Sir Rolf stared across the great hall to the woman who held his affection as she danced across the floor to a lively tune. Her current partner, one of several who had won the honor of a dance at today’s tourney, was of similar age to Lady Lynett. He caught her gaze and a smile spread across her features and gave Rolf hope that he could somehow capture her heart. But others stood in his way, along with the knight who came to stand beside him.
“She will never be yours, Rolf,” Ian MacGillivray murmured as he, too, watched the lady who now frowned whilst she observed them.
“And you think you will win her hand?” Rolf asked knowing full well that Ian had more of an opportunity of marriage with the fair lady than he did. After all, she had been in love with Ian once. “You had your chance years ago before you disappeared to seek your fame.”
“Lynett was young then and at the time I had nothing to offer her. You know that. She is a woman full grown and, now that I have inherited, I am more than suitable to provide a lifestyle that she is accustomed to. What do you have to offer?”
Rolf glanced at Ian. What indeed? Love perchance? He ignored the underlying taunt and returned his attention to the lady. “I was here to dry her tears whilst she mourned that you did not come back for her. Every. Single. Day. That alone should prove my worth, not that I must needs justify anything to you.”
Ian sighed. “We were comrades once… fighting for the same cause. We can put our differences behind us and remain friends. I only have Lynett’s best interest at heart.”
Rolfe scoffed. “And you think I do not share a similar mind as to what is best for the lady?”
“We are both fools,” Ian said with a shake of his head. “Neither of us will have an easy time winning the lady’s love.”
Rolf’s heart lurched in his chest as though Ian’s words held some merit. As the music died down, Lord Dristan motioned towards him. “If you will excuse me, Ian. I have a dance to claim with the fair Lynett.”
Rolfe did not wait for a reply. Instead, he went to the woman he wished to wed with all his heart. If this was the only time he would ever hold her in his arms, so be it. He would enjoy this moment to cherish for the rest of his lifetime.
This is an original piece from Belle Sherry Ewing for her medieval romance A Knight To Call My Own. Read on to learn more about this bestselling novel.
A Knight To Call My Own:
The MacLarens: A Medieval Romance (Book Two)
By Sherry Ewing
Lynet should have expected this to happen when she had stated she would stay with him. But nothing in her score of years had prepared her for the sensation of her very first kiss as a woman full grown. She would have thought such a momentous event would send her heart flipping end over end, but ’twas further from the truth than she cared to admit, even unto herself. Although mildly pleasant, such a kiss as this did not make her want to profess her undying love to the knight who would offer her everything she desired if she could but learn to love him.
Perchance, she did not put enough effort into such an endeavor, for how was she to know how this kissing business was accomplished, having only experienced it once afore as a young girl with Ian, haphazard and brief as that had been. She took a step closer. Rolf must have taken this as a sign of encouragement. He deepened their kiss, and Lynet quickly became aware of two startling revelations. For one, Rolf had far more experience than she herself did when it came to kissing and certainly knew what he was doing. The second was far more disappointing to her peace of mind. She abruptly realized, if they were to marry, she would be settling into a relationship where they may have found a common accord, but Lynet would never truly love him deep within her heart. They both deserved much better than such a fate as that.
“I hope we’re not interrupting…” an annoyed voice called out from behind her.
Shame flooded through her, down to her very toes, as they swiftly broke apart. To be caught in such a compromising position such as this and by him, of all people! She turned to see none other than Ian himself making his way up the last of the parapet steps, followed closely by her brother Aiden, who strode menacingly towards Rolf with a clenched fist.
“I should call you out for taking advantage of my sister!” Aiden bellowed, wedging himself between her and Rolf. “What the devil were you thinking to touch her so?” Rolf threw both his hands up, obviously not willing to fight her brother in front of her.
“’Tis wretchedly obvious he was not thinking at all, Aiden,” Ian drawled, taking her elbow. “Come, Lynet. I will escort you to your chambers.”
“Nay! I will go nowhere with you, Ian,” she professed in embarrassment whilst trying to wrench her arm free with little success.
Aiden whirled around, glaring at her ’til she snapped her mouth shut. “You will go with Ian to your chambers. You have enough to worry about in the coming days with all the rabble outside our gates vying for your hand and should get your rest whilst you may,” her brother ordered. He made sure his words were abundantly clear, giving evidence he was not pleased with her behavior.
Her emotions torn between the three men, she watched as Aiden made to usher Rolf from the battlement wall. ’Twas clear her brother had no qualm about leaving her alone with Ian. But she knew otherwise and what this could mean to her already tattered heart. Ian was by far more dangerous to her wellbeing.
“Rolf,” she called, stepping towards him although Ian’s grip kept her from getting any closer to him. “I will see you on the morrow.” He gave her the briefest of nods as acknowledgement afore leaving with Aiden, who continued his lecture as they did so.
Lynet stood in silence as she watched the turret door shut with a resounding slam. She made the blunder of looking up into Ian’s stormy face once they were alone. His visage was furious with possibly a hint of jealousy hidden in the depths of his eyes. ’Twas hard to tell what the man was pondering inside his head, but she knew she would not have to wait long afore he spoke his mind. When he did, it caused her to inwardly cringe.
“You will not meet with him by yourself again, Lynet.” He enunciated each word with clenched teeth, giving confirmation to the anger he was holding in check. “Do I make myself clear?”
Her own rage exploded to the surface like blinding, white-hot lightning. “Who do you think you are that you assume you can just order me about and tell me what to do?” Courage to stand up for herself raced through Lynet, for she would not let him see how he affected her so. Her reckless and traitorous heart skipped a beat with his nearness. Damn the man’s soul to hell. How she hated him!
“I will tell you who I am, lass. I am the man you will forever bow down to and call husband come the end of these games,” he roared ferociously, like a wounded animal.
“I will neither bow down to you, nor any other man, you worthless cur,” she shouted right back at him.
Ian grabbed her arms, giving her a shake ’til she felt her teeth rattle. “You will submit to me, you stubborn woman. Do you not even realize when you have met your match?”
She lifted her head at him with narrowed eyes. “Aye, as a matter of fact, I do, for he just left with my brother!”
“He is only the captain of your guard, Lynet. He has no right to lay claim to you as his future bride,” Ian retorted hotly, “nor to steal your kisses in the moonlight.”
“That did not stop you from loving my sister when the same held true of your position. What makes you think you are a better man than Rolf to hold my affection, or that you can do a finer job of kissing me? I enjoyed his lips on mine and will kiss him anytime I should choose to do so,” she snickered, tossing him a defiant glare that all too quickly fell from her features. With one glance upon him, she might as well have slapped his face, considering the look he gave her. She knew she had pushed him too far.
He said not another word, but made fast work of guiding her down from the lofty parapet walkway. Her slippered feet barely touched the coldness of the stones beneath her, so rapid was their hasty decent down the turret stairs. When they came to the portal of her chamber, Ian backed her up against the solid wood with his arms resting on either side of her, as he had done but recently. There was no escaping him.
They stood, just the two of them, listening to the crackling sound of the lit torches in the passageway. Far more troubling to her way of thinking was her heaving chest as she attempted to gain her breath. She could no longer stand her submissive stance of looking down at her feet, so she raised her eyes to meet his.
When would she stop making such stupid decisions as actually looking at the man, not that she had anywhere else to gaze, given his close proximity. The firelight from the torches in the wall sconces brought out the red of his hair. She would have sighed at the sight of it, but would not give him the gratification. His heavy lidded, hazel eyes took on a light of their own and seemed to search into her very soul. She gulped and watched a gleam enter those knowing orbs whilst a discerning grin formed on his mouth. A mouth that was rapidly closing the distance between them!
“Do not dare─”
Her words were cut off as his mouth quickly took possession of her own, for possess her he did, with just the slightest first brush of his lips. She gasped when a turbulent wave of searing heat radiated throughout her entire body. But, such a profound encounter only allowed him to further plunder her senses as his tongue began to frolic with her own. Sweet Jesus, what in the world is he doing to me?
She felt his hands cup her face ’til he tilted her head, allowing him better access to her mouth. An unexpected moan escaped her. ’Twas, apparently, what he had wanted to hear from her. The sound surely only confirmed his own damn suspicions that she had told a lie when speaking of the effect of Rolf’s kiss. She was certain such a revelation pleased him.
His hands began a slow descent as they roamed down her back ’til he cupped her bottom, bringing her up hard against his solid frame. She quaked in response to such intimacy between them. Her shock did not stop his arm from winding around her waist, keeping her firmly in place as he continued to devour her last shreds of reality. The disbelief of feeling his firmly muscled body pressed up against her own sent any sense of prudence to remain indifferent to him fleeing from her mind. How could one keep a hold on any form of rationality when all she could suddenly feel was the unmistakable form of his manhood pressed intimately against her?
She was lost, and she unexpectedly cared not. Nay… all she could recognize in her feeble attempts to remain level headed was the fact that any control of the situation she may have had up to this point had vanished as soon as Ian had kissed her. Her arms made their way up and around his neck to playfully finger his shoulder length hair. She mimicked what he was doing to her mouth, letting him teach her what he liked. She must have done something right, for she heard his own groan of pleasure whilst he tightened his grip upon her.
About A Knight To Call My Own:
When your heart is broken, is love still worth the risk?
Lynet of clan MacLaren knows how it feels to love someone and not have that love returned. After waiting for six long years, she has given up hope of Ian’s return. Her brother-in-law, the Devil’s Dragon of Berwyck, is tired of waiting for her to choose a husband and has decided a competition for the right to wed Lynet is just the thing his willful charge needs to force her hand.
Ian MacGillivray has returned to Berwyck Castle in search of a bride and who better than the young girl who cared for him all those years ago. But Lynet is anything but an easy conquest and he will need more than charm to win her hand in marriage.
From the English borders to the Highlands of Scotland, the chase is on for who will claim the fair Lynet. The price paid will indeed be high to ensure her safety and even higher to win her love.
Also available on audiobook:
About 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. You can learn more about Sherry and her books on her website where a new adventure awaits you on every page!
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