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Author ~ Marianne Petit
Murder, a dark secret and an instrument rumored to wake the dead...
This is a revised, re-edited version of the "Glass Armonica"
When a young woman with the gift of sight is faced with murder charges, she makes a devastating decision, destroying any chance for happiness, which forces the hero to rethink his life's ambition for revenge and celibacy.
Elizabeth Rose believes her greatest fear has come true; the villagers think she is bewitched and the music from her glass armonica can wake the dead. Thrust into a strange household with a man she fears, and tormented by the presence of his dead wife, will her secret past get her tossed penniless onto the streets?
Philip Ablington is celibate. Madness runs in his family and he believes his seed is bad. Long devoted to his wife's memory, when the enchanting Elizabeth disrupts his orderly household he is torn between feelings of betrayal and the new awakening of his desires. Will Philip's self loathing destroy them both, or can Elizabeth's devotion unlock his heart?
"Armonica, not harmonica. 'Tis the Italian word for harmony."
An enticing smile of delight lit Elizabeth's green eyes as she pushed down on the floor pedal and the graduated-size glass bowls began to spin.
Delicate, sweet ethereal music emanated forth. A sound beyond that of any other he had ever heard.
Philip stared at Elizabeth's slender hands, captivated by the enchantingly light, high tones, and the eerie spine tingling low tones that dissipated into the air, lingering there long after she had stopped playing.
"Are those high notes not celestial, like the voices of angels?"
Philip nodded. "A magical voice indeed."
She was as magical as her music.
Standing over her, he inhaled the clean scent of her hair and the faint aroma of rose water.
He had the sudden urge to rest his cheek upon her head; to feel the softness of her silver locks against his skin.
His gaze lowered.
Her low-cut dress revealed up-tilted breasts, which rose and fell rapidly with each breath.
"Wouldst thou allow me?" He moved around the instrument to stand beside her.
She pushed away the embroidered bench and stood, allowing him to sit. "The greatest difficulty for beginners lies in the touching."
'Twould be his pleasure to show her how and where to touch him.
Her shout yanked his thoughts from the bedchambers and to the present.
Leaning across him she grabbed his hand before he had a chance to touch the instrument.
He stared transfixed as she placed his finger into a basin of water.
"First, you must wash your hands to remove any oils that may be on your skin," she said.
Did she realize what an effect her words had on him; how his aroused mind turned those words into erotic foreplay; how the sound of her silky voice, so close to his ear, blew hot against his cheek and quickened his pulse?
Warm water blended with the touch of her fingers as she gently rubbed his hands. The simple act of cleansing took on a whole new meaning as he pictured her naked body slick with water.
It took every ounce of control to keep his manhood from responding, a feat that became increasingly difficult with every graceful move that sent a wave of her sweet perfume to the air.
Mesmerized, he stared as she lifted her hands to the glasses. Water dripped between her fingers, dripped down her wrists.
She ran her hands over the bowls, wetting each one till they were slick and moist.
Moist-like the center of his palms and the flooding tightness of his loins. He wanted to douse his entire body with water.
"You must play with long outstretched fingers." Her voice floated above him like a warm summer’s breeze.
Bending over him, he could feel her breasts resting against his upper back.
She brought his fingers to the glasses.
Perspiration dotted his brow.
Her touch gentle, distracting, he was tempted to kiss her delicate fingers, feel their softness against his lips, against his tongue.
If she had any notion of the affect she had on him, she’d bolt from the room.
His mind stuck on the word pump and what it conjured up, a second passed before he realized what she meant. He pushed down on the foot pedal.
The sound of his pounding heart echoed over the grinding of the wheel and the dreadful shrillness emanating forth.
"This is more difficult than it seems," he said as his loins tightened.
Any longer in her presence and there would be no denying his body's urge for release.
"You’re pressing too hard," she said softly.
'Twas an understatement; if only she knew how hard...