For Love's Sake

For Love's Sake by Leonora De Vere

Book: For Love's Sake by Leonora De Vere Read Free Book Online
Authors: Leonora De Vere
bedside lamp. As he did so, Laurel ran her palm across his bare chest, letting her fingertips graze his nipple.
    “You’re not the least bit shy about what you want, are you?” Christopher said.
    She laughed innocently. “I don’t know what you mean.”
    “Do you want me?” he asked, his pale blue eyes searching hers.
    “Yes.”
    “Then show me.”
    Laurel circled his nipple with her index finger, and then put her lips to it. When she kissed him there, his chest flinched, and he let out a little groan. From one, she moved to the other, growing brave enough to open her mouth and touch him with her tongue.
    Christopher let out a strangled little laugh. “Miss Graham, you are a fast learner.”
    “Don’t call me ‘Miss Graham’. Not after we’ve…” she tried to explain. “Please just call me Laurel.”
    “Then I suppose you should call me Christopher—at least when we’re alone.”
    Laurel nodded and smiled, enjoying the newfound intimacy between them. Continuing where she left off, her lips again descended onto his chest, igniting a spark of desire that neither of them could restrain. They spent the night making love, then drifting off to sleep, only to wake up and hunger for each other more intensely than before.

    “Tell me what it’s like in England,” Laurel said over a delicious breakfast of thick waffles covered in maple syrup. “Tell me what it’s like anywhere other than Gaston County!”
    Christopher took a long swallow of his orange juice. “It’s lovely. The whole world is lovely. And I’ve seen a good deal of it.”
    “Oh? Where have you been?”
    “All over England, of course. Ireland, Scotland, and Wales. I’ve seen the majority of France and Italy. Greece…Germany…Switzerland… and a dozen others.”
    “Have you been to Egypt?”
    “I have not been to Egypt,” he replied. “Actually, I haven’t been anywhere in many years. You see, the majority of my traveling was done when I was a boy.”
    Laurel was curious to find out anything at all about him. “Why?”
    “Because my father preferred my mother to be as far away as possible from our home. So she took my brother and my sister, and myself along with her.” He sawed into his waffle with his knife. “Being forced away from everything I love has made me despise ever having to leave it. The only reason I am here now is because it was unavoidable.”
    “I’m very sorry.”
    “Hmmm?” He looked up at her, having lost himself in his own thoughts. “Oh. Yes, thank you. Of course, you alone have made it bearable.”
    She smiled across the lacy tablecloth. “I hate to go, but I have to see Mrs. Stroup before it gets too late.”
    Christopher flipped opened his pocket watch, noting the time. “Ah yes.”
    “I’ll be back by noon, though,” Laurel said. “Just in time for lunch.”
    “I doubt you’ll be hungry then after all you’ve just ate. Let me go with you.”
    She was stunned. “You really want go visit with an elderly old woman on your only day away from the mill?”
    “Why shouldn’t I?” Christopher asked, tossing his napkin on the table.
    “Well, if you want to come along, I’m sure she will be glad to have the extra company.”

    Laurel pushed the door to Mrs. Stroup’s parlor open. As usual, the white-haired old woman sat knitting by the window that looked out over what used to be her garden. Christopher thought the house smelled about a thousand years old, and swore that he had been in castles that were warmer.
    “Oh there you are,” Mrs. Stroup said. “I’ve been waiting for you all morning. I see you’ve brought a friend.”
    “Yes Ma’am. Hattie, this is…” Laurel was unsure how to exactly go about introducing him.
    Christopher came to her rescue. “Christopher Brayles.”
    “Pleasure to meet you Mr. Brayles. Welcome.” Hattie Stroup urged them to have a seat on the faded old sofa directly across from her. From there, Christopher could see the dust dancing in the sunlight around

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