MERRILY, MERRILY, MERRILEE©2000, 2001,2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006 Martha S. Robinson
With the bedroom door closed behind them, Bran carried Merrilee over to the
king sized bed and stood next to it, gently letting her feet settle to the
floor. He kissed her again, bringing his lips over hers, tracing again the
path to her neck and below, pushing aside her dusky curls, breathing deeply
of her fragrance as he searched out the zipper to the dress. This time, it
would go down, baring the satiny skin he’d seen earlier, and had been
dreaming of all evening. None of the fantasies he’d been creating could
compare with the one that was taking place in his arms, and as he slid the
zipper down, it was as though none of his past experiences had ever existed.
With trembling hands, he eased the silk from her shoulders, helping her out
of its crimson pool as it fell to the floor.
Merrilee stood before him clad only in the teddy and her nylons, looking
shyly at him. Fantasy, she suddenly realized, was a sad substitute for the
real thing. All the imagining she’d done, all the daydreaming, everything
evaporated in the smoldering caress of Bran’s eyes, and Merrilee knew that
making love with him would be the most exciting event in her life. Nobody
before him, and surely nobody after him would ever affect her as he did. It
could never be the same with another man. Indeed, there could never be
another man like Bran.
He looked at her, seeing innocence and yet at the same time, a mature young
woman. Bran was frustrated by the knowledge that what had sounded so
reasonable a few minutes ago, seemed almost unreasonable now. She was a
human being, not simply an available female. Hell, she was Merrilee, his
Merrilee, not some empty headed playmate, nor was she the sophisticated
Marilyn MacKenzie who knew the score. Bran stopped, not touching her, yet
the need to do so was greater than before, greater than any need he’d ever
experienced in his life. He was lost, drowning in her great hazel eyes,
needing, aching, wanting to take her, but was held back by his own recently
Sensing hesitation on his part, Merrilee lifted her arms and placed them
around his neck, effectively dispelling all his second thoughts. He saw the
welcome in her eyes and that was the only invitation he needed. "Merrilee?"
he whispered, his fingers undoing the tiny buttons that held the teddy
together, in the front, then sliding his hands inside to rest against her
bare skin. He caught the fullness of one breast in his hand, vaguely aware
of how it just filled his cupped hand, no more and no less, as if the tender
flesh had been sculpted to his needs.
Somehow right and natural, thought Merrilee as he stroked her, turning her
skins to flames, causing her to arch against him. There’s that word again,
natural, as though they belonged this way. Merrilee marveled, feeling her
body drawn to his, her breasts swelling with need, her lips swaying to his,
and became increasingly aware of a growing heat between her thighs.
In seconds, Bran had removed the teddy and her pantyhose, and she stood
before him, naked and shyly pleased with his obvious approval. Her heart was
filled with love for him, and she wanted no further barriers between them.
His clothes joined hers on the floor, and then he caught her to him,
exulting in the soft, feminine flesh that so obviously desired his. Wishing
to give pleasure more than to take, he lowered her gently to the bed,
pushing away the covers, kissing her lips, her neck, and then teasing her
shoulders as he made his way down to her breasts. Pausing, he studied the
way the rosy nipples peaked, pouting, waiting for his attention. Taking them
into his mouth, first one, then the other, he tugged gently, drawing
Merrilee farther and farther into the maelstrom of desire.
Again, she arched against him, offering her breasts more fully to him,
feeling them grow heavier as the need for him increased. He laved them
gently, then suckled harder, sending waves of desire surging through her
body, focusing more and more on that part of her which would accept him
totally. Merrilee lay back, stunned at the wondrous sensations that were
almost tormenting her with their strength, and wondered why she’d ever
thought that this was an experience to avoid. Jake’s touch had never made
her burn this way.
That thought, however, was fleeting, as Bran continued tantalizing her with
his lips, his fingers, touching, caressing, arousing, and then leaving
before she could fully understand what her body was trying to tell her. She
was only aware of the growing heat in her body, a feeling that she was
burning. Yet, the fire kept building, ever growing, and everywhere Bran
touched her became another fire until her entire body felt aflame.
"Bran!" she cried out, frightened a little, for she’d lost control of her
own body, as wave after wave of pleasure swept over her. It was new,
exhilarating, but so right...so very right!
When Bran heard her call his name, he lifted his eyes to hers, abandoning
himself in their smoldering depths. She was his, and before much longer,
they would both know just how strongly the link between them was. He moved
over her, hands again teasing her to bring more pleasure, to send her again
towards the peak, then gave into the needs that had built in his own body,
driving his burning desire into her soft, welcoming heat.
For a moment, their eyes locked again, and both knew that in that instant,
something had been completed, something missing had been found, and then the
fires of passion blazed brightly and they gave themselves fully to the
joining of man and woman.
A few minutes later, Merrilee lay in his arms, wondering at the sensations
she’d discovered. Could they be the same he’d found in the arms of all the
women in his past? She paused for a moment, unable to leave that thought.
Why had she used that term, his past? Afraid to fully explore that path, she
turned her mind to her own past. Her one night of lovemaking with Jake,
though pleasant, had not prepared her for this wildly exciting experience.
No young men at the university had inspired even vague interest, and she’d
never dreamed that anything could be so fulfilling. She looked over at Bran
who lay quietly considering what to do next.
Nothing would have suited him more than to spend the rest of the night with
her, making love with her again and again, teaching her things that she
ought to know, things he wanted to be the one to teach her. She hadn’t been
a virgin, but she hadn’t been overly experienced, either. He scowled as he
considered the man who had undoubtedly put a bad taste for lovemaking in
"What’s wrong?" she asked in a small voice. Stricken with the fear that she’d
again been found inadequate, she drew up the sheets around her shoulders
as if to take refuge.
Bran turned to her, seeing the fear in her wide hazel eyes, and cursed
inwardly. All he wanted to do was to hold her, to kiss away the worries that
plagued her, and that very idea annoyed him on a variety of levels. On the
one hand he wanted to kill whoever had come before him, and on the other, he
was glad that Merrilee hadn’t been willing to be with many other men. And,
before, when he’d been with a woman, both had been relaxed, chatting easily
in the satisfied afterglow of passion, or sleeping from exhaustion. Here, he
was hardly sated, and relaxed conversation eluded him. Nothing could have
prepared him for her questioning eyes, and he needed to hold her all night,
only he couldn’t. There was something more here, something more than sex,
and he needed to establish that first in his own mind. She was his, in the
truest sense of the word, yet he’d never said that to a woman before, and
it scared the hell out of him. Still, he couldn’t leave her like that,
worried, so in an effort to ease her mind, he leaned over, kissed her
gently, and said, "Nothing’s wrong with you. You can tell Melissa that
there’s no sexual dysfunction, and there sure as hell isn’t any
disinterest." He grinned, determined to keep light the astonishingly deep
feelings that were whirling around in his brain. "There’s nothing at all
wrong with your reflexes, or anything else, as far as I can tell."
"Good," muttered Merrilee, her relief turning to anger as she realized that
she’d both passed and failed. "I never thought that there was."
"Your sister must be nuts."
"The whole family is." Especially me!
For another moment, they lay there, wondering what to say, now that their
passions had been somewhat sated. "I was right about one thing," Bran told
her, still grinning.
"What’s that?" asked Merrilee, angry with him for what she considered the
arrogantly stupid male grin on his face. She’d just given him her love, for
she realized that she making love was just that for her. Love. It was more
than recreational sex, more than sheer pleasure, and Bran was acting like
one of Melissa’s damned sex surrogates! "What were you right about?"
"Your reaction to me." He was positively smug about it, as though he’d
proven a point, and Merrilee’s uncertain temper flared. How dare he act
like that?? She was overcome with the urge to deflate his ego.
"To you? You’re good, but.." She let it trail off, leaving him to wonder
what came after ‘but’.
"But what?" he demanded. He was a trifle less smug, she noted.
"But, nothing," she smiled, knowing that she’d gotten to him. It was petty,
and childish, but she couldn’t seem to help herself. He’d hurt her,
devalued her gift to him, and she lashed out.
"Are you telling me that you respond like that with just any man?" That
Merrilee might do so upset him more than he cared to admit. Was she more
experienced than he’d thought? No, he could tell, but even so, the thought
of Merrilee loving another man, sharing her body with him set his teeth on
edge. "Is that what you’re telling me?"
"Are you telling me that you respond like that to just any woman?" She
leaned on one elbow, the sheet falling away from her body, and asked,
scornfully, "Like that? Predetermined moves?? Touch this, stroke that? By
the book? My God, Bran. I thought you had more imagination!"
"Imagination?" he roared, indignantly. What had happened to the shy young
woman he’d gently, carefully seduced? "What did you want me to do? I
thought you’d be frightened. Damnitall, woman, I’ve been so..."
"So what? You thought I was frightened?" Merrilee sat upright, completely
oblivious to her nudity, denying the fear she’d felt only moments ago. "You
thought I was scared? Of what? Good grief, Bran! I’ve been trying all night
to get you into bed, falling against you, sighing, staring into your eyes,
doing everything short of outright propositioning you, and you thought I was
"You were trying to seduce me? Me? Bran Elliot?" He lay back and laughed out
loud. "I can’t believe it."
Merrilee sat there, enraged, glaring at him. How dare he laugh at her? Her
temper was well and truly gone, and with it went her discretion. "What’s
wrong with that? You seduce women all the time, and with less purpose."
"You had a purpose?" he chuckled.
"Damned right I had a purpose! Someone had to make you see that there is
more to life than an endless string of busty blondes." Her temper had
completely short-circuited her thought processes, and she was blurting out
whatever came to mind, barely catching herself before she revealed her love.
Bran looked at her, leaning over him, wonderfully bare and at ease with
herself. Her large hazel eyes were asking angry questions, things she wouldn’t
put into words, and he chose to answer the questions physically. He
pulled her down to him, kissing her breasts, and then returning to kiss her
lips. She melted against him, giving him full access to her body, incapable
of denying him anything. Bran rained kisses over her entire body, stroking
her until the fires again raged out of control, and then sent her back into
the world where she was living flame. This time, he joined her, holding
nothing back, taking her with a near violence that shook him to his soul. He
was gasping as shudders wracked his great frame, and he surrendered himself
fully into her warmth.
For a moment, they lay together, still joined, covered with a fine mist of
perspiration. Merrilee lay beneath him, spent and exhausted, yet her eyes
glowed with love. "Bran?"
"What?" he asked, rolling away to lay on the pillow next to her. His
breathing was ragged, and he felt absolutely wonderful, if tired.
"Men aren’t beautiful."
"Some aren’t. You are. All over." She was babbling now, wanting to share
how she felt, how he’d made her feel, but the words were too new to say, to
frightening to speak aloud.
"So are you," Bran said, suddenly aware of an uncomfortable vulnerability,
of caring too much. Of finding that love had a face and that it belonged to
Merrilee. Disturbed, he again tried to laugh the feeling off. "And, you’re
right about one thing.
"There’s more to be found out there than just busty blondes. There’s a
whole world of brunettes, though with any luck, some of them will be busty,
Merrilee sat up laughing, for his tone had been light, teasing, and she knew
it. She also knew that he was trying to tell her that tonight had meant
nothing to him, that he was just doing what came naturally. Like that
rattlesnake in Texas, she thought, laughing, for had she not, she’d have
cried. Forcing a yawn, she told him, "I’m tired."
"I shouldn’t wonder," he agreed, grateful to escape the unsettling idea
that leaving her was the last thing he wanted to do. "I’ll see you in the
With that, he gathered up his clothes and strode, quite naked, out of the
room, leaving her to weep silently into her pillow.
For the first time, Merrilee had understood what Jake had meant when he’d
told her that it had been wrong for him to have taken her, knowing that she’d
thought herself in love with him, when he wasn’t similarly involved.
Oh, tonight was so wrong, but the real anguish was knowing that it felt so
right. To have given herself in love, yes, that was what she felt for Bran,
seemed like the right and natural thing to have done, but she’d been taken
in what could have only been lust, or maybe compassion. Still, she reflected
when the emotional crisis had passed, maybe that was the only thing he’d
ever felt for a woman. Maybe it was the only thing he could feel. And, it
had been good! Shatteringly good, and to be honest about it, she’d gotten
exactly what she’d set out after, at least on the physical level.
That was a part of the problem, she conceded. She’d deceived herself from
the moment that she’d decided to seduce him, telling herself that it was
for his own good. What was it that Jake had told her? "The real danger in
any situation is in lying to yourself. If you’re honest, really honest,
then you cut the danger in half. You know your motivation, and you don’t
allow your emotions to get in the way. Hey, kid, emotions are all right, but
only if you’re aware of them!" He’d ruffled her short curls and added,
"Know what you’re doing, Lee, and why you’re doing it." Again, she
understood, but maybe it was too late. She’d given, in those shining
moments, her trust and love, and then watched in agony as Bran had laughed
That it had ended on a light note was probably for the best, however, since
it had apparently meant nothing to him. He’d desired her, wanting to see
how she responded to him, and had, to put it succinctly, had had her. Well,
now he knew, so he could damned well go on about his own business. Her pain
and humiliation suddenly changed into a heated rage, and she considered
going into his room and insulting his sexual prowess. But, that would be
dangerous-been there, done that! All he’d have to do was touch her and she’d
once again melt into puddle of willing femininity, his for the taking.
Again, Merrilee sat up and fumed. How dare he consider her like that? The
nerve of that man to write her off so easily as something sampled and
discarded! What did he think she was? Besides, he’d enjoyed himself as much
as she had. He hadn’t been at all hard to seduce, once she’d gotten
started, and his response to her touch was all she could ask for. Even more,
now that she thought about it. Remembering the strained look on his face at
the coffee shot yesterday, she now understood the cause of his discomfort
and smiled. Thinking about the scene at the pool, she knew that he’d found
her attractive, and was willing to wager her new found sensuality that she
could have him again, if she wished. She might melt at his touch, but the
man was far from immune to hers.
She sat upright. Might he as well harbor similar feelings, too?
With the plan to explore that possibility, she lay back on the pillow and
smiled again. She relaxed, and began to think things through. Tears dried,
she started considering the options open to her. If Bran wished to regard
this night as no more than a pleasant romp in the sack, then she’d allow
him to think that. She’d also allow him to think that she felt the same.
After all, he’d been misguided about blondes. Now that she’d straightened
him out about that, she might extend her lessons beyond brunettes in
general, and begin getting specific about one in particular.
Merrilee lay back and wondered how to go about this in the remaining time.
She could hardly go and tell him what she felt. She was certain that the man
wouldn’t respond at all well to that bit of news. There were some things
that a man needed to discover for himself. Besides, she decided reluctantly,
if she was wrong, she hardly wanted a declaration of her love for him
hanging in the air. No, she had to test his emotional waters, so to speak.
That resolved, Merrilee closed her eyes and slept very well.