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A Tale from the Order of the Dragon Knights
Irish warrior, Desmond O’Quinlan has never surrendered his heart to any woman. He has no wish to have his soul tortured by love. Yet, the moment he locks gazes with Ailsa, his fate is destined for an adventure he never fathomed. He may have battled alongside a Dragon Knight, but his greatest challenge will come from within his own heart.
Ailsa MacDuff, a warrior among her clan, has no desire to have a man chain her to a life of obedience. However, that is before she meets Desmond. The temptation to allow this warrior inside her heart is a risk she dares to take, but one that could lead to a future of emptiness and sorrow.
When betrayal looms from within, the battleground of love is no match for these two warriors. Can the power of a Highland full moon be strong enough to unite or destroy them?
Page Count: 232
Word Count: 54205
Shaking his head, he pushed open the massive oak door. Brittle air slapped at his face while they made their way up along the wall.
“’Tis cold,” she muttered, but chuckled softly and hugged his arm. “But ye are warm.”
“We shall not tarry long,” he assured her and placed a warm hand over hers.
“Oh, sweet Goddess. Look at the moon, Desmond. Her light shimmers over the water. I have now witnessed the charm of the loch in sunlight and moonlight. Though our rivers are stunning on their own, they cannae rival this view. As I have told ye, our island is shrouded in mists, so ye cannae see verra far out into the sea.”
Desmond’s focus was not on the moon, but the beauty standing beside him. To take what he dared not possess. He marveled at her delight of the striking scene.
Ailsa turned toward him. “Thank ye, Desmond, truly.”
Her nearness was overpowering, seducing him in a way he had never known. Desmond cupped her chin. Her eyes widened, and her lips parted in invitation. Moonlight and lust danced within her eyes. No longer did he battle with his mind and body, and he slowly lowered his head.
And under the silent whisper of a full moon, Desmond captured her soft lips within his own. He could taste her sweetness mixed with the wine, and desire shot through his veins. His hands shook as he placed them securely on her waist. As he deepened the kiss, she placed her hands around his neck. Desmond groaned, crushing her body against him.
When his tongue sought hers, she drew back, breathing heavily.
He released his hold. “I am—”
Ailsa placed a finger to his lips. “Nae. Teach me how to kiss.”
Desmond’s groin tightened in pain. “Ye have never been kissed?”
“Stolen kisses when I was a young lass, but nae. Not from a man.”
He slowly backed her up against the wall. “Then let me show ye how a kiss can burn the blood in your body.” Desmond traced a finger down the side of her neck. “And how a touch can send tremors coursing through your skin.” He traced a path over her bottom lip with his thumb, and she trembled under his touch. “Are ye sure ye want to learn?”
Ailsa’s chest rose and fell with each breath she took. “Aye,” she reassured him, placing her fingers into his hair.
In that moment, Desmond lost himself with her touch, and he let out a low growl. Capturing her mouth once again, he feasted lightly on her satin lips. Her mouth tasted divine—spices, wine, and her own sweet scent. Giving his hunger free rein, he eased his tongue into the soft heat of her mouth and teased her. Soon, she was playing the dance of desire with her tongue, and he groaned.
He deepened the kiss, and his hand trailed a path over the top of her breast. Her skin was smooth to his touch. Ailsa moaned, and Desmond allowed his fingers to move from the softness of her skin to the material that covered her taut nipple. When he pinched the bud, she whimpered. Drawing her closer, he slanted his mouth to take more of her full lips, his senses spiraling out of control.
Breaking free from her lips, he teased a path down her neck. “Ye smell so verra good,” he rasped out.
“More,” she urged, surprising him by cupping his face and kissing him with reckless abandon. Desmond allowed her to take the lead, even as his hands roamed down along her waist, longing to strip the gown free from her body.