First Kiss Friday – Believe in Me by Lana Williams

Today’s First Kiss Friday featured guest is Lana Williams, author of medieval romance Believe in Me.  Welcome back Lana!  Here’s the first kiss between Lady Cristiana and Sir William de Bremont.

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Cristiana looked back to see Sir William’s horse bearing down on her. Panicked, she ran. She couldn’t be caught. Crashing through bushes, past branches that clawed at her cloak, her feet found no purchase on the uneven ground. Still she flew, her muscles protesting with the effort.

The hammering hooves drew closer. Though no match for the horse, she tore through the forest as fast as her legs could carry her. She would not give up.

“Hold!”

But she couldn’t stop.

“Lady Cristiana, hold.”

“Nay!” she cried out. “Leave me be!”

“Halt! Or I’ll do it for you.”

She glimpsed the horse out of the corner of her eye and slowed her pace, her breath coming in gasps from her frantic flight.

The knight slid off his steed and caught her in his arms. “Are you daft?” He gave her a shake. “I feared you crazed before, but this proves it true.”

“If you’d let me—”

“Have you no idea of the dangers that await you in the woods? Both man and beast would do you harm. You’d never make it through the night unscathed.”

Her chin went up a notch. “I’m not ignorant of the dangers that lurk here, but I’m willing to take my chances.”

His gaze burned into hers. “Then you’ll soon follow your mother to the grave.”

Pain stole what little breath she had. Tears threatened. Her throat burned with the effort to hold them back. “Do not speak of my mother again,” she whispered.

The quiet words with all their pent-up emotion struck William. Cristiana’s large brown eyes glistened with tears and remorse filled him. He hadn’t meant to hurt her, only to frighten her into cooperating for her safety and his sanity.

“My lady, it is my duty to see you safely to Bishop Duval.”

“I have no desire to go. What I want should matter.”

Sympathy for her and her predicament pulled at him. “I fear it doesn’t. Not at this moment.”

“I am a woman grown, not a child.”

Those simple words turned his awareness to the shapely form in his arms. A woman indeed and a beautiful one at that. His mouth went dry as he looked at her anew. His hands gentled on her arms. A strand of her hair escaped her braid, and he tucked it behind her ear. “A woman for certain, but I cannot grant you what you wish.”

Those eyes of hers looked up at him, full of emotions and secrets he couldn’t begin to fathom. Her lips parted, her breath still coming fast from her flight through the woods. He hoped his overwhelming desire for her was only because it had been so long since he’d last been with a woman. Otherwise, she wouldn’t have twisted him up like this.

“William, if you’d please listen to me.” Her husky voice resonated deep within him. Her hands rose to his shoulders as though to force him to heed her words.

He watched the movement of her lips as she spoke and felt the heat of her hands near his neck.

And was lost.

With slow, halting movements, he bent his head, her mouth drawing him closer. He put his hand along her cheek, her skin soft and warm. Her flowery scent filled his head. His lips touched hers, his heart thundering in his ears even while his mind told him this was a mistake.

She stilled as though shocked at his forward behavior. Then she responded tentatively before growing more fervent. Her lips tasted sweet, hot, beneath his, and any remaining thoughts he had took flight.

“William?” Henry’s voice from the edge of the trees brought reality crashing back.

With reality came duty.

He lifted his head and his gaze caught hers. Her expression registered the same surprise he felt. “My lady—”

“William!” Henry’s voice sounded closer.

“Here,” William called out. He dropped his hand and stepped back from Cristiana, hoping the space between them would cool his ardor. “Once you meet the bishop, you can tell him what you want. Perhaps he can arrange it.”

Disappointment crossed her face before her expression hardened. “By then, it will be far too late.”

 

 

 

 

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