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.”
An irritated glare sparked as Thomas sat up. “Oh, do not tell me you have been snared by that little wench you flaunted earlier tonight! You looked insufferably pleased with yourself, and it was not even through your own efforts. She was your father’s choice, by Christ. Though why he didn’t get you a better alliance, God knows. He did much better for your brother.” Thomas shook his head. “And you approve of it?”
Geoffrey grinned at the exasperated man. “Aye, I do. The match is better than you may think, Thomas. Her father has no sons and she is the eldest daughter, so his estates will pass to her and her husband on his death. A fair catch for a second son with few expectations, would you not say?” He sipped the wine and sighed. “And strange as it may seem, I liked the little maid.”
“She does not seem your usual type, Geoffrey.” Thomas curled his lips into a knowing smile. He and Thomas had wenched together enough to know his friend’s appetites in women as well as his own.
“The type I prefer would hardly be the type I would wed.” Geoffrey seated himself across from the man he’d called friend for ten years. “She is what I expected in a wife and maybe a bit more besides.”
“What do you mean?” Thomas grunted, twirling his cup in his hands.
“Oh, she is an innocent, but underneath there is a mettle in her that could be very entertaining, both in and out of bed.” He chuckled. “She spoke her mind rather freely tonight and challenged me to be her Hercules.”
“Hercules?” Thomas cocked his head. “I would say she has an eye for the obvious. You fit that immortal’s description so well already.” His friend’s face took on the smug smile it so often wore. “I know you saw how smitten she was with me when I pointed her out to you earlier. A bold eye she had, with a face to tell the tale.” He grinned at the Geoffrey. “She did not, however, seem pleased with you, my friend. You must be glad there was no dagger within her reach when you forced her to process around the room.”
Geoffrey scowled. Thomas’ penchant for such banter was well-known to him.
“Did you see her face when I kissed her hand? I thought she would drop to the floor.”
Geoffrey snorted and shook his head. “She is young, and you are but a passing fancy.” He shot a glare toward the smaller man. “Trust me, I will make sure of that. And you well know ‘twas when I kissed her hand before the court that she all but swooned. Neither did she react to your kiss, but to the touch of her hand on mine after you kissed it.”
“You saw that, you devil! And I was at my most charming, too.” He shook his head. “So why does your rough touch make the girl giddy? Have you threatened to beat her already?”
“She is marrying me, not you, Thomas.”
“Geoffrey! You wound me to the quick. But the question at hand is what makes her tremble at your touch?” Thomas laughed, the idea of such a strong attraction obviously ludicrous to him.
Friends or rivals? Perhaps both, do you think? And just how will Alyse fare between them?
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.