Caveat: This was my first attempt at a fully fleshed (so to speak) love scene, from years ago. This story — a medieval with slightly fantastical elements — has never been published, but it may someday emerge from beneath the bed. For now, though, the hero and heroine are clearly headed for bed.
Standing in the emptied tub Everard had used for his bath, Sylvie sluiced enough water over her skin to work up a lather with his discarded soap. It was too dear to waste, she told herself, she was being practical, but she closed her eyes to breathe in the masculine scent of sandalwood.
She crossed her arms over her breasts, skimmed her hands down over her elbows, crossing at her belly, down her thighs. His body, when she had touched him with soapy hands, had been all hard planes and ridged muscle. Where would her soft flesh fit against him?
A tautness at the core of her warmed at the thought. His tumescent manhood had risen toward her, beckoned her. Her gaze had touched but she had been fearful, had restrained her hands to those spans of skin above the lean stretch of his flanks.
She wished she had mustered the nerve for more than a quick peek.
As the memories assailed her, the soft sound of the door opening echoed. A cloth and timber partition screened the tub from the door but the shield would not protect her from anyone stepping too deeply into the chamber.
And she knew well enough whose steps they were.
“Come –” Her throat tightened to a squeak. “Come no farther. I am at my bath.
“My luck has turned.”
Everard. She would have known him without his speaking.
She shuttered her eyes even as she heard him step around the screen. And stop.
She felt every drop of water, ever collapsing bubble on her skin. For all the damp chill, her flesh was hot. Did steam rise from her skin? She could not open her eyes to discover the truth, because then she would see his dark eyes reflecting her nakedness, her arms draped at her sides, framing her body, while her fingers dug into her thighs.
She held her breath and listened, but heard nothing. Had he gone? No. Still there. She sensed him. To break the silence, she made the small noise he would not. Her sigh echoed in the room. He moved then. She felt him coming for her.
“I will wash you.” The deep tenor of his voice expanded in her chest, made her heart treble its beat to fill the space. “A fair trade for my bath yesterday.”
That edge in his words… Did he tease? Or warn. Either way, her feet were rooted in a scant toe’s depth of water. Oh, why had she carried up only two buckets when she might have immersed herself now to escape his perusal. Her skin prickled and not from cool brush of air on her naked skin.
She strained to hear his step, knew she was being stalked. Each heartbeat that he did not touch her, her muscles, her skin, her breath tightened by excruciating degrees.
She edged one hand to cover her breasts, full and tender against her arm. With the other hand, she shielded the curls at the juncture of her thighs. From just behind her, she heard Everard loose a soft breath of laughter. So close he stood. The fine hairs at the back of her neck crested.
“Shall I wash your hair as well?” His low voice thrilled through her like a gust of wind lifted dandelion seeds to the sun.
His fingers pressed against her crown, releasing the braids pinned atop. He raked his fingers through her hair, from crown to temple to the sensitive skin behind her ears. She trembled. Had anyone ever touched her there? His touch was gentle as her own furrowing through freshly seeded soil. Her body warmed with heavy ripeness. What was he seeding in her?
Slowly, he untangled the tresses to lay over her shoulders. His hands smoothed against her back, pressing the ripples from her braids, skin to skin but for the veil of her hair. Her breath caught, stuttered, then matched time with his.
Without doubt, she had never been touched like this.
“Step back toward me.” His tone. “And keep your eyes closed.”
Glad of her resolute blindness, she leaned willingly into his hands.
The warm fragrance of sandalwood engulfed her and she heard the soft suction of the soap bar in Everard’s hands.
Then his hands were on her.
The lather skimmed flesh over flesh, up her spine and over her shoulders and down through her hair. She struggled for a moment to stiffen against the molding of his hands. Then she gave herself over to the rhythm, breathing with each stroke until a fire stoked inside her.
She could not restrain a little groan. Her hand covering her breasts dropped to her side.
He caught her back against his chest. His soapy fingers skimmed down over the tops of her breasts, and her unease returned three-fold. She started, pulling forward away from him.
His hands, riding a film of soap, slipped down. She gasped at the passing friction over her nipples, taut and expectant beyond her ken.
In a heartbeat, her languor and tension melded, fused by the heat of his hands. He followed her forward, his chest against her back. His palms skimmed lower, along the ridge of her hips, her thighs. The long muscles there leapt to his command, and she dragged in a shuddering breath that fed the heat within her.
She gave herself over to the dream.
Discussion question: How much did you cringe when you read “tumescent manhood”?