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About the author:
S.M. Silsbury is a lover of fantasy and glorious books. She loves to write stories that make the heart beat faster.
What inspired you to write your book?
A love of fairy tales and the wish to see a sensual version.
Here is a short sample from the book:
The touch, when it comes, is hesitant and feather-soft. A gentle fingertip traces a slow
line from the apex of her temple, along her cheek, below her jawline. And then it’s gone.
Marella sighs in her sleep. The fingertip comes back, this time tracing slowly along her
brow line, and down her nose to her lips, where it applies just the slightest pressure.
She opens her mouth and the fingertip slides inside. Marella sucks it softly. It tastes like
warm flesh and something else, something comforting that she can’t quite name. Something
like ginger, cardamom, or a touch of cloves. Something warm and spiced, like a hot drink in
Like cinnamon bark, she thinks. She gasps, the thought waking her. Panicked thoughts
scuttle to the surface of her mind, the memory of wood statues and watchful eyes close
Don’t do anything you don’t want to. Even the lostlings respect that.
‘Wait,’ she whispers.
It wasn’t as if she hadn’t known what was expected of her, but a thousand Worshipdays
spent praying on her knees on the hard floor in the chapel are seared into her brain. None of
the Godsmen have ever specifically prohibited letting a lostling put a fingertip in her mouth.
They don’t have to. She knows what they would say: sinful.
But it doesn’t feel bad. There isn’t the unwashed stink and sense of horror she has come
to associate with the city folk’s pinching fingers. There is just that odd comforting scent and
the soft touch that feels really, really good. Marella isn’t sure if the lostling is a man, or
something else entirely, but his touch has created a small knot of warmth in her belly that
simply doesn’t want to say ‘no’.
‘Yes,’ she says softly, keeping her eyes shut tight, not wanting to know what is going to
be there in the moonlight if she opens her eyes.
The flaking blankets gently peel away, and a weight settles onto the bed beside her. The
fingertip comes back, running gently over her closed eyelids. A warm hand settles on her
neck, then slides up to cup her jaw.
Despite the softness of the fingertip, she’d half-expected to feel rough wood, and smell
damp moss and melting ice, but she doesn’t. Soft lips meet hers in an almost chaste kiss, hot
breath against her mouth.
The hand on her jaw slides down her neck, so light it almost tickles, down her
collarbone, pushing down the top of her dress, to her breast where it circles her nipple slowly.
A streak of heat shoots from her mouth to her heart to between her legs. She lets out a
soft moan, surprising herself. The lostling moans in response, a deep sound that reverberates
in her belly.
The lips on hers open wider. His tongue enters her mouth and nudges against her own:
hot, wet and tasting of spice. It flickers briefly against the roof of her mouth and then back
down, licking and exploring. She reaches out, finds a stubble-rough square jaw under her
questing fingertips. She runs her fingers through silky hair.
His fingers squeeze at her nipple, tug it upwards. The lostling continues like that for an
eternity, his mouth mapping hers, his fingers on one hard nipple, then the other, while she
shivers underneath, pushing her breasts up into his hands.
She can’t help but whimper. The lostling jolts at the sound, then he chuckles. It’s a deep,
heated sound that makes her dampen.
His hand slides down from her breast, along the curve of her waist, down her thigh and
cups her between her legs. His hand stills and settles, applying only slight pressure, heavy
against the thin material.
The lostling’s mouth leaves hers, and begins nibbling kisses behind her ear, darting the
tip of his tongue against the sensitive skin of her neck.
Without thinking, Marella lifts her hips and rubs up against his hand. The lostling moans.
He pushes down with his middle finger directly onto the small core of pleasure between her
legs, and rubs against it with long slow strokes that leaves Marella whimpering.
The coil of tension inside tightens further with each stroke and has her shamelessly
bucking her hips up against his fingers, aware of the slickness soaking into the cotton of the
skirt clinging to her thighs.
The lostling’s tongue continues its slow pace downward, lapping and kissing at the dip of
her throat, languidly moving lower and lower. The tongue dips lower further to the valley
between her breasts. Soft lips lay gentle kisses as they move up the swell of her breast, and
then the wet, warmth of his mouth is on the hard nub of her nipple, sucking gently. A streak
of pleasure courses through her.
‘Oh gods, please,’ she moans, not even knowing what she is begging for, her voice hoarse
and hardly audible in the silence of the night.
And then—Gods no—the pressure between her legs is gone as the lostling moves his
hand away, but not far, just enough to bunch the skirt in his hand and lift it up above her
waist, leaving her bare from the hips down. Cool snow-scented air pricks her skin.
His smooth fingers slide slowly along the curl of her hips and belly, then curve down to
the slipperiness underneath. His thumb catches against the tender bundle of nerves above her
folds, and massages it gently, as a single finger slips inside her.
A gasp escapes Marella’s mouth, her back arching involuntarily, forcing the finger
deeper inside her.
And then Marella is lost. All thoughts of lostlings, and Godsmen, and sinful, and good:
all gone, completely lost in the world of the lostling’s mouth and fingertips.
The lostling makes an appreciative noise against her breast, grazing the nipple gently
with the tips of his teeth, then bends and sucks hard.
He slips a second finger inside, and all Marella can hear is the rushing of blood in her
head, and the wet, slick noise as his fingers move leisurely in and out of her. Whimpers
escape her mouth, coming faster and faster with each stroke.
Behind closed lids, the world goes white. She shudders, bucks against him. Pleasure
floods her body in waves that crash hard, then slow and roll in shivers, leaving her quivering
and sweat-slick against the feathery sheets.
The lostling moves, shifting above her, hard chest to her soft one. She runs her fingers
along the sides of his arms to where the warm muscle dips and curves.
A warm thigh settles between her knees, coaxing her legs open further. A hard tip
nudges between her legs.
A sliver of panic shoots through her belly.
‘No,’ she whispers softly. Not yet. She isn’t ready. Not yet.
The weight shifts off of her, back to her side. Soft lips meet hers. She opens her mouth to
them. The lostling’s tongue slips inside, tasting of spice and warmth.
There are rules to survive the lostlings, the bawdwitch had said. Firstly, give as much as
you wish to receive, and you’ll need to do both if you want to be rewarded.
She breathes in deep with her nose, and reaches out to him, running her hands up his
chest, down the ridges of his stomach, finding firmness under warm satin.
She hesitates, unsure, then takes another deep breath and moves her hand lower
following a trail of short soft hair to the hard length below. At her touch, the lostling gasps,
his hips bucking up.
Marella takes her time, feeling and exploring. She runs a single fingertip around the tip,
the ridge underneath and then along his shaft feeling the small bump of the vein beneath her
finger all the way to where his cock meets the skin at his groin. And underneath, an
unexpected curved softness that she strokes and cups, wondering at the silkiness of it.
Then his hand covers hers, guiding her as to how he wants her to move, gripping him
tight and moving up and down with a slow regularity, stopping every now and then to dip
into the slight wetness at the tip. The lostling lowers his face to the curve of her neck, hot
breath against her skin, and Marella thinks the soft little noises escaping his mouth are the
sweetest sound she has ever heard.
And now she is sure the lostling is more man than spirit. He breathes like one: hot breath,
panting faster and faster with her hand. He sounds like one too, moaning deeply at each
Marella keeps the rhythm going, swallowing the lostling’s moans with her mouth, trying
not to grin at the sheer joy of giving pleasure. This isn’t what she had expected.
The lostling’s body stiffens. His moans turn to a single long wall of sound with a staccato
beat. Impossibly, the hard length in her hand hardens even further for an instant, and then it’s
pulsing and spilling hot over her fingers.
His breathing slows, a beat at a time, then he raises his head from her neck, lifts his lips
and kisses her gently on the smooth skin of her forehead.
Marella sighs a smile curving on her lips. For the first time in weeks, she feels calm and
at ease, as if the lostling’s fingers have massaged all the worries from her body.
She slips her hands into the softness of his hair and kisses him deeply. His lips curve
against hers in a smile. He lifts his head, and breathes in the scent of her hair.
He nuzzles closer, then whispers something into her hair. His voice is both soft and deep,
mellow and sweet as melted cocoa. ‘Thank you.’
Marella has to look, has to see him. No matter what monster he might be on the outside,
she has to know.
She opens her eyes. Moonlight streams in the window, dust motes swirling in the light.
The room is empty. The weight and warmth, the sound of his breathing, are gone.
Marella keeps her eyes open, waiting for him to return, but the bed is too warm, her body
too boneless and satiated. Her eyelids droop, and she spirals into it. Soft, warm eyes watch