A caress is the soft stroking of the man's cheek or upper body by the woman. Don't smack himthat is something else entirely. The caress is one of the many options that make up a woman's "arm work."
Arm work rarely stands alone but is added as styling to another figure. In the first photo, the cue might have been, "Open Hip Twist Lady Caress." Next, she could step out to a Fan. But maybe nothe really shouldn't have let go of lead hands.
A woman can Lariat with Caress or Cuddle Corte with Caress. Any time she is approaching or passing by closely, a Caress can work, if the time is there and the mood is right.
In the second photo, it looks as though he caught her in mid-Develope, and she is placating"Baby, don't be cruel."
Both arm- and leg work (e.g., Leg Crawl) give us opportunities to insert a little emotion and drama into our dancing.