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Dark-Dominion Charlotte Lamb

Dark-Dominion Charlotte Lamb

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Published by mana_hada

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Published by: mana_hada on Jan 02, 2014
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 Charlotte Lamb
going to be late.' said Caroline, glancing at the white face of the kitchen clock.James lifted his black head and glanced at her round the edge of his copy of The Times. 'I shall be leaving in five minutes,' he said, and the precise, crisp tones of his  voice jarred, as they had done for months.he knew better than to argue. he went back into the kitchen and fidgeted about  with the few items marring the spotless nature of the room. he heard his footsteps on the marble floor and turned her cheek for his brief kiss. The cold grey eyes inspected her as he touched his mouth against her cheek and a line etched itself  between his arched dark brows.'! can't stand that dress"it makes you look drab. #hy don't you go into $ondon today and buy yourself some new clothes%'&ery well,' she said e(pressionlessly, raising her green eyes to his face.!
)is mouth compressed. 'It wasn't an order,' he snapped, 'merely a suggestion. It might cheer you up to do some shopping. *od knows, you could do with it. I'm sick of seeing you wandering around this house like a ghost. +ou even dress the part.' )is lips held a slight sneer. 'The actress in you, I suppose.'That touched a thorn in her breast and her skin whitened. he looked away from him, her cheek a vulnerable curve.')ell,' he muttered, and walked out. Caroline heard the front door slam and then the sound of the car purring away down the drive.It ought to have got better after si( months, but daily it got worse. They lived together like two hostile strangers, barely speaking to each other when they were alone, their faces shuttered and icy. ometimes she woke up in the night and reached out for him, fears coming to her eyes as she realised she was alone. It was at night that she was most vulnerable. he had never realised until si( months ago how many terrors the night could hold. t first, the doctor had prescribed sleeping pills for her, and they had helped a good deal, but James had insisted that she stop taking them after a month. )e said he did not want her to become dependent on them. The doctor had agreed with him, and to neither of them had she ever confessed that she had never had a full night's sleep since. The pattern varied. ometimes-she would sleep at once, only to wake up in the small hours, sweating and crying. ometimes she would lie awake hour after hour, only to fall asleep towards dawn, e(hausted and almost hallucinatory.he broke off her thoughts to start the day's work, although there was little for her to do, since James insisted on having a daily woman to do the cleaning and the small, elegant *eorgian house needed little e(tra work. #hile she was glancing around the sitting-room her eye fell on the wedding photograph displayed on the sideboard. he  barely glanced at herself. )er gae was fi(ed on James, lean and faintly smiling, his strong, austerely modelled features sharply outlined
 the effect, of the
suit he wore. )e had a Celtic face, long and lean, the jawline uncompromising, the mouth hard and straight. )is eyes looked almost colourless in the sunlight.Their first meeting had been typical of herself. he had literally run into him, flung to the pavement by the impact. That James should pursue it had been distinctly untypical. )e had asked her out and she had accepted. /eeting the long stare of the icy grey eyes she had felt a curious spark leap between them and asked herself ruefully if she were
imagining it. 0ven then she had known that they came from different worlds.)e was a doen years older than herself, a barrister, his world centred around the law courts, a man who had led a totally intellectual life, rational, clear-thinking, clever. 1n their first dinner date he charmed her with his wit and surprised her by his probing 2uestions about herself. The evening had passed for her in a hae, where she poured out her life history and James listened, watching her flushed smiling face, his 3
eyes moving from her green
to the wild hae of her red-gold hair and occasionally resting briefly on her mouth.)e had kissed her
first night, and it had shaken her to her roots. It was by no means her first kiss, but from the
of it, it might
 been. he had trembled like a leaf, her heart racing, and James, drawing back, had studied her almost clinically, as if
assess the result. Caroline could remember staring at the long, finely shaped hands as they curved around her hot face, her eyes on the wrists, focussing dimly on the dark hairs on his skin. lowly her eyes had lifted to his face, touching the hard line of his mouth with incredulity. #hen she met his eyes her own mouth shook and as he  bent to kiss her again she met his lips wildly, her arms going round his neck.0ven now the immediacy of his effect on her surprised her. he knew that logically they should have disliked each other. They were such different types of people, herself lire and air, James suggesting cold stone and water. They had nothing in common.0(cept that from their first meeting desire had flamed between them almost visually.Caroline had never in her life felt like that. he had been out with men before, but  within hours of meeting James a passion for him was consuming her, and no words of common sense would have halted her flight into his arms. #ithin a week she would have gone to bed with him without a second's hesitation. #hen he made love to her she was incapable of thought, lost in a sensuous hae of pleasure, totally responsive to the hard, cool touch of his hands and mouth, and although James could show a poker face at times, he made no secret of the fact that he desired her. s time went on, his lovemaking deepened into naked hunger to which she responded wildly. #hen he asked her to marry him, she did not hesitate. )is proposal had a clipped, almost withdrawn ring which surprised her at the time, but when she accepted James drew a strange, fierce breath and swept her into his arms, kissing her throat, his body shaking. Caroline had been shaken by the moment herself. t her wedding, she had felt possessively conscious of the 2uick, ac2uisitive looks James had got from some of her stage friends. 4eneath that ice their feminine antennae picked up the fire, and Caroline had been both amused and bristling, and all the time she remembered her secret, obsessed waiting for the moment when they  would be alone.It was a struggle to recall the emotions she had felt that day. It might have been a hundred years ago, instead of merely two. n abyss lay between them now, but then she had only had to lay one finger on the back of his wrist in company to feel his pulse rate accelerate wildly, and throughout their wedding she had been permanently aware of his sensual consciousness of her beneath the cool, imperturbable mask he presented to the world.5

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