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A Lady’s Choice – ebook

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A Lady’s Choice by Parker Daniels

Medieval Romance. With her father away on the king’s business, Lady Brianna has begun to feel like a stranger in her own home. Her aunt turned step-mother, the Lady Joanna, has done more than just manipulate her way into the lord’s bed. With the aid of her son Derrick, Joanna has plotted to rid Castle Densmore of its true heir so that she alone can rule. But Brianna has no intention of surrendering her ancestral home. She plans to fight back. Fleeing Densmore in the middle of the night, Brianna seeks an audience with King Edward at his legendary court in Westminster. While there, she manages to catch the attention of the fearsome Garek Mortain, a knight whose skills are just as renowned in the bed chamber as they are on the battlefield. Enthralled by the beautiful Brianna, the handsome knight offers to help champion the lady – but at a price. His help for her hand. A steep cost for sure, but it is one that the lady finds herself more than tempted to pay! Male domination and controlfemale surrender and obedience plus, torrid, sometimes dirty graphic sex, and HEA.

Artist Credit

Cover Art © Provided by Author

ISBN

978-1-959117-05-6

Page Count

161

Publish Date

10/14/2022

Word Count

85597

Excerpt

“Lord Garek requests to see you immediately in his chambers,” the boy impatiently relayed. “And I’ve been instructed to take you there myself.”

Brianna didn’t have time to argue the summons. The boy took her hand before she could say anything. She hardly had a chance to excuse herself from the queen’s presence before she was dragged down the steps and out towards the tented pavilion.

The squire gave no thought to his tugging and pulling upon her person as he dragged her through the crowd. Brianna imagined she was going to be rather sore on the morrow if the boy did not let up his tight grasp. Roughly he escorted her past the many assembled groups of onlookers and through a maze of tents. When they reached one rather large and colorful tent, he stopped.

“This is it,” Thomas said, then disappeared back into the crowd.

Rubbing her aching shoulder, Brianna stood there like a fool. What was she supposed to be doing here, she wondered? Not knowing whether to knock, or where for that matter, she simply opened the cloth flap and entered.

To her absolute shock, Brianna walked in on the man in total undress. Standing behind a large tub, there was Lord Garek Mortain, absently testing his bathwater for readiness. And he was completely naked.

“I was waiting for you, milady,” he uttered thickly, unmindful of his nudity. Clutching a wine goblet in his left hand, he offered her one with his right. “Won’t you join me?” he begged with a seductive smile.

Brianna was speechless. She didn’t know what to say. Gaping openmouthed at his naked chest, she stared fixedly at the lord. His skin was golden brown, telling of the many hours he’d spent working out of doors. This also explained his hardened physique. His muscles bulged and strained with his every movement. The tub was the only thing protecting his nudity from being completely exposed to her curious gaze.

Chuckling, Garek stepped to the side of the massive bathing vessel. “Do I disappoint you, milady?”

Letting out her pent-up breath, Brianna ignored the comment. The man wasn’t completely naked after all. She could see now that he wore a towel about his waist, slung low around his hips, sheltering her gaze from his nether parts.

Deciding she wasn’t going to allow the knight his fun at her expense, Brianna donned a flat expression. “You sent for me, milord?”

Crossing over to the lady, Garek handed her a cup of wine. “Please, drink,” he offered.

Not caring for a drink, Brianna refused the cup and set it aside. “Milord,” she prompted, wanting to get this audience over and done with, “the queen will be expecting me soon.”

A single eyebrow rose haughtily at her comment. “Have you no time for a knight who boldly carried your favor into battle, and was, by the grace of God, victorious?”

Rolling her eyes heavenward, Brianna counted the names of saints to calm her roiling temper. “Milord, I would hardly call what I just witnessed a “battle”. Surely there was never a doubt in anyone’s mind that you would win.”

This statement pleased Garek. The lady considered him superior in strength to Lord Talbot, making his chest swell with pride. “Would you refuse me this one request of a simple drink? Surely the queen would want you to congratulate your champion.”

Her concentration wavered when the lord leaned over to pick up the cup she had set aside. His body was so close to hers that she could feel the heat rising off of him. The tent began to close in on her, and her head started to spin. She could smell his scent, which was earthy and alluring. It reminded her of a mixture of leather, horses, and fresh morning air.

“Milord, I really must be going,” she tried, but it was no use, he wasn’t going to let her leave that easily.

“One drink. That is all I ask from the lady who lent me her favor to take into battle,” he bartered artfully.

“Fine,” Brianna relented. “I will have this one drink with you then I shall be on my way.” Swallowing the contents of her cup in just a few long sips, she almost choked on the fiery potency of the liquid.

Grinning, Garek took the lady’s cup and refilled it. “Tis strong, I know,” he said. “The Portuguese like their wines thusly.”

The room seemed to spin more aggressively now. “I think perhaps I should leave,” she stated weakly, but instead took a seat, finding her legs reluctant to respond to her request. Even though the day was yet early, she’d already felt as though she’d lived three in its stead.

Handing the lady her second refreshment, the knight moved about the tent purposefully. While he did so, Brianna snuck furtive glances at him. He was surely the most perfect man God had ever fashioned. Of course, she had never seen another man thusly. But somehow, she knew it to be true. Sipping absently on the powerful but delightful wine, her surroundings began to come back into focus.

“Milord, this really isn’t appropriate,” Brianna spoke, her words coming out a bit slower.

Garek stood before her now, finishing the wine in his drinking vessel. “I assure you, milady, tis completely harmless.”

The word harmless was a terrible description of the knight. Her inhabitations loosened by the wine, Brianna found herself studying the man quite openly now. No, harmless was definitely not an apt description of the man at all. Dangerous suited him better. His nearly naked body should have frightened Brianna. But instead, it thrilled her to the core. It began to make her think of the way he’d wrapped her in his arms and crushed her beneath the weight of his massive body. Brianna wanted that again, she realized with a start. She wanted that and more.

Garek saw the way the lady was appraising him. Her open desire inflamed his own. She was just so damned enticing. Her striking violet eyes, staring so boldly at his person, and her thick black hair tumbling in loose waves down her back, created the very image of a mythical Greek siren. Several of those strands lay temptingly across her bodice. Garek wanted nothing more than to run them through his fingers while he explored the creamy globes they were currently caressing. The very thought caused the fabric of the towel to grow increasingly tighter around his groin.

Standing, Brianna wobbled on her feet. That wine had been much stronger than she’d thought! “I must be going,” she excused, tripping over something as she made to exit the tent.

Cursing quite colorfully, Brianna rubbed at the throbbing pain in her ankle. Of all the luck, she thought wretchedly. Why, if there was one blasted pebble in a perfectly flat meadow, she would, without a doubt, find it and trip over the damned thing!

Frowning, Garek bent down to examine the girl. “Let me see,” he spoke authoritatively.

“No, really, tis fine,” she refuted, not wanting the man to touch her. She knew what happened when he touched her, and she couldn’t take the chance of it occurring here in the privacy of his tent.

“Don’t be ridiculous,” Garek spoke, catching her small boot between his large hands. Lifting the hem of her skirt, his fingers began to prod her ankle to see if any damage had been done.

“I’m fine, milord,” Brianna announced, trying to cover her bare legs. “Twas just an oversight on my part.” The words sounded foreign to her ears now, as though they had strangely taken on a bit of a husky tone.

Massaging the area expertly, Garek moved his fingers in semicircles to ease the stiffness there. He wished he could have done the same for his own aches. There was only one thing that could ease that pain though, and the thought of it only increased his discomfort. His hands began to slide up the lady’s ankle to her calf. When she did not protest, he continued upward.

“Surely your hands were fashioned for such pleasures, milord,” Brianna spoke before she could monitor herself. She blamed the wine for that.

“Garek,” he spoke, prompting her to use his name. She had yet to utter it, but he desperately wanted to hear it slide off her tongue.

Misunderstanding, Brianna frowned. “I know what your name is,” she returned, then began to giggle when she remembered that she had only just discovered it this afternoon.

The sound of her laughter was like an aphrodisiac to Garek, and he wanted more. “No,” he clarified. “I want you to call me Garek.”

“Well, that is your name, isn’t it?” Brianna teased. “What else would I call you?” The irony of the situation caused her to break into another fit of humor. Whatever had come over her? She was lying on her back, propped upon her elbows, while a nearly naked man was fondling her nearly naked legs. The thought of how indecent she was behaving caused her to laugh all over again.

“What is so funny, milady,” Garek posed, amused by her lightheartedness.

“Brianna,” she returned cheekily.

Catching her jest, Garek smiled. “What is so funny, Bri,” he intimately returned.

His magical hands were just above her knees now, and Brianna wasn’t laughing anymore. Her breathing was becoming a bit heavier, and her gaze less focused. This time, she could not blame her reaction on the wine! She let out a soft moan when Garek reached her inner thigh, not realizing how far out of hand things had gotten until his fingers had brushed against that sensitive juncture.

Meaning to remove herself from this precarious position, Brianna gripped Garek’s arm to stop his lovely administrations. Instead, she managed to lock eyes with the knight. It did not take long for the lord to act. His lips were upon hers in seconds.

All thoughts of retreat dissolved from Brianna’s head when Garek touched her. His mouth slanted over hers so deliciously that it made her shiver despite the late afternoon heat of the enclosed tent. His kiss was firm yet teasing, and she couldn’t get enough of it. His tongue, which slipped in and out of her mouth with such skill, suggested that he wanted something more from her. Brianna answered those demands with some of her own.

Their bodies knit together perfectly. Rubbing against her, she could feel the man’s hard desire insistent upon her thigh. His towel was still clinging to his chiseled hips, though just barely, and Brianna wished it would fall away so that she could see all of him.

Garek was panting now, his need was so great. Hiking up the lady’s skirt, he kneaded the warm flesh of her thighs. “You drive me to madness, Bri,” he breathed into her ear, branding her there with the hot wetness of his tongue.

Having effectively undone the ties at her bodice, Garek tugged the garment low enough for his hands to begin rubbing and teasing her fully aroused nipples. Lowering his mouth to the ripe pair, he laved them adoringly, her sharp intake of breath heralding her great pleasure and spurring him onward.

Winding her fingers in his hair, Brianna bucked passionately against the knight’s administrations. She had never felt anything so intoxicating before, and she wanted more. The soft whimper that escaped her lips brought the man back to her awaiting mouth, their tongues once again mating furiously.

Garek’s hips began to mime his desire and Brianna soon picked up his rhythm. His hand found its way down her chest and between her legs. Slowly at first, he pressed against the delicate folds there. Encouraged by her slick heat, he began to insert a single finger.

Brianna knew she should stop this, but she couldn’t bring herself to slap his hand away. The knight’s pace soon accelerated, and she found herself rocking her body to the tempo he had set. Wanting to caress his sex the way he did hers, Brianna’s hand slipped under his towel and between his legs. Shyly, she began to stroke the inside of his thigh.

Garek growled his pleasure. “Not yet, my love,” he gasped, as her delicate hand brushed his sensitive shaft. If he allowed her to fondle him now, he surely would cast his seed before he could plant it.

Opening her violet eyes, Brianna licked her lips. “But I want to touch you as you do me,” she pleaded, her body flushed a pretty pink in her state of heightened arousal. Saying this, she arched sensually against him. “Please, Garek,” she begged, “I want to see and feel all of you!”

White, hot passion seared through his body with her words. It was so heady that he could barely breathe. He had never wanted a woman as badly as he did this lady beneath him. “You make me so hot, Bri,” he charged, his words thick with lust.

Garek’s mouth devoured hers as he settled himself between her legs. The towel that had been perched precariously upon his hips finally gave way. It was then that Brianna saw it. The shock of what she was viewing jarred her to reality. Her eyes grew large and round. It was huge! She had never seen anything like it before. Surely that thing would kill her if she got any nearer to it.

Garek sensed her dramatic change in mood immediately. He fast realized what had happened, and berated himself for not being more careful with such an innocent. Before he could soothe her maidenly fears though, voices sounded outside his tent.

Thomas was the first to barge into the chamber. At this intrusion, Garek nimbly covered himself and quickly righted Brianna’s bodice. He could skin the lad alive for his bad timing. Later, when they were alone, he would make sure to discuss with the boy the virtues of respect and the necessity of making one’s presence known. It was a lesson his squire would never forget!

Brianna wrenched down her skirt. Peering up to see who had caught them thusly, she was for a second time that day rendered speechless.

To her horror, there stood her best friend Daphne Howard. The girl presently wore the most devilish grin upon her lovely face.

With a smile that spread from ear to ear, the girl asked, “Am I interrupting something, Lady Montgomery?”

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