"You said I am too proud and I-I am," Jennifer said, laying her hand on Royce's chest in desperate supplication. "If you will let my sister go, I'll do any humble task you give me. I'll scrub the floors. I'll wait upon you at table. I swear I'll repay you in a hundred ways."
Royce glanced down at the small, delicate hand laid upon his chest; heat was seeping through his tunic, desire already tightening his loins.
"Please," Jenny whispered, "I'll do anything . You have only to tell me what you want."
"I want you in my bed."
Jennifer's hand fell away from his tunic. Behind them her sister's coughing rose to a terrible crescendo and Jenny shuddered with alarm.
"Do we have a bargain?" he asked, and when she hesitated, he stated calmly, "In truth, I have no need to bargain with you at all, Jennifer, and you know it. I want you, and if that makes me a barbarian in your eyes, then so be it, but it doesn't have to be that way. There'll be no shame nor pain for you in my bed. There will be only pleasure."
Jenny remembered the previous occasions when he had embraced her, had kissed her-and her own surprising response. Blood rushed to her face.
"Do we have a bargain?" Royce asked, his long fingers sliding up and down her arms in an unconscious caress…