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Lanie sat in front of her easel on the bank of the lake. She was doing her best to concentrate on the scene before her - the weeping willow draping its long branches down to the still blue-green water, the gently sloping lawn dotted randomly with tiny blue and white flowers, the cloudy sky that added just a hint of dramatic menace to the tableau. On any normal day it would have been a dream to have snatched a private hour to ply her brushes and water colors. Today, however, her mind refused to concentrate on the beauty of nature. It was the beauty of a certain curly haired, high cheekboned, impossibly blue eyed man that her thoughts kept circling back to.

This was not her! She was not the type of girl to abandon all of her interests and hobbies for a relationship. She was independent, and valued her time alone to create. How often would she be in such an ideal setting, one just begging to be painted.

Of course the very thought of the word “begging” led her back to Magnus and his fondness for making her do just that. It also didn’t help that he had done everything he could to ensure her mind stayed on him and all he had in store for her. Her overly stimulated nipples were throbbing from the clamps pinching them, and with every move the fabric of her dress rubbed them just enough to remind her how prominently displayed they were. Her pussy was so gaping from the teasing he had subjected her to that even as large as he was Magnus would easily slide up into her. 

Impatiently Lanie slammed her brush down. She was getting nowhere. She may as well have gone with some of the other ladies to luncheon when Magnus had been born off by three other men to play billiards. He had been aproached by the group as they were returning from the morning walk and they had not taken no for an answer when they invited him to make their fourth. The “little women” had been dismissed from the offer, despite many expressing their desire to  ooh and aah at their prowess. Lanie was just as glad; while she had no doubt that Magnus was as good with a cue stick as he seemed to be with everything else, she was afraid what seeing him bent over the table in his characteristically tight jeans might do to her already heightened arousal. Besides, she had been dying to paint this location.

As she stared moodily at the lake, Lanie noticed a movement out of the corner of her eye. She turned to see what it was - most likely a bird, she thought, and just glimpsed a person moving furtively towards some of the out buildings on the left bank of the lake near the more overgrown woods. It could easily have been a member of the staff, or a bored guest out for a stroll, but there was something in the manner of the movement that caught her attention. Whoever it was was taking a great deal of effort not to be seen from the main house.

Rising slowly to avoid attracting notice, Lanie draped the tarp over her canvas and paints and casually began strolling in the direction the person had been heading. They were here for a reason after all, and it was not to paint the scenery, breathtaking as it might be; nor was it to fantasize about her companion who was just as gorgeous in his own way. They were supposed to be finding a killer, to be on the lookout for anything out of the ordinary, and the person scurrying in the shadows was definable that.

Briefly Lanie spared a thought for the wisdom of going off on her own, but there was no time to go and get Magnus. Besides, she was not going to do anything dangerous, merely follow whoever it was and most likely find a maid and a gardener in the midst of a torrid affair.

As she walked in the direction the scurrying form had taken, she heard a distinct rumbling from overhead. How perfect, she thought. Of course such skullduggery should have an ominous soundtrack. Laughing silently at her own fanciful imagination, she wound her way through the trees. After ten minutes, however, she realized that she had lost the trail of the person, and had also succeeded in getting a bit turned around herself in the continually darkening wood. Frustrated at her own lack of tracking skills, Lanie looked around for a hint of which way to go, seeing nothing that she recognized. How ironic, she thought, that just an hour ago she had been leading a tour of the estate and now she was all but lost in it. 

It was on that slightly sour thought that skies opened and a deluge of water began to pour from the heavens, taking no mercy. She was almost instantly soaked, and one look down at her pale colored sundress was enough to confirm that she may as well be naked. The light material clung to her body, completely see through in a matter of moments. Her jutting nipples with the tightly attached chain were perfectly clear and defined, as was the dark triangle at the cleft of her legs. She could only assume that the blue gem peaking out between her lower cheeks would also be obvious through her translucent dress. If she should run into anyone now, she would be completely humiliated. 

With a groan Lanie began picking her way back towards what she hoped was the direction she had come, pausing every few steps to swipe the water from her eyes. This was what she got for trying to play detective, or from attempting to steal a few minutes for herself during what was meant to be a business outing.

Pausing when she arrived in a completely unfamiliar small clearing, Lanie sighed. She was totally turned around. She was still trying to decide whether to stay here and wait for the storm to pass or venture onward, hoping to find a spot to shelter when a hand landed on her shoulder. She opened her mouth to scream and felt another quickly cover her lips before any sound could come out, as the first hand slipped around her body to pull her back. She was trapped.

***

Magnus lined up his cue stick with the ball on the green felt table and took careful aim. He had not played billiards in some time, but of course his father had a table and had taught him as soon as he was old enough to hold a stick. He was naturally competitive at the best of times, and the personalities of his opponents only increased his desire to best all of them.

Being pulled into the stupid, cigar smoke filled game was the last thing he had wanted, but just as the gossiping women could be sources of unlooked for information, so could the boasting peacocks at their games. With a longing look at Lanie and the clinging dress that he had dressed her in, he had allowed himself to be led into the mahogany paneled game room that all but screamed of old fashioned masculine pursuit. 

"So," one dark haired man a few years older than himself asked, taking a sip of what Magnus had to admit was remarkably good brandy, "what do you think of this year's talent?"

"I only got here this morning," another, unfortunately weak chinned and beady eyes man bemoaned. "I didn't have a chance to see them all tarted up last night. Anyone worth the time and energy to fuck, or is it all the usual slags again?"

"Mostly just the same bitches everyone's had a go at," the final member of the quartet sighed. "I think I've cum into just about every cunt here at least once. None really worth a second go, but needs must I guess."

"There was that one pretty thing last night," the first man mused, rubbing his chin. "Blue dress, magnificent tits. Nice and round, just begging to be fucked. You were dancing with her and her friend, weren't you Martinsson?"

"I was," Magnus replied tersely, hitting the cue ball with more force than necessary.

"I envy a man who can dance," the chinless one moaned. "Perfect excuse to rub up against them and see how their asses feel. Were they nice and firm? If so, be a pal and point them out to me later. I need to fuck a nice firm ass this week. God knows my fiancé won't let me tap hers."

"I don't think you will have much luck with either of the two ladies in question," Magnus snapped repressively, resisting the urge to beat him with his cue.

"Why not?" asked the first, leering at him expectantly. "Don't tell me you managed to bag them both? Now that's a three way I would kill for."

"Don't be greedy Rider," the last said, laughing. "They were the only two here, besides Sonja who's basically the neighborhood bicycle, worth taking off your pants for. I personally intend to have a go at the blond with the big rack. I heard she's just Haas' secretary, so it's not like anyone will mind. Figure I'll wait till she's drunk and get her alone in a hall somewhere. Show her how real men use their dicks -"

He didn't finish his sentence as with a growl Magnus turned and threw him against the far wall, holding his cue stick tight against the other man's windpipe. Wide eyes stared at them from the other two men while his victim gasped for air and looked at Magnus as if he were a lunatic.

"Relax, Martinsson," chinless huffed. "If she's just a secretary, who cares if Leland has a little fun with her? She'll probably thank him after."

"I care, very much," Magnus seethed. "The lady in question happens to be my girl. Mine. And even she weren't I would still care. No woman should be subjected to the inept fumblings of a would be rapist such as yourselves. So hear me and believe me. If any of you so much as looks at her, or her friend, with anything but respect, I will shoot you with the gun that is even now resting in my coat pocket. Do I make myself clear?"

Leland nodded frantically and Magnus let him go, smiling darkly as the stunned man sank against the wall to sit on the floor, hand feeling the developing bruises around his neck. Men like this were a large part of the reason he had completely left his old life behind, and he felt sick in their presence now.

"I thought you were the Martinsson heir," chinless sniveled. "What are you doing with a gun? And dating the help?"

"Moving up," he snarled. "Now, if you will excuse me, I am going to go find my very intelligent, very spoken for girlfriend and warn her not to wander anywhere alone, lest some idiot sick of life decides to accost her. Gentlemen."

With a curt nod he tossed down his cue stick and left the room, a sliver of grim satisfaction burning in his chest. He needed to find Lanie. The very thought of one of those foul toads touching her made him livid. He was suddenly regretting sending her out looking so tempting. He had been thinking only of his own appetite, not the lust she might inspire in others. Arrogantly he had assumed that the rest of the men would stay away from the woman he had so clearly marked as his own. 

As he exited the back of the house, he just caught sight of her down by the lake. She was some ways away, but he thought he would recognize her anywhere. The glow of her hair was like a halo, even in the darkening afternoon. As he watched she stood up and started walking towards the tree line with what was obviously exaggerated casualness. What was she playing at? 

With a shake of his head he set off after her. After listening to the morons in the billiard room he did not fancy her wandering unaccompanied in the darkening woods. Of course, wandering in those woods with him was another matter entirely. Smiling he followed her, already imagining what he would do when he caught up with her. One thing those idiots inside had gotten right, she was well worth having, and even though Magnus had already sampled her once that morning, he could not wait to taste her  again. 

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