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Decadent Deceptions Excerpt

In the garden, Morgan and Olivia meet to discuss her first visit to Immortelles, the infamous brothel where she will engage in voyeurism:


“What day will you arrive to escort me?”

“Friday evening, say, nine o’clock?”

An instant blush found her cheeks, and he had the strange feeling she had conjured an erotic image in her mind. “Will you be staying with me the entire time or . . . ?”

“No,” he said with a knife-edged finality. “I’ll escort you to Madame Rousseau’s suite, and she’ll manage the rest.”

“You told her to expect a woman?”

He ground the words out. “Yes, she will expect a woman of the gentry who desires to observe an amorous liaison.”

Her tone grateful she asked, “What did it cost, Morgan? You need only tell me what you had to pay, and I’ll reimburse you on Friday.”

He dismissed her question with a wave of his hand. He didn’t want her damn money; if she ever found out it fattened his pocketbook, there’d be hell to pay.

“Oh no you don’t, dear friend. I can’t possibly allow you to pay for my shameless inquisitiveness.”

Dear friend? Wielding a dull knife to cut out his heart to serve it à la friteuse would have sufficed. “Is that what you call it? Your inquisitiveness? I thought it fell more along the lines of depravity.”

Green eyes narrowed. “You don’t approve, after all?”

With another wave of his hand, he forged ahead. “Forget it, it doesn’t matter whether I approve or not. I gave my word to Cain I’d see it through to the end whether or not you’re shocked out of your pristine bloomers.”

Her delicate chin tilted up. “I assure you, I’ve seen it all.”

“Is that so? Where?”

“Books. You do remember my father has an extensive library, including a vast collection of nude pictorials . . . French and Italian.”

With a sick knot in his stomach, he met her gaze squarely. “One hundred dollars.”


“One hundred dollars to observe.”

“That’s exorbitant! What does it actually cost to—?”

“Less than it costs to engage in voyeurism, and that should be of little significance since you don’t plan to offer yourself up as a fille de joie. Or do you?”

“Of course not!” she replied indignantly and in the next breath, “What did you call them?”

“A prostitute.”

“Yes, I know that, but did you use a French term?”

He could have kicked himself for overlooking her uncanny perception, and why did he get the feeling pistons and pulleys worked overtime in that pretty little head as she scrutinized him? “About the money . . . .”

“I’ll have it on Friday.”

Her eyes warned him another question from that kissable mouth struggled for release. “What? You’ll burst if you don’t spit it out.”

“Will they . . . will the people in the room know I’m, well, you know, watching?”

“Do you want them to?”

She clutched her throat. “Most certainly not, but I can’t help but wonder if that is an option.”

“It is, but that will cost another fifty dollars.” He studied her intently. “Should I arrange that, too?”

“No, no, thank you. I’d prefer—”

“To spy on people while they’re rutting.”

A little gasp spewed from her throat, but like the Olivia he knew, she recovered quickly. With a bold step forward, she threw her arms about his neck and kissed him, without warning, without pretense. His head swam. Christ, those sweet, sensual lips melded into his passionately, as if they had done this a thousand times in the past, but in reality, it had only been once—a lifetime ago. She clung to him and pressed her firm, ripe body against him. His fingers splayed and tangled in her wild mane as he drew her deeper into the kiss.

On and on it went, her sweet breath mingling with his, their tongues entwined. Amid the little soft moans from the back of her throat, his resolve disintegrated, his kiss reaching a demanding plateau. Still she did nothing to stop him. Overcome by an irresistible urge to feel her beneath him, he backed her toward the bench, intent on taking her here, now, on that hard, cold surface or the ground, he didn’t care which. The rigid length of his cock pulsated between them. More than anything in the world, he wanted to shove it into her . . . into every orifice imaginable.

The soft echo of a woman’s voice filtered through the labyrinth of trellises and twisted vines. “Liv, darling, where are you?”

Olivia jerked from his arms and staggered back, her voice hoarse. “Oh, forgive me, I shouldn’t have . . . .”


“Here, Lark, near the roses.” She buffed her lips with her fingers and then straightened her dress. “You must leave quickly,” she said, pointing toward a narrow path. “Please, Morgan, Lark will suspect something if she sees you.”

Caught up in the moment, he took her chin in his hand with only a vague awareness of the robin’s twill overhead, the rustle of nearby branches, and the scattered gravel crunching beneath someone’s feet. “The next time you start something with me, be prepared to have it finished.”

The sound of footsteps heightened with every passing second. “Please,” she said, her voice degenerating to a nervous twitter. “I’ll expect you on Friday at nine o’clock.”

Releasing her reluctantly, Morgan turned and walked from the garden.

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