Excerpt from The Angel and The Prince

Here’s an excerpt from my medieval novel, The Angel and The Prince!  Enjoy!

             Even now, she could not concentrate.  He filled her mind, dominated her thoughts.  She wanted to see him, to touch him.  Ryen imagined being held in his strong arms, pictured how tenderly he would gaze at her, and then lower his lips to hers –

            She shook her head harshly, driving the thoughts from her mind.  He is the enemy! she told herself.  Even as she did so, she reined in her horse, allowing Lucien to pass her, a scowl clearly creasing his brow.  Andre was next, his eyes boring into hers with concern.  Then, the rest of her knights filed by.  They were weary from the long ride that was bringing them ever closer to De Bouriez Castle, and some grumbled as they rode by.  Ryen paid them no attention.  Her eyes were searching the middle of the column of men where the prisoners were guarded.

            She spotted him immediately.  His tall form sat straight in the saddle.  With the sun behind him, his bare shoulders glowed red.  His hands were bound and his ankles were tied beneath the horse, but the guards still game him a respectful distance.

            “You certainly don’t look like the Prince of Darkness I pictured,” Ryen heard one of the guards say as they drew closer to her.

            “They must give out titles to any beggar off the streets in England,” another mocked.

            “Where are your horns?”

            “Where is your legendary strength?”

            “If this is the best England has to offer, then we have nothing to worry about – isn’t that true, dog?”

            “Come on.  Show us how strong England is,” one of the men goaded.

            Bryce’s head remained bent, his eyes lidded as if he were resting, but Ryen saw his shoulder muscles bunch and release, noticed the stiff set of his jaw.  She knew if he were not bound he would have her men’s hearts in his hands.

            “He has no strength.  Why, my woman could bring him to his knees.”

            “And she’d like it, too,” the second guard guffawed.

            The first guard clubbed the second with a clenched fist. 

            “Do you think he understands us?” the third man wondered.  “Maybe he speaks no French.”

            “He understands,” Ryen said, guiding her horse up beside Bryce’s.  “Look at his eyes, see how they burn with hate.  All the fires of hell are locked within his body.”

            “And they burn only for you, Angel,” Bryce said in English, his dark eyes swiveling toward her.

            Ryen felt herself being swept away by the heat of his gaze.  Her heart began to pound, and flames of excitement burned up and down her spine, leaving her weak.  She could not tear her eyes from his.  As the horses moved, their thighs bumped, and even through the chain mail she wore, she could feel the strength in his legs.  Ryen felt a tremor race through her body.

            “Have you come to torture me with kisses?” he wondered in a husky voice.

            Ryen could not take her gaze from his lips as they caressed each word.  Remembering their kiss, she felt her own begin to tingle.  Finally, Ryen looked away, licking her lips as she did so.  Bryce’s soft chuckle reached her ears and she straightened her shoulders.

            “Apparently, your legend precedes you,” Ryen stated, quickly changing the subject.  Bryce did not answer, and Ryen raised her eyes to his.  She saw the frown of confusion that darkened his brow.  “Many would meet you.  And make you suffer for the sins of your king.”

            Bryce’s jaw tightened.  “Sins I would gladly suffer for.”

            Ryen watched him, amazed at the regret she felt constricting her chest.  They would throw him in the dungeon or have his head on the executioner’s block.  Either way, Ryen wished…

            She had no right to wish anything where he was concerned!  He’d murdered her people.  He’d pillaged French towns.  He had the most mysterious eyes…

            Ryen dropped her gaze again.

            “Perhaps the Angel of Death’s heart is not made of ice, as the stories say,” Bryce ventured.

            Ryen steeled herself against the emotions she felt stirring in her heart.  “You are mistaken.”

            “Am I?”  He chuckled softly.

            Ryen glanced at him.  It was a mistake; she knew it immediately.  He was staring at her, the corners of his lips curved up in a smile.  Warm tingles shot up her spine; fire ignited in her lower stomach, warming her.  She wanted to touch him.  She felt an overwhelming urge to run her fingers through his mane of wild black hair and was shocked to find herself leaning in to do just that.  She quickly straightened.  She was shaking with the emotions he aroused in her.  She had to escape the trembling that raced through her body.  It wasn’t right!  She spurred her horse and returned to where she belonged…the front of her army, wishing she could flee her emotions as easily as she had the Prince of Darkness.