slight parting in the cloth. Part of the entertainment for the evening was the Tallis Scholars performing with Peter Phillips conducting. What Khryssa and Xavier didn’t realize was that they had walked into the final warm up.

Staying hidden when the brief performance began, Harcard stood behind the lovely Khryssa. Her dress was of a heavy black matte silk that clung gently to the curves of her sleek form. The boat neck style of the dress gave a look of being completely proper. The neckline perched just below the collarbone held on with thin straps. It was not until she turned around that her completely exposed back was presented. At the hip, the dress flared very slightly. It was to allow movement. Both right and left sides were slit from the floor to the mid-thigh. Her hair was pulled up, and smoothed into an up-twist. Just a couple of tendrils were allowed to fall, and curl about fair cheeks. The makeup was minimal, letting her beauty speak for itself. Khryssa Harcard was stunning in the dress.

They watched. They listened. Time stood still. Neither could have told a soul how much time had passed while they stood there, enchanted by the music. Xavier pulled Khryssa back to him. The front of his slacks pressed against the rounded curve of her bottom. She could feel him there. Warm and half aroused.

A shiver raced down her spine when she felt the lips brush along her skin. Harcard trailed a kiss across where the curve of her neck met her collarbone. He felt, rather than heard, her gasp.

Perhaps it was the scent of lust mingling with the sweet sounds of the music. Perhaps it was something else. In this moment in time Xavier wanted nothing more than to take his wife before him. So he did.

Sweeping a hand across her bottom, he pulled the dress to the side. A foot slipped between her heels and he pressed those long legs further apart. It took a bit of maneuvering. The scrap of silk that she called panties were torn away. Harcard’s own hand found his zipper and he took her in an instant. Never one to deny himself pleasure, he didn’t deny himself this time either.

They moved together. Their cries of pleasure were kept silenced by the music. Keeping everything slow, moving to the tempo of the music, they found ecstasy in each other’s arms. Harcard slid his hand to the front of her dress. Deft fingers worked their way beneath the heavy silk and found the slick little pearl. Khryssa nearly convulsed immediately. Xavier backed off immediately. He wanted to keep her on the brink of orgasm for as long as he possibly could.

The sweet torture made her bite down on her lip, causing the soft flesh to swell. Rocking back against him, Khryssa’s head rested upon Harcard’s shoulder. The music was finishing when they did. The pair stayed that way while their private performance finished. It was only after the practice stopped did Harcard pull away from his wife. He fixed her dress and smoothed out the silk with care. The torn undergarments were placed in his pocket with a smile. He then righted his own appearance. An arm remained looped around her slender waist when he whispered in her ear.

“My apologies Khryssa, I was a rude cad.”

Murmuring in return, she smiled gently. Reaching back to stroke fingers across his smooth jaw, the response was delicate. “No need to apologize Xavier. I rather like it when you are somewhat of a cad at times.”

The dinner and the auction had been beautifully done. Much money had been raised for the museum. It was drinks and dancing now. This was a rather small affair by most standards, with just a little over two hundred people. A song called Dream Catcher played and Xavier kept Khryssa in his arms for the waltz. They danced perfectly together. Moving in unison, they became as one. Their eyes stayed on each other; the élan vital – that essential spark of life – was like a fire bursting from both. When the song ended he bowed to her and she in turn curtsied, hand in hand they walked off the dance floor.

Khryssa was nearly assaulted. Jael Serdste hugged her daughter tight. With a low chuckle, Khryssa greeted her mother. “Hello Mom. You did a beautiful job organizing all of this.”

Turning to Xavier, Jael did the same thing. She hugged the oft times strange man. “Xavier! It is good to see you as well.”

He returned the hug. He was rather fond of Khryssa’s parents. “The pleasure is all mine, Jael.” Xavier replied smoothly.

Jael looked at her daughter. A smile formed, Khryssa looked so much like herself when she was the same age. Jael was still a beautiful woman by anyone’s standards, but there was something special about her daughter. “You know your father is about ready to tan your hide, don't you young lady?”

Khryssa had the decency to blush. “I have no doubt Mom.” She knew her mother was referring to the disappearing act of earlier.

“Ach! What am I going to do with you, child? I assume she was at the very least with you Xavier.”

Harcard smiled politely. “But of course. I rarely let Khryssa out of my sight these days.”

“Thank you Xavier. There are not enough words to express my gratitude to you.”

Curled up against her husband, Khryssa chuckled softly. "Mom. I am completely capable of taking care of myself."

"I know Khryssa, but your father and I still worry. You are so far away from home now and we can't get there quickly if anything were to actually happen."

"I know mom. I know."

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