So, I know I have said this several times, but I guess it can change. I LOVE this letter and how it turned out. And I LOVE Artan. I knew who he was before this letter, just not who his wife was or much about their story. I know them both a bit better now, and I can't WAIT to write their book.
As far as the timeline is concerned, this one takes place probably during book #2, Love's Call but I am not 100%.
Regardless, please enjoy.
WARNING: This one also has some sex in it. Please don't read it unless you're over 18.
The baby moved inside her and Kirsi smiled. She rested her hand on her distended tummy at the same time Artan enfolded her in his arms from behind.His unshaven face tickled the back of her neck as he nuzzled there and she leaned into him, her back resting against his chest. Her husband’s clean masculine scent teased her nose and she let her eyes slip closed.This knight, the quiet one who frightened maids because of his scars, was her life as much as the baby growing inside her.“I love you,” she whispered. Artan squeezed her against his chest and kissed her the hollow below her earlobe. Kirsi shivered. His soft warm lips, combined with his stubble was a pleasant contradiction against her skin.He turned her in his arms and his mouth settled over hers. Kirsi kissed him back, pressing closer, snaking her arms around his neck. Despite the fact they’d just dressed, ready to start their separate days, clothing made its way to the floor, and Artan was laying her at the center of their bed without a word.No protest would ever exit her lips. She always wanted him. Kirsi smiled as he looked down upon her, her eyes trailing his tall muscular frame. There was a time that a head to toe perusal would have made him glower, but Artan believed her now when she told him his body was beautiful. And it was.She ached to trace each powerful line. Touch and taste him all over, have his familiar weight on top of her, inside her. Her heart skipped a beat and her body warmed in anticipation. She opened her arms and he came to her, pulling her close and fusing their mouths.They made love slowly, Artan worshipping her body with his scarred hands. His skin was rough and calloused from his use of the sword as well as remnants of his burns, but none of that mattered to Kirsi, and it never had.His touch was gentle, yet lit her on fire like it had from the first time they’d been together. His hands caressed her, following the curve of the place where their child grew. He stopped, staring with an intense reverence that made Kirsi blush.Her fingers skimmed his body, feeling the rough damaged skin on the right side of his neck but she kissed the spot before he found her lips again, devouring her mouth. She caressed him, exploring more, going down the length of his back and squeezing his muscled rear end as he thrust. Touching, kissing, and sharing in each other until they cascaded over the edge in each other’s arms.Kirsi sighed, snuggling against his chest in the afterglow of their passion, regretting that they couldn’t languish in bed all day. As much as Artan complained about her working while carrying their child, they both had duties to see to. Since Lord Dagget had declared her healthy, she was much less worried than her beloved.“I love you,” Artan told her, his dark eyes glowing with his feelings for her. She smiled and pressed her lips to his. When they parted, Kirsi shoved his black locks from his eyes.“You need a haircut, my love.” That got a half-smile that made his scars look much less foreboding—not that the marks had ever bothered her.He didn’t flinch when she touched his face anymore, and he smiled a great deal nowadays. Artan also told her he loved her at least once a day.The right side of Artan’s face was marred, as he had been burned as a child. His right shoulder and the right side of his neck, both forearms and both hands also bore the marks of magic—his own—gone terribly wrong.Most people with the gift of fire magic were immune from their own heat, but this was not true of her husband, and that puzzled many a mage over the turns.Judged as a failure and an idiot by most, Artan had become a rough, unapproachable man. Gruff even to some of the men he considered brothers among his fellow knights. He’d refused training as a mage in light of what had happened to him, and never accessed his magic. But he was a survivor above all, and that was just one of the things Kirsi loved about him.As a boy, he’d lived through the battle in Ascova that had resulted in many deaths and then been raised as a knight by the king himself. This was the case with several knights of the personal guard, and one of the many reasons they were close, more than soldiers working side by side. They were family.“Will you cut it for me?” he asked.“Of course. This evening.” Artan smiled again, and laid both large palms on her rounded tummy. Their child responded to his touch and Kirsi’s heart warmed. He’d felt the movement too, and leaned down to place a kiss above her navel.They made eye contact and Kirsi stared at the man who’d stolen her heart and given her the gift of the child in her womb. Artan gazed right back. They didn’t speak for a while, but perhaps, no words were needed.“I wish we could stay here all day.” He broke their silence, his tone gravelly.“I do, too.” Kirsi smiled and caressed him, starting with his hands, moving slowly up his forearms, then biceps, until she rested her hands on his shoulders. She made a point to linger on his scars, soothing and touching each spot.Artan yanked her to him and kissed her hard. She panted against him as they parted but stayed close, her hands on his chest. Duties she should be on her way to, the furthest thing from her mind.“I need to go now,” he breathed against her mouth, “Or I never will.”Kirsi giggled and nodded. “Morag will be looking for me if I don’t head to the kitchens. She’s got me peeling tubers so I don’t strain myself.” She sent a half-glare to her husband as he slipped out of their bed, but Artan flashed an unabashed grin. As appealing as the expression was, Kirsi growled. He chuckled.The sound made her heart skip a beat and she had to swallow back sudden tears of joy. Although not the first time she’d heard him laugh, the sound was not as common as it should be. Their baby moved again, as if he too was delighted by the noise his father had made.Kirsi smiled through misty eyes and Artan was at her side in seconds. He took both of her hands in his and sat on the edge of the bed, staring at her.“Love? Are you crying? Is something wrong?”She caressed his scarred cheek because he’d gone a bit pale, and placed a tender kiss on his lips. When their gazes met, she ran her thumb along his full bottom lip.“No, Artan. Nothing’s wrong. As a matter of fact, everything’s perfect.”Artan smiled and kissed her.
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