Surrender To Me by Sophie Jordan
Excerpt for Surrender To Me by Sophie Jordan
"Sizzling sexual tension ... thoroughly satisfying ..."
An arctic cold arrived around dawn. With a shiver and several groggy blinks, Astrid lifted her head and assessed her mist-shrouded surroundings.
She and Griffin no longer slept with their backs to each other, but cocooned together, seeking warmth from the early morning cold. Her upper body was splayed atop his, breasts cushioned on the warm wall of his chest.
Cheeks flaming, she attempted to slide her leg out from between his but found it wedged tightly between rock-hard thighs.
His voice purred in her ear. "If you wanted on top, you only had to ask."
Her gaze collided with his heavy-lidded blue gaze. Heat scored her cheeks. Her hair had come loose in the night and she blew at the fair strands falling in her face.
Pressing her hands on either side of him, she pushed herself up, opening her mouth to reprimand him, well accustomed to putting gentlemen in their place.
His hand came up, seizing her by the back of her head and dragging her mouth down to his, smothering her words with the hot press of his mouth.
His lips claimed hers, warm and soft, a tender caress that seemed at odds with such a rough man. He angled his head, taking more, trailing the warm tip of his tongue along the seam of her lips in a quest for entrance. She gasped and he deepened the kiss, sliding his tongue inside her mouth, gliding it against hers in a sinuous dance like nothing she had ever experienced.
A lick of heat twisted in her stomach, thrilling in its strangeness. Frightening.
She relaxed against him, melting into his hard length, her blood simmering, liquefying her bones.
He tasted good, so good, like the way he smelled. Of wind and woods and man. For an insensible moment, her hands curled into his shirt, pulling him closer, mashing her breasts into his chest.
He growled against her mouth, rolling her beneath him, settling himself between her thighs. Even with her skirts bunched between them, she felt the hard ridge of him, prodding and insistent against her belly. He shifted lower, rubbing against the very center of her -- a place that throbbed with desperate intensity, a burgeoning ache that demanded satisfaction and made her squirm in need.
Her fingers clenched the warm wall of his chest, clawing and twisting the fabric of his shirt.
Her hips rose, thrusting against the delicious hardness of him.
His lips lifted from hers on a hiss of air, just long enough for him to grit a single word against her mouth. "Duchess."
His lips fell back on hers, ravenous, his tongue delving past her lips ... still that feverish utterance struck like an arrow to her heart, reminding her of who she was. Who he was. Only one day widowed and she was rolling around on the ground with a man she barely knew? Without dignity. Without pride. No better than her mother. Easy pickings for some silver-tongued devil's misuse.
She shoved him off her, disentangling herself from the solid strength of his arms. Scrambling back, she put distance between them. Hugging her knees to her chest, she glared at him in the light of dawn.
He rolled onto his side, watching her with a lazy, seductive gaze that fired her blood ... and indignation.
"Don't think that my gratitude runs this far," she hissed, rubbing the back of her hand over her mouth as if she could wipe clean the burning imprint of his kiss.
He stared at her for a long moment, his eyes turning hard, the gleam of desire fading. "Gratitude?" he echoed.
"Yes. Accepting your assistance does not grant you free use of me."
"I don't recall forcing you to crawl atop me."
"It was unintentional, I assure you -- not an invitation!"
"And when we kissed? I heard no protests. Far from it." One of his dark brows winged high. "You certainly did not hesitate to rub yourself against me."
Heat flooded her face. "I did not!"
He laughed cruelly. "The sweetest whore never responded so readily."
"Oh!" She lurched forward, swinging a fist at his face.
He caught her fist and hauled her against him. "Enough," he growled, squeezing the breath from her. "Your virtue is safe with me. I don't make it a habit to force myself on unwilling women." His lips twisted. "A word of advice though ... if you are unwilling, you best learn a little restraint. Otherwise, you may find yourself on your back and getting more than you bargained for." His hand splayed wide on her waist, fingers digging through her garments, searing into her flesh. "Understand?"
She nodded fiercely.
Chuckling harshly, he released her. Astrid dropped back on the tarp, glaring at him as he rose to his feet and strode from the clearing.
She trembled with fury. Restraint indeed. As if she needed lessons on restraint. Her whole life had been about restraint. More than the likes of him would ever know. From here on, she would show him just that.