Claimed by the Viking Warriors: Menage Historical Romance by Lily Reynard

Claimed by the Viking Warriors: Menage Historical Romance by Lily Reynard

Author:Lily Reynard [Reynard, Lily]
Language: eng
Format: epub
Publisher: Philtatos Press
Published: 2016-03-05T16:00:00+00:00

Chapter Nine – Pleasing Them Both

She disliked him. She wanted to marry Leif.

Hjalmar, who had received reports from his scouts that their ships were being tailed by mounted men, had followed Eadyth to the river to stand guard while the women and children bathed.

There, he had overheard every word she exchanged with Aud Olafsdóttir.

He had never before worried what a woman thought of him, and it was a novel and unpleasant sensation to do so now. Eadyth had been telling the truth about what might have happened to her if she hadn't been highborn, but the exchange that followed had wounded him.

Eadyth had not expressed any interest in wedding him and had spoken only of Leif.

Perhaps she had done it to needle Aud, he tried to tell himself, for the shield-maiden had been most unsubtle in her attempts to rid herself of a rival for Leif's attention.

But the pattern was depressingly familiar.

Women had always flocked to Leif's quick smiles and carefree charm, but most of them shrank away from Hjalmar’s intimidating glower unless they wanted something from him—gifts, a favor for a husband or kinsman, a petition granted.

And now it seemed that this beautiful Saxon maiden would follow the same course.

But Hjalmar wanted her. Wanted her like no one else he'd ever met. He had been struck by intense desire for her ever since he had first seen her in the abbey's hall, terrified yet determined.

Hjalmar clenched his fists, stubborn determination coursing through his veins. This time, he wasn't going to stand aside and let Leif claim the prize.

Eadyth was his.

* * *

As the lingering late summer twilight stained the sky with smoldering shades of scarlet and flame, Eadyth ate at the campfire in front of the tent that Hjalmar and Leif shared.

It was the largest tent in the camp, and it looked as if it had been looted from a Saxon nobleman. Eadyth's father had owned one that looked very similar, for use in war or extended hunting trips.

The two men sat with her, spooning up their bowls of soup thick with chunks of vegetable and meat.

Leif broke his usual mealtime silence as he ate, peppering her with questions about Haxby's population of foxes and river otters and whether the manor had an existing fur trade.

Hjalmar stared into the small fire with a somber expression and said very little. Eadyth wondered what was troubling him.

Eadyth heard a burst of laughter nearby and glanced up to see Aud sitting next to Dunstan, amidst a group of other warriors and their women.

Both Aud and Dunstan were looking at her while speaking in low voices, she noticed uneasily. Her unease deepened when they noticed her watching them and quickly looked away.

"So you've decided to wed Leif?" Hjalmar said suddenly.

Both Leif and Eadyth gazed at him in astonishment.

"You have?" Leif said, plunking down his bowl and reaching for Eadyth's hand. "And you didn't tell me, sweet lady?"

She twisted to avoid him and didn't let go of either her bowl or spoon.

"What on earth gave you that idea?" she asked Hjalmar.


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