Excerpt from PROMISES PREVAIL
Copyright © Sarah McCarty 2004
All rights reserved Ellora's Cave, Inc.
Clint’s lean, dark fingers went to the buttons on his white shirt.
“Tell me again, Jenna.”
The first button slipped its hole. His gaze dropped to her chest. The set of
his mouth went from serious to sensuous in the blink of an eye. She looked down.
Dear God, her breasts were exposed to the nipples! The heat started in her chest
and rose to her cheeks. Clint’s chuckle drifted through the quiet room.
When she looked back up, he was standing only two feet away, his legs slightly
spread, wide shoulders set in a clear challenge. The last button on his shirt
slipped free of its mooring. He hooked the shirttails behind his wrists, and put
his hands on his lean hips, exposing the hard, muscled expanse of his torso, and
the thick bulge of his cock as it stretched down his thigh beneath the worn material
of his denims. His drawl was deep, hoarse, persuasive.
“Tell me again, Sunshine.”
Jenna licked her dry lips and sought the courage to take him up on his dare.
She dawdled, looking up, her gaze slowly climbing the rock hard muscles slabbing
his stomach, riding the hills and valleys of his abdomen until she reached the
solid wall of his chest. The deep scars from where he was burned only accentuated
the power inherent in all of that dense muscle. She forced her gaze higher, lingering
at the hollow of his throat where the force of his pulse belied his easygoing
drawl. And ran out of courage.
“If I do, will you think me forward?”
He shrugged out of his shirt. It fell to the floor with a soft click of buttons
“Tell me and find out.”
She clenched her fingers in her gown, wrestling with the need to do as he wished,
and the rules she’d been raised with. “You’re not Jack.”
“You won’t trick me.”
He cocked his head as if considering that before admitting, “Only on
April Fools day, and only if you let me catch you napping.”
His hands went to the fastening of the denims riding low on his hips. He undid
the top two buttons, revealing the dark line of hair arrowing down from his navel.
Her mouth went dry even as the outrageous urge to run her tongue down the groove
of muscle slanting inward from his hipbone swept over her. To sink her teeth into
that red-brown flesh, to see if he tasted as good as she remembered. The bite
of pain in her palms alerted her to the fact that she was pulling her gown so
hard it was in danger of ripping. She gentled her hold and groped for reality.
“It’s my woman’s time.”
He shrugged, and the slightest hint of a smile touched his mouth. “So
The last button on his pants gave way. The thin line of hair broadened to a
thick patch as he spread the heavy material. Embarrassment choked her voice to
a whisper. “I’m dirty.”
His finger under her chin lifted her face. She wouldn’t, couldn’t
meet his eyes. “All your woman’s time means is that you’ll be
hotter, wetter, and be able to take me easier.”
His thumb brushed her lips. “And Sunshine?” The tap on her lips
was an order. She met his gaze, mortification burning her from the inside out.
“You couldn’t be dirty if you spent three days in a wallow.”
Whore. Filthy bitch. The words swarmed out of the past, striking her like blows.
She pulled her chin free and ducked her head. Strong hands on her arms lifted
her and tossed her up and back as a low masculine laugh surrounded her like a
hug. It happened so fast she didn’t have time to scream. The mattress cushioned
her landing. She clutched the front of her gown closed as she glared at Clint.
He stood at the foot of the bed, two hands on the edge of the mattress. One
knee firmly planted to the right of her foot. He leaned forward. His long black
hair swung forward, giving his already handsome face a primitive cast as he looked
up at her from under his brows. Laughter and lust shimmered about him in a seductive
combination. His shoulder muscles flexed in an intimidating display of power as
he rested his hands on the mattress on either side of her knees. “Tell me
She propped herself up on her elbows and crept back. He placed his knee on
the hem of her nightgown, holding her there as he put his other knee on the bed,
looming over her—dark and threatening.
“Tell me,” he ordered, his drawl as intent as his expression. Holding
her gaze, he lowered his head, smiling slightly as he nipped her thigh just at
her knee. It didn’t hurt, but caused all sorts of alarming sensations to
streak through her. She swallowed hard and tugged at the edge of her gown while
keeping one hand firmly clamped on the bodice. He smiled a purely predatory smile
and continued to advance.
Fear fought with a foreign skitter of excitement as the mattress dipped by
her hip and his head lowered again, this time letting her feel his teeth high
on the inside of her thigh. “Let go of the gown, Sunshine.”
She stopped tugging at the hem. She felt his smile against her thigh, a brief
relief from the pressure and then his teeth touched just to the inside of her
hipbone. “Let go with the other hand.”
She did, reluctantly. As if he sensed that she didn’t know what to do
with her hands when they weren’t protecting her modesty, he drawled, “Put
them over your head.”
She did, instinctively putting one inside the other. He moved again, enfolding
her wrists in his hand, pinning her arms to the mattress.
He held her captive, his big body trapping hers, his dark gaze holding hers.
He was above her. Around her. Every breath she took drew his familiar smoky scent
into her lungs, binding them further together until there wasn’t any distance
between them. Emotional or physical. She was his. In the eyes of God. In the eyes
of the law. In the depths of her soul.
She wasn’t surprised when he ignored the quavery question, but when he
dipped his head and nuzzled aside the lapels of her nightgown, she found her voice.
“What are you doing?”
“Clearing the way.”
The sin they preached against in church wasn’t as wicked as his expression.
“I agreed that I wouldn’t make love to you if you didn’t
want it during your woman’s time,” he finished for her.
“Than what are you doing?”
He kissed the valley between her breasts. His lips were firm and dry, his breath
moist, his evening whiskers a delicious rasp on the inside of her breasts. Her
nipples drew taut as he used his chin to fully expose her left breast.
“Making you want it.”