Welcome back to Sweet Saturday Sample! All excerpts here are rated PG-13 or milder.
With a three-day weekend, it is certainly a Sweet Saturday for me. Here’s another offering from my medieval trilogy WIP, Time Enough To Love, Book I – Betrothal.
This series is set in England and France in 1348. Part 1, Betrothal, takes place at the court of King Edward III.
This excerpt comes just after my last post on Six Sentence Sunday. Geoffrey and Alyse are talking just after the banns for their marriage have been read for the first time. Geoffrey has just told her of a great honor that has been bestowed on her. If you’d like last Saturday’s excerpt, it’s here. If you’d like the next six sentences, they are here. Today, we start with the next sentence, and yet another honor to come.
To think she owed such an honor to the man she would soon call husband, that he had asked the king himself to grant the favor, made her heart beat an unsteady march in her chest. She parted her lips to thank him when he swooped forward, secured her chin in his hand and kissed her. Strangely soft, yet very sweet, his lips sent a searing bolt straight to her stomach, setting it afire. After moments that seemed an eternity, his mouth slackened on hers as though he would release her. Then he flicked the tip of his tongue across her lips, testing for another invitation.
With a gasp she jumped back, drawing a chuckle from Geoffrey, who had the grace to glance around to make sure they had not been observed. “Be not discomfited, sweet. We are safe in our conversation.”
“’Twas not in our conversation that I feared harm, my lord.” So difficult to sound outraged. She could still feel his lips on hers
“Come, my lady, ’twas only courtly affection I did show you.” Geoffrey’s words might have been believable if not for the wicked grin that accompanied them. “And I have one more piece of news for you ere I go.” She took a step back, and Geoffrey laughed softly.
“Nay, ’tis only that I would have you decide which knight of the Round Table you would accompany to the field. You may choose any save Arthur or Lancelot, for those are reserved for King Edward and the Prince of Wales.”
He had struck her speechless again. To allow her to choose their roles…The enormity of the task soaked into her. They would be judged by the king and queen in part on how appropriately she chose. Choose wrong and the entire court would whisper scandal. She could not fail Geoffrey when he had entrusted her with this critical decision.
“You do me great honor by your request, my lord,” she said finally, dipping him a curtsy. Such trust in her demanded nothing less than her utmost respect for him.
He stood expectantly, his eyes sparkling as he awaited her decision. Names from the tales she had read with her Uncle Antoine as a young child whirled through her head. But the choice for such an honored position should not be rushed. After a pause, Alyse twisted her hands and lifted her gaze to him.
“Need you an answer this instant, Sir Geoffrey?”
He raised his eyebrows then shook his head. “I think not, my lady. I believe that we will be placed in the procession according to my rank as knight, not by the rank of the Knights of the Round Table. Therefore, I need give the name only to secure our clothing for the procession. Tomorrow should suffice.”
“Then if I may, I will give you my choice this evening at supper that I may weigh the possibilities during the afternoon. I would have my choice portray both a knight of your chivalrous bent and a lady worthy of such a champion.” He laughed, and her heart beat faster.
Will he be so bold as to steal another kiss?
Does she even doubt it? LOL Alyse may be thawing a trifle, don’t you think?
I hope you enjoyed this latest sample from Betrothal. And be sure to click here to visit more Sweet Samples.