Yerna Yatskievych left her humble beginnings on a poor farm to become one of the few female knights in Draconia. As a guard for the kingdom’s handsome younger prince, Yerna finds her role both wonderful and challenging. Of course, the prince is far above her reach, but a girl has to dream sometimes.
For Hazwell the Disposable, the trappings and perks of royalty hold little appeal. He wonders what will become of him when his older brother, Crown Prince Maximilian, becomes king. Now, with Max away, a few duties fall to Hazwell, revealing a life of which he will never have more than a tempting taste. But things start to go wrong when his young guard’s hesitant request to be relieved of a problem starts a chain of events with incinerating consequences. Then treachery and mischance bring about huge changes.
With this courageous young female knight at his side, Hazwell dares to reach and strive farther than he had ever dreamed, even to claiming an ancient family power and rising to incredible heights.
Yerna shook her head. “Once or twice a lad slobbered over my face, long ago, when I was barely entering into womanhood. It was not pleasant at all, nothing like this.”
She responded with a second shake of her head. “Nay, that was more than enough for me. I began to think the other girls touched in the head when they went on about the delights of their frolics with their beaux. Either something was very wrong with me or maybe they were just pulling my leg, taunting tomboy Yerna with what she was allegedly missing.”
Haz brushed his lips across her brow. “We’ll continue then and you can decide for yourself what the truth of the matter may be. First, you need to shed that shirt.”
He released her long enough to drag his own shirt over his head and toss it aside. For a moment she stood paralyzed but then at the sight of his beautiful bare torso, she cast caution to the winds and peeled her own shirt off, throwing it after his.
“I’m all over with sweat and dirt,” she apologized. “And I probably smell like a horse. I exercised my new mount before the morning meal.”
“That makes two of us,” Haz replied, “And I can guarantee we will both sweat more before we’re done with this deflowering you’ve requested. I intend to tup you thoroughly, and you’ll find it is not a neat and delicate bit of work. Have you not seen a cow with a bull or a mare with a stallion?”
This time her reply was a nod. “Aye, that I have. They tend to be noisy and a bit rough. You’ll not bite or paw me will you?”
“No, I’m gentler than that, I promise. At least none of my ladies have complained. I hope you’ll find no cause to either.”
Slowly and with stiff, awkward fingers, she reached to begin unwinding the linen band that flattened and protected her breasts. It seemed to take forever before she reached the final wrap and felt the air cool on her bared skin. Between the chill and the contrasting heat in Haz’s gaze, her nipples sprang pebble hard at once. If she could have fled at that instant, she might have done so but it felt as if her feet were glued to the floor.
Haz looked at her for what seemed forever. A slow smile spread across his face. “Yes, perfect! How could you imagine yourself to be inadequate in any way? You are beautiful!”
He reached then and slid the tips of his fingers slowly up her sides from her waist to just below her arms and then back down again. She shivered. The next pass his palms brushed the sides of her breasts, both ways. She sighed. And then almost before she knew what was happening, his firm hands cupped both breasts, lifting and gently squeezing. She sagged. He caught her then in his arms and drew her closer until skin met skin. Her sensitive nipples became aware of every silk-soft hair on his solid chest, and the rhythm of his heartbeat pulsed through her body.