In this excerpt, Vikar Hrutson has won the battle and captured Sela's home. She is now faced with being a prisoner of her former husband's...
His eyes raked her form, lingered on her breasts. "You would make an admirable concubine."
"To you?" Sela's mouth went dry as the word echoed in her brain. The walls of her father's chamber appeared to have shrunk, pushing her towards him, towards his hard unyielding body.
Unbidden a memory of the last time they had joined assaulted her senses, the way his hands had stroked her body playing it as expertly as he played the lyre, how his mouth had drawn the cry from her throat as the two reached their peak at the same time. She pushed it away, back in a place where she never ventured. She refused to remember what it was like before his betrayal, before she had learnt the truth. She forced her lip to curl.
"I will pass, thank you very much."
"A challenge? You know I am never one to resist a challenge." A hint of laughter echoed in his voice. Sela remembered when that particular sound had sent shivers of delight down her spine. Such things had vanished long ago along with her girlish illusions. She had grown in the four years since she last saw him, become a different person. And the person she had become would not be attracted to him and his easy charm.
"A refusal." She crossed her arms over her breasts, stared into his deep green eyes and forced her lips to smile. "Surely by now, you must know the difference."
A muscle in Vikar's cheek jumped and his body grew still. Sela swallowed hard. Had she gone too far? A tiny shiver passed over her. She took a step backward and tried to somewhere other than at the green flame flickering in the depths of his eyes.
Vikar's hands closed around her upper arms. He hauled her towards him until their bodies collided. The softness of her curves met the unyielding strength of his muscle.
"Are you saying we were not good together? I seem to recall differently."
He lowered his lips, captured hers, plundered it with expertise. His mouth drew her breath from her body, replaced it with a growing heat. Her body began to melt. A soft sigh escaped from her throat. His arms came around her, cradled her firmly against his body as her lips gave way under the practised onslaught.
Practised. Planned. Cynical.
Sela pushed against his chest with her last ounce of resolution, controlled her breathing and his arms fell away. Cool air encircled her. Her tongue explored her mouth as she sought to regain control of her breathing. Even in that brief span of time, her lips ached, longed for the warmth of his touch again but she forced her body to remember how he trampled her heart in the dust. She hoped he had missed her response.
"My point proved." He inclined his head and a dimple flashed in the corner of his mouth. "We were good together. You and I."
"There is more to marriage than sexual attraction."
"Agreed but it does help." He ran a finger down her cheek, and another pulse of warmth went unbidden through her. "It makes everything easier, less complicated."
"Our marriage died a long time ago." Sela jerked her head away. "It can not be remade."
"I don't believe I offered marriage. I simply stated the obvious." His eyes hardened to shards of green glass. "You need a protector."
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