Lord Roland de Wolfe burst into his sister’s bedchamber, sword drawn to meet whatever peril she was facing. A frown quickly marred his brow to see her calmly sitting by the fire reading a book.
“You said ’twas urgent,” he muttered placing the blade in the scabbard strapped to his side. “I thought mayhap you were in danger.”
Livinia gave a light laugh. “I am perfectly fine.” She pointed to his attire or lack thereof. “You could have at least put on a tunic. Obviously, I interrupted your bath with my summons.”
“Aye, you did, among other things,” he replied with a sly grin, not that his sister needed to know of the woman waiting for him back in his own chamber. “What was of such import that it could not wait ’til the morn?”
“I have an idea that could be of mutual benefit to us. A wager if you would care to take a chance,” she said with sparkling eyes. She reached over for a cup and took a sip. “Are you game?”
His eyes narrowed as he pondered her. Livinia had always been mischievous in her youth. In the past, Roland had been more than willing to be an accomplice for whatever she had in mind as long as no one was hurt in her games. She was used to getting her way and Roland supposed he was much to blame since he had been left to raise her.
He came to sit opposite her, leaning his forearms on his legs. “What did you have in mind, my dear?”
“Our cousin Catherine arrived this morn. She brings with her Sir Charles…”
“… along with her husband’s sister, Lady Freya,” Livinia continued with a smirk.
His brow rose. Now his sister had his attention. Roland knew of his Livinia’s infatuation with Sir Charles since she was a young girl. He had hoped she had outgrown those feelings but apparently not. “Laird Douglas has a sister?”
“Aye, he does, and he has brought her with them to Wolverhampton. I was introduced to them a short while ago, although I am expected to return to the great hall shortly.”
“Go on,” Roland said sitting back in his chair as he began tapping the wooden arms with his fingertips.
“You worm your way into Lady Freya’s affections. I do not care how you do it, only that it drives a wedge between the woman and Sir Charles,” Livinia answered.
“How exactly do you know Charles cares for the woman and why does this matter to you?”
“I am not blind, Roland. Suffice to say I would like to see just how far we can push them, tear them apart, or bring them together. I only care to make Charles suffer a bit for not returning my affections in our youth,” she lifted her nose a bit higher causing Roland to laugh at her antics.
“What is in it for me?” he said mockingly. He just may enjoy this challenge if only to see what depths his sister might go to try and finally win Sir Charles.
“Why, you get the company of a lovely young woman who no doubt has a hefty dowry that could be yours if you play this game right. Have you not said that we both should marry soon to replenish your coffers?”
“And you finally get Charles.” He let his comment fill the space between them ’til he watched Livinia shrug.
“That is the whole point of this, Roland. Are you in?”
“This seems like an easy bet to make with you, sister. You will fail, of course, and would never be happy with Charles as your husband. If he and Lady Freya ended up as husband and wife, our wager will be that you agree to marry the man of my choosing. Agreed?” he smirked knowing Livinia would agree before she thought out her plan in greater detail. Generally, she could charm anyone to bend to her will, Charles being the exception.
“Agreed!” she said clapping her hands.
“’Tis a wager then.” Roland stood and bent down to place a kiss on her sister’s cheek. “Now if you will excuse me, I shall see to making myself presentable.” He also needed to get rid of the woman currently waiting for him in his chamber. As he left Livinia, he began mentally composing a list of eligible noblemen whom he might consider worthy enough to marry his sister.
This is an original piece with secondary characters from Belle Sherry Ewing’s novella, To Love An English Knight: De Wolfe Pack Connected World, that released today. Read on to learn more about her medieval romance.
Sir Charles de Grey read the missive he held from Wolverhampton Castle a second time. Disbelief changed to anger, filling his soul that perchance the outcome may have been different had he been with Lady Catherine’s brother and his family. But, nay… he was Catherine’s guardsman, sworn to protect her. He knew his duty to her and what was required of him. She may have been born Catherine de Wolfe, but she was now the lady of Berwyck.
Knowing the heartbreak this would cause Lady Catherine, Charles knew he must quickly locate her husband so he could reveal the news from the missive. Charles would like nothing better than to crush the parchment beneath his feet than to deliver such horrible news to someone he cared for.
He gave a heavy sigh as he left the stable area after seeing the runner was sent to the kitchens to fill his belly after his trip. Memories flitted unbidden across his mind, and he shook his head remembering how he had once been in love with Lady Catherine. Aye! ’Twas foolish on his part he knew, but the months he had been at Berwyck had dispelled such feelings. She was happy in her marriage to the Lord of Berwyck. Thankfully, Charles and Douglas fell into a common accord to keep the lady safe at all costs. Her happiness was all that mattered. Charles’s heart would mend one day, or so he supposed.
As he came into the inner bailey, he saw a flash of fabric as a woman ran behind the healer’s hut. A hint of a grin lit his face. Lady Freya, the laird’s sister, had been a bit of an annoyance when he had first met her while traveling to Caen. When he had first captured the woman who had been following him through camp, he had thought her one of the whores who tended to show up at such events. ’Twas hardly his fault for the mistake.
Fire had blazed in her blue-green eyes, and for the briefest moment when their lips touched, he was reminded how long it had been since he had a woman beneath him. His fingers had skimmed her brown hair with blonde streaks lightened from the sun. She was beautiful, but at the time, his heart had been clouded by another.
She had continued to shadow him throughout their time at the tournament and even on their travels to Berwyck last year. He had strange feelings for the young woman who could be no more than a score of years. Considering he had been thrown into Berwyck’s dungeon because of the jealousy she felt toward Lady Catherine, he supposed he could forgive. She was young and sometimes foolish. Charles’s heart had become bitter from the ordeal, and the wound that Catherine loved another was part to blame.
As he neared the hut, she came around the corner carrying a basket as though she had not a care in the world. Her eyes sparkled when they met his while she hummed a merry tune. But this was no time to tarry with whatever antics she was up to today. He must find Douglas without haste.
“Sir Charles,” she called out. She offered him a smile, and he gave the briefest nod of his head. “’Tis a lovely morn, is it not?”
He was momentarily startled by her comment when he looked about at the cloudy sky above. “I suppose if you care for the possibility of rain,” he murmured.
“I love the rain. ’Tis fun tae dance in. Have ye never tried it?”
“I have hardly had time for such amusement. Your brother keeps us busy with our training. Once it rains, I am too busy trying to keep upright from slipping in the mud.”
“Ye should make the effort sometime. Ye might enjoy it as long as ye have the right partner.” She fell into step with him when he continued on his way toward the keep.
To Love An English Knight:
De Wolfe Pack Connected World
By Sherry Ewing
$0.99 or #FREE in Kindle Unlimited
Can a chance encounter lead to love?
Sir Charles de Grey is in turmoil. He cannot forget the Scottish lass he kissed in Caen, but her jealous spite toward the lady he was sworn to guard infuriated him. Living at Berwyck Castle, he is torn between his desire for Lady Freya and his need to rebuke her sometimes reckless behavior. Leaving her almost tears him apart, but it might give him time to recover some balance.
Lady Freya of Clan MacLaren didn’t expect to become blinded by love until she became quickly besotted on first seeing the English knight in Caen. How quickly everything fell apart when she defies him! Even worse, when he begins to show signs of returning her feelings, he receives a message from home that will tear them apart. Defying him again may put an end to any chance they may have together, but what other choice does she have when he leaves her?
Can the fragile love they found blossom into something more or will circumstances beyond their control continue to provoke behavior that keeps them apart?
Buy Links or read for #FREE in Kindle Unlimited:
Amazon US: https://amzn.to/34Mqzio
About Bluestocking Belle Sherry Ewing:
Sherry Ewing picked up her first historical romance when she was a teenager and has been hooked ever since. A bestselling author, she writes historical and time travel romances to awaken the soul one heart at a time. When not writing, she can be found in the San Francisco area at her day job as an Information Technology Specialist.
Website & Books: www.SherryEwing.com
Amazon Author Page: http://amzn.to/1TrWtoy
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