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Authors: Dee Brice

Passion's Twins

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Passion’s Twins

Dee
Brice

 

Passion’s
Treasures, Book Three

 

Summer sizzles in the queendom of
Marchonland and the weather’s not the only thing that’s hot. Twin princesses
have come to foster with Queen Yvonne and discover an extra benefit in Princes
Gerard and Edgar.

Identical twins Rowena and Edina
are more than willing to be bedded. But each twin wants the man of her heart to
recognize her as herself. Each hoping to prove to herself that the man she has
fallen in love with will love only her, the twins often change places.

Knowing the twins play games with
everyone, each man wonders if his woman will accept his brother as her lover as
eagerly as she does him. With all four of them naked and aroused, will the
blindfolded men know which woman is his and claim her?

 

A
Romantica®
fantasy erotic romance
from Ellora’s Cave

 

Passion’s Twins
Dee Brice

Dedication

 

To Himself who, years ago, gave me a book about writing
erotica. And volunteered to improve on any ideas that came to mind.

 

 

 

 

 

Author’s Note

 

When I wrote
Passion’s Four Towers
and
Kerrie’s
Quest for Passion
I had no particular medieval timeframe in mind. What I
wanted to create was an imaginary country ruled by strong, lusty women. In
editing this third book, my editor—bless her insistent-on-historical-accuracy
heart!—pointed out language inappropriate for the time period. That sent me to
the
Oxford English Dictionary
and to the Internet to find out what was
happening in the medieval world surrounding my fictitious Marchonland.

Lots! The Hundred Years War. The War of the Roses. And—oh
joy!—the introduction of the printing press in 1476 to England by William
Caxton. Although books are noticeably missing from
Passion’s Twins
, I
felt I owed a debt of gratitude to Mr. Caxton and set this book in the 1480s.

For readers interested in etymology, I apologize for using
historically incorrect terms for my heroes’ private parts. Somehow I couldn’t
bring myself to write
verge
and
pillicock
for Gerard’s and
Edgar’s…appendages.

My editor also suggested I expand the role of Kerrie, queen of
Marchonland—deceased before I wrote
Passion’s Four Towers
—in
Passion’s
Twins
. What fun to include a touch of fantasy from this meddlesome yet
loving spirit!

 

Prologue

 

Kerrie, former queen of Marchonland, awoke from her eternal
peace in her first husband’s arms. Together they looked down on her queendom
and watched their daughter Yvonne and her half-sisters Willa and Pippa marry
the finest men parents could wish for.

Yawning, Alexandre circled Kerrie’s waist and tried to pull
her down beside him.

“Not yet, dearling.”

“All your children are happy, sweeting. What has caught your
curiosity, my queen? Who needs our heavenly assistance?”

“Remember the twins my sister Aida mentioned to Gerard and
Edgar?”


Mais oui.
Are you suggesting—”

“That we keep an eye on them, yes.”

Alexandre groaned. “Didn’t you interfere enough with Yvonne’s,
Willa’s and Pippa’s lives? What compels you to interfere in the twins’?”

“’Tis not Rowena and Edina I care about. Not directly. But
Gerard and Edgar are my girls’ new brothers-by-marriage. Which makes them our
family.”

Turning on his side, Alexandre stroked Kerrie’s lush
buttocks.

“You cannot distract me, love. Our family’s happiness is too
important to leave to Fate’s vagaries.”

“Wake me when things get interesting.” Patting her butt, he
rolled to his back.

“When they swive, you mean.”


Oui.
Of all our earthly joys, I miss swiving the
most.”

“Swiving in general? Or swiving me?”

A gentle snore was the only answer.

“Pfft! I’ll see to the princes on my own then. Gerard and Edgar
will thank me one day.”

“When they too are dead,” Alexandre mumbled.

“Go back to sleep, Alexandre. I’ll see to things at
Marchonland.”

“You always do,
petite
. You always do.”

After kissing his cheek, Kerrie turned her gaze to the great
hall of Marchon Castle. Merriment and music and the pungent scent of fine ale
floated up to her. For a brief moment she wished she and Alexandre could step
down from heaven and dance the night away.

Instead, she focused on two flaxen-haired wenches and
listened to their chatter.

Chapter One

Marchon Castle Great Hall

 

“Did you see him? Isn’t he the handsomest man in the hall?”
Edina, Princess of Beaufort, pulled on her sister’s elegant cloth of gold
sleeve.

Sparing her twin a glare, Rowena returned her attention to
the three handsome men on the other side of the great hall. Since she stood on
a bench, she could see moderately well over the heads of guests and servants.
“Of course I saw him. He winked at me as he passed me in the chapel. I think he
would have lingered had that other man not pushed him along.”

“He couldn’t have winked at you! He was winking at me. He
even looked back at me before that odious oaf shoved him. He nearly tripped
over his own sword, he was that enchanted by me.”

“He did not trip. Yes, he looked back, but ‘twas at me.”

It suddenly occurred to them that they were talking about
two different men. Hands over their mouths, their blue eyes mirroring each
other’s mirth, they suppressed their giggles.

“Which one?”

“Well, I’d prefer any of the bridegrooms. Gareth a king in
his own land, the other two dukes—”

“As would I. Gorgeous men, every one of them.”

“Since they are taken…” Rowena shrugged as she stepped off
her perch. She debated lying, but Edina could lie more believably than she
could, so she told the truth. “The russet-haired one. I believe his name is
Edgar. Moreover, he is a prince, the king consort’s youngest brother.”

“His hair is red, Rowena. A sure sign of a fiery
disposition. Argumentative too, I’d wager.”

“Perhaps. But his name means
wealthy spear
. I think a
fiery disposition may suit me well. Especially if his spear
is
wealthy.”

“Rowena!” Edina chided through a giggle.

“What is the blond’s name? Gerard, is it not? And what does
Gerard mean?”

Blushing, Edina murmured, “Hard spear.”

“Well, there you have it then. Two spears—wealthy and hard.
Both belonging to princes worthy of marriage to us.”

“We can but hope they live up to their names.”

“Wait!” Catching Rowena’s arm, Edina stopped her impulsive
sister before she raced across the great hall. “We need a plan.”

“What kind of plan?” Rowena scowled at her younger sister.
She much preferred a direct approach to any situation—especially those
involving an attractive man. Or two. Edina, while more cautious, had a more
devious mind. Her pranks were fiendishly fun and seldom got them into serious
difficulty. Rowena decided to listen to her but prefaced listening with,
“Mother and Father would allow these princes to court us. After all, they are
of equal rank to us.”

“And our parents might quit complaining that we are too
fastidious about those who wish to court us. But if we agree to marry Edgar and
Gerard… Shouldn’t we have a bit of fun before we settle into staidness?”

“What do you suggest?”

“You know neither Mother nor Father can tell us apart.”

“Aye. But I want my husband to be faithful to me, not end up
in your bed because he mistook you for me.”

“I want the same of my husband. When I have one.”

“On the other hand,
I
prefer knowing
before
I
wed. If Gerard cannot distinguish me from you, I’ll not have him. Not even if
he begs.” Edina crossed her arms under her breasts but grinned at her sister.

Laughing, Rowena teased, “I want a separate wedding.”

Edina giggled. “No. I think we’d have more fun if we carried
the game as far as we dare.”

“The grooms had no difficulty recognizing their wives today.
The brides all look alike. They even dressed alike.”

“Their eyes are different colors, Rowena. And their gowns—cut
identically though they were—have slightly different hues. Yvonne’s a hint of
green, Willa’s a touch of blue, Pippa’s a glint of gold. Their aunt Aida says
they look like Queen Kerrie, may she rest in peace. But their eye color came
from their fathers.”

“I wish I had your eye for color, Edina.”

“As I wish for your lovely singing voice, Rowena.”

“You sing harmony perfectly,” Rowena praised. Plucking at
Edina’s sleeve, she added, “I think—if we truly intend to carry out this
ruse—we’d best retire to our quarters.”

Nodding, Edina murmured, “Separately. From now on we must
not be seen together.”

“At least not by Edgar and Gerard.”

“No singing or playing your lute, Rowena.”

“No painting, Edina.”

Rowena made her way directly across the great hall to the stairs
to Aida’s tower. Edina hid behind a massive stone column until she felt certain
her twin was completely out of sight. Circling the great hall slowly, Edina took
the same stairs. Glancing back, feeling terribly bold, she winked at the
handsome blond standing at his brothers’ side. To her delight, he winked back.

* * * * *

“Did you see her?”

“The flaxen-haired angel in blue? Of course I saw her. She
winked at me.”

“She winked at
me
,” Edgar protested.

“Just now?” Gerard’s belligerent expression mirrored
Edgar’s.

“No. A few minutes ago as she went up Aida’s stairs.”

“Well, she winked at
me
just a moment ago.”

“The twins!” they said together, slapping each other’s back.

“Aunt Aida did warn you,” Yvonne said as she returned to her
husband Gareth’s side. “The twins are…headstrong.”

“I hope the dancing hasn’t tired you too much, my queen,”
Gareth said, circling Yvonne’s slender waist and pressing a kiss on her damp
brow.

“Worry about your cousins, m’lord consort. Willa and Pippa
seem intent upon avoiding their marriage beds. It looks to me as if they will
dance Vinn and Banan to complete weariness before the night is done.” She
slanted a flirtatious glance at her husband, adding, “If you think to avoid bedding
me on our wedding night, think again.”

“I’ve thought of nothing but swiving for the last fortnight.
Being banished from your tower since our banns were read—”

“You needn’t lie, Gareth. Yvonne’s steward Gaspar showed us
the secret passages between Marchon Castle’s four towers.” Gerard smiled
smugly.

“If you try to use them tonight to spy upon my sisters and
me, I’ll have you thrown into the oubliette.” Yvonne showed them her warrior
glare but watched the interaction between the brothers with some amusement.

“But we’re your new brothers!” Edgar whined, a teasing glint
in his golden-brown eyes.

“Gaspar only told us so we could get to the twins,” Gerard
explained, mischief in his bright blue gaze.

“Aunt Aida will dislike your wooing under her very nose,”
Gareth warned. He sounded stern but his black eyes twinkled. “Try the weeping
willows by the river should you prove successful in courting the ladies.”

Yvonne punched her husband’s shoulder. “I’m in need of my
marriage bed, m’lord.”

“As am I, Your Grace.” Turning to his brothers, he frowned
at each in turn. “I’ll not have a crowd trooping up
any
tower stairs
tonight. Not Willa’s or Pippa’s. Not even Aida’s. And most definitely not
Yvonne’s. Understand?”

“Or a small group either.” Yvonne added her command to
Gareth’s.

“No sneaking through the passages. In other words—”

“We understand,” Gerard said.

“No fun,” piped Edgar. Seeing Gareth’s kingly glare, he
swept a subservient bow. “As you command, elder brother.”


Oldest
brother,” Gerard amended.

“You ought to retire yourselves. You can wager the beautiful
princesses are plotting against you. Best come up with a plan of your own.”

With that dire warning, Yvonne and Gareth melted into the
merry crowd.

“Do you suppose,” Edgar said, “someone at the tavern can advise
us how to deal with twins?”

“With free food and drink here at the castle? I doubt
anyone—even the tavern wench—is in the tavern,” Gerard responded. “Besides—we’ve
wreaked enough havoc in our day to deal with two young misses. Remember—?”

“Lightskirts are not the same as ladies, Gerard. Moreover,
they
weren’t twins.”

Gerard rubbed his chin. “Do you suppose they are identical
in every way?”

“In every way immediately discernable, I imagine. Remember
how Willa and Pippa confused Vinn and Banan?”

“And
their
eyes are different colors.”

Edgar brightened. “We could ask our new-wed cousins. Willa
and Pippa should be happy to help us. They’ll tell us how they managed to dupe
their future husbands so completely.”

“I believe Aida and Gaspar were responsible for that
tomfoolery. Besides, we promised Gareth we wouldn’t interfere with anyone’s
wedding night.”

“We can get around Gareth easily enough. ‘Tis
Yvonne
I fear.”

Laughing, the brothers made their way to Gareth’s
encampment—far away from the fun of intruding on the newlyweds. Far away from
the temptation of the twins.

* * * * *

Aida’s Tower Guest Quarters

 

Ensconced on the window seat, Rowena separated her hair into
three thick strands then began to braid it for the night. Edina tied her robe and
dismissed their lady-in-waiting with a soft, “Thank you, Joan.”

The door barely had closed before Rowena said, “I have been
thinking.”

“Oh?” Edina slanted a wary look at her sister then settled
beside her. “Well? What have you been thinking about?”

“Nothing much. Only…”

Edina waited only a moment before she pounced. “If you think
to change your mind about which brother you want… Don’t.”

“Well, I
am
older than you.”

“Only ten minutes older.”

“As the older sister, I should have the elder brother.”

“Who, should Yvonne prove barren, would then become king of
Puttupon.”

“Only if Gareth dies without issue—or takes another wife who
is barren too.” Rowena shivered. “I am not so selfish as to wish that fate on
either Gareth or Yvonne. Besides, I shall be a queen in my own right. One day,
when Father dies.”

“But you are selfish enough to consign your baby sister—whom
you should love and protect no matter the cost to yourself—to embroidering
double
E
s on her handkerchiefs.
Edgar and Edina
. Ugh!”

“’Tis easier than embroidering
E
and
R
or—since your skills with a needle are mediocre at best—
E
and
G
.”

“As to
E
and
G
, I shall simply have our best
seamstress embroider those letters for me. Which—since your sewing skills are
equally indifferent—you will do as well.” She scowled then giggled. “You are
deviling me. Aren’t you?”

Rowena laughed. “Of course. You rise so eagerly to the bait,
‘tis nearly impossible to resist teasing you. Besides,” she tied a ribbon
around her braid, “I’ll not risk bearing red-haired babes. My children, thanks
to Gerard, will all look like angels.” She sighed dramatically, her eyes
mischievous. “Perfect blonds with bright blue eyes.”

“While my babes, thanks to Edgar, will have soulful
golden-brown eyes that brim with humor.” She sighed and patted her heart as if
to calm its racing pace.

Looking at each other, they laughed.

Sobering, Rowena said, “In all honesty, Edina, I do not want
Gerard.”

Her puzzlement obvious, Edina said, “Why not? Not that I
wish you would change your mind, but…why not?”

Rowena’s normally graceful shrug looked stiff. “I think…he
does not know how to play. That knowing he could become king should Gareth die
unexpectedly weighs heavily on his soul.”

“You make Edgar sound like a ne’er-do-well.”

“’Twas not my intention. ‘Tis only that I sense in
Edgar…laughter and a certain recklessness I find appealing.”

“All that from one wink?” Edina teased.

“What did Gerard’s wink tell you about him?”

“That he is not as stuffy as you think he is.”

Rowena chewed her lower lip. “Perhaps…perhaps Edgar needs to
be more mindful of his responsibilities. After all, should—God forbid—something
happen to both his brothers—”

“He could be king.”

They fell silent, each lost in her own thoughts.

At last, Edina said, “Perhaps we should change our minds. You
can teach Gerard to be more playful while I,” she sighed, “can teach Edgar to
be more serious. Ugh!”

Rowena giggled. “Or perhaps our first impressions of them
are wrong.”

Edina laughed. “We can but hope.”

“’Tis fortunate we were not sitting together at the
weddings. ‘Twill make fooling the princes easier,” Rowena said through a yawn.

“Then we shall start our game in the morning. And pray
tonight no one will tell them we are two.”

“Pray? I think we’ve had enough practice at fooling others.
Prayers are not necessary.”

“Did you ever consider giving up this game? Just because
Mother insisted on dressing us alike when we were children doesn’t mean we must
continue to do so now. We are, after all, adults.”

Rowena sighed. “The idea has occurred to me. But I rather
enjoy fooling people who don’t know us. Don’t you?”

“Sometimes.” Chewing her lower lip, Edina lapsed into
silence. At length she said, “I truly do want Gerard to recognize me for
myself.”

“As I want Edgar to do as well. To make sure they can, we
must play the game—at least for a little while.”

“I suppose so,” Edina reluctantly admitted.

“What troubles you, Edina? You usually are the first to
suggest we pretend to be each other.”

“I suppose Gerard could be a brute despite his handsome
countenance.”

“An even better reason to play our game,” Rowena said,
sounding impatient.

Smiling, weakly, Edina said, “For the first time in my life,
it truly matters
not
to be mistaken for you.”

“To make sure, we must play one more time,” Rowena insisted.

“I suppose we must.”

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