As he emerged from the lake, his shirt clinging to every dip and bulge of his well-toned body, Diana had to take a step back to catch herself before she swooned. Swooned, do women still swoon? How does one properly swoon anyway? As she thought these absurd thoughts she bumped against the concrete barrier that kept the lake water from rising too high and flooding the gardens above. The cold walls did nothing to slow her rapid heartbeat.
He began walking towards her and her mind yelled; “Oh my word, how do I talk with a man I can barely look at without thinking inappropriate thoughts?” She cooled her heated skin with an ornate fan she didn’t remember owning and looked down and noticed she was in a satin gown she’d never seen before. “What on earth is going on?”
“I apologize. In anger I threw my sword into the lake. I went in to retrieve it not knowing there were onlookers.” He was talking to her; this demigod of a man in nothing but that clinging shirt, tight breeches, bare feet and an ornate sword. “Oh dear god are you Mr. Darcy?” This was surely a dream, but damned if she was going to pinch herself.
“I’m sorry if I’ve offended you with my appearance. But I’m afraid I’ve nothing to change in to and my horse has abandoned me.”
“Perhaps your horse is in need of proper training?” Whoa, who was speaking? That was not Diana’s voice. “I mean, aren’t horses usually known for keeping still and always being ready for their rider?”
“I fear when I tossed my sword in the lake I also spooked my horse. It wasn’t lack of training but my outburst that sent him away.” As he spoke he pulled his shirt from his waistband and began to unbutton it. Not wanting him to stop, but thinking she must, she asked; “Should I leave you be? I didn’t mean to intrude and I suppose the best thing for me to do right now is go before you undress and…”
She paused as he pulled the shirt from his shoulders and watched as each muscle flexed in the process. “…it would be unladylike of me to gaze upon your perfect masculine form. Admiring the way the water leaves glistening trails down your chest and stomach, slowing down in the waistband, teasing a woman in such a way as to…” She gasped and popped herself in the mouth with the mystery fan.
“Did I just say that out loud? “ She used the fan to cover most of her face as she knew from the heat rising from the base of her neck that it was red and signaled her embarrassment. He simple smiled a smile that could only be described as that of the Cheshire Cat. “You did. And you are correct; no lady would say such things.” If her face burned any more it would surely burst into flames.
“I do apologize. I can’t believe I said those things.” She tried to turn too quickly and found her feet caught up in the satin dress that she only just realized was too long and too heavy. The Darcy look alike caught her before she fell, pulling her against his naked chest so that her bare arms and face where pressed against his cool flesh.
For a second Diana rested her hot cheeks against him, breathing in his scent, wanting badly to taste his skin. But she caught herself before she embarrassed herself further and pushed away from him. The palms of her hands on his nipples, each nipple hardening to her touch and causing her to pull her hands back as if burned. “I seem to be doing everything wrong. Please forgive me.” She tried to turn away again, this time taking care to lift the skirts so she wouldn’t trip in their many layers.
Before she took her first step he placed his hands on her shoulders. “We seem to be apologizing excessively to one another when it’s become obvious to me that we both want the same thing.” As his words were penetrating the dense fog in her mind he turned her back towards him, pulled her close so she had to balance herself with her hands back on his chest. He then leaned in, closed his eyes and lowered his head. She closed her eyes in response; anticipating a kiss that would surly surpass every kiss before it.
What she got was a gentle touch on the shoulder. What on earth? Another touch, she looked up hoping to find those beautiful demigod eyes looking at her, but found the B&B hostess smiling worriedly down at her. “I do apologize, but there is a man downstairs asking for you. I hope you don’t mind. I knocked several time with no answer and then you were thrashing about, moaning and well… I became worried.”
Diana, only just fully waking, rubbed her flushed face and nodded. “My apologies; I’ve been so exhausted these past few days and must have overslept. Thank you so much for waking me. Please tell my friend I’ll be down in a bit.”
The hostess smiled down at her. “I’ll get him some tea so you have time to get ready.” With that she walked out, quietly shut the door behind her and Diana shut her eyes wishing she could go back to her Mr. Darcy. Then she remembered who was waiting downstairs. “Who needs a dream Darcy when the real deal is downstairs?!”
She jumped out of bed, on rather shaky legs, and began to dress for her afternoon with Mitch.