The following excerpt is unedited and may differ from the final format and/or published work.
His To Command
Book 1 Novella
of Self-Man Series
Originally Featured in Wanton Christmas Wishes
“Stay here, while I get the horse.”
John’s command wasn’t one she was about to disobey even if she wanted too. The snow engulfed him for a moment before he emerged from the white powder like a black knight leading his charger behind him. Without a word, he lifted her up onto the horse’s back. She was adjusting her seat on the mare when John tugged off one of her shoes and handed it to her, followed by the second.
“What are you doing?” she gasped.
“Your feet are soaked, aren’t they?”
It wasn’t so much a question as it was an exasperated chastisement. Before she could protest, John slid his hands up under her skirts and along her leg to undo her stocking. With the hosiery released from the garter clip, he proceeded to roll the silk hose down off her leg. The warmth of his hands spread heat across her skin, while butterflies fluttered rapidly inside her stomach. The wickedly delicious touch of his fingers on her bare skin sent a shiver through her.
“You’ll be warmer in a moment,” he said as he misinterpreted her tremor.
With one stocking off, he threw it over his shoulder and proceeded to remove her other one. As his fingers unsnapped the hosiery from her garter, the pads of his fingers left a trail of fire as he worked the stocking down off her leg. There was nothing seductive in John’s touch, but it singed her skin with a white-hot heat that sank its way down into her pores.
She wanted him to go on touching her this way. The warmth consuming her was enough to melt the snow falling down on her. Another tremor streaked through her, and John lifted his head to meet her gaze. The concern on his face quickly evaporated as he narrowed his eyes.
Charlotte jerked her gaze away from his. What on earth was the matter with her? She’d known John since she was five. He’d pulled her out of the pond near her father’s parish, and from that time forward, she’d followed him everywhere. When he’d grown older and gone away to school, she’d lived for the summers when he’d return. He was her best friend, and until this very moment, she’d never thought of him as anything else but that.
A warm hand grasped her ankle as John dried her foot with the top part of a stocking. Fire streaked up her leg and reached the apex of her thigh. Charlotte swallowed hard. She was accustomed to touching herself alone in her bed, but this was the first time she’d ever wanted a man to touch her there.
When John was satisfied her foot was dry, he performed the same ritual with her other one. Without a word, he pulled one of her shoes out of her hands and used the stockings to remove the snow and water from the ankle-high footwear. In a perfunctory manner, he slid the shoe onto her foot then repeated the action.
“There,” he muttered in an odd voice. “That will keep you dry until we get to the farm.”