First Kiss Friday – The Marquess of Cake by Heather Hiestand

Today’s First Kiss Friday featured guest is Heather Hiestand, author of historical romance The Marquess of Cake.  Welcome Heather!  Here’s the first kiss between Alys Redcake and the Marquess of Hatbrook.

The Marquess of Cake eBook

“Do you know, it was your ankles that attracted me when we first met.”

Alys found it hard to take a breath. “My ankles?”

“Yes. And your fiery dark eyes. You have a magnificent spirit.”

She swallowed hard, fisted her hands in the too-tight gloves. “I like your hair.”

He leaned casually against the wall. “You do?”

“Yes. I always think of it as sun-kissed.”

“I spend a lot of time outdoors. But the color usually darkens in the winter.”

“A pity. It’s quite nice as it is.” She spoke the next words in a rush. “You have hungry eyes, I think.”

The corners of his eyes crinkled. “I do?”

“That was my first impression of you. An austere, almost haughty demeanor, but hungry eyes.”

“Austere. I never thought of myself that way.”

“You seem to set yourself apart a little. No one would think you were the average man.”

“I could say the same about you.”

She took a step forward. “But I am not a man.”

He lifted her hand, touched her cheek with one finger. “I know that.”

Time seemed to have stopped. Her lips parted instinctively, even as her brain screamed, “This is a marquess! What are you thinking?”

“I’m a woman,” she whispered.

One finger became a palm against her cheek. It slid down along her jaw, then caressed the back of her neck. He drew her toward him. The side of her arm touched the wall, underneath a painting of Jupiter seducing a maiden.

“Alys, you are lovely.”

Her breath caught. His fingers had found her back now, made circles on her skin. His other hand reached out to her free arm. It moved down her arm and found her gloved fingers. He tugged until her hand was on his chest.

“Are you real?”

His mouth quirked. “Oh yes, Alys.”

He tilted toward her, until she could feel his warm breath on her cheek. She kept her eyes open, saw the way his eyebrows fanned out at the edges, how the tip of his nose was just a little crooked. He had a tiny mole high on his left cheek. His upper lip, slightly shorter than the lower, had a prominent bow. He smelled like gingerbread.

She felt the tips of her breasts harden. The unfamiliar sensation made her want to press herself against him. He seemed to feel the same way, because his hands linked behind her, pulled her forward.

“You’re very warm.”

“You’re very pretty.”

Then, they were much too close not to kiss, even she knew that, who had not been kissed in more than a decade. Her lips moved toward his, his head dipped to her. Breath met, then soft skin. Her hand crept to his neck and her fingers clasped him, clung.

She felt the moist tickle of his tongue at the corner of her mouth. Surprise opened her lips and he swept in, bringing ginger and cake and something unfamiliar, so male, so foreign, yet so enticing she felt her legs quiver.

Her other hand moved inside his coat, inside his waistcoat, until all that was between her and his warm flesh was a thin shirt and her glove. How he radiated heat. The muscles of his shoulders moved under her other fingers as he toyed with her mouth.

Then, suddenly, he was no longer inside her mouth, against her. He moved her hand from his neck. Had she done something wrong?

“Yes?” Hatbrook asked.

Fingers of shock danced down her back when she realized someone else had come into the corridor. She dared not extricate herself and reveal her face.

“Your mother sent me to ask after you?”

She recognized the footman’s voice and sagged with relief.

“I’ll be right down, James. Thank you.”

She kept her face to Hatbrook’s shoulder until the footsteps died away. A moment later, she felt his finger under her chin, lifting. His gaze found hers.

“We should have expected that.”

“It’s the middle of a ball.”

His lips brushed the tip of her nose. “Thank you for everything tonight, Alys.”

She nodded, robbed of speech.

 

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