This week is another snippet from Crispin’s story. Enjoy.
******NSFW: Graphic descriptions and general bad-assery********
“These dogs have been a menace to the people for far too long, and the King’s men have done nothing to halt their attacks. They must be dealt with.”
“You believe you are up to the task then?” Cris asked, watching her closely. “Tell me, lovely Ruby, how many men have you killed?”
For a moment, she stared at him, distracted by his compliment, then his question struck her. “Too many,” she said as she fingered the bow at her side.
“Not with an arrow, at a distance,” he said, leaning closer, his gaze rived to hers, his blue eyes piercing her own. Her heart fluttered and pounded. “I mean looked them in the eye as you plunged the blade in their chest, then watched the life slowly drain from them.”
Ruby opened her mouth to answer but snapped it closed. The truth was, she hadn’t, but she couldn’t bring herself to tell him. She wasn’t proud of the fact that she’d killed anyone at all, but something in his expression made her want to earn his approval. But that was ridiculous. Why should she care what a pompous noble’s son thought of her? She pressed her lips together.
“That’s what I thought,” he said, the corners of his mouth twisting up. “You haven’t.”
“Does it matter?” she snapped.
“It does. What if one of your rescues went awry and one of the bandits has you pinned, ready to rape you or worse? Your bow can’t save you. Will you let him take you any way he wishes and then steal your last breaths with agony and pain?”
She stared at him, her jaw clenched tight. “I shall defend myself as necessary.”
“Even if that means slitting his throat?”
His eyes narrowed. “I don’t believe you. I could take a blade to your throat right now and you’d let me live.”
Ruby slapped him, the crack of her palm against his cheek louder than she thought it would be. His smile widened, his eyes laughing as they focused on her again. She raised her hands to strike him again, and his hand encircled her wrist.
Within a breath, he was straddling her legs, his hands around both wrists, effectively pinning her against the tree. She glared at him as he sat on her lap. Ruby jerked her body, trying to free herself. His hold tightened.
“Get off of me,” she ground out from between her teeth.
“I told you,” he said, leaning closer so his breath whispered across her cheek. “You couldn’t take me.”
“Let me at my dagger and I shall prove it.” Ruby met his gaze. Her mind raged at her, screaming at the imminent danger. It was her body that betrayed her as her back arched toward him, her breasts brushing against his doublet.
“Not today,” he said as his lips claimed hers. The kiss went straight to her head, pleasure surged through her mingled with anger. Indecision swirled through her like a whirlpool. The more she fought him, the harder he leaned against her, sliding his body along hers. Delicious friction played between them. Sparks of desire ignited inside of her. Even though she didn’t want him, she wanted what he offered. A hunger she didn’t even know she had awakened.
Until next week, my wicked darlings.