I needed a bit of help naming the girl in this story, so I reached out on FB and had a small contest. One of friends, Kelly, won and named Imena!
So, meet Imena and Halden, who will definitely show up later. I love them and I can't wait to write their full story.
WARNING: This is a sex scene. The first letter that is not PG-13. So, if you're under 18 please don't read it. It's not as detailed as Jensen and Kes (On my Pieces of Me page) but it still...happens. Anyway, you're warned!
Hope it helps w/ midweek blues!
All rights reserved; copyright © C. A. Szarek. The text within may not be reproduced in whole or in part or distributed in any form whatsoever OR SOLD without first obtaining permission from the author.“I most certainly will not.” His chuckle and rakish grin just made her blood boil even more. She backed away when he caressed her cheek. Halden laughed again.“You know you want me.” The statement was the confident tone he always used with her. Her cheeks burned and she took another step back. He spoke the truth, but confirmation would never come out of her mouth. She met his gaze head on.“I am a lady.”“And I am a knight. Who we are has nothing to do with how we feel.”He came toward her, his gray eyes half-lidded. Imena gulped. She couldn’t back away anymore or he would have her against a wall.“I’ve seen how you look at me, Imena. Neither of us is naïve, love. Let’s do what I know we both want.”“Don’t call me that.” She crossed her arms over her chest. Her heart picked up speed as his gaze raked her face, then her body. She trembled. He was right. She did want him. She had from the first time she’d laid eyes on him.Halden grabbed her hand and pressed a warm kiss to her knuckles. She tried to yank away but he held her fast, grinning against her skin. “I’ll be gentle,” he whispered.“No,” Imena answered, shaking her head. He chuckled again.“No? You don’t want gentle?” His brow went up and heat crept up her neck. Her chest heaved, her gown constricting. The fire he’d started in the small fireplace must be doing its job.He kept advancing, still holding her hand as she backed up once, then twice. The rough wall of the roadside traveler’s cabin hit her back, jarring her.Halden was close, but they weren’t touching. She could feel the heat of his body, the contrast with the coolness against her shoulders even more prominent.The clean masculine spice of him mixed with the cut wood he’d just put into the fireplace. It swirled around her, heady and inviting.She should have known better than to agree to stopping for the night in the tiny building, instead of continuing on until they found a village and an inn. The pouring rain had really been the decision maker for them, but Imena didn’t trust herself with him. Close quarters would only make it worse.He wouldn’t force her, she knew him well enough to know that, but one kiss and he wouldn’t have to. They’d played this game for months. He’d just been the one to finally speak up.Their skin, hers naturally golden—a trait of most Ascovans—and his pale, as he was from the north, made her think of them entwined. Her eyes were glued to his hand on hers.Halden stepped forward, his muscled chest pressing against her breasts. Imena was pinned. His mouth came down on hers and then his tongue was there, pressing, plundering. She melted into him on a moan.Imena should stop him, she needed to pull away, but her traitorous body was already on fire for him so she leaned in, her hands seeking, her lips rubbing against his more insistently.“I want to hear you admit you want me,” he breathed, pulling away from their kiss and staring into her eyes.“I…want…you,” Imena managed, her chest heaving against his, her body flushed with warmth.His gray eyes flared and he seared her mouth with another kiss, pulling her away from the wall, hard up against his chest.She was on the small bed and he was on top of her in moments, the heady rush wiping conscious thought away. Imena was overwhelmed by him. She strained to hold on when he pulled away, his mouth slanting over hers again.“Relax, Imena,” Halden said, amusement in his tone. “I just want to get undressed.” He caressed her cheek, then straightened, yanking his tunic over his head and off. She stared at his bare, muscled chest.She was really going to do this. She was about to experience her first intimacy with a knight known to be a womanizer. Was she crazy? Yes, crazy for him. She had been from the start.Imena would focus on how he made her feel and worry about her heart later…if it wasn’t already too late.They were naked and he was back on the bed with his skin against hers too fast for her to be embarrassed about being naked with a man for the first time in her life. He kissed her into oblivion, his hands stroking, coaxing, tender, and all consuming at the same time. She arched into him, kissed him fiercely and begged for more.Halden was gentle as he joined their bodies, as he’d said he would be, but Imena clung to him until the pain passed. He kissed her and whispered her name against her mouth. Her heart pounded against his. He was treating her with such care. More than she could have imagined. Did he feel something for her after all?He started to thrust and she whimpered. “Shhh…” he said with another kiss. “Let me show you…” Halden moaned and Imena shot her arms around his neck, trying to get closer.She moved with him, under him, needing more. She cried out as he took them higher and higher. Halden had her ensnared. She rubbed her breasts against his chest and they both groaned. She didn’t want him to stop moving in and out of her.Pleasure hit her in a wave and her whole body tightened at the same time Halden shouted his release. He yanked her against his chest and fused their mouths as his erection jerked inside her. She shivered in his arms.After cleaning them up, he slid back into the small bed, pulling her into his arms. Holding her close, Halden kissed her forehead, cheeks and lips. His hands stroked, comforted, as they caressed her shoulders, moved down her back and Imena snuggled closer on a sigh. He made her feel wanted, needed. Cherished. Her heart skipped a beat.“I’m glad I took a moment to prepare the bed,” Halden joked, the rakish grin back in place. Instead of her normal fury at that particular expression on his face, Imena laughed.“Thank you,” she whispered, caressing his chest.His eyebrow shot up. “For?”“Making…it special.”“Imena, love, it was special.”She swallowed hard. “Now what?” Her father, younger brother to the Duke of Ascova, had plans for her. Plans that didn’t include giving herself to a knight—outside of marriage no less.“What do you mean?”“My father expects you to see me to Terraquist, to the King’s Court, safely.”“I never said you wouldn’t get there safely. You just won’t need to look for a husband.” Her heart stuttered.“What are you saying?”“You don’t think I would take your innocence and not wed you?” Halden sounded offended. She looked into those steel orbs.“If you intended to offer for me, you could have done it without us leaving Ascova.” He grinned and her heart sped up again.“Then I wouldn’t have had you to all to myself. Your father, smart man. He watches you closely.” She snorted and his grin widened.“If that were true, he wouldn’t have let you escort me alone.” Halden winked.“Oh, love. He hasn’t a clue. I told the others to get lost before we left. Paid them off so I could have you alone.”“But why?” Her whisper caught him off guard. His beautiful eyes widened and his hold on her tightened.“It’s true, I wanted you…had to have you, but…I…” he looked away. She bit back the urge to gasp. The rogue knight unsure of himself? It was unheard of. “The truth is, I love you. I’ve fallen in love with you.” His words were rushed and when he met her eyes again, she could have sworn his cheeks were pink.Imena kissed him. Halden groaned and deepened it. Their tongues dueled and she was lost to him, as she would be always.He tore himself away, his gaze hazy with passion as their eyes met. They both panted. “Do I get an answer?” he breathed.“Did you ask me a question?” Imena moved even closer, her heart thundering. Evidence that he was ready for her again was hot against her thigh.“Lady Imena Gallard, will you be my wife?”She grinned, throwing her arms around his neck. “Yes, Sir Halden Gardon, I will.”He pressed her gently into the bed and showed her how much he appreciated her answer.