In this edition of the NeverEnding Blog Tour,Daryl Devoré has their hot medieval romance, Branwyn’s Love.
The tale of a young woman sold as a courtesan in training. Branwyn arrives in a new land to begin daily lessons in the bewildering art of bedding a man.
The noblewoman chosen to be Prince Malacke’s bride rejects him by bedding his hated rival. Malacke turns his anger towards increasing the power and wealth of Black Dorn castle. And he succeeds until his attention is captured by the face of the woman who will be his queen.
“Excellent. Now we begin your first and most important lesson – tragor. In your language, it has many meanings. But I believe duty is a good word. Through your duty, you must submit. Submission is your tragor. Do you understand what that word means?”
“Yes, Duna Trea. I am a very obedient person. When my aunt or uncle requested I do something, I did it without question.”
“But yesterday I told you not to speak to anyone unless spoken to first, yet you disobeyed me. And did it to Gon-Dra Malacke.”
“I am sorry,” said Branwyn. “I was frightened and confused. I…I did not know who he was. But Leah explained these things to me.”
“So, do you state that you understand tragor?”
She closed her eyes and nodded.
“Then stand and remove your upper garments. Unlace your bodice, let it and your sleeves drop to your waist.”
With trembling fingers, Branwyn tried to comply, but the laces refused to undo.
Duna Trea waited while Branwyn fumbled with the laces. “Now your shift. Expose your body.”
Branwyn’s muscles stiffened. A chill swept through her. “But I will be naked! One should not expose one’s body to another. It is against the—”
A flash of anger filled Duna Trea’s eyes.
Remembering Leah’s instructing and her discomfort, Branwyn did not want to cause any more pain to her. Surely, Duna Trea knows it is wrong to expose oneself. She paused, hoping her duna would rescind the order.
“Tragor.” One anger-filled word hung in the room.
Eyes squeezed shut, and bottom lip trembling, she reached for the bow to loosen the front of her shift, tugged on the right sleeve and removed her right arm. She gripped the material in her underarm and lowered the left sleeve. Placing her arms in front of her breasts, hands clasped under her chin, she raised her elbows, letting the material drop.
“Lower your arms.”
Three simple words cut Branwyn like knives. She tried to drop her arms, but the muscles refused to obey. Tears slipped between closed lids and trickled down her cheeks.
With every muscle fibre fighting the motion, Branwyn lowered her arms but held her hands clasped before her.
“Place your hands behind your back. Complete exposure. Good girl. Now step this way.”
Duna Trea stood next to Malacke.
Wiping her eyes with the back of her hand, Branwyn stepped over and stood next to Trea. “Have you ever touched a man?”
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