Link to Excerpt Monday
Excerpt from The Star Necklace. Available Aug. 1 from http://www.eredsage.com/store/TheStarNecklace_CarlyCarson.html
“Lata.” Ronan breathed out her name word on a long sigh. “Try to understand.” He drew her other hand into his clasp and tightened his grip. “I can’t stay here on your planet.”
“I know that.”
“I don’t want to use you.” He paused, his eyes gleaming like the dark waters of a surging night sea.
“You deserve more from a man than what I’m prepared to give.”
“One night of passion,” she whispered, unable to speak clearly over the emotion clogging her throat.
“That’s all I want.” Goddess, please don’t let me beg.
“Passion! What do you know of passion?” His voice rumbled as he struggled to speak quietly, when she could see from the stiffness in his shoulders, from the lines of tension bracketing his strong mouth that some deep emotion held him in thrall. “All these years a virgin when you should have been lying naked in a man’s arms every night.”
His hands gripped hers as a night wind blew over them, bringing his cool, star-kissed scent to her. She curved closer to capture it.
Maybe she didn’t know much about passion. But she’d felt the strength beneath his gentle fingers when he touched her. She’d felt the sharpness of his teeth behind his tender kisses, nipping her in sensitive places. Underneath the patience and control he exhibited at all times, she sensed a fierce potency she wanted to unleash. If that was passion, she wanted it. This man with the hard eyes and the tender hands called out to something deep within her.
Her gaze met his and she understood suddenly that exploring her own sensuality was part of the call to adventure that had drawn her forth from her Temple home. And she understood more—the call to explore her sensuality had been sparked by her attraction to this man. This man and no other.
But could she convince him that what felt so right to her could also feel right to him? He was a strong man, with a strong moral code. Deflowering a virgin was not something he’d do lightly—he’d convinced her of that. She drew a deep breath.
“Ronan, when you touched my hair, it felt so good. Not like when Maemae or one of my friends fixed it.” She leaned closer. “When you touched me, I felt it…deep inside. I thought that was passion—the way a man handled a woman.”
“No.” Ronan leaned into the electricity sparking between them. His gaze riveted on her lips and she saw the moment when he capitulated. “Goddess! You drive me to it.” He shoved both hands in her hair and brought her face close to his. “A man would handle you like this.” His fingers tightened just enough on her hair so that she felt the pull against her scalp.
“And here’s why a man would do it.” Still holding her tightly, both hands wound in her hair, he brought his head down, and pressed his lips against hers. Hard. Her mouth opened under his demand and his tongue plunged in. He filled her mouth, his teeth scraped her tongue, and she rose to her knees, drawn to his heat like water to a fissure, an eruption certain.
Their bodies touched briefly, one sparkle of zinging delight, and then Ronan moved.
“No.” He dropped his hands and pulled back sharply, as if he’d been scalded. “I have responsibilities, obligations. I am not free to simply lie down and partake of a woman who tempts me.” He shook his head as if he needed the negative motion to reinforce his words.
“Then you should have left me to Lucas,” she cried out, chagrin and disappointment roiling within her in a toxic brew.
“The blonde man who bid at the end?”
“Yes.” She pressed her hands against her thighs, afraid that any movement would bring her again into contact with his heat.
“Did you want him?” Ronan’s voice rumbled fiercely as his gaze snapped to hers.
“I preferred anyone to Sheckel.”
Ronan’s mouth tightened, a firm slash across his tense face. “Lucas wanted you. I could see it on his face.”
Lata shrugged, striving for a casualness she didn’t feel. It was time to try to salvage some of her dignity.
“Desire is such a transitory thing, don’t you think? If he didn’t have me, he’d find another woman.”
“Is that how you feel about desire?” He leaned closer until his breath touched her face. “If not one man, another will do?”
“I…I don’t know. I didn’t know anything about desire…until recently.”
“When you kissed me…after the auction.”
“That was a show, for the Temple elders.”
“It still felt good. Then, in my room…”
“Another kiss. Nothing more.” He waved his hand.
He could dismiss it. But she wouldn’t. She’d been kissed by Toric, and by a few other men over the years. None had affected her the way Ronan had. No other kiss had produced that tingly, melting feeling that reached from her lips all the way through her body. None had sparked a sharp yearning for more. A spark that danced within her, searching for an answering light to ignite a fire that would burn out of control.
“No, Ronan.” She looked up at him. “You know it was more than just a kiss.”
“This is more.” He drew his forefinger down between her breasts. Her nipples hardened under his watchful eyes. “That’s desire. Subtle. A man needs to pay attention to catch a woman’s signals.” He curved his hand and moved it slowly over one breast towards her nipple. “Do you want me to keep going?”
“Yes.” The word sighed through her parted lips.
“That, too, is desire.” His fingers moved onto her nipple and he stroked it, gently. She tried to breathe.
Her back arched in wordless supplication.
“Harder?” His voice scraped her skin.
“Yes, oh, yes.” She couldn’t have imagined something that felt this good.
He increased the pressure almost imperceptibly, leaning over her, the darkness that was his body the only thing she could see.
“Where do you feel it now?” His low voice rumbled in her ear, adding another texture to the delicious sensations washing over her.
“Everywhere.” She sighed, opening her eyes when his hand left her breast.
“How does it feel?” His dark voice continued to tickle her ear.
“Tingly and achy, and wonderful and…”
“Like something is missing.”
He laughed shortly.
“Yeah, that’s desire, the good and the bad.”