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To find out who's participating and what some of the prizes are, click on the picture to the left.
Now, since I'm holding the contest, I'm obviously not participating, but I figured I'd throw in a short excerpt just for fun. I've had this story shelved for awhile now, but I'm planning to take it back out soon and finish it.Comments on this will count as an entry for the grand prizes, but as with the comments throughout the length of the contest, you must include your email to qualify.
I hope you enjoy this and all the other excerpts!
Exclusive Excerpt From Royal Pain
The stillness caused gooseflesh to rise all over her. She felt as though all the powers of the earth were focused on her, waiting for her to obey. Wind rustled the leaves over head and birds twittered, much like the ladies in the hall.
Oh, she didn’t want to listen to him. She couldn’t. No man, not even the one she loved, ordered her to do anything. He could ask, but. . .
No, he’d said he wouldn’t ask.
She dragged her slippers through the dirt and leaves and went to him. Hand on one cocked hip, she tossed her head. “Yes, My Lord?”
He clucked his tongue. “This won’t do, my dear. How am I to enjoy myself if you behave as though I am beneath you.”
“Silence.” His eyes narrowed and she pressed her lips together. He circled her, putting a firm hand on her shoulder when she tried to keep him in sight. “You are beneath me—and will be beneath me—until sunrise.” His hand slipped up to the nape of her neck and squeezed. “Your answer?”
Her nipples drew taut under her bodice and she sucked in a breath. Answer? For a moment she couldn’t remember. She glanced up at the sun, already angling towards the west. They couldn’t possibly remain in the woods all night long. Granted these trees hadn’t fallen victim to Archne’s shadow yet, they were all lush and green. But they wouldn’t be if the spiders caught wind of fresh meat. The trees would die and her and Malkyn would be reduced to bones before the sun rose.
“You must mean until sunset?” She stared at him when he shook his head. “But—”
“You trust me so little, love? I will keep you safe. Do you believe me?” He waited until she nodded, then arched a brow. “Then what is your answer?”
Her answer . . .ah yes. There could be only one. “Yes, My Lord.”
“Very good.” He came to a stop in front of her and tugged as the ties the Earl had done up earlier that day. When she lifted her hands to help he pushed them down to her sides. “Don’t move.”
A little quiver ran from her belly to the juncture of her thighs, as though her body was the string of a harp he’d plucked. The dress was loosened and lowered. The soft summer breeze seemed to play a high tune on her nerves as she stood there, naked before him. Not for the first time, but this was very different than any time before.
Trembling, feeling so very exposed, Carly gave a little start when Malkyn put his hands on her arms. He rubbed them and gave her a warm smile.
“Whatever happens, I want you to keep one thing in mind. You trust me. I will never hurt you in a way you will not find pleasure from.”
Sweet goddess. “But—”
He put a finger to her lips. “Hush.” He pointed at something behind her. “Sit there and do not move until I say you may.”
There was a big old tree with huge, craggily roots covered in thick moss. Carly approached it, trepidation rising as she felt Malkyn’s gaze between her shoulder blades like a firm hand urging her on. She perched on an arched root the width of Malkyn’s thick thigh. He shook his head, stepped up to her, then took hold of her ankle and pulled until she was seated between two roots with her legs spread wide and her bottom on a large lump at the base of the tree.
“Arms over your head.” Malkyn watch her lift her arms and nodded in satisfaction. “Perfect. I will bind you now.”
“What?” Carly squeaked as vines snaked up from beneath the roots and wound around her thighs above her knees. More vines bound her arms to the trunk of the tree, from her elbows to her wrists. The cool, slick skin of the living rope tightened until the bark of the tree dented her flesh. Her heart stuttered a panicked beat in her chest as she strained against the vines.
Malkyn made a shushing sound and put one hand on the trunk over her head. “You’re fine, little one. Exquisite, actually.” He ran his fingers down her cheek and she found his praise soothed her, as did his touch. “I have dreamed of having you just like this for years. And I’m not the only one.”