Excerpt The first rays of the sun seeped through the openings in the window curtains. Koldo took himself in hand and tried to stroke new life into his fallen soldier. Not a single spark could he coax from the once lively fellow. He pumped faster, but the pressure only elicited a wince. Had the wench bruised his manhood? Was such an injury even possible? With a sigh, he turned his head, prepared to concede defeat to the succubus he had bedded, a demon in the guise of a woman who had nearly sucked the life out of him.
Its eyelids were shut, lashes fanning across high, sculpted cheekbones. The demon’s dark tresses lay askew across the pillow, with a long lock trailing down over one breast. She really was a lovely creature.
He leaned closer to lay a soft kiss upon her lips and to see if she had been spying on his resurrection attempts. Lips had almost met lips when hers parted and a loud snort, like that of a pig, burst out. He recoiled snickering.
Otsana’s snores grew louder, but soon their steady cadence lulled Koldo into a drowsy state, and his eyes drooped shut one last time before sealing.
Otsana wasn’t sure if the rooster’s crowing woke her or the shaking of the bed, but both had her sitting bolt upright. Koldo no longer lay next to her but sat on the edge, pulling on his boots.
“Merde! How long have I been asleep?” she asked rubbing her eyes. No point in pretending. She’d lost their bet. The arrogant Prince of Basqueland had bested her. No man had ever outlasted her in bed before. How had this bastard done it?
Koldo turned and smiled. “Since the first light of dawn at least. I was all set to pounce upon you once again when the most unholy noise came forth from your mouth. My lady, you snore … loudly.”
“I do not!” Otsana gathered the sheets to her breasts and scanned the room for her clothes.
“You most certainly do.” He leaned over to fetch something from the ground that he tossed to her. Her shift. Another lean produced a single black stocking.
She remembered its mate had been pressed into service and indeed was still tied to the bedpost. A wicked smile passed across her lips as she untied it. Perhaps another night with this rogue wasn’t the worst means of settling a wager. “I will concede that I have lost our bet … but not that I snore.”
A deep booming laugh caught her off guard. She’d expected him to crow about winning, yet he’d not spoken a word about it thus far.
“As you wish. Seeing as my carnal needs were thwarted by your … softly slumbering self, ‘twas not snoring I heard but my own disappointed hopes.
Otsana gave him a sidelong glance. “Another night we said?”
“Aye, my lady, on the date of my choosing.”
She gathered her stocking and prepared to slip it over her foot, when he stilled her hand and took the stocking. He turned toward her and slowly unrolled the woolen knitwear over her foot and up her leg, his fingers lightly skimming her skin during their trek. A sigh escaped her lips. Why did his touch affect her this way?
His mission complete, he lifted his eyes to meet hers. “Three nights hence, meet me here at sunset. I’ll leave a note for you with the innkeeper telling you which room.”
She nodded, unable to tear her gaze away. When he ran hasty fingers through his disheveled hair, the moment was broken, and they both turned their attention elsewhere. He appeared as puzzled as she felt.
“Very well. Three nights.” She drew on her other stocking, pretending to be engrossed in her task while she sifted through a muddle of emotions.
The bed jiggled when Koldo stood to slip on his coat, the only remaining garment he had not donned. He strode to the door, which he opened halfway then paused and glanced back at her.
Her brows lifted in question, and she waited for him to say something, but no words came. The man himself moved, heavy-footed, back to the bed where she sat and without a word, snatched her into his arms. The kiss he planted was commanding and thorough. Otsana’s bones began to liquefy, but before she could embarrass herself by begging him to stay a while longer, he wrenched his mouth away.
“Three nights,” he said, and with a curt nod of his head, left.