Arianna was the first to notice something was awry when she saw only two horses tied up as they approached. She spotted Seraphim waiting patiently and then glanced to Stefan who had already begun mounting his steed. So… Her eyes turned to Alaric’s displeased face.
The handsome Man at Arms put his hands on his lean hips and cursed a blue streak in his head. Those troublemaking brats! What was he to do now? Twould take him until dark to walk back.
Arianna swung onto her mount and looked down at him, a smile playing about her luscious mouth. “It appears you require a ride,” she announced jovially.
Erik must have shared her secret with Ryland and the two of them had chosen to help her. Who knew they would be so supportive, or inventive about it? She held out a hand in assistance.
Alaric looked between his brother and the alluring minx and felt torn.
Stefan, watching him, sighed as he forced his brother to seize the opportunity before him. “Do not look to me. I am not snuggling up with you on a horse,” he declared plainly, “twould not be fair to the poor beast, nor me.”
Alaric’s light eyes swept back to her and he swallowed. Twas going to be a disaster! Wordlessly, he approached her horse and ignoring her proffered hand, gripped the saddle and swung up behind her.
Her small gasp covered his low groan as their bodies were pressed together intimately, their nerves springing wildly to life. He closed his eyes and clenched his jaw as he adjusted himself slightly, trying his damnedest to ignore the soft sensual feel of her.
Arianna felt like she might simply pass out. Her whole body was aflame with tingles and heat, and her head was buzzing strangely. When he moved, she felt clearly the corded muscles of his thighs and the solid bulge of his loins cradling her backside and her stomach knotted almost painfully.
“I—” his deep voice sounded so close to her ear. “Where do you want my hands, M’Lady?” he asked uncomfortably.
Arianna was having trouble breathing. She had the oddest urge to tell him to put them wherever he wanted. Attempting unsuccessfully to clear her suddenly dry throat, she forced out. “Hold onto me.”
He was only doing as he was told, Alaric told himself as his hands moved to grasp her curved hips. Unable to stop himself, he squeezed lightly, testing the firmness of her young flesh before sliding his palms up and around her tiny waist. Ooooh…she felt so arousing!
“Are you two coming?” Stefan called impatiently, an uncharacteristic frown on his face.
Trying to clear her head, Arianna nodded and then pulled her horse around. She had never been so close to a hot virile male body and every breath he took, every movement of his muscles sent a sharp shockwave through her. Twas the nicest present her brothers had ever given her!
When his long hard fingers began an absent stroking motion, she inhaled on a shaky breath, feeling as if she was in a dream.
Alaric breathed in her light rose scent and tried to stop the movement of his hands, but he simply could not. They itched to run up and over her lush sweet body, to enflame her with desire for him. Letting his eyes peruse the creamy swells of her breasts over her shoulder, he splayed one hand wide over her belly and felt her muscles jerk. She was as aware of him as he was of her. The knowledge made him feel confident and bold. He was in charge of this situation if he wanted to be.
He slowly constricted his fingers, enjoying her light gasp and his hot breath blew deliberately toward her ear as nasty erotic thoughts raced through his mind. He wanted to reach up and fondle her plump young breasts, massage them until she moaned with pleasure and begged him for more. He could pull her skirts up and feel the soft flower at the juncture of her thighs, mayhap even take her right on the horse if he was inventive enough…
His hands curled into fists as he fought for control. He had to stop this before something stupid happened. She was so damn dangerous! He had to get out of there—fast.
Stefan could not help but notice the thick silent tension between his two companions and he sighed inside. Why could the twins not have stolen his horse?
As the threesome reached the stables, Stefan intended to make himself scarce, giving his brother room to make a move but Alaric gave him no chance to be so selfless. Before the stable hand could even approach, he extracted himself from the saddle, leapt down and quickly strode toward the keep without saying a word to either of them.
It took Alaric exactly ten minutes to find Netta, and only another five to get her back to his room. He looked into the girl’s dark brown eyes seeing only a dazzling spectacular blue and he lost himself in it.
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