Chapter 20

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What shall we do now?'  She questioned awkwardly.

'We could play cards,' he ventured.

'"Cards?'" She echoed in a deflated tone.  She was finally his wife.  It was their wedding night.  She had hoped he would carry her to his chamber and love her all through the night... and he wanted to play cards!  Granted, it was still early evening and they had already taken supper.

Everything worked like clock-work in the Hampton estate seeming to illustrate an aura of wealth and professional organisation.  The food that had been laid out for them had been sumptuous, course after course of superb nourishment accompanied by exquisite wine.  Braeden was extremely wealthy and of late he had become bored with his success until his attention was caught by Lady Fallon.  Now he relished going to bed each night and he woke up with a spring in his step each morning.

'What cards?'

Braeden laughed softly.  He leaned closer and whispered in her ear.

Her eyes widened disbelievingly, her cheeks coloured profusely.  'You cannot be serious.  I have never heard of such a game!' 

He sipped from his glass, the fire dancing in his eyes made him look all the more attractive.  'If you lose a hand, you remove an item of your garments.  If I lose a hand, you instruct me to do the same.'

Her interest sparked, she swallowed excitedly; thoughts of her husband completely naked heightened her arousal.  He was certainly so well built, so muscular, so desirable, 'but what if she lost every hand?  He was assuredly a skilled card player.

'What are the rules?' She questioned curiously.

'Why do you look so disappointed?'  He teased.

'Perhaps you are rather an accomplished player at this game.  I may never win a hand and then?'

He laughed heartily.  What his dear wife had not asked and he was sure she was dying to know the answer to, is who had he played this game with previously?

She sipped on her delicious champagne.  'You have an unfair advantage,' she challenged.

'I have never played it before,' he grinned, 'although I hear from the conversations at Whites, that it's certainly entertaining and most rewarding.'

She was curious, excited, keen to play the game.  'You will not talk of us ___ of me playing this game with you, would you?'

He smiled, his eyes caressing her in a heated gaze.  She hoped he would not.  She would die of embarrassment if he revealed the goings on of their private lives.  And why were the others speaking ill of their lovers?  They were supposed to be gentlemen.

'I would not want to lose,' she admitted.

'So chose your game my lady wife,' he invited.

Yes ... I am his wife.  She was consumed with wild fierce want.  Candlelight danced over her skin and glowed in her sapphire eyes that locked with his, hungry with desire, excited to test her strength in this new game.  Nervously she looked over her shoulder at the door. 

'You know I have given all the servants the night of.  Grandmère is away, offering us all the privacy we need.  It is just you and I.'

'What ___ if somebody comes?'  She was hesitant.

'None shall be so bold to enter the drawing room,' he assured her.  'There are footmen on duty outside.'

'Let us take leave to your chamber,' she pleaded.

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