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. As the book opens, Alyse is anxiously awaiting word of her betrothal. After receiving the news that the new courtier, Sir Geoffrey Longford, is her betrothed, a dazed Alyse manages to finally speak. She acquits herself well, but just as she thinks her ordeal before the court is over, Geoffrey turns the tables and escorts her around the Great Hall. During their procession, Alyse sets him a feat to win her regard. (Disclaimer: This work is not yet edited, so please forgive any flaws.)
To her consternation Geoffrey relaxed and chuckled. “Aye, lady, when I behold you I do distrust myself.” Alyse saw again in his eyes that unrecognizable flicker. “Yet I still believe you do me wrong to have so little trust in me. Be assured I would do naught to dishonor you. Even on short acquaintance, I vow to speak you fair in all things, as you are my betrothed and therefore as dear to me as my own life.”
“Very pretty words, my lord,” she answered him, then muttered under her breath, “would that they could be matched in pretty deeds!”
Geoffrey leaned closer. “What deed may I do, gentle lady, to prove myself worthy of your regard?”
Exasperated that he had overheard her, Alyse’s brow puckered in concentration. What task could she set him? Preferably something that would get her back to her table and out of sight. Or better yet…
“I fear I would set you an impossible task, my lord. A labor worthy of mighty Hercules.” That ought to flatter his ego a mite. “For I would beg you to stop time itself and postpone the wedding a little.” Or much. “With time I would come to know you better, be better resigned to our marriage ere we speak the nuptials.” She looked at him, a spark of defiance edging her chin up. “As I have said, so far you have treated me ill in my estimation.”
He faced her and gave her a captivating smile, which she had to admit was as charming as Lord Brayton’s. “I will truly have to be a Hercules to accomplish the task you have set me, my lady. You ask only that I defy the laws of God and man and halt the Sun in its journey ‘round the Earth.” His eyes took on a devilish sparkle. “Though if it will win your good opinion of me, I will fain attempt the feat.”
Alyse winced at that look, and spoke with as good a grace as she could muster. “I thank you, kind sir, for attempting to ease my mind. Should you prove yourself as mighty as Hercules and a man of compassion towards me, you might indeed win my regard.” Let us see if your deeds can be as substantial as your person, my lord. But if he could persuade the king to postpone their marriage even a little, she would be more than grateful. This betrothal had shaken her, though few women she knew managed to marry as they would choose. Because of Phillip, she had never contemplated marriage to a stranger.
I hope you enjoyed this sample of Time Enough to Love. Stop by SSS tomorrow for six sentences from one of my current works. And today be sure to click here to visit more Sweet Samples.