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WARNING: The following is rated NC17.
If you do not like adult material please continue on to Chapter 9 and/or the Epilogue.


After talking all afternoon as they sailed, encouraged by the exchange of the occasional kiss and flirty comment, there were
no words between them now. There couldn't be.

His mouth covered hers in a kiss as gentle and tender as he could give. His tongue parted her lips, ran carefully across her
smooth, even teeth, darted further into her mouth to taste the sweet honey of hers. He felt a tentative hand move from his
waist to his back. It was a simple, trusting gesture that nearly brought tears to David's eyes. Not daring to break the kiss, he
gently lowered her body onto the shelf bed. Taking her weight in his arms sent a dart of pain through his damaged shoulder
but he didn't care. What mattered was this moment. His eyes closed as he abandoned himself to sensations, the taste of her,
the feel of her body against his. His questing tongue explored every part of her mouth, the hard teeth, the roof of her mouth,
the softly yielding lips …

Finally, when he thought he heard a heartfelt sound from her, David Grief drew away, their parting something like pain. He
opened his eyes to look at Isabelle and saw the silver moonlit trails of tears on her cheeks. Crying. Why was she crying?
And he suddenly thought he knew why. She was happy, sad, amazed and in love. So many emotions. For the first time in her
twenty eight years of life Isabelle Reed was exchanging sensual delights with someone that not only loved her but she loved in

He lifted a hand to her face, gathering some of Isabelle's tears on the backs of his fingers. Her eyes followed the hand to his
lips as he tasted salt. Then he bent his head to hers again, kissing the tears away from her cheeks, first one side, then the
other. He followed the trails to her eyes, now closed, and kissed the lids lightly. His fingertips ran along her jaw, traced the
curve of her ear, slipped further back into her hair…silk-smooth tresses of rich chocolate brown. The crisp white of his
pillow played peekaboo with the strands. His kisses returned to Isabelle's mouth, light kisses on warm sensitive skin, pulling
them, softly nibbling at her lips, teasing her with the promise of more…

Restraining himself was harder than he had ever dreamed. Grief's need was a hot, insistent throbbing in his groin, his hard
length begging for some attention. But this could not be rushed. They were discovering new things about one another, likes
and dislikes … Their spontaneous passion together while in Matavai had been bliss but here and now, she needed gentleness
and he needed to investigate.

Isabelle's fingers slid around his neck and she pulled David's head toward hers with surprising strength, no longer able to
bear the torment of his light, teasing kisses. In good spirits, he gave in to her need, kissing her deeply at last, feeling her
response. Isabelle's other hand slipped beneath his partially opened red shirt, moving over the rippling muscles of his back,
up his spine, coming to rest between his shoulder blades.

Such a simple thing, yet her every touch sent fire to his loins. David groaned into her mouth, tightened his arms around her,
crushing Isabelle's body against his. He felt the firm muscle of her thigh brush against the front of his pants, rubbing the
throbbing organ beneath and he wrenched his mouth away from hers, burying his face in her neck, biting his lip as he fought
for control. "Isabelle …" he moaned. Had he ever wanted anyone so much?

She was still, confused by his reaction.

David drew back slightly and looked at her. Isabelle's eyes, deep green-gray pools of trust and need, met his and he smiled,
overjoyed to see love and acceptance in those eyes. And something more…a heat of desire, an irresistible longing…. He
kissed her briefly, then left her mouth again, trailing kisses across her face, along her cheekbone. He breathed gently into her
ear and heard her sigh. He licked the earlobe lightly, then drew it into his mouth, closing his teeth over the skin, gently, oh, so
gently. A soft moan encouraged him and unable to resist further he moved his lips lower, to the ultra-sensitive skin of her
neck, kissing, nibbling gently, flicking the skin with his tongue.

Breathing deeply, Isabelle held him to her, drowning in sensation. David Grief was once again waking in her a need that had
slept unsatisfied for too long. Not just sex but a feeling of being genuinely wanted. Finally, realizing why David was being so
gentle - understanding that he was holding back for her - Isabelle resumed her light caressing of his muscular body, her
fingers tracing and relearning every curve. Her hands reached his shoulders and firmly, she pulled his shirt away. She smiled,
hearing David let his breath out in one long sigh of desire.

Briefly, with regret, he pushed away from her, pulling the rest of his shirt from where it was tucked into the waist of his pants.
He tossed it none too neatly on the cabin floor and kicked off his shoes.

Isabelle was kneeling opposite him now, her incredible eyes drinking in the sight of his naked chest. She raised a tentative
hand to him, resting it against the object of her visual journeying. Then the other. It was her turn to explore. Hands moved
lightly over his chest, scraping across the hardening nubs of his nipples, finding the scars of sea battles, fights with pirates and
other undesirables, from long ago -- and then the more recent wound at his shoulder. She could almost frowned. Determined
to forget the ordeal, Isabelle bent her head, avoiding David's mouth and kissed his neck. Her kisses moved lower, to the
hollow at the base of his throat. Fingers moved across his chest, finding a nipple and they lingered there, teasing at the small,
hard nub. She breathed in the masculine scent of him and sighed her contentment.

Isabelle's tender advances erased whatever doubts Captain Grief might have had about this shipboard tryst. He buried his
hands in her gorgeous full hair, holding Isabelle to him. It was almost worth the hell they had both been through for this.
Isabelle's tongue circled his nipple and his fingers clutched at her convulsively; an involuntary reaction. She glanced up at him
and he took the opportunity to bring her lips to his once again.

There was no gentleness in his kiss now, he devoured her hungrily, his tongue thrusting into her mouth in an unmistakable
parody of what he really needed. Isabelle's desire rose to match his, she welcomed this hunger, pressing her slender body to
his and gasping at the rush of heat to her loins. As she had done for him, he now did the same for Isabelle. His fingers
reached toward the buttons on her blouse. He began to undo them slowly, staring into her eyes, giving Isabelle a chance to
say no if she discovered she wasn't yet ready. He prayed she would not refuse him. A lump briefly caught in David's throat
when her hands lifted to stop him, but then he realized it was not rejection when Isabelle herself finished the unbuttoning and
practically tore the blouse from her own back in her eagerness for them to move it along.

All that remained was her thin camisole, exposing a tantalizing view of the curve of her breasts, but David needed to see
more. With no hesitation, he unfastened the material and pushed it from her shoulders, letting the scrap of material fall to the
side of their bed. Her breasts were as perfect as he remembered, the skin glowing pale in the moonlight from the porthole,
the rosy buds of her nipples tight and erect. Savoring the sight, he traced a line from her shoulder downwards, gently cupping
a breast when he reached it. She gasped. He ducked his head and tasted, a kiss, a light caress with his tongue. Her hand
tangled in his hair, pulling his head ever closer to her. Sensing what she needed he suckled her breast, his hands gently
rubbing her bare back - up and down - fingers kneading as she moaned her pleasure and her body swayed in his arms.


Her hands left his hair, traveled down his back, in a slow-sensuous journey. They paused at the belt of his trousers then
moved lower, over his tight buttocks then, unexpectedly, around to the front, seeking evidence of his desire. The groan that
escaped him at her touch was almost one of pain. Unable to stop himself now, Grief shed the trousers quickly. Naked now,
he returned his attention to Isabelle.

Her eyes moved across his body, from the healing cut at his shoulder to the flat muscles of his stomach, lower to his hard
desire. He was so incredibly beautiful!

It was almost too much. David pushed her back gently, but firmly, laying her down on the shelf bed. He kissed her
passionately, then knelt between her legs, pulling off her boots in the process. They smiled at one another and the chuckle he
heard from deep in Isabelle's throat thrilled David Grief to no end. He moved on up to the belt of her jodhpurs and pulled
dramatically, delighting again in her aroused laughter. Soon, he was laying beside her, the hard length of his body along hers,
his throbbing manhood a heavy weight on her thigh. David kissed her on the lips, allowing his mouth to move slowly lower,
taking his time, kissing and caressing every point on his journey to her lovely breasts. Isabelle moaned his name and held him
close. While he kissed and licked and suckled at her breasts, his hand traveled lower over her satin skin, her flat stomach,
the soft curve of her hips, gently parting her creamy thighs and he slowly slid one finger between the lips of her sex.

Stunned but elated, Isabelle bucked her hips as he touched her there. He searched out her bud, her center of pleasure, knew
he had found the right place when she cried out sharply. Isabelle's moaning was almost constant now as David skillfully
teased her to previously unattained heights of pleasure. He covered her lips with his own, capturing her moans in his mouth,
never stopping the insistent movements of his fingertips.

Until, finally, David simply could not resist his own desire any longer. He smoothly rolled on top of her, settling his weight,
and Isabelle opened to receive him eagerly. He kissed her as he entered, his breath coming in groans as her moist warmth
embraced him fully. "Isabelle …" he whispered raggedly, feeling as she lifted her legs to encircle his waist, drawing him ever
deeper inside. He wanted this to last, moving slowly and deliberately, but David eventually lost his brief battle for control and
thrust into her wildly, giving in entirely to his own need. The outside world disappeared and there was only her…Isabelle's
body surrounding his…Isabelle's breath hot on his skin… Isabelle's lips on his neck and shoulder… "Isabelle…I love you
…" he cried.

"My David! My love!" her cries rose to meet his.

The harmony of their passion spread not only through the tiny cabin where the couple intimately wrestled and exclaimed the
culmination of their heated love -- but also through out the rest of the Rattler, the outside night, to the nearby islands, to the
stars and through out the south seas.


((On to Chapter Nine and the Epilogue …))