Thursday, July 29, 2010
Dangerous Enchantment -
She sat by the brazier, wondering what she would do. Should they steal horses and try to escape? It was ludicrous. She had no idea where to catch a boat from that would take them to Burgundy and who on the roads would be their friends? Everyone would be afraid. Miserably she looked at the burning wood. Hearing a movement she turned. The lord stood in the doorway.
Quickly she left her chair, standing to face him, trying to stop her chin from tilting and her hands from going to her waist. She had to endeavor to stop her foot from tapping. She did not like the way he looked at her. He allowed his eyes to explore every part of her, from her bound head to her velvet slippers and delayed far too long on the way between them both. He stepped deeper into the room. She said nothing. He went to the adjacent chamber and looked inside. Seeing it empty he came back.
“Where is the boy?” he asked at last.
“I do not know,” she lied. Unsure of how vulnerable Richard was feeling, Kate did not want him to have to confront Caradoc just yet.
“You will no longer be served food here. You will come to table in the hall.”
“Will I?” she asked.
“You will. If you do not, then you can starve. It is nothing to me.”
“I am sure that would be very convenient for you — to have Richard and me starve to death. You would then be able to feel comfortable in your role here, happy in these lands without seeing Richard, who will be a daily reminder that you have stolen these from him.”
He smiled the smile that was not quite a smile. “I have stolen nothing, but if that is what you think, so be it, I care not for your opinion. I do not canvas your support or your favour. You are nothing to me. But while you are under my roof…”
“Your roof?” She could not stop the words.
“My roof, lady, and do not forget it. While you are my guest you will be treated as all other guests. You will dine in the hall, or you will not dine at all.”
“Your guests are whores and I do not treat with whores,” she said, matching his insolent gaze.
“Whores earn their keep. They are not parasites.”
“Are you calling me a parasite, sir?” she demanded, unable to stop her hands going to her waist, her elbows akimbo. She was unable either to stop her foot from tapping.
“I do not see you earning your keep…unless…” He strode across the room and before she could prevent him, he had moved to pull her hands from her waist and to fasten them behind her back. Slowly he bent her backwards and leaned over her. She could feel the intimate curves of his body pressing against her skirt. She moved, conscious of fear creeping up inside her. Her movement seemed to excite him; she felt the hardness more definitely. Somehow she dredged up her courage to meet his eyes. There was something in their gleam, something that was no longer cold, but a glint that told her of his intention to… She stopped moving.
“Do you rape as well as plunder?” she asked chillingly. For a moment he met her gaze, then, with a coarse word, he flung her to one side.
“Lady,” he spat, “you would not be worth my energy. I prefer my meat hot to cold.”
Then he turned on his heel and stormed out. Weakly Kate fell into her bed, the trembling began in her legs and soon her whole body was shaking. She had to be very careful in her treating with him. He was a dangerous adversary and she, she was beginning to learn, could be a fool.
at 5:40 AM