Here’s an excerpt from My Lord Raven by Jan Scarborough Naughty Boys and Girls!
He entered the solar, shut and bolted the door. Nothing but silence greeted him. Turning, he gauged his surroundings, shadowy in the dim light of candles on two wall sconces and the one he carried. As befit the lord’s station, there was an enormous four-posted canopy bed in the middle of the room, already curtained by linen hangings. Other than that, the contents of the room were a few stools and chests, Castilian carpets on the stone floor and a tapestry suspended on the far wall.
As he gazed across the room, eagerness almost overcame him. He controlled the fires that threatened to explode within and walked forward, placing the candlestick on a chest for safety. Where was Olwen? A heady floral scent filled his nostrils. Preparations had been made for him that was certain. He surmised that she was awaiting him in bed.
In a hurry now, he sat on one of the stools, wishing for Rhys attendance, and pulled off his boots. Rising, he stripped off his outer surcoat and the tunic beneath. Standing in only his braies, his feet upon the cold stones, he stifled the need to cry out with joy. Undignified as it was, he could hardly suppress the strange emotions that ranged through him.
Bran fumbled as he untied the strings that held his undergarments around his waist, and then dropped them to the floor. Cool air bathed him, soothing his overheated skin. He approached the high bed, his heart thrumming mercilessly in his chest.
“Olwen?” No answer. He grasped the linen hanging and jerked it back.
Somewhere in the midst of the sable coverlets, his wife slept, her gentle breathing music to his ears.
“Cariad,” he sighed.
Unwilling to disturb her, but eager to see her, Bran lifted the candlestick and brought it nearer to the bed. The soft light spread a dim illumination, enough for him to see Olwen’s gentle brow, peaceful now in slumber. Her fair lashes touched her high cheekbones, her full lips relaxed. Her hair, feathering around her, was smoothed so that it created a natural drape for her ample breasts, and her arms outside of the covers, were pale, her fingers long and tapered.
Bran reached across the bed and touched her velvety hand, fascinated by its beauty. This woman belonged to him. Legally. Physically. He was in awe of her for that reason. Gently, he slid his fingers under hers, holding her hand, rubbing her short, sturdy nails with his thumb. The pad of her right thumb was roughened, almost as if something had nicked it. The thought of any injury coming to his precious possession angered him.
Filled with an instant, overwhelming need to protect her, Bran snuffed out the candle and placed it aside. Carefully, so not to awaken her, he climbed into bed, leaving the hanging drawn back. The mattress sagged beneath his weight. He slipped under the heavy coverlets, feeling the cool sheets on his warm skin, and stretched out, pulling the fur over both their shoulders.
His wife sighed in her sleep and turned on her side to face him. He studied her in the dim light that was left from the dying fire, inhaling her intoxicating floral scent, feeling her breath against his face. How he ached to draw her to him. To feel the swell of her breasts against his chest. To feel his swelling inside her.
Bran tamped down his aching arousal. Snuggling deeper under the coverlets, he shut his eyes. In a moment, he would awaken her. In a moment, he would do what needed to be done, he thought as he relaxed and drifted off to sleep.
Awake in a heartbeat, Bran’s eyes opened with alarm, his senses suddenly alert. Something sharp pressed against his throat.
She loomed above him, straddling his hips, her naked body outlined in the shadows.
“You have me at your advantage, my lady,” he said as courteously as if he’d been at court.
“So tell me, my lord raven,” his wife hissed. “Why did you kill Gilbert Fitzalan, Earl Rothmore?”
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