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Seven paragraphs from my new release “If I Were Fire” from Dreamspinner Press:
The further they got from the potent heat of the kiss between them, the better. He had prayed to the icon for the strength to lock his feelings away from the light of day. They had slipped out, only a little, when the conte had mistakenly kissed him on the mouth. Amadeo had wanted to deepen that kiss, to allow the conte the access to his body he had given his friends, but the strength of the emotion behind those desires had frightened him. He had so much to lose if he pushed his relationship with the conte in the wrong-headed direction.
Yet he’d lost the one thing that gave him the strength to do so. He’d been praying to the unknown Saint or Angel that lay beneath the centuries of grime for strength against gambling and his lust for the conte. Without the little icon to keep his thoughts away from the conte’s bed, he only had himself to rely on now.
He had seduced men for a whim, on a bet, for the game of it at the urging of his friends. His desire for the conte was deeper than that and made his heart ache. The conte’s kiss, a hint of sweet grappa and heat, could not be the invitation he wanted to believe it was, could it? The conte’s heavy hand on his shoulder would not have slipped along his throat, gripped and caressed the hot skin behind his neck for more…. Amadeo blushed even as the celebration carried him toward the place they had their midday meal. His heart had rushed to embrace the desire that had flashed between them, though caution still held him back at the last moment. The conte must think he would not welcome his embrace. And he shouldn’t! Bad luck followed Amadeo everywhere.
Friendly shoves pushed him into a seat at the table; a woman poured wine into a cup and placed it into his hands with a kiss. Well, he should be glad the little icon with its glimmer of gilt under the darkness of the ages had saved them, and he was. When he’d found it while cleaning out the hayloft to make a place for himself, he’d almost thrown it into the trash heap. Saint Catherine had held back his hand when a flash of gilt had caught his eye. A little spit and a rough rag had shown him the angelic face beneath.
Amadeo looked to the conte, now flushed and happy, his expressive hazel eyes glowing with jubilation when his gaze found Amadeo’s. The conte never wore a wig, and his dark brown hair was loose and flowing around the good, strong bones of his face. In a linen shirt with the sleeves rolled up over his muscular forearms and long, patched waistcoat, he appeared a fine figure of a man. Robust, hearty, and browned by the loving sun. The worry that had filled his eyes in the past few weeks had vanished, replaced with happiness.
If they had met under different circumstances, a tavern or gambling tent, Amadeo would not have hesitated. Longing was not an emotion he was accustomed to, for he had given in to his body’s demands as it suited him in the past. He might have made his intentions and desires known with a glance, a brush of his hand against Salvesto’s hip, a well-practiced smile. A whisper in the shadows, a more demanding caress, and a lingering touch beneath the conte’s waistband. From there, he would let the conte lead—pushing him to his knees or onto a bed, tearing at his clothing with urgent need.
“Oh, Mother of God.” Amadeo moaned, dropping his head into his hands. Perhaps it was to Mary Magdalene he should pray. After having discarded his tattered waistcoat, he untucked the worn shirt from his breeches to cover his rampant cockstand.
Dreamspinner Press: http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=6854
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