“It doesn’t matter anyway,” she said, in a low tone. “I mean you needn’t have bothered. I’m barren.”
He returned his gaze to her face. She was watching him solemnly, her catlike eyes turned to gold in the candlelight. “What makes you say that?”
She shrugged. “I was married for five years, with never a sign.”
“Darling, you were married to an older man. Whose previous two marriages were also childless, if I recall correctly. I daresay you’re as fertile as the next woman.” He leaned over to kiss her magnificent right breast, as lush and perfect as he’d dreamed, and forgave it unreservedly for the torment of the past several weeks.
“What, Lord Morley? How is that possible? Men…I mean, it seems…well, as I understand it…”
“Oh, it’s likely enough. All sorts of things can go wrong. Have you ever seen a sample of ejaculate under a microscope?” He moved on to her left breast, which was looking lonely and neglected.
It took her a second or two to reply. “Shockingly enough, I haven’t.”
“It’s extraordinary. Some subjects teeming, others quite deserted.” He drew back and laid his hand around her breast, admiring the way it overflowed his long fingers. “You certainly look capable of conceiving. When were your last menses?”
“What?” Her eyes flew open.
“Your monthly courses.”
She stammered. “I don’t…how did you…a week, I suppose…oh, for God’s sake, Finn…” Her skin remained flushed from arousal, but a fine pink still managed to intensify the blush in her cheeks.
He moved his hand to her belly. “Then I suppose we’re safe enough. Once we’re in Rome I’ll track down proper prophylactics. Withdrawal by itself isn’t foolproof, after all; there is some secretion before climax, which…”
She rolled over and planted her face in his pillow. “Oh, God. Scientists.”