Medieval Monday is back, with a new twist. This time around we post excerpts that fulfill a different requirement each week. This week we must post an excerpt that involves a kiss. So my excerpt will be from my medieval series Time Enough to Love, the first book of which is Betrothal, with Alyse and Geoffrey’s first kiss.
“Would you share something else besides news, Sir Geoffrey?”
“That I would, little maid.” He spun around before she could back away. He darted his hand out to secure hers again and raised it to his mouth. “It seems, however, that I must be content with this.” He grazed her skin with his lips, skimming over the surface of her flesh with a floating touch that made her shiver. “And with my news. You know the king called for a joust, a Round Table, at Windsor next week to celebrate the princess’s betrothal?”
Alyse nodded and frowned. The mere thought of jousting sent a quiver of dread down her spine. But his statement was hardly news; the court had been preparing for the tournaments for weeks.
“It has been decreed by His Majesty that on the first day the festivities will begin with a procession of ladies and knights of King Arthur’s court, starting at the Tower of London and winding through the town out to the lists. There are to be twenty-five knights on the king’s side who will joust and fight in a pas d’armes. So there needs be twenty-five ladies as well, to escort them to the field.”
She nodded again. “Princess Joanna rides in this procession.” Her part in the festivities had been determined last week. Did he have anything truly new to impart?
“You have been chosen to be one of the ladies.”
Alyse’s mouth dropped open and a thrill coursed through her. “But I am only Princess Joanna’s attendant, Sir Geoffrey. Usually such honors are reserved for the queen and Princess Isabella’s ladies, or the Duchesses and Countesses in the Royal Family. Why did they choose me?”
“Because I am to be one of the knights, and I begged a boon of the king to allow you to be my lady.”
She stared at him in shock, almost unbelieving, though she knew he would not lie about such a thing. 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. Alyse 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 touch 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 the hard-pressed seam of her mouth, 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.” Lord, ’twas difficult to sound outraged when 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.
Hope you enjoyed this excerpt! See you next week!