Okay, it's finally been approved by those in power, and I'm now free to post it. Voila!
<===Lianon, drool, drool.
<===Kaela, mmmm, yummy....
<===Gil, oh swoon!
Told you all it was smokin' hot!
To celebrate this auspicious occasion, I shall treat you all to a snippet. A wee one, mind, with no actual smexing, because despite my delight over this wonderful cover, I am feeling a tad contrary today. And although my mood has nothing to do with you guys, I have no qualms about taking it out on everyone, lol!
Kaela sat huddled in the water, hugging her up-drawn knees. She looked so fragile, so lost, it made Lianon’s heart ache. “Let me help you with your hair?”
Lianon knelt beside the tub, just at Kaela’s shoulder. Reaching for the ewer, she filled it with steaming bathwater and poured it over Kaela’s unbound hair. The heavy black curtain plastered itself to her shoulders and back.
“Lean your head back.”
Kaela’s neck arched, the fine cords standing out. Her collarbones jutted, and Lianon imagined her mouth on them, her tongue dipping into the hollows. The girl’s knees were pressed tight against her breasts, but that only enhanced her cleavage. Lianon felt a familiar heaviness settle between her legs, but forced her eyes from the sight, and her mind from thoughts she knew Kaela would not be ready to acknowledge.
Gingerly, taking care not to startle her, Lianon washed Kaela’s hair and back, her hands skimming gently over the marks of her experience with sur-Marus. As she worked, the girl began at last to relax. The cooling water raised gooseflesh on the parts of her above the surface, and she hunkered deeper down. When Lianon finished with her hair, Kaela lay back, closing her eyes and resting the base of her skull on the contoured edge of the tub. Her crossed arms covered her breasts, but one pink nipple peeked from the crook of her elbow. Lianon’s eyes fastened on it as her belly coiled and tightened.
Gods, what was she doing? Her feelings were premature, to say the least. Even if she was able to guide Kaela toward an acceptance of her body and her sexuality, even if she helped her get past the rape, there was no guarantee that the girl would be remotely interested in any kind of liaison with another woman. If Lianon wasn’t careful, she’d end up with a broken heart.
“Hungry?” Lianon asked, flinching inwardly as her body responded involuntarily to the subtext of the word. Gods, she was hungry. Ravenous.
“Mmm,” Kaela sighed, smiling. “Starving.”
Lianon grabbed the tray and headed into the main room, where padded chairs and a settee would offer more comfort than the kitchen, and where there was no beautiful, naked woman in a bathtub to tempt her. She set their meal down on the low table and continued on into Kaela’s room. “I’ll bring you your shift and robe,” she called over her shoulder.
When she returned to the kitchen, it was to see Kaela wrapped in linen, one foot propped on a chair, drying her calf with a corner of the towel. Her limbs were displayed in all their contoured glory, her sleek, black hair seeming to caress her shoulders and upper arms. As Lianon stood there, transfixed with desire, the towel slipped loose and Kaela scrambled to retrieve it. Her creamy skin was flushed pink from the bath, and trails of water from her hair wove their way down her naked torso. She straightened, staring in horror at Lianon, clutching the damp linen to herself as her face went red. With a start, Lianon realized the girl wasn’t trying to cover her breasts so much as the scar above them.
“Don’t look. Please,” Kaela whispered, her chin starting to go wobbly.
Lianon turned her back, as much to dash the tears from her own eyes as to give the girl her privacy. The look on Kaela’s face hadn’t been the expression of violated modesty you’d expect in a young woman caught without clothes. It was a profound horror at being seen at all. And how could Lianon blame her? Kaela bore the marks of sur-Marus’ brutality all over her body, from the crescent-shaped bite-marks he’d put on her back and shoulders, to the scars on her face and chest from his bodyguard’s dagger. She didn’t see her body as a thing of beauty or a source of pleasure and comfort. To her, it was a constant reminder of an event she had to get past, if she was ever to be happy.
“I’m sorry,” Kaela whispered, clearly miserable. “I’m sorry.”
Lianon turned back to find Kaela modestly wrapped in her towel, hugging herself. “I’m sorry, Kaela. I didn’t mean to stare. It’s just that…”
Reaching up to tug a sopping lock of hair over the scar on her cheek, Kaela looked away, blinking frantically. “I know. You don’t have to tell me how ugly I am.”
Lianon swallowed a startled laugh, her eyes stinging. She shook her head, bemused. “What are you talking about? You’re beautiful… Beautiful.”
Okay, that's enough of that! You want more, you'll have to catch me in a more agreeable humor, lol! :D