Medieval Monday is back. This week is author’s choice of scene. So many great scenes to choose from. However, one of my favorites is from Betrothal, in which the two heroes, Geoffrey and Thomas, discuss Alyse, the heroine, at some length.
“You cannot tell me you intend to retire at this hour. It is not yet midnight, and there is to be a game in Sir John Claymore’s apartments this evening.”
Geoffrey strode to the table, dressed in nothing but his chausses, and took a cup of the sweet wine for himself. He shook his head. “Nay, Thomas, I plan an early morning.”
“Hawking or hunting?”
“Most definitely hunting.”
Thomas sipped his wine. “What game?”
Geoffrey laughed. “A wide-eyed doe.”
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, though I have no idea why. You did not even win her through your own efforts. Your father chose her, by Christ.” He glared at Geoffrey. “Though why he did not get you a better alliance, God knows. He made a much more illustrious match for your brother.” Thomas shook his head. “And yet 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 no expectations, would you not say?” He sipped the wine and sighed. “And strange as it may seem, I liked the little maid.”
“An innocent who will not even know how to please a man properly. As I recall, you usually prefer more lively fare.”
Geoffrey grimaced. Thomas knew his appetites in women as well as his own. “What I prefer would hardly be what I would wed.” He seated himself across from the man he had called friend for ten years. “She is what I expected in a wife and maybe a bit more besides.”
Thomas grunted, twirling his cup in his hands. “What do you mean?”
“Oh, she is an innocent, but underneath there is a mettle in her that could be very entertaining, both in and out of bed.” Geoffrey chuckled. “She spoke her mind rather freely tonight and challenged me to be her Hercules.”
Thomas cocked his head. “Hercules? I would say she has an eye for the obvious. You fit that immortal’s description so well already.” His 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 Geoffrey. “She did not, however, seem pleased with you, my friend. You should be glad she had no dagger within her reach when you forced her to promenade around the room.”
Geoffrey scowled. He knew Thomas’s penchant for baiting well.
“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 had kissed it.”
“You saw that, you devil!” Thomas shook his head. “And I was at my most charming, too. So why does your rough touch make the girl giddy? Have you threatened to beat her already?”
“She is marrying me, not you, Thomas.”
Hope you enjoyed this excerpt! See you next week!