Good morning! It's a gorgeous spring day. The birds are chirping, I recently received some great news (involving contracts and books and anthologies) and I'm thinking I need to share something. So I'm sharing a little sneak peek of Lust's Temptation.
A little background: This is the second book in the series. And in this story, the heroes, Amun and Troi, are possessed by the spirit of Lust. But Oriel, the heroine silences the beast, allowing them to do what they haven't been able to in centuries--give pleasure, rather than take it.
The setting of this scene is a Civil War reenactment campsite.
The notes of a waltz drifted to her ears on a sweet-scented breeze.
“There’s a dance tonight,” she said, remembering for the first time since leaving her temporary home earlier.
Troi rose to his feet and extended a hand. “We would be honored to accompany you.”
Cheeks warming, she shook her head. “Oh, I’m not much for dancing. I mean, I watched last night. The dances are complicated. I don’t know the steps.”
Troi ambled around the table, his movements neither lazy nor rushed. “Doesn’t matter. We can have our own private dance right here.” Before she could protest, he gently tugged on her hand, coaxing her to her feet. And before she could come up with a reasonable excuse for not dancing with him, he pulled her into his arms.
Now that was a thrilling place to be, so close to such a beautiful man, one strong arm coiled around her body, the other extended, her hand gently cradled in his.
Somehow, she followed his movements with ease, the heartbeat of the music throbbing gently through her body and drumming out the tempo of her steps. Right left right, left right left, they whirled about the makeshift dance floor, carpeted in soft grass, as the sun kissed the evening sky with shades of purple and salmon. As the song’s final chord echoed in her ears, she tipped her head to look up at her partner’s face.
She couldn’t say she’d ever seen a man more breathtakingly handsome. Not on television, or in a movie, or in a photograph.
“Thank you,” he said with a husky voice that made her think of forbidden pleasures.
He was going to kiss her and ohmygod she wanted him to, even with Amun standing close by, even with Laura out there somewhere, furious with her, even with the dozens of unanswered questions bouncing through her head like dropped ping pong balls.
Kiss me, please.
A barely perceptible stream of warm, sweet air tickled her lips and instinctively she licked them while she curled her fist around a handful of Troi’s wool coat and waited, waited. It was pure, delectable torture.
Finally, his lips brushed over hers in a tender, sensual caress and it felt like the ground was teetering beneath her feet. Sure she was about to plummet into some darkly erotic chasm, she threw her other arm over his shoulder and looped it around his neck. If she was falling, he was going with her.
Against her back, she felt more heat. Pulsing warmth, full of life, smelling of man and leather and desire. Her breath hitched in her throat and she pulled, aching now for Troi to possess her mouth fully. Again, his lips touched hers. Briefly. And all too soon, less than one stuttering heartbeat later, they were gone again.
“Please,” she whispered.
“Mmmm,” he returned. “You’re sweeter than peaches in cream.” His lips hovered over hers as he spoke, each word producing a little puff of scented air that teased her tingling lips and pulled her tautly-strung nerves even tighter.
This man had barely kissed her, those minute grazing meetings between their mouths hardly qualifying as kisses, and yet her entire body was simmering, her heart thumping heavily against her breastbone, a warm thrumming sensation building between her legs. Never had so little produced so much heat, so much need, in her.
Granted, a part of it had to be Amun. His hands were now resting on her shoulders, his thumbs stroking her nape, the intimate touch producing little waves of quaking thrill. It was no wonder Laura had fallen under the spell of these two. What woman wouldn’t? Their every movement intrigued her. Their every word mesmerized her. Their every touch captivated her.
One of her hands slipped down, over the hard swell of his shoulder, gliding along muscle and sinew covered in wool. Such power he possessed. His body was shaped for battle, for conquering and subduing.
“Oriel.” Amun looped a thick arm around her waist and she practically melted. “What is it you want from us?”
“I--I don’t know.” That was partly true, but mostly not. What she wanted, she couldn’t admit.
Troi cupped her chin. His thumb swept across her lower lip. “You do know. Are you afraid to tell us?”
“No, I’m not afraid to tell you anything.” A boldfaced lie, but she couldn’t stomach being called afraid.
She was cautious. Level-headed. Responsible. Sensible.
And tempted to drag both Amun and Troi to the nearest hotel and fuck them until they all three lacked the strength to move even a pinky finger.
Oh God, did she want to cast aside all her shouldn’ts and wouldn’ts and just let go for once. It had been a long time since she’d dared even think about doing such a thing.