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THE HARLOT
by Saskia Walker

Genre: Historical Erotic Romance, Erotic Romance, Paranormal

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Jessie dusted down her clothing. “Thank you for your help, Sire. I’ll be on my way now.”

Gregor frowned and grasped her by the jaw, impressing his will on her. “You will not. You agreed to undertake a task in return for your freedom.”

“And I fulfilled the task.” She jerked her head free.

She seemed to be under the impression that he had put his life at risk for one of her carnal favors. Gregor gave a wry laugh and shook his head in disbelief. “That was not the task I had in mind, my dear. That was something you brought about.”

She put her hands on her hips and glared at him. “Whatever do you mean, that was not the task you had in mind?”

Gregor felt the urge to shake her but quelled it when he saw another figure moving down the street beyond. Hauling her into the shadows he held on to her around her upper arms. “Be silent now, or someone will hear and you will find yourself back in that cell quicker than you can flash your eyes at the next passer-by. The guard will awaken and raise the alarm soon enough. We must be on our way and quick about it.”

She wriggled like an eel, growled at him and gave him a nasty jab in the shins with her foot. He pressed his lips together and tightened his grasp, drawing her to him so that her feet all but left the ground.

Alarm flitted through her eyes and then they narrowed while she lashed out at him, her fists pummeling at his sides. “You cannot keep me.”

The woman could fight, and her punches made his blood pump. Even though she was pitted against him, she seemed wanton in her every act—moving within his grasp like a lush, unruly siren.

“Think on it,” he hissed. “Do you want to hang?”

“Let me go.” There was a low but distinct warning note in her tone as she issued the instruction and her eyes glittered strangely in the moonlight.

“No. You agreed to the terms in exchange for your freedom, you will hear me out and you’ll come along quietly.” He jerked his head in the direction of the tollbooth. “I for one do not want to join you in the cells for my part in your escape. You’d do well to follow my lead and hasten away from this place.”

It occurred to him that she was too much trouble to bother with and he’d be wise to cut his losses and let her go. However something about holding the wench while she glared and struggled made him want her. Perhaps it was because of the exceedingly good job she had done pleasuring him moments before.

She delivered another blow to his lower ribs.

Gregor grimaced. Perhaps their earlier tryst was also the reason that he dredged enough patience to hold her and protect her from discovery, instead of letting her run free as she so obviously wanted to. Whatever the cause, he was enjoying lewd thoughts about her writhing that way beneath him on a bed. That was far too much of a distraction while they were in danger of being discovered. The truth was he did not want to let her go. “You have your freedom,” he reminded her, “and that is because I risked my own neck to salvage you. Now pay your debt.”

The comment forced her to cease her physical attack, but she pouted and glared at him still. “I did not need your help. I was about to leave the tollbooth of my own accord.”

This time he laughed aloud.

The wench’s eyes narrowed. “Believe it, sire. Did you not hear what they said about me at the inn?”

“Aye, witchcraft. Clever trickery, more like.”