Reluctant Wife(8)

By: Lindsay Armstrong

Roz giggled. ‘All right.‘ What did you have in mind—no, better not tell me,’ she said wryly. ‘Then I can claim some innocence!’

Over an hour later, when she had stopped dancing but only to get her breath back, she felt a hand on her shoulder and turned to see Adam behind her, and she immediately looked guilty because it was the first time she’d even thought of him in that time. ‘

‘Well,’ he said, ‘you’re enjoying yourself after all. I’m glad.’

‘Yes, I am. I… it’s got quite lively, hasn’t it?’ she said breathlessly.

‘Yes’.I wonder who we have to thank for that—I suspect Angelo. I saw him in close conversation with the band some time ago.’

‘My lips are sealed,’ said Roz with a little laugh.

‘I see,’ Adam said gravely. ‘Did you also tell him to dim the lights?’

‘They were all his own… .’ She broke off ruefully because he was laughing down at her. ‘Then you don’t mind?’ she asked after a moment.

‘Why should I? Everyone’s enjoying themselves. ‘Even the Whatney’s,’ he said with, an ironic little bow as Lucia and her fair, handsome barrister husband danced past. ‘What’s more,’ he added, staring through the throng with his lips twitching, ‘Aunt Elspeth. is up and dancing.’

‘No! who with?’

‘Richard. He’s leading her around very deferentially and she’s loving every minute of it, although she’s trying to do a waltz. By the way, may I have this dance with you, Mrs Milroy?’

‘Of course,’ she smiled, and moved into his arms obediently. But the band chose that moment to take pity on the older members of the clan and slid into a slow, dreamy number.

Adam pulled her closer and she stumbled, which was unusual for her——she was a good dancer and in her last year at school, she and her boyfriend had won a prize at the end of the course offered by the school. She was also used to dancing with Adam, which made it more unusual, and although he didn’t comment on it, it was a mocking little look he directed down at her as she regained her rhythm.

She flushed, because she knew why it had happened to her and knew he knew why——it was the feel of his body against hers, strong and hard. She closed her eyes and broke into a sweat, thanking God for the dimmed lights, because the contact had not only made her stumble but remember with extraordinary clarity the last time he had made love to her. It had been a few nights ago, a rather windy night, and the curtains had billowed in so that the room had been dark and alternately flooded with moonlight as she had lain on the bed with Adam beside her propped up on one elbow and idly touching her breasts, plucking her nipples, stroking, cupping, while she fought a battle she fought often these days and lost frequently. Lost this time with a gasping little breath as she, had arched her pale, slender body towards him in a moment of moonlight.

She swallowed but danced steadily as she remembered what had followed, and beneath the ruby red of her gown and the lacy cups of her strapless bra, her nipples tingled just as if his hands were on them, and stood up.

She never knew what gave her the composure to keep dancing, to tear her mind away from that vision of herself lying in Adam’s arms afterwards exhausted and with her body dewed with sweat but quivering with pleasure. Or what gave her the composure, when Adam asked her suddenly what she was thinking, to shrug and say nothing.

Then, to her consternation, a spotlight came on and found her and Adam unerringly, and the band slid into a drum roll, then a stirring rendition of Happy Birthday. And Roz thought she’d never felt more naked in her life.

‘0h!’ she breathed but Adam bent his dark head and kissed her and said as, his lips left hers, ‘And many, many more, Roz.’

‘Oh, thank you,’ she managed to whisper, consumed by guilt. ‘I didn’t expect…I means…’

‘Angelo and I did some conniving of our own,’ he murmured.

‘Angelo is … you’re both very …’ But she was engulfed then and kissed and embraced by everyone, including all the children, who had been having party of their own under Jeanette’s supervision, and finally Jeanette and Milly.

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