Excerpt from Templar Prize

Stephen saw concern in her blue eyes for a moment before she managed to conceal it and he knew that she feared he might perish in battle. Life as a knight could be dangerous and death was always a possibility. He could not in good conscious lead her to believe otherwise. He would go to Richard and beg permission to marry her right now if he could but, despite the fact that she had loathed Hugh, she still had to maintain the necessary period of mourning before she took a new husband.

As Stephen looking lovingly at Edwina he was reminded of the last time she had been in his bed; her lips swollen with kisses, her blue eyes languorous with desire, those luscious breast and sweet, cherry coloured nipples. Lust and love entwined like the strands of a rope, binding her even more securely to him than a wedding ring ever could. Just thinking of her, remembering the last night they had spent together and the passion they had shared, had turned his cock rock hard. He could feel it pressing against the heavy constriction of his chain mail leggings.

‘I pray that we do have many years ahead of us after this war is over,’ she said softly.

‘And in the meantime this tent can be our own private refuge from the constraints of court life and the rigours of warfare.’ Tenderly he drew her towards the divan.

‘Have we time?’ she asked with a teasing smile.

‘I will make time. While his illness prevails the king has left me in charge of his army, much to Guy’s disgust. So everyone else will have to wait for me, will they not?’

‘I will have to help you out of your armour.’ She eyed his second best surcoat. He had not worn the old one because it was spattered with blood and he did not want to upset her feminine sensibilities. ‘I used to help my brother Fulk when he attended tournaments in his youth.’

As Stephen flung off his surcoat, she sank to her knees and began to unlace his chain mail leggings but not surprisingly she was a little more clumsy and slower than his squire would be. Once she had undone the complex laces, she let the heavy leggings fall to the ground.

Straightening, Edwina reached for the buckles of his hauberk and unfastened them but she wisely did not try to help him to remove the weighty garment. Stephen struggled out of it and placed it on its wooden stand. Beneath the mail he wore a thickly padded gambeson, a shirt, breeches and boots, which he removed swiftly, eager now to get her into bed.

As he tossed aside his sweat soaked garments, he was all too conscious of the seductive way Edwina was looking at him. ‘I hope I don’t stink too much,’ he said anxiously as he resisted the temptation to crudely sniff his armpits.

‘Even at your worst, my love, compared to other noblemen you smell like a garden of flowers. At least it is the honest sweat of battle and not the stink of months of unwashed skin,’ she said as she tore off her modest silk gown, followed by her shift.

Stephen’s eyes hungrily roved her body as she sank down on the divan. Never had she looked more beautiful to him. Her curves were returning now, he could see it in the splay of her hips below her narrow waist and the extra fullness of her creamy breasts. ‘You are so lovely,’ he said huskily. ‘Lovelier than any woman I have ever laid eyes on.’

‘If you say that often enough I might come to believe it,’ she said as he stepped towards her.

Stephen threw himself onto the divan, feeling it give a little under his weight. He pulled her into his arms and, as their lips made contact, a fiery spark of desire travelled down to his belly and into his cock, which was already achingly hard. Her mouth softened and opened and their tongues entwined, causing the spark to burst into flames, whipping his desire like the hot desert winds into a sirocco of lust. He kissed her hard and deep, wanting to place his own possessive mark on her forever.

Catching her lower lips between his teeth, Stephen nibbled the soft flesh seductively, then he kissed her again, long slow and languorously until she was gasping for breath. His lips made love to her mouth while his hands roved her beautiful body. Roughly palming her breasts, he kneaded them gently, tugging at her nipples until they stiffened into firm peaks.

His hot breath brushed her cheek, slid down her neck and took possession of one of those sweet little teats, sucking and nipping at the rosy bud until she gave a moan of pleasure. Stephen could not resist the temptation a moment longer; he brushed his sword-roughened fingers against her pussy, pressing the heel of his hand against her pubic mound. Her breathing quickened and her thighs rolled open, inviting him to enter the most seductive sacred part of her body. Desire washed over him, hot and powerful as the sun as he explored the valley of her sex and slid his fingers into her velvety sheath. It seemed to swallow him up, urging him to venture deeper as Edwina moaned again, pressing her hips demandingly against his hand.