Welcome back to Sweet Saturday Sample! All excerpts here are rated PG-13 or milder. Here’s another post from my new WIP, my medieval trilogy Time Enough To Love. Part 1 is called Betrothal. The series is set in England and France in 1348. Betrothal takes place at the court of King Edward III.
Lady Alyse de Courcy is a waiting gentlewoman to Princess Joanna, youngest daughter of King Edward. After receiving the news that the new courtier, Sir Geoffrey Longford, is her betrothed, a dazed Alyse is less than happy with her arranged marriage. Today’s snippet takes place after their initial meeting., I’ve switched to Geoffrey and Thomas in their chamber. It picks up the last line or two from last week’s Six Sentence Sunday post. Thomas is rather in a snit when Geoffrey turns him down on an offer for a “night out with the boys.” He leaves Geoffrey with his thoughts of Alyse.
“You know, Geoffrey, according to the art of courtly love it is the height of bad manners to fall in love with your own wife. A man’s true love is found with another man’s lady.” Thomas always saw too much.
He coolly turned the tables. “Mayhap, then, you will oblige me by marrying Lady Alyse yourself, lest I disappoint the rules.”
With a snort of derision Thomas got to his feet, apparently done sparring for the night. “Not for the wide world, my friend. Although I bear you great love, Geoffrey, I would not saddle myself with an untried maid even on a bet. To which end I did not offer for the fair Alyse when I had the chance.” He set his empty cup down and flashed even white teeth at his companion. “I prefer the well-seasoned dish to plain fare.” He made for the door then turned as he opened it. “Are you not coming?”
Geoffrey rose and stretched. “Nay, Thomas. I have business to attend to in the morning. Another time, mayhap.”
With a groan, Thomas left the chamber to Geoffrey, who went to stare out the window at the shadowy trees across the royal park. Thomas’s question still preyed on his mind. The lightning stab of desire when he caught the maid’s eye he understood well. She was comely, with face and form fashioned to warm a man’s bed well. But why did his flesh seem afire whenever he touched her? Such feelings were alien, unknown in all his previous dealings with women. This was different—and disturbing.
He sighed, and thought of the changes that would soon rule his life. Already ruled it. His refusal to carouse with Thomas was the first sacrifice. He had always matched Thomas pace for pace in whatever pastime they favored—hawking, gaming, wenching. This was the first night he had cried off. Too bad he disappointed his friend, but he had devised a plan to satisfy Alyse’s need for time and wanted to put it into motion at the soonest possible moment. Which meant an early breakfast.
He imagined his betrothed’s face, her crystal blue eyes wide when he laid the plan before her, and could not suppress a smile. She might be outraged, but he aimed to give her exactly what she had asked for. Hercules had succeeded at another labor; she would have to become used to life with a resourceful man.
What is Geoffrey planning? And will it succeed?
I hope you enjoyed this latest sample from Time Enough to Love. Stop by SSS tomorrow for six sentences from 7 Days of Seduction. And today be sure to click here to visit moreSweet Samples.