Today I’m continuing with Christmas snippets from my medieval romance novella Seduction at the Christmas Court.
So far the snippets began with a boar hunt some days before Christmas in 1349. Geoffrey, Lord Longford and his wife Alyse have been summoned to the King’s Christmas court and this is the King’s favorite sport.
Today I’m switching to the Christmas feast and a mummer’s play, holiday fare often found in the medieval Christmas celebration.
Alyse and Geoffrey, Lord and Lady Longford, have journeyed to the glittering Christmas Court of King Edward III in the year 1349 to wait upon the king and take part in some Yuletide merriment. However, when Geoffrey is suddenly called into the king’s service again, Alyse must remain at court, attending the queen and persuading her rebellious sister to accept an unwanted betrothal. When rumors of Geoffrey’s death arise, Alyse fends off an old suitor who wants to renew their friendship. But how long will he take “No” for an answer?
Grasping his hand, Alyse rubbed it between both of hers. “’Tis early days yet in our marriage, my lord. Only a year since we were wed and for half that time I carried Thomas’ child. Now that he no longer gives me suck, ‘twill not be long ‘ere I’ll have your child safe in my belly.”
With a sigh, Geoffrey smiled and grasped her chin, raising it so he could steal a kiss. His warm lips brushed hers, stirring her inner warmth as his touch always did. They pleasured each other so often surely she would quicken with his babe ‘ere long.
“This entertainment will be tedious. I would much rather retire for a good night’s bedding right now,” he whispered, the puff of his breath tickling her ear and sending prickles of excitement down her neck.
He laughed and drank deeply. “Aye, sweet Alyse. My skill with both weapons outshines any other knight.”
“As you will not want me to be judge of that, I think, I will demur to your claim, although I will test your skills again with the one blade ‘ere the night is done.”
At Geoffrey’s bark of laughter—so loud it turned heads on the dais their way—Alyse settled back to watch the mummers, her cheeks burning, but a pleasant anticipation building within as well.
The mummer playing St. George took the center spot in the Great Hall and began a sing-song rhyme that soon had the court laughing at its nonsense. A stream of knights—played in turn by the other mummers—approached, made their rhyming challenge, and were quickly slain by St. George, whose wielding of his sword became swifter and swifter. He slayed the knights in such short order that by the time he faced the final knight, he did no more than look at the Turkish knight than the man fell down, his toes jingling softly as he landed on the soft rushes covering the floor.
A burst of laughter and applause followed that performance as the quack Doctor shuffled forward, his “magic potion” in a large bottle, gripped in his hand.
Thoroughly engrossed, Alyse laughed and clapped her hands. She held her breath and leaned forward as the Doctor poured the potion down the throats of the slain knights, spoke his own rhyme over them, and one by one, they began to twitch and dance, the rush-strewn floor seeming to come alive as they did. The room resounded with merriment as all seven knights revived.
The man nimbly caught the coin and made a deep bow. “Thank you, my lord.”
With a lecherous grin, Geoffrey grasped Alyse’s arm and urged her to rise. “And now allow me to attend to my lady’s pleasure as well.”
Throbbing began low in her belly, her whole body awash in a wave of heat.
Grasping her hand, he led her quickly, willingly, from the Great Hall. As they entered the corridor that led to their chamber, he swept her into his arms and ran the last few steps. He opened the door, sank his mouth down onto hers, and stepped across the threshold.
Be sure to return for next week’s installment of Seduction at the Christmas Court or grab a copy on Amazon, Smashwords, or Barnes & Noble now!
Time Enough to Love Series
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