EXCERPT: Bound to Please by Hope Tarr

Posted by: Hope Tarr

Bound to Please by Hope Tarr

Excerpted from Chapter 7

 

1460 ~ St. Andrews, County Fife, Scotland

“So practical minded and serious you’ve become, milady.  I canna help but wonder whatever happened to that braw, bright-eyed lassie I met on fair day ten years ago?”

It was her turn to move but whatever strategy she’d held in her head was lost to her now.  She shook her head, feeling world-weary and more than a little old.  “Ten years is a long time.  Circumstances change.  People change.  When you are older, you will understand.”

His eyes narrowed.  “Dinna patronize me, Brianna.  I am your junior by two years only, and man enough to match you in all ways, not only chess.”

The boast wasn’t lost on Brianna.  She’d hoped to use this time to come to know him better, to rebuild their fledgling friendship from all those years ago, but it seemed that was not to be.

“I have no wish to quarrel with you, Ewan, and in truth I did not come here to play chess.”  Her gaze strayed beyond him to the bed.

Looking more curious than angry, he asked, “Tell me, lady, why is it you’ve kept away from me all the past week?  Is swiving a chained man no to your liking after all?”

Heat climbed Brianna’s cheeks.  These unseemly blushes of hers really must cease.  With the humiliations heaping one atop the other, she should be numb to embarrassment ere now.  She wasn’t.  There was something about being around Ewan Fraser that made her feel young and vulnerable again, no longer a seasoned widow but a trembling, tender-hearted maid.

Still, she did her best to brazen it out.  “Have you so little knowledge of a woman’s body, Ewan Fraser, that you canna fathom the answer to that?”

Her secret hope had been to embarrass him but judging by his jaunty expression, she’d failed in this, too.  He slid his gaze boldly over her, a slow, languid sweep that set her heart aflutter and made her thankful she’d taken time to polish and rinse her teeth as well as suffer through Alys arranging her hair in a more becoming style.

His mouth remained impassive, neither smiling nor scowling, but his gaze kindled.  “Unfetter my hands, lady, and I’ll gladly show you just how well I ken the terrain.”

Try as she might, there was no ignoring the sensual sorcery blazing from his beautiful clear gray eyes.  Caught up in the spell of it, she felt warmth settling into her nether parts, making her uncomfortably aware of the narrowness of the little table between them.

Hold fast!

Snapping back to sanity, she reminded herself it wasn’t pleasure that had steered her here but duty.  If she allowed her desires to enslave her, she had scant chance of putting Milread and Alys’s advice into practice.

Resolved, she shook her head.  “Had you free use of your hands, I ken you’d as soon wrap them about my throat as anything else.”

His gaze never wavered.  “You trusted me well enough ten years ago to turn over your wee knife.  I gave it back, mind, and let you leave the stable at your da’s beckoning.  I might just as easily covered your mouth with my hand and born you down upon the straw.  Virgin though I was I spent the weeks after berating myself for letting you go with only a kiss to remember me.”

She swallowed hard, not only recalling the episode but feeling it all again—the excitement, the vulnerability, the yearning.  Achingly young though they both had been, she didn’t doubt they would have discovered what to do.

Her throat felt as dry as sawdust, her sex anything but.  “My father was just outside.”  She whetted her lips, alarmed to hear her voice shake.  “Had he found us, he would have killed you and locked me in a convent for the rest of my days.”

Ewan didn’t deny it.  “I canna speak to the convent part, but it might have been worth it to die with the taste of Brianna MacLeod upon my lips.”

As much as Brianna resolved to remain unmoved, his hot-eyed gaze holding hers had her forgetting to breathe.  “You’re a devil, Ewan Fraser, with the serpent’s tongue to prove it.”

He lanced a wicked, knowing look her way, one corner of his mouth kicking up into the lopsided, devil-may-care grin she remembered from when he was a boy.  “It’s a canny clever tongue I have and the wherewithal to use it.”  His expression sobered.  “I’m a good lover, Brianna.  I havena been with all that many women, but of the lassies who’ve gifted me their favors, nary a one has complained.”

Brianna found herself at a loss for words but not for feeling.  Jealousy flooded her accompanied by a powerful, piercing hatred for the other women to whom he’d given himself freely.

He pushed back his chair and rose.  “Ah, Brie, so it’s come to this, has it?”

Before she might ask after his meaning, he rounded the table to her side.  Stepping behind her chair, he rested his chained hands heavily on her shoulders and leaned down.  His warm spicy breath struck the side of her face.  He’d been chewing fennel seeds, she could tell.

“If my giving you a bairn is the price of my freedom, then at least arrange matters so that we both might enjoy the act.  Unchain me, Brie, and give me leave to show you the pleasure freed hands may bring.”

5 Responses to “EXCERPT: Bound to Please by Hope Tarr”

  1. Ali Says:

    “If my giving you a bairn is the price of my freedom, then at least arrange matters so that we both might enjoy the act. Unchain me, Brie, and give me leave to show you the pleasure freed hands may bring.”

    Yup, with a line like that, I’d be a slave to his demands :) *sigh*

  2. Jennifer A. Ray Says:

    Who wouldn’t?? *big grin*

  3. Hope Tarr Says:

    LOL, Ali. Must admit, it would work for me, too–even if I did write it. 😉

  4. MitiemoActick Says:

    Hello
    Nice site!

    G’night

  5. Hope Tarr Says:

    Hiya Ladies,

    I just typed THE END on the sequel to BOUND TO PLEASE last week. It’s TWELVE NIGHTS, Alys and Calum’s story, and it will be out in December 2009. In keeping with the winter holiday pub date, it’s a Christmas book, and if I’ve done my job anything close to right, it won’t just be the Yule log that crackles. I hope you’ll keep an eye out.

    TGIF…

    Hope

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