First Kiss Friday – Lord of the Blade by Elizabeth Rose

Today’s First Kiss Friday featured guest is Elizabeth Rose, author of Historical romance Lord of the Blade.  Welcome Elizabeth!  Here’s the first kiss between Lord Corbett Blake and Devon.

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Corbett made his way further through the long thin passageway, making his normal routine check of the castle before retiring to his solar for much needed sleep. The hour was quite late and the corridor was only lit occasionally by a flickering torch that hadn’t quite extinguished itself.

He strolled past the kitchen, glancing at its total darkness, knowing most his servants were already retired for the night. A slight rustling caught his attention and from the corner of his eye he was sure he saw a figure scuttle through the far end of the darkened room. Following, it took his eyes a minute to adjust to the blackness. The room’s only light came from the soft glow of the dying cook fire. A large cauldron hung over it waiting for some night-owl to use the last bit of lukewarm water for washing up.

The smell of boar’s head with brawn pudding and hot fruit pastries still clung possessively to the air from the evening’s meal. The embers crackled at the hearth as Corbett slowly moved past the stone ovens stacked with logs drying on the still warm bricks. Bunches of herbs hung from the high rafters, the strong smell of sage sharpening his senses.

A small noise from the far end of the kitchen caught his attention. Perhaps a thief trying to rob his already near empty larder. The dripping of a wine barrel broke the stillness in the vast deserted room as he quietly moved forward. Unable to move his feet freely, he looked down to find his boots literally stuck to the floor. He cursed under his breath at whatever lazy serf neglected to clean up the broken jar of honey. A string of dried garlic brushed against his shoulder at the same time a mortar and pestle crashed to the ground behind him.

His fast reflexes pulled his feet loose from their prison as he turned abruptly and unsheathed his sword. A large rat went scurrying across the butcher block table and Corbett lowered his sword realizing the intruder was only a vermin. He continued toward the larder that stored the salted meat for the winter.

He looked within, seeing the flickering light of a lonely candle casting shadows on the walls. A salted carcass of a pig hung from the ceiling twirling slightly in the dim light. Not sure what or who he’d find inside, he raised his sword and quickly stepped through the portal. “Who goes there?” he commanded, his deep voice breaking the silence.


Devon screamed and jumped to her feet, sending the smoked pork and stale crusts of bread tumbling from her lap to the floor. A short candle danced on a barrel of salted herring beside her, its jumping flame eating up what little was left of its tallow.

Devon squinted her eyes, peering into the darkness wondering whose body inhabited the voice. She found it hard to make out the dark form readily hidden in the shadows. “It…‘tis I, Devon,” she stammered, her body shaking slightly.

The man replaced his sword into his scabbard. Then he took a step forward which allowed the dim candlelight to hit his face. Devon gasped as she recognized Lord Corbett.

“Devon.” He spoke her name softly and Corbett stepped from the shadows. “You cannot seem to follow my orders.”

“My lord. I…I…” she lowered her eyes to her dinner sprawled at her feet and wondered what she could possibly say to remedy this situation. She’d defied the man thrice now and he was sure not to take a liking to her.

“Servants eat the scraps left over from the meal. They don’t break into my larder and feast on the morrow’s main meal.”

“I was hungry,” she stammered. “I know I shouldn’t have entered but – ” She bit her lip, almost hoping Corbett would stop her by interrupting.

“But what?” He waited for her answer.

She knew she should apologize, but she just couldn’t bring herself to do it. Life at the castle was not at all what she’d thought it would be. The harder she tried to understand it, the worse it got. She liked not this life of a servant. She knelt to clean up the food, hoping he wouldn’t notice the slight tear in her eye.

Corbett’s hand rested upon hers and she found him kneeling across from her once again. The warmth of his touch penetrated her skin.

“Devon,” he said with great care, and her heart skipped a beat just hearing her own name on his tongue. “Devon, why are you here?”

What did he mean? She’d just told him she’d been hungry, but still he asked. Somehow she didn’t think he queried about her presence in the larder, but mayhap her presence in his life.

With the edge of his thumb he traced the outline of her lips. She froze in midsentence unable to speak.

“Look at me,” he whispered. The musky essence of his body filled her nostrils. Woodsmoke clung to his clothes and hair. She found herself obeying, and looked into his eyes. At once she was lost in the blue swirling depths. She saw within them a need so strong it pained her. They seemed caring, daring and if she didn’t know better, loving. But this couldn’t be possible.

He brushed the back of his hand against her cheek and a tingle climbed her spine. Her eyes closed involuntarily as his hand caressed her hair between his fingers. He tilted her chin up slightly, his eyes fastened on her lips. Years of anticipating and fantasizing about her first kiss could never compare to this. His lips were soft for a man with hard words, their warmth and sensuality intoxicating. His touch was so gentle for a warrior who’d taken enemies down with a mere swipe of his sword. He pulled back slightly, hand still on her chin. Their eyes met once again, and she felt like the luckiest, most special girl in the world.

“Why do you kiss me?” she asked, finding it curious that a man who could have any woman he wanted would want to kiss her.


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