First Kiss Friday – At His Command by Ruth Kaufman

Today’s First Kiss Friday featured guest is Ruth Kaufman, author of historical romance At His Command.  This is one of the wonderful novels included in the Castles, Knights and Chivalry boxed set available for preorder for only 99 cents.  Welcome Ruth!  Here’s the first kiss between Sir Nicholas Gray and Lady Amice Winfield.

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“What things?” Nicholas repeated. He stepped closer, grabbing Amice’s pole so she couldn’t accidentally whack him in the head in her fury.

What angered her so? Bits of hair curled on her reddened cheeks, begging him to push them away. Her green eyes sparked with gold as she glared at him. Even Amice’s fury enticed him.

Exactly why Nicholas had welcomed Maud’s arrival. He could talk to Maud without wanting to hold her hand or hold her, without stirrings of desire. Without being sad when their time together ended. Yet he’d missed Amice. His friend. His…what?

One of his hands closed over hers. The simple contact elicited a rush of longing, almost making him relinquish his grip. Why did he react to her so strongly?

“Going riding with Maud, as though you had nothing better….”

Without thinking, he stopped her reproach with his mouth. He’d wanted to do that for so long. The sweet taste of her heightened his excitement.

This, at last, was what he’d waited for, swirling vibrations of yearning, as he kissed her in the bailey.

In the bailey! Instantly, his passion cooled. They were in plain view. Fortunately, no one seemed to be paying attention.

“How dare you kiss me?” she hissed. “If you try that again, this will stop you.” She brandished her pole as she hurried back to her vat.

Nicholas concealed a grin as he watched Amice poke viciously at the wet wool. His impulse to smile vanished. Henry and Margaret trusted him to safeguard Amice until they agreed on a groom. Compromising her in any way was unforgivable. Yet Amice had but to enter a room and all activities but being with her lost their luster. Being inches away from her lovely face, her slender body, made him lose control. Unforgivable.

He’d conquer his desire with the same determination he’d used to fight those who trespassed on English soil. His weapon against invaders was his sword. Against the lure of Amice, he’d have to rely on self-discipline and denial.

*          *          *

“The wool is too dark now. I’ll have to start over,” Amice called as Nicholas walked away.

Her flushed cheeks stood testament to interrupted desire, but Amice hoped he thought her heightened color was due to the heat.

With his warm lips moving upon hers, longing for more had filled Amice so that she’d barely been able to stand. She’d wanted to melt into him, let him whisk her to her room. Surprise at her strong reaction, at being kissed in public, led her to snap at him rather than indulge further.

Better he believed she had no interest in him. Leading him to think otherwise could only result in disaster.

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