Today’s theme is Lost Loves – as I’m a fan of the reunion story, I thought I’d post a snippet from my first Federation Chronicles novel – UNDERCOVER
FEDERATION CHRONICLES: UNDERCOVER by LAUREN DANE
Copyright 2009, Lauren Dane
All Rights Reserved, The Berkley Publishing Group
He pulled out a platinum necklace bearing a stylized B in diamonds. Concubines of very important men often wore such identifying jewelry. A status marker for both parties. Reaching around, he fastened it about her neck. Diamond baubles for her ears and a bracelet followed and he slid a pink diamond ring on her left hand.
He stepped back and looked to Ash who nodded. “And one more thing.” Upending the pouch into his palm, a ring with a dangling row of diamonds slid out.
Heart pounding, she took a deep breath and reached down to slide the bodice of her dress out of the way, exposing her breast. And the ring she still wore in it. A ring Ash gave her when she’d first gotten it pierced.
She heard his sharp intake of breath and suddenly he was there, next to Brandt. “You’re still wearing it.” She didn’t fail to hear the raw emotion in his voice.
Glib words tried to find their way from her lips but they faltered when she looked into his eyes. He was satisfied, yes. But there was more. He was moved by the sight of his ring still marking her. She knew that.
All she could do was nod. If she’d tried to speak her voice may well have cracked.
“I think this one is better, Ash. I understand your feelings on this but Sela would wear something far more flashy.”
Sera nodded, agreeing with Brandt.
“You’re right. But I’ll take it off. I put it on to start with.”
And before Sera could disagree, Ash’s hands were on her, fingertips sliding over her nipple to unlatch the ring and pull it loose. She watched his hand on her flesh and the sense memory of the last time he’d touched her naked breast slammed into her, wrenching out a strangled gasp.
His gaze moved from her breast to lock with hers. The cool metal of Brandt’s ring slid into her nipple and the weight of the diamonds provided a new sensation.
Ash pulled her dress back into place before stepping back, and Sera wanted to run screaming from the house. If he’d done anything but that she might have resisted the look in his eyes. But he’d touched her with respect, even as she saw the desire in his gaze.
And then it got worse when Ash reached up and unbuttoned his shirt, exposing his chest and his own nipples. In the one on the left, over his heart, he wore the simple ring she’d given him on the same day she’d begun wearing his. He put the one she’d been wearing in the nipple on the other side after he removed a barbell.
All of this without a word. Brandt watched them both. “Okay then, shall we be off?”
Sera took Brandt’s arm, Ash fell in on her other side and they left the house. They loaded into the posh limousine that would take them to the Portal and she left her old life behind.
* * *
She still wore his ring. Ash sat, head back against the seat as he thought about the way her nipple looked in his hand. The ring he’d given her when she’d gotten pierced just for him. It had carried a sapphire but she’d left that with her letter and her collar.
Hope burned deep within him. He saw love in her eyes. Distrust still, and hesitance too, but she had feelings for him that didn’t all involve wanting to shoot him in the head.
He’d need to be smart about how he went about getting her back. Smarter than he’d been so far, that was for sure. On the ship, he’d have to get her used her to his touch again anyway. Originally, he’d planned to work his way into their bed right off. But he rethought that. He’d be more slow and steady, show her she could trust him.
It meant Brandt would forge a physical bond with her first, which was slightly disconcerting. But Ash already had the depth of his memories of her and they’d share that again. Brandt would help her heal, be the bridge between them.
Once Ash had her back, he didn’t plan to let go again.
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