Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Advent Calender Day 15: Janine Ashbless

Please welcome the terrific queen of erotic horror, Janine Ashbless, who is sharing an excerpt from her current WIP with us.

"The King's Viper is an erotic romance novella about two people who are not allowed to fall for each other but who do. It has a late-medievalish fantasy setting and, because it's my idea of romance, the characters
suffer horribly for their Happy Ever After. And if I could just stop being ambushed by new scenes that need to be included, it might be finished by Xmas."


The touch jolted through her: suddenly she could move. She wrenched herself from his hands and toward the door, smacking her knuckles on the wood, stumbling out into the sunlight. Severin was out there, walking across the yard with a drift of other servants, and she felt a great flood of relief at the sight of him. As Heloise hit the bottom of the steps she was almost running; she threw herself against him and wrapped her arms tight about his torso, burying her face in his chest.

Severin went stock-still. “What’s wrong?” he asked softly.

She looked over her shoulder, and he followed her glance. Duggan was coming down the steps from the scullery. His loose peasant trousers were tented by the jut of his erection and he had a genial smirk on his face.

“What’s wrong?” repeated Severin, his voice going suddenly hard.  He pulled her off him and dropped his rake on the flagstones with a clatter, his gaze fixed on Duggan. “What did he do to you?”

Duggan’s smile broadened. He was a head taller than Severin and saw nothing to worry about.  “She just got a bit splashed, that’s all.”

“What,” said Severin, almost hissing the words, “did he do?” And he took the first steps toward the farmer. Heloise saw it even if Duggan didn’t: the shift in the way Severin moved - no longer the amble of a tired field-hand but the coiled, silky poise of something far more dangerous. His left hand slipped to the small of his back, up under his loose shirt.

To where the knife was concealed.

Fear spiked through Heloise. They were surrounded by witnesses, and this was Duggan’s farm. Everyone was stopping to watch. “Nothing!” she gasped. “He didn’t do anything!”

Duggan’s smirk became unbearable as he nodded at her in approval. Severin took another step.

“Sev! He did nothing!” she moaned, catching his arm. “Please!”

For a moment he seemed to take no notice of her. Then he uncoiled and turned and caught her arm. His face was a mask. He marched her out of the yard, past all the incoming fieldhands who stared and grinned. He took her round the corner and then when they were alone at last he pushed her against the wall, her back to the stones, and gripped her shoulders tight enough to make her squirm.

“What happened?” he demanded in a low voice, leaning in close. “Tell me.”

“Nothing!” Her hands made their own protest, catching the front of his shirt. “He didn’t have the chance – I walked out.” She could hardly believe, now, that it had happened: so quickly, so completely without reference to her will.

Severin’s jaw clenched and she saw the muscle jump in his cheek. “Ella,” he breathed. “You must never give any man even half an opportunity-”

“I didn’t!” Tears flooded, burning, to her eyes. Severin let go of her abruptly and put his hands on the wall instead. She was as cornered as she had been by Duggan.

“Shit,” he hissed to himself, fury dancing in his narrowed eyes. Then he blinked, shook himself and asked, his voice hoarse but much gentler, “Are you all right?”

She nodded, sniffing back the tears before they could fall. Her hands were still snagged in the front of his shirt.

“Are you sure?”

“Mm.” She stared up at him, breathing hard.

“Right then.” He covered her fingers with his dusty hand and detached her gently from his shirt. “Let me think this through, Ella. Go ... go finish your work. I’ll join you.” Then he turned away and walked off, head tilted like a man trying not to see what was before him.

Heloise didn’t understand why his thinking couldn’t be done in her presence. She didn’t want Severin to leave her on her own. She wanted him to stay, even if he was angry with her. Sagging against the wall, she shut her eyes in misery and then flashed them open. She was starting to shake. Nothing had happened – or almost nothing - and yet it had left her shocked and lost and filled with horrible guilt. She could still feel the pressure of Duggan’s fingers on her nipple, on her sex. She pressed her hands to herself and stifled a whimper. She could still feel the effect that Duggan had had on her betraying flesh – and yet when she shut her eyes it was Severin she saw in his place. Severin’s hand on her breast. Severin’s lips, parted and hungry. Severin’s fingers holding her nipple captive, and pushing between her thighs to take possession of her aching, eager body.     

©Janine Ashbless 2010
All rights reserved.

About Janine

"Janine Ashbless is a troll-like creature who lives under a bridge in Darkest Yorkshire, England. She likes to write erotica and romance that is simultaneously hot and scary, and has had 5 books published by Black Lace. She eats lickle children and will turn to stone if she goes out in daylight."


Madelynne Ellis said...

Severin love it, love it, love it. Ah, it brings back LRP memories.

Janine Ashbless said...

Oh, thank you for having me here today, Madelynne! It's scary to see my WiP up there in public, but it's traditional to do risky and revealing things during the party season...

Jo said...

Hi Madylynne!

Janine, I love it! I do love that rescued-from -a-man scenario, for some terribly unfeminist reason :D

Quick, write more!

Justine Elyot said...

Severin is the best character name ever. Wonderful stuff, can't wait to read more.

Craig Sorensen said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Craig Sorensen said...

Excellent excerpt! I love the tension, Janine.

Thanks for posting it, Madelynne!

Janine Ashbless said...

Thank you everyone! - especially Madelynne :-)

Madeline Moore said...

Ahhh, I feel better. Like I had a second cup of coffee. You're so good, Janine, if you weren't such a good person I'd envy you.
But as it is, I just enjoy you and your astonishing work. And Jo, I think it's very feminist to love it and say so. The dark days of women denying themselves the delicious urge of being 'taken' (Oh Rhett!) are over.
Rock on! Thanks Madelynne, too.
What a great idea, a blog advent calendar. I'll be back!

Janine Ashbless said...

Interesting points! It's certainly true that Severin and Ella/Heloise don't have a "modern" relationship - given the setting that would hardly make sense. I've never had a problem with men being protective and responsible, in romance or in real life. While sometimes misplaced, I consider it a genuine masculine virtue.

Severin, btw, is a very dark character - by modern standards a bit of a monster, really - in desperate need of redemption.