Royce's mouth became more demanding, his tongue seeking, stroking, while his hand slid restlessly up her midriff, caressing her breast, then down again, swiftly unfastening her belt and gliding beneath her tunic. Jenny felt the firm, sliding stroke of his callused hand against her bare breast at the same instant her lips were seized in a devouring kiss.

She moaned beneath the sensual onslaught, and desire exploded in Royce as he felt her flesh swelling beneath his palm, her nipple rising up proudly against it. He brushed his fingers lightly back and forth against the impudent tip, then he caught it between his fingers, rolling it between them. He felt her gasp of shocked delight against his mouth as her fingers dug convulsively into his shoulders, and she kissed him deeply, as if trying to return the pleasure he was giving her.


Startled by the tormenting sweetness of her response, Royce lifted his mouth from hers, gazing down at her flushed, intoxicating face while he continued to caress her breast, telling himself that in a moment he would let her go.

The women he had bedded never wanted to be seduced or handled gently. They wanted the leashed violence, the power and stamina that were part of his legend. They wanted to be conquered, subdued, taken roughly, used—by the Wolf. The number of women who had implored "Hurt me" in bed with him were too numerous to count. The role of sexual conqueror had been thrust on him, and he'd accepted it for years, but with increasingly frequent bouts of boredom and, lately, disgust.

Slowly, Royce took his hand from her swollen breast, commanding himself to release her, to stop what he had begun and stop it now. Tomorrow, he was undoubtedly going to regret having taken things this far, he knew. On the other hand, if he was going to have regrets, he might as well have something substantial to regret, he decided. And with some half-formed idea of allowing them both a little more of the pleasure they seemed to be finding together tonight, Royce bent his head and kissed her, while he spread her tunic open. His gaze drifted downward, riveting on the enticing banquet bared before him. Exquisite breasts, round and full, tipped with pink nipples hardened into tight-buds of desire, quivered beneath his gaze; her skin was as smooth as cream, glowing in the firelight, as untouched as new-fallen snow.

Drawing a steadying breath, he dragged his gaze from her breasts to her lips and then to her mesmerizing eyes, while his hand unfastened his tunic, pulling it out of the way so that he could feel those soft white mounds pressed against his bare chest.

Already seduced into near insensibility by the heat of his kisses, his gaze, and his wine, Jenny gazed dazedly at the firm sensual line of his lips, watching as they descended purposefully to hers. Her eyes closed and the world began to spin as his mouth seized hers with raw hunger, parting her lips as his tongue drove into her mouth. She moaned with delight as his hand cupped her breast, forcing it upward, holding it high, while he slowly lowered his bare, hair-roughened chest against it, and then his weight came down on her. His body half covering hers, he trailed sensuous kisses from her mouth to her ear, his tongue flicking into the sensitive crevice, then exquisitely exploring it until Jenny was writhing against him.

He shifted his mouth across her cheek to her lips, and his mouth began a slow, erotic seduction that soon had Jenny moaning low in her throat. His parted lips covered hers, forcing them to open wider until he captured her tongue, drawing it delicately into his mouth as if to sip from its sweetness, and then he gave her his until Jenny instinctively matched his movements and when she did the kiss went wild. His tongue tangled with hers, his hands shoved into her hair, and Jenny twined her arms around his neck, lost in the earth-shattering kiss.

His lower body lifted, his legs nudging hers apart, and he eased himself between them, forcing her into vibrant awareness of his rigid hardness pressing meaningfully between her thighs. Devastated by the raw hunger of his passion, she clung to him, stifling a cry of disappointment when he pulled his mouth from hers, then gasping with surprise as he lowered his mouth to her breasts. His lips closed on her nipple, tugging gently, then tightening, drawing hard on it until her back arched and shock waves of pure pleasure burst through every part of her being. And just when she thought she could bear no more, he tugged harder, wringing a low moan from her. The instant he heard it he stopped, turning his face to lavish the other breast with the same attention, while she ran her fingers through his thick dark hair, mindlessly holding his head pressed to her.

When she felt as if she would surely die of the pleasure, he suddenly braced his weight on his hands, lifting his chest away from her. Cold air against her heated skin, combined with the absence of his flesh against hers, pulled her partly from the mindless euphoria where he had taken her. Jenny dragged her eyes open and saw him hovering above her, his eyes hotly caressing her swollen breasts, their nipples proud and erect from his tongue and lips and teeth.

Panic—belated, lethargic—finally hit Jenny as the force of his demanding thighs sent desire spiraling up through her. He started to bend his head to her and, terrified that she had waited too long, she shook her head frantically. "Please," she gasped. But he was already lifting up, his body tensing, alert. A split second later, a guard called from outside the tent. "Your pardon, milord; the men have returned."

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Without a word, Royce rolled to his feet, swiftly adjusted his clothing, and stalked out of the tent. In a daze of suspended yearning and confusion, Jenny watched him go, and then sanity slowly returned. Shame raged through her as she looked down at her disarranged clothing and tugged it back into place, running a shaking hand through her wildly disordered hair. It would have been bad enough had he forced her to yield to him, but he hadn't. As if some spell had been cast over her, she had wantonly, willingly joined in her own seduction. The shock of what she had done—nearly done—made her body tremble, and when she tried to blame him, her conscience refused to let her.

Frantically she began to think of things she could say, or do, when he returned, for as naive as she was, she knew instinctively that he would want to take up where they had left off, and her heart began to pound in fear—not of him, but of herself.

The minutes passed and became an hour, and her fear turned to surprise, and finally—blessedly—to exhaustion. Curled up in the furs, her eyes drifted closed, then snapped open what must have been hours later to find him standing over her.

Warily, she searched his hard, implacable features, her sleep-drugged mind registering that the "lover" who had left the tent, looked no more eager to continue his seduction than she was to have it begin again.