© Copyright KIMBERLY DEAN, 2011
The bellboy led her all the way down the hall to the end. He opened the door to her room, set her bag on the bed and waited expectantly – not for a tip, but for her reaction. She could tell by the way he stared at her face. She began searching her pocketbook anyway, but the moment she looked up, all other thoughts vanished.
An overwhelming sense of home had hit her. Wordlessly, she headed to the window. She pulled back the curtains, but darkness made her reflection stare back at her. The night clerk had been right, though. The view would be magnificent in the morning. She could picture the cape extending out into the water in blatant disregard of the ocean’s currents. The two would be forever at battle, land versus the sea.
She suddenly noticed the bellboy’s reflection in the window – and the way his gaze was sliding with interest down her body.
“Thank you,” she said, shoving a few bills in his hand.
He got the message. “Enjoy your stay,” he said as he reluctantly backed out of the room.
The moment he closed the door, he was forgotten. Chevon looked around the room, soaking it all in. The sights, the smells, the feelings… A handmade quilt covered the bed. A tall armoire stood against the side wall in the only open space available, and a bathroom occupied what had to have once been a closet. She looked at the thick, cushiony carpet under her feet.
She preferred the hardwood floors.
“God, what is going on?” She swung her purse onto the bed and dropped down next to it. The drive had been stressful, but her senses had been on red alert ever since she’d first felt the fog brush against her skin. This inn was evoking all kinds of strange sensations, and her nerves were tied into knots.
She pushed away from the bed. She felt restless, both mentally and physically. It was as if her body had been awakened. Unfamiliar wants and needs were pressing on her. Shakily, she unzipped her bag and pulled out her nightgown and robe. Turning on her heel, she headed to the bathroom.
She closed the door behind her and sagged against it. The vibes in this house were strong, but those in the bedroom were nearly overpowering.
She’d sensed passion and lust. Pure, unbridled lust.
Just like she’d felt down by the fireplace.
Warily, she looked at herself in the mirror. Her skin was pale, but her eyes looked huge. It had to be fatigue. She’d been going non-stop for too long and her mind was starting to rebel. That had to be it.
Gathering herself, she started to peel her damp clothes from her body. She looked at the silk nightgown shyly. She didn’t know why she’d brought it. It was the sexiest thing she owned… the only sexy thing she owned. She’d bought it on an impulse, but right now she didn’t know if she’d be able to stand the way it felt against her body. Her nipples ached, and her skin felt too sensitive.
Still, it was either that or sleep naked – something that was just a little too scandalous for her, no matter how much the idea excited her. Resolutely, she lifted the white fabric over her head and let it slip down over her curves. She bit her lip to fight back a moan. The stroke of silk was sinful. Absolutely sinful and so, so good.
She looked at herself in the mirror again. The slinky gown fit her like a dream. It was unlike anything she’d ever owned, but once she’d seen it at the store she’d had to have it. It hugged her curves and teasingly showed off flashes of skin. The side slit came to nearly her waist, and the revealing neckline displayed the swell of her breasts. The sheerness did nothing to hide the press of her nipples. If anything, it showed them off as her best feature.
Her body began to quiver. Quickly, she pushed her arms into the matching robe. She was tying the belt in a knot when she walked back into the bedroom.
One look at the bed, though, and she had to press her legs together hard. God, she couldn’t stand it. She swiped her key off the dresser, put it in her pocket, and turned towards the door.
She came up short when she found Sarah just about to knock. “Oh! Hello, dear. I brought you some more towels. Is the room… comfortable to you?”
Chevon’s body squeezed in unfulfilled arousal. “It’s fine. Beautiful.”
“Were you in need of something else?”
She was, but this woman couldn’t provide it. “I just want to sit in the gazebo and relax for a while.”
One of Sarah’s eyebrows lifted.
“The weather won’t bother me.”
“I was just wondering how you knew we had a gazebo.” The woman passed her the towels and stepped back. “Have a good night, Ms. Arlette. We’re very happy to have you here.”
Chevon’s head began to hurt as she watched the woman leave. She didn’t know how she knew these things – or why she felt these things – but her body refused to wait any longer. Hurriedly, she tossed the towels on the bed and turned for the rear staircase. The back door slammed shut as she burst out of it. Alone outside, she took deep calming breaths. The fog still shifted and swayed, but the moon was now directly overhead. It generated more light than before, and she saw the gazebo waiting for her at the edge of the woods.
Right where she’d known it would be.