Excerpt from Orchids in Moonlight

     Jaime eagerly took her place next to him on the bedroll. With her head on his shoulder, cradled in his arms, they lay quietly for long moments staring into the velvet heavens, the stars glittering like diamonds scattered to infinity.
     His hand dropped to caress the softness of her hip as he turned his head to claim her mouth once more. This was not the fierce urgency of other kisses, rather a melding of tenderness, mingling with desire.
     Easily, as natural as breathing, Jaime answered with her body. Rolling to her side, she began to explore him, touching the hard curves of his thighs, the sinewy muscles of his arms, his smooth back.
     Even as he lowered his lips to nibble softly and whisper how much he wanted her, a part of him was ever alert should the Indians return. With his hands cupping her bottom and drawing her closer, she squirmed deliciously to feel the hard, rigid length of him against her belly.
     He inhaled her fragrant softness, the damp sweetness of her hair. With his tongue, he trailed a path of fire to her ear, to drive her to fever pitch with his hot, wet assault.
     Jaime could wait no longer; she trembled from wanting him. No longer shy, no longer able to hold back from yielding to her own incessant urge, she boldly mounted him.
     Smiling with delight, he grasped her by her tiny waist and settled her down upon him. She gasped softly but reveled in the ecstatic wonder of how he filled her.
     He reached for her breasts, and she leaned forward to render her all. He drew her to his hungry lips to suckle, and she arched her back and pressed her fingertips against his chest to stroke, urging him onward.
     "Never," she whispered throatily, her face raised to the night and bathed in moon glow, "never have I known anything so wonderful."
     He caught the tip of her nipple between his teeth and bit just hard enough to make her bottom wriggle delightfully upon his shaft. "It gets better and better," he promised, flicking his tongue to and fro, sending rivulets of torturous delight into her loins. "It hasn't even started."
     Afterward, when she had joined a shooting star to soar across the heavens in glorious explosion, and he had emptied himself inside her in his own soul-searing climax, Jaime lay quietly in his arms and pondered his words.
     It hasn't even started....
     Locked in her throat were many words of endearment she yearned to speak in that quiet moment of awe and splendor but dared not.
     She had tried not to fall in love but to no avail. Now all she could do was savor the time they had together and keep him from knowing how she felt, lest he regard her with pity for her foolishness.
     Wanting to break the rapturous spell that had enveloped her before she did yield to impulse and confess what she was feeling, Jaime rolled over on her stomach to prop her chin on her hands and stare out at the glowing landscape below.
     Something caught her eye.
     Mere inches away, a strange flower was growing, and she was at once awed by its graceful beauty. It had three upright petals and two drooping, with a delicate ragged throat. In the moonlight, it seemed to glow with a silver hue, although she could see it was a bluish purple color with fingers of white at the base of the petals. "I don't think I've ever seen anything so pretty," she whispered reverently.
     "Neither have I." Cord smiled. He was not talking about the flower.
     "I think it's called an iris." She touched her fingertip to a satiny petal. "I saw some sketches of different flowers in a book once, and I remember seeing one like this."
     He turned to join her in scrutiny. "Actually, it's an orchid. Someone has to have planted it here. Remember me showing you flowers all along the trail that pioneers passing through had set out? This one is what they call cultivated, or hybrid. I don't know why anyone would leave it here and expect it to grow. The last one I saw was in a greenhouse in California."
     "But it is growing, and it's beautiful."
     He reached out and plucked the blossom, then turned on his back to drink in the sight of her as he tucked it above her ear.
     As he traced his thumb across her lower lip, she smiled ever so shyly as he murmured, "Orchids in moonlight... and you."
     He pulled her face toward his. "What man could ask for more?"
     And he claimed her mouth in a searing kiss.
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