Let’s turn up the heat a bit, shall we? In this excerpt from The Celtic Knot: Suit of Cups from Lyrical Press, our heroine goes a’traveling…astrally, of course.
…hibiscus blossoms, jasmine, rose petals, orange blossoms, mugwort…Lily mentally counted off the ingredients she needed. She put the herbs in the pan and covered them with water from the glass decanter on the windowsill, turning the heat on low. The mixture simmered as she shed her clothes on the way to run a hot bath.
Naked, she returned to the kitchen and took the fragrant mixture from the stove to the bathroom. Chanting under her breath, she poured the contents into the bathtub and lit the candles before easing into the steaming, perfumed water, then lay deep in silent concentration until the water cooled. After rising and drying off, she walked slowly back to the bedroom and fell back atop the sheets. She let her body relax, her eyes closing as she took a deep, cleansing breath. “Now,” Lily whispered, feeling her spirit lift, “take me to him.”
Her first impression was a dark and lush green forest, thick with trees. This can’t be right, she thought. Her eyes adjusted to the dark as a large bed with a lone, still figure lying on it swam into view. Lily moved closer for a better look, entranced by what she saw. Ian lay on his back, his long curls tangled in sensual disarray about his face and shoulders. His broad chest was bare, his lower body draped by the heavy cotton sheet. Awake, he was roguish in his charm, but asleep, his unlined face was almost boyish. Wide shoulders and long, muscular arms were bronzed from working outdoors. The slow rise and fall of his chest assured her he was sound asleep.
She moved closer and inhaled deeply, reveling in the heady combination of herbal soap and virile man. A bud of heat formed in her chest and spread like wildfire, across her stomach then straight down to between her thighs. She gave a whimper at the unfamiliar pulsation and his head tilted slightly toward her as if in response. Teasing the dark curls on his chest, she allowed her fingertips to trace the trail of fine hair leading down to the thick nest of amber curls peeking from the top of the emerald sheets.
If he were to move, I don’t think I could stand it, Lily thought, rather hoping he would. She touched him lightly on the cheek then slowly ran her right hand down his neck. He sighed and that small sound encouraged her to be bolder, feather her fingertips along his shoulder, his chest. His skin rippled with gooseflesh when she ran her hand down the thick cords of his abdomen toward the lighter skin now visible low on his hips. Her heart pounded so loudly she was certain it was going to wake him.
I sooo shouldn’t be doing this, she admonished herself, but her left hand had developed a mind of its own. It was busy running amok, gliding her fingers up the full length of his long leg, lingering on his muscular thigh.
“Lily…” Ian whispered and for the first time, Lily noticed the scarf he still held. She touched a fingertip to his lips and he gave it a soft kiss, melting her insides with his gentleness. He’s dreaming of me, she realized, her hand continuing on its path and coming to rest– completely by accident, she later assured herself–on the marble hardness beneath the sheet. They both inhaled sharply and Ian’s eyes flew open…
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