30 May 2010

Medieval Romance

I'm waiting to hear about the release date for my science fiction romance The Antaren Affair so, as is my habit, I'm working on something about as far removed from my last project as possible. It's a medieval (erotic) romance set in 13th-century England tentatively titled The Captured Bride. I've already blogged about the, er, scene involving transparent clothing and a horse trough, which was great fun to write. I'm inordinately proud of it, so thought I would post the excerpt here.

Without warning, a shadow fell across the entrance to the passage, an arm’s length from where she stood against the wall. Her eyes widened. It was the knight. Langlois. He strode to the wooden trough used to water the horses. Grasping it by the sides, he leaned forward and dunked his head.
Alais swallowed. The linen pulled against lean, tight buttocks as he bent over the trough. Her eyes followed the line of his thigh, the smooth curve of his waist, then up, along the burnished arc of his back. Straightening, he shook his wet hair out of his face.

He had lost the leather tie that held his hair back. It was more than a way to secure his hair, she thought. It civilized him. Now, nearly naked, his hair spread over his neck and shoulders like the mane of some wild animal, the power in him that she had sensed earlier was magnified ten-fold. And it had a dangerous, untamed edge.

He rolled his shoulders and the muscles rippled as he flexed. Alais’s fingers scrabbled against the wall of the stable for support.

Langlois reached for a bucket, filled it and emptied it over his head. The water streamed in rivulets down his body—down the hard, corded muscle of his chest. Down the sensuous curve of his spine. He gave a sigh of pleasure and Alais caught her breath.

He ran his hands through his dark hair. Droplets of water flew in all directions.

“Like what you see, my lady?”

Alais froze. She darted a glance at the courtyard. No one was close enough to hear him.

Except her.

She squeezed her eyes shut and flattened herself against the wall of the stable. Perhaps if she didn’t acknowledge him, he would go away. Either that or she would miraculously become invisible.

She heard him laugh, as though he knew what she was thinking. “I know you’re there. The queen’s ladies don’t venture down to the stables often. Don’t you have somewhere to be? Perhaps some mending to do?”

Annoyed, Alais opened her eyes and drew herself up. “I detest mending.”

Langlois gave a deep laugh that caused an odd thrumming sensation low in her belly.

“Fair enough.”

He still hadn’t turned around. He stood, hands on hips and head bent as water dripped from his body. The sun, now rising over the castle walls, gilded his skin. Alais wondered whether he knew what a glorious sight he was. Probably.

Langlois turned and Alais’s eyes dropped instantly to his hips. He had managed to soak his braies at the trough. The linen was plastered to his body, outlining muscular thighs and the thick ridge of his c**k.

Her lips parted and she sucked in a breath. Her eyes, in defiance of her will, remained fixed upon the impressive bulge.

“You’re a bold one,” he said, crossing his arms over his chest and leaning against the wall of the adjacent outbuilding.

His words broke her strange paralysis. She lifted indignant eyes to his face.

“I most certainly am not.”

“Do you always stare like that?”

Alais felt her cheeks burn. Holy Mother, but the prioress would be horrified if she knew what Alais was thinking.

“I am merely curious,” she said, keeping her voice steady and trying for just a touch of insolence.

“Oh?” He had that amused look on his face again.

Alais’s trepidation disappeared and her irritation returned. She hadn’t spent all of her life in the convent, for heaven’s sake. She knew that men prized…size. Just last week she had ignored two whispering chambermaids who were comparing the attributes of a young squire.

“I was wondering about the reach of your…” Alais paused, as though searching for the right word. “Sword.” She hadn’t realized how dark and expressive his eyes were.

Langlois’s face went blank for a split second before he grinned. “And how do you find my…sword?”

Alais’s temper flared. He was mocking her.

One side of his mouth curved in a wicked smile. His nose had been broken, she realized. It should have lessened his attractiveness. It didn’t. Nor did she find the stubble darkening his jaw objectionable.

What was wrong with her?

“Your reach may be fine,” she replied sharply. “I cannot judge. But your sword is…lacking.”

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