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Carys held her breath as her secret lover entered the sparkling waterfall, buried deep within the leafy shadows of the forest.
She pressed her fingers against the rough bark of the tree, and inched a little farther along the branch where she lay hidden from his sight.
From this angle she had a perfect view of his magnificent naked body. Even from this distance she could see the numerous battle scars that marred his tawny skin, but they marked him as a warrior. A hero who faced death without reservation and emerged triumphant.
He was the enemy of her people. And yet she couldn’t tear her fascinated gaze from him.
They had never met. They would never meet. Such a catastrophe didn’t bear thinking about. Yet she thought of this tough, brutal warrior constantly. Ever since she had first stumbled across his irregular bathing ritual three moons ago.
He turned within the shimmering rainbows of the waterfall, fingers raking through his short black hair. Carys released her breath in a shaky gasp and her body moved restlessly against her perilous ledge. The men of Cymru had long, flowing hair. How would it feel to touch such severely cropped hair? Sharp, like the points of reeds? Or—not? She couldn’t imagine. And yet she imagined endlessly.
His hands massaged his broad shoulders, and Carys’s fingers dug into woody crevices as she fantasized rubbing her own fingers over his knotted muscles. It had been fifteen days since he had last been to the waterfall. She knew because she had waited here, each morning.
But the wait had been worth it, and her imagination hadn’t enhanced his powerful muscles, his commanding height or his dark, exotic beauty. Her breath shortened as her heart rate accelerated, and her thighs tightened around the branch in reaction.
Slowly his hands slid over wet skin, fingers trailing through the sprinkling of dark hair that dusted his impressive chest. Lightning flickered in the pit of her stomach, and instinctively she rubbed her pussy against the abrasive bark.
Her only lover, whose possessive grip she had finally escaped three years ago, possessed no body hair aside from on his head. How would it feel to press against a masculine form so unlike any she had previously seen?
The tip of her tongue slid over her lips as her secret lover sluiced water over his rigid stomach. And then his fingers curled around his semi-aroused cock.
Carys stretched to the very edge of her branch, risking safety and the threat of discovery, but temptation was too great. She had seen naked men without number in her life, knew how insanely proud males were of their treasures, but she had never been impressed by that part of the human body before.
Not even her ex-lover’s. Especially not her ex-lover’s. And yet this man’s cock, this man who would murder her without compunction if he knew who she was, held fascination beyond reason.
His fingers slid over his cock, squeezing the dark head, and without conscious thought Carys’s hand slipped between her thighs. Sweet Cerridwen, she had never wanted a man so much as she wanted this one. But she knew better than to ask her goddess to intervene, for intervention would cause untold suffering to her people.
But still, she wanted this man. With all that she was.
Even through the soft wool of her gown, her throbbing clit reacted instantly to the pressure of her finger. She sighed, and her eyelashes flickered as her hips ground against her finger, against the roughness of the tree. She imagined her Roman conqueror touching her there, spearing his finger into her wet slit, and tremors burned through her womb, tightening her muscles, spiraling through her innermost channel.
She rubbed her breasts, heavy with arousal, against the bark, and imagined his hands cupped her. Squeezed her. Pinched her nipples between his calloused fingers. Rough, battle-forged fingers. How different would they feel from the smooth hands of her previous lover?
She imagined him ripping her gown from her body, until she was naked before him. Could feel the heat of him as he loomed over her. See his eyes—she longed to see the color of his eyes—and if she lifted her hand, she could run her fingers through his short, military hair.
Her heart pummeled against her crushed ribs, blood pounded against her throbbing temples, and her wet clit ached for release against her massaging finger.
He would spread her legs. And then surge into her with his magnificent, massive cock, and she would come, as the great goddess decreed, until the stars in the heavens cascaded through her sated soul, leaving a shimmering waterfall of rainbow lights forevermore.
Hot, liquid heat flooded her pussy, and she bit down hard on her lower lip to stop from crying out. Her fantasy lover satisfied her in ways she had barely before envisaged. As her heart gradually eased its frantic beat and her breath slowed, she knew it was best he remained merely a fantasy. Reality could never compare to the joy she experienced in his arms, while safely cocooned within her mind. In her fantasy, she could orgasm. In reality, with a man, she never could.
She became aware of the sharp edges of the bark scratching her face and struggled to raise her head. A stab of disappointment, as sharp as a Druid’s blade, sliced through her heart.
Her secret lover had vanished from beneath the waterfall.
She inched back along the branch until she was once again safely against the trunk of the tree. It was of no matter. Perhaps he would bathe again tomorrow, and she would be here waiting for him. Or perhaps she would have to wait another moon. There was no method to his visits as far as she could discern, and for all she knew he might never pass this way again. But she didn’t want to think about that.
She was simply going to enjoy every illicit moment she could.
Carefully she climbed back to the ground, her limbs still shaky and filled with remnants of desire. But as her feet touched the leaf-strewn ground, trepidation raced along her spine, crawled across the back of her neck, and sent shivers coursing along her arms.
She was no longer alone.
The trepidation mutated into stark terror. She had trespassed into occupied territory, and the enemy had found her. Stealthily she wrapped her fingers around the dagger strapped to her waist.
She might be imagining it. But she wasn’t an acolyte of the wise goddess Cerridwen for nothing. The Roman stood behind her, and was moments from slaughtering her.
And it was her own fault for not being more careful.
But she wouldn’t show any fear. Wouldn’t divulge any information, no matter how he tortured her. And besides, it was always possible her dagger would pierce his corrupt heart with her first thrust. She knew she wouldn’t be given the chance of a second.