The Pleasures of Sin

The Pleasures of Sin by Jessica Trapp Read Free Book Online

Book: The Pleasures of Sin by Jessica Trapp Read Free Book Online
Authors: Jessica Trapp
width and thickness of their arms and shoulders with pads and fabric, he had no need.
    The sheer manliness of his body made her want to run her hands along the sinewy texture of his muscles, just to verify that he was, indeed, human, and could be killed. Dueling thoughts of repulsion and fascination ripped through her.
    She counted the thin scars on his biceps. Four crisscrossed the muscle on one side and seven on the other. Proof of the many battles he’d fought.
    And likely won.
    Biting the inside of her cheek, she realized she would have to be very, very cautious. His fingers likely could snap her spine in half like a brittle twig. She’d only have one chance with l’occhio del diavolo and she prayed its aim would indeed have the eye of the devil.
    A thin layer of perspiration covered his tan skin making his shoulders look glossy, as if they had been highly polished with a cloth.
    Standing in front of him, she tried to imagine where his heart was. No movement on his chest indicated its beating. Mayhap he had no heart at all.
    His face was stony and unreadable, but his eyes were like glittering waves on the blue ocean as he gazed at her. “Kneel and remove my boots.”
    She smarted at his tone, and sank to her knees.
    Hate swelled in her heart. He was the most vile, loathsome blackheart she’d ever known. For certes, undressing him was part of her punishment for slapping him in the chapel. Get your enjoyment from this, devil. Tonight will be the last time you command me. She narrowed her eyes at him, but held her tongue.
    Mentally, she counted the hours until sunset when the signal would be sent. When that time came, she wanted him as vulnerable as possible. Even wearing only half a suit of armor, he looked capable of killing a man in cold blood.
    Or a woman.
    She suppressed a shudder, remembering what her sister had told her about the lad who spilled ale on his paltock.
    From her position on the floor, he looked even taller than before. Grasping his large black boots by the heels, she pulled off one then the other.
    The muscles in his legs were enormous—like Grecian pillars. The chain mail gave little clinks and the mattress creaked as he stood and indicated for her to remove his chausses and the metal codpiece that protected his privates.
    “I do not think I should,” she started. Her mouth felt dry as sand and her heart raced as she speculated what he looked like beneath the metal protector. She had some knowledge of the shape of a man’s sex—she’d bathed with her twin brother Nathan when they were children: ’twas like a stubby sausage.
    She stood abruptly, not wanting to let on about her curiosity. Her inquisitiveness was something her father oft railed about. And it was evil itself to even want to look at a man she hated so much.
    “You should remove the rest yourself. You have no need for my assistance.”
    “’Tis part of what I require of you, wife. I have called for water, next you will bathe me. As a proper wife would.”
    Bathe him?
    She swallowed. Was it her imagination or did the codpiece move slightly of its own accord?
    Spellbound, she stared at it to see if it would move again.
    It did!
    Of all the devilish things!
    Mayhap her paintings had not been accurate at all if a man’s member was thick enough to move a piece of metal with its swelling. She’d based her miniatures on what she could remember of her brother when they had been mere children.
    But this…this was interesting. Perhaps she could paint it when she safely reached Italy.
    Her gaze flicked to her art supplies stacked neatly in the trunk. In a safe cleft beneath the floor planks under her desk, a half-finished work depicting a naked gladiator was hidden along with a number of other unfinished or inferior paintings. Montgomery had been correct that artists sometimes hid their work.
    That gladiator piece was the first one she’d been so bold as to do a complete frontal view of a male figure. Unsure of the exact size and color

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