Flame has become what she wanted to be, successful as an erotica writer. But now what she has chosen to become will be twisted by what she has been in a previous life, when the men who shaped her past merge with her present. Set in a fairytale Germanic castle, Flame's life and loves are going to take sudden twists and turns that leave her gasping. Should she choose the life she knows, or the past and the men she has forgotten?
"Sade? Is that you?" Flame was blinking hard. She was no longer held against him, but was sitting in a chair. He was kneeling in front of her, a concerned look on his too-handsome features.
"Are you all right?"
His voice resonated inside her and she felt lust and a serene sense of connection. "I think so. That is the first time I have ever daydreamed standing up. Sorry." Her hand touched her hair and she checked to see if it was out of place.
"It is fine. I was sneaking in here to ask you if you would like to learn how to ride?"
"I would love to, but I don't have anything to wear. These gowns aren't conducive to straddling a horse." The thought of straddling Sade ran through her mind and she flushed to her roots. It wasn't becoming with her red hair, but it was far too familiar lately.
He smiled wryly. "I have thought of that. I believe that these will fit." He handed her a wad of fabric.
She shook it out and found a long tunic and a split skirt.
"Try them on."
She looked at him blankly. "Here? Now?"
"Daemyn is keeping the castle a little tight. I had to sneak in here to see you today. He might notice if I loiter in the hall." A wicked light was dancing in his eyes.
She thought about it for another minute. "Fine. But turn your back. This isn't a peep show."
Sade nodded and stood to bow deeply to her. "As the lady wishes."
"Oh, Sadder, when have my wishes controlled your actions?" She was shifting the split skirt up under her gown and tying it into place. She glanced up and noticed his back stiffen to a flat panel of muscle.
"What did you just call me?"
"Sade." She paused for a minute "I think that's what I said. Wasn't it?" She was tying the sash to keep the skirt in place. She started to pull the gown over her head when he spoke again.
His voice was gruff, "Close enough. Are you done yet?"
"Almost. Give me a second." She whipped the dress off her head and grabbed for the tunic. It fought her every step of the way, but finally slid into position around her. The front placket had a drawstring closure and its scent marked it as belonging to Sade. "Your tunic, I presume?"
"Well, they didn't make them in a ladies' style back then. It was hard enough to convince a seamstress to make a skirt into a split so that you could ride." He turned and assessed the fit and coverage of her new garments. "Passable. Are you still wearing the boots you had this morning?"
She lifted the edge of her skirt to show him her boots. "They're not the same ones, but all safe and sound."
"Good. Now, let's go out the window."
"You sure know how to show a girl a good time."
* * * *
The horse he selected was not his stallion, Saber, but a gentle mare named Sophie. Sade was a thorough instructor. He gave her instruction on the girth, the saddle, the bridle and the reins. He had selected a western saddle so deep even she couldn't fall out of it.
Flame walked through procedure in a state of dj vu. She felt that she had done this before and this man had been with her. The horse didn't like her. She was fanatically devoted to Sade, following his every gesture with her attentive head. Sade held a lead rope and eventually she was confident enough to release the horn of the saddle and sit up straight. The shift of her weight put the seam of her split skirt firmly against her clit and after that, her mind went blank. Mechanically she followed Sade's instructions and was soon cantering around the stable yard. Her small frame was awash in the sensations caused by the unaccustomed friction between her thighs. Gasping with each thud of her crotch against the saddle, Flame's body was rapidly tightening with the anticipation of orgasm.
She was not a natural horsewoman, but she was getting the hang of it when she looked away from the horse's ears and saw Sade's knowing grin. It was enough to spill cold water on her rising arousal and cause her to draw Sophie to a halt. "That is enough for today." She was swinging her right leg free when hands gripped her waist to assist her. If she had known that Sade was going to be there, she never would have kicked her left foot free and directly into his groin. It was an accident. Really. "Oh, geez. I am so sorry. I wasn't expecting you to be there." Surprisingly, he didn't drop her on her ass.
He set her down very carefully. "It is understandable, I am sure." He articulated very well for a man speaking through clenched teeth. "Did you enjoy your lesson?"