First Kiss Friday – A Knight’s Vengeance by Catherine Kean

Today’s First Kiss Friday featured guest is Catherine Kean, author of historical romance A Knight’s Vengeance.  Welcome back Catherine!  Here’s the first kiss between Geoffrey de Lanceau and Lady Elizabeth Brackendale.

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With a strangled cry, Elizabeth broke free of his grip. She whirled and bolted toward the trestle table.

De Lanceau’s laughter chased her. Pace by pace, he stalked her down the table. She scooted ahead of him, her bottom pressed against the table’s edge. Her hands skidded on the dusty surface. She tried to dart past him, but he thwarted her escape.

Her fingertips scraped against stone, and, with a horrified jolt, she realized she was against the far wall.

Trapped.

A wicked smirk on his lips, de Lanceau towered over her. He crowded her back into the corner.

His palms slammed on the wall either side of her head.

“Tell me,” he murmured against her hair. “Are your only assets the lands you bring to marriage, damsel? Or, are there other reasons for Sedgewick to covet you as his betrothed?”

“I do not know what you mean.” She flattened back against the cold stone, one hip squeezed against the end of the table.

“You will.”

“Please, let me go.”

His fingers tangled into her hair. “You should not have provoked me. Any woman with any sense would have realized I am not a kind or patient man.”

His thumb tilted up her chin.

He meant to kiss her.

Elizabeth jerked her face away. With gentle but firm movements, he twisted her hair around his hand until she had no choice but to look at him. “Nay,” she choked. “N—”

His mouth crushed down over hers.

The kiss tasted of anger. His lips branded hers with the essence of ale. His tongue lashed. In all her years, no man had ever kissed her.

No one had dared.

She shrieked and clawed and scratched at his jerkin. The fabric softened her blows. Grinding his hips against hers, he pinned her flush against the wall. Where they touched, the heat of his body scorched.

Elizabeth squeezed her lashes shut. His scent enveloped her, and her head reeled. Somehow she must endure this torture. She must maintain a prudent detachment until he lost interest or she wriggled free. With a strangled sob, she let her hands fall to her sides.

She sensed tension warring within him, the desire to crush her spirit with his strength. Yet, he did not. His kisses slowed, gentled, and as his tongue flicked into the corner of her mouth, she gasped. The skin across her chest tingled, a similar sensation to when he had kissed her hand in the market.

An unfamiliar ache blossomed inside her.

He nibbled her bottom lip. Taunted. Coaxed. Dared her, with the glide of his mouth and tongue, to meet his sensual challenge.

A muzzy haze clouded her thoughts. In her mind, she wept in self-reproach. He knew of the tremors running through her body.

Tremors not due to fear.

She moaned. Her lips parted. Despite the warning shrilling inside her, she began to kiss him back.

He growled. The pleasured sound stirred a primitive hunger. Molten heat flooded through her like sunlit water surging across glistening sand, slowing to a swirling eddy, and then returning a moment later on another cresting tide. His tongue slid into her mouth, and she sighed.

He released her hair. His fingers caressed her neck, and then slipped down her shoulder blade.

His palm brushed her breast.

She stiffened. Shock slashed through the haze of wondrous sensation, then indignation. De Lanceau meant to do more than kiss her.

As he had no doubt planned, she had melted under his onslaught like a lusty tavern wench. He could not conquer her will, so he would subdue her body instead.

This man was her sworn enemy.

She betrayed her father by wanting de Lanceau’s touch.

Resentment drowned her last glimmerings of pleasure. De Lanceau hesitated. He lifted his lips from hers and stared down into her face, his heavy-lidded gaze intense.

Protecting her bruised arm, she braced her palm against his chest and shoved with all her might. She kicked his shins and scratched with her nails. He swore, yelped, and she broke free.

Elizabeth darted behind the bed. “You rogue!” With the back of her wrist, she scrubbed her mouth, desperate to erase the taste and feel of him.

“I did not hear you protesting a moment ago.” He dragged a hand through his mussed hair and glared at her.

“You will pay for your boldness. My father will see you punished.”

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