The following is an unedited excerpt from my next novel, Eternal Love, coming July 1 from Pink Petal Books.
After their meal, while Rhys cleared the trash from the bed, Gwen dabbed at her shirt with a damp washcloth. “I wish I’d brought my suitcase in,” she grumbled. “This thing’s a mess now.”
“You could always just take it off.” Rhys’s suggestion sounded serious but Gwen caught a twinkle in his eye when she glared at him. “Or not,” he said, grinning.
“You’d like that, wouldn’t you?” Before she lost her nerve, she pulled off the shirt and tossed it at him. “There you go,” she said, spreading her arms. “Me in all my half-naked glory.”
“Gwen, what are you doing?” he asked slowly.
“What you asked me to do before.” She stepped toward him, hoping she looked as slinky as the women she’d seen in movies, despite feeling more than a little silly in her white bra and jeans. “Not the transmutation part, though.”
“Are you sure about this?” His voice became hoarse. “Because if you have any doubt at all, stop right now.”
“I think you could control yourself if you had to,” she said uncertainly.
He shook his head. “Not a chance. Not with you standing there, absolutely gorgeous. I’ve wanted you since I laid eyes on you, Gwen, and if you’re offering, I won’t turn you down. So be completely certain. Once we start, I don’t know if I’ll be able to stop.”
“I don’t know if I want you to.” She reached him and pressed her lips against his shoulder, the highest she could reach. “You’ve been good to me, Rhys.”
“That isn’t a reason for this,” he protested. “Gwen, hours ago you didn’t even want my kiss. I didn’t bring you with me so you’d feel obligated to do anything. I brought you to save your life.”
“You brought me because you love me.” She kissed his other shoulder. “I can’t love you yet, Rhys. I need more time to know you. I know I care about you, though, and I know—” Unexpectedly, her voice caught on a sob, and she swallowed hard. “I know I want this,” she whispered. “Do you know how long it’s been since anyone touched me just to make me feel good?”
“I’d say it’s been far longer than it should have been.” He caressed her cheek. “As I said, if you’re offering, and it’s an offer that you’re sure you want to make, I won’t turn you down.” Bending, he kissed away a tear that had escaped from her eye. “Are you okay?”
She smiled up at him. “I’m fine.” Slowly, she ran her hands over his chest. “Perfectly fine.”
He grinned. “Fine, though a bit overdressed, don’t you think?” He took off his pants and shirt, leaving only his briefs. Gwen drank in the sight. His chest had only a small patch of hair. His pectoral and abdominal muscles showed prominently, and below the briefs his legs were equally muscular. Apparently the man worked out.
She giggled, and he raised an eyebrow. “I amuse you?”
“Not at all,” she said quickly. “Just nervous. Sorry.”
“I understand.” He held out his hand to her. “Join me?”
“I don’t know.” She faked a yawn. “I’m pretty tired after trying so hard to persuade you to do this.”
“Then I suppose I’ll have to help you,” he grumbled with a twinkle in his eye. “Stand up.”
Grinning, she stood. He turned down the bedding, then pulled her to him. With not even the slightest fumbling, unhooked her bra and slipped the straps down her arms. Eyes twinkling, he held it in place for a second before he took it away from her breasts, revealing her small breasts and hard nipples. He held up the garment for a second, then tossed it to the floor.
She shuddered as arousal washed over her. “You’re trying to drive me insane, aren’t you.”
“Just trying to pleasure you.” He kissed each nipple. “It’s your first time. I want it to last.”