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Dreaming of You (The Gamblers of Craven's, #2) Dreaming of You by Lisa Kleypas
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“A long time ago I learned not to explain things to people. It misleads them into thinking they're entitled to know everything I do. —[Sara]
Lisa Kleypas, Dreaming of You
“Derek's breath touched Sara's throat in unsteady urges. "Sometimes," he whispered, "I'm so close to you ... and I'm still not close enough. I want to share your breath ... every beat of your heart."

He cradled her head in both his hands, his mouth hot on her neck. "Sometimes," he murmured, "I want to punish you a little."

"Why?"

"For making me want you until I ache with it. For the way I wake at night just to watch you sleeping." His face was intense and passionate above her, his green eyes sharp in their brightness. "I want you more each time I'm with you. It's a fever that never leaves me. I can't be alone without wondering where you are, when I can have you again." His lips possessed hers in a kiss that was both savage and tender, and she opened to him eagerly.”
Lisa Kleypas, Dreaming of You
“I didn't want to give you the one last part of myself that I couldn't take back. And then you were gone... And I realized it was already yours. It had been since the beginning. Except that I hadn't told you. It drove me mad, the thought that you would never know.”
Lisa Kleypas, Dreaming of You
“Clinging to him desperately, Sara kept her mouth at his ear. "Listen to me." All she could do was play her last card. Her voice trembled with emotion. "You can't change the truth. You can act as though you're deaf and blind, you can walk away from me forever, but the truth will still be there, and you can't make it go away. I love you." She felt an involuntary tremor run through him. "I love you," she repeated. "Don't lie to either of us by pretending you're leaving for my good. All you'll do is deny us both a chance at happiness. I'll long for you every day and night, but at least my conscience will be clear. I haven't held anything back from you, out of fear or pride or stubbornness." She felt the incredible tautness of his muscles, as if he were carved from marble. "For once have the strength not to walk away,"she whispered. "Stay with me. Let me love you, Derek.”
Lisa Kleypas, Dreaming of You
“Separately they had different strengths. Together they were complete.”
Lisa Kleypas, Dreaming of You
“She felt him tremble with the force of his need. He spoke just beneath her ear, his voice thick with tormented pleasure. "You have to leave, Sara ... because I want to hold you like this until your skin melts into mine. I want you in my bed, the smell of you on my sheets, your hair spread across my pillow. I want to take your innocence. God! I want to ruin you for anyone else.”
Lisa Kleypas, Dreaming of You
“Then what do you want?" she asked softly.
He shook his head without answering. But Sara knew. He wanted to be safe. If he were rich and powerful enough, he would never be hurt, lonely, or abandoned. He would never have to trust anyone. She continued to stroke his hair, playing lightly with the thick raven locks. 'Take a chance on me," she urged. "Do you really have so much to lose?"

He gave a harsh laugh and loosened his arms to release her. "More than you know."

Clinging to him desperately, Sara kept her mouth at his ear. "Listen to me." All she could do was play her last card. Her voice trembled with emotion. "You can't change the truth. You can act as though you're deaf and blind, you can walk away from me forever, but the truth will still be there, and you can't make it go away. I love you." She felt an involuntary tremor run through him. "I love you," she repeated. "Don't lie to either of us by pretending you're leaving for my good. All you'll do is deny us both a chance at happiness. I'll long for you every day and night, but at least my conscience will be clear. I haven't held anything back from you, out of fear or pride or stubbornness." She felt the incredible tautness of his muscles, as if he were carved from marble. "For once have the strength not to walk away," she whispered. "Stay with me. Let me love you, Derek."

He stood there frozen in defeat, with all the warmth and promise of her in his arms ... and he couldn't allow himself to take what she offered. He'd never felt so worthless, so much a fraud. Perhaps for a day, a week, he could be what she wanted. But no longer than that. He had sold his honor, his conscience, his body, anything he could use to escape the lot he'd been given in life. And now, with all his great fortune, he couldn't buy back what he'd sacrificed. Were he capable of tears, he would have shed them. Instead he felt numbing coldness spread through his body, filling up the region where his heart should have been. It wasn't difficult to walk away from her. It was appallingly easy.
Sara made an inarticulate sound as he extricated himself from her embrace. He left her as he had left the others, without looking back.”
Lisa Kleypas, Dreaming of You
“You've always asked me to wait, as if we had time in abundance. But time is too precious, Perry. We've wasted years, when we could have been with each other. Don't you understand how much even one day of loving each other is worth? Some people are separated by distances they can never cross. All they can do is dream about each other for a lifetime, never having what they want most. How foolish, how wasteful to have love within your reach and not take it!" She clamped her teeth on her trembling bottom lip to steady herself”
Lisa Kleypas, Dreaming of You
“No. But I understand her. Life makes people what they are.”
Lisa Kleypas, Dreaming of You
“He was so far from the gallant knights in her romantic fantasies ... He was tarnished, scarred, imperfect.
Deliberately he had destroyed any illusions she might have had about him, exposing his mysterious past for the ugly horror that it was. His purpose had been to drive her away. But instead she felt closer to him, as if the truth had bonded them in a new intimacy.”
Lisa Kleypas, Dreaming of You
“I think you'll have to marry me, Miss Fielding."

"To save your reputation?"

Derek grinned, bending to kiss the flash of pale throat revealed by the robe. "Someone has to make a respectable man of me.”
Lisa Kleypas, Dreaming of You
“What did he mean, 'insatiable lust'?"
She hastened to explain. "Well, 'insatiable' means unable to satisfy-"
"I know that," he said in a biting tone. "Why did he say that about you?"
Sara rolled her eyes and shrugged. "It was nothing. I merely tried to kiss him once the way you kissed me..." Her voice faded as she realized that her parents were watching the pair of them in dumbfounded silence.
Isaac was the fist to speak, a smile twitching the corners of his mouth. "I've seen and heard enough, Mr. Craven. If you and my daughter are already talking about 'insatiable lust,' I think I'd better give you my approval... and hope for a quick wedding.”
Lisa Kleypas, Dreaming of You
“He'll survive," he answered her. "Just as he's survived everything else in his life. But he'll never be the same.”
Lisa Kleypas, Dreaming of You
“I'm not here now. This isn't happening. You're just visiting a dream of mine.”
Lisa Kleypas, Dreaming of You
“Dear Lord,” she said in a strangled whisper. “I can bear it for a while...but please don't let it hurt forever.”
Lisa Kleypas, Dreaming of You
“She had never experienced the pain of unsatisfied desire before. It hurt. It hurt like nothing she'd ever felt, and there seemed to be no remedy.”
Lisa Kleypas, Dreaming of You
“He spoke just beneath her ear, his voice thick with tormented pleasure. "You have to leave, Sara ... because I want to hold you like this until your skin melts into mine. I want you in my bed, the smell of you on my sheets, your hair spread across my pillow. I want to take your innocence. God! I want to ruin you for anyone else."

Blindly Sara flattened her hand on his cheek, against the scratch of newly grown beard. "What if I want the same?" she whispered.”
Lisa Kleypas, Dreaming of You
“The Times carried detailed descriptions of Sara’s ivory gown and the five-carat blue diamond on her finger, the Cravens’ reported opinions of the play, and speculation on whether Derek was truly a “reformed rake.” “There’s not a word of truth in any of it,” Derek said. “Except the part where they said you were resplendent.” “Thank you, kind sir.” Sara set down the paper and reached over to toy with one of the large soapy feet propped on the porcelain rim of the tub. She wriggled his big toe playfully. “What about the part that says you’re reformed?” “I’m not. I still do everything I used to do…except now only with you.” “And quite impressively,” she replied, her tone demure.”
Lisa Kleypas, Dreaming of You
“I love you," he told her, wiping impatiently at the tears that kept trickling down his face. "I couldn't say it before. I couldn't --" He clenched his trembling jaw, trying to control the hot flow of tears. It only made them worse. Giving up, he buried his face in her hair. "Bloody hell," he muttered.

Sara had never seen him so undone, had never imagined it possible. Stroking his dark head, she whispered meaningless words, trying to give him comfort.

"I love you," he repeated hoarsely, burrowing against her. "I would have given my life to have one more day with you, and tell you that.”
Lisa Kleypas, Dreaming of You
“She was everything he'd ever wanted, beauty and fire arching against
his despoiling hands.”
Lisa Kleypas, Dreaming of You
“She was aware of the movement of his lips as he pressed soundless words in her palm. He released her, and the look he gave her seemed to reveal the depths of his lustful, longing, bitter soul. "Good-bye, Miss Fielding," he said hoarsely.”
Lisa Kleypas, Dreaming of You
“You aristocratic ladies and your gold-plated twats. You always think it's such a honor for me to touch you." He surveyed her with mocking green eyes. "You think you're the first high-kick wench I've ever had? I used to have blue-blooded bitches like you pay me to do this. You've gotten it for free.”
Lisa Kleypas, Dreaming of You
“Oh, very simple," Derek jeered. "It doesn't matter that I was born a bastard. She deserves nothing better than a man with a false name, fine clothes, and a sham accent. It's not important that I have no family and no religion. I don't believe in sacred causes, or honor, or unselfish motives. I can't be innocent enough for her. I never was. But why should that matter to her?”
Lisa Kleypas, Dreaming of You
“These impossible women! How they do get around us!”
Lisa Kleypas, Dreaming of You
“Sara grinned at that. “A long time ago I learned not to explain things to people. It misleads them into thinking they’re entitled to know everything I do.”
Lisa Kleypas, Dreaming of You
“She's mine, he had said... and her heart had throbbed in answer... recognizing it as truth.”
Lisa Kleypas, Dreaming of You
“Derek.' There was an odd smile on her face. 'Your cockney is showing.”
Lisa Kleypas, Dreaming of You
“I did dream about you," she confessed.
Derek smoothed his hand over her chestnut hair and brought her head closer to his. "What was I doing in your dreams?" he asked against her lips.
"Chasing me," she admitted in a mortified whisper.
A delicious grin curved his mouth. "Did I catch you?"
Before she could reply his lips were on hers. His mouth twisted gently, his tongue hunting for an intimate taste of her. Closing her eyes, Sara made no protest as he took her wrists in his hands and twined her arms around his neck. He stretched one of his legs out to rest his foot on the seat. Caught in the lee of his powerful thighs, she had no choice but to let her body rest on the hard length of his. Leisurely he fondled and kissed her, wringing succulent delight from every nerve. As he began to slide his hand into her bodice, the thick wool fabric of her gown resisted his efforts. Foiled in his attempt to reach her breasts, he pushed a lock of hair aside and dragged his mouth over her throat. She stiffened, unable to hold back a whimper of pleasure. The carriage swayed and jolted suddenly, forcing their bodies closer with the impact.
Derek felt himself approaching a flashpoint beyond which there was no return. With a tortured groan he pried Sara's voluptuous body away from his and held her away, while he struggled to emerge from a scarlet fog of desire. "Angel," he said hoarsely, nudging her toward the opposite seat. "You... you'd better go over there."
Bemused, Sara nearly toppled to the floor from his gentle push. "But why?"
Derek lowered his head and tunneled his fingers into his black hair. He started as he felt her hand brush the nape of his neck. "Don't touch me," he said, more roughly than he intended. Raising his head, he stared into Sara's perplexed face with a crooked smile. "Sorry," he muttered. "But if you don't move away, sweet, you're going to be lifting your heels for me right here.”
Lisa Kleypas, Dreaming of You
“What is it, angel?"
"You told me once you didn't know how 'happy' feels."
"I remember."
"And now?"
Derek regarded her for a long moment, then pulled her flat against him, locking her in his arms. "It's this," he said, his voice slightly hoarse. "Right here and now."
And she rested against his heart, content.”
Lisa Kleypas, Dreaming of You
“Tell me how it was different."
Derek shook his head. "You're the one with the fancy words. I can't explain it."
"Try," she insisted, tugging threateningly at his wiry chest curls. "In your own words."
He covered her plucking fingers with his own, pressing her hand flat. "It was just better, all the way through. Especially this part." He cuddled her closer. "I've never felt so peaceful afterward."
"And happy?" she asked hopefully.
"I don't know how 'happy' feels." He sought her mouth for a brief, hard kiss, and his voice turned to rough velvet. "But I know I want to stay inside you forever.”
Lisa Kleypas, Dreaming of You

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