Harlequin Historical by Annie Burrows Laura Martin Michelle Styles

Harlequin Historical by Annie Burrows Laura Martin Michelle Styles

Author:Annie Burrows, Laura Martin, Michelle Styles [Annie Burrows, Laura Martin, Michelle Styles]
Language: eng
Format: epub
Published: 2014-08-14T21:00:00+00:00

Chapter Eight

Desire. What he felt for Cwenneth was nothing more than desire. He had been without a woman for months now. He had intended finding a willing woman the night Sven had died, but after that there had not been time. He had learnt his lesson after Ingrid—not to allow his heart to become involved. Purely physical and avoid complications.

Cwen was not the sort of woman one used and discarded. She was the other sort, the sort his father had told him that you protected and looked after, a woman like his mother. Strong and full of integrity. Thrand pushed the thought away. Cwen was his means of achieving revenge for his mother’s death. That was all.

‘Shall we stop here?’ Cwen said, half turning. Her delicate brows puckered into a frown. ‘Here beside this stream is as good as any place to camp for the night. Stopping before it gets too dark.’

The small wooded glade with a stream running through it would serve for the night. And his back was on fire. ‘You have a good eye. It will meet our needs. I will take the first watch. You look exhausted. We’ve gone far enough away from any pursuers.’

She put her hand on his arm. ‘And if you think to fool me by saying your back doesn’t hurt by agreeing to my request, I must warn you, your brow is creased with pain and you winced when you mounted Mrykr the last time. You need to sleep. After all we’ve been through I won’t lose you to an infection.’

Thrand drew his upper lip over his teeth. She had noticed his discomfort. He struggled to remember the last time anyone had noticed how he was, rather just accepting his bland words. Probably his mother. What would she have thought of Cwen?

Thrand shook his head, trying to clear the thought. He knew what his mother had hoped for him—a wife and children—but that would have to wait until he had avenged her death. He couldn’t do both. He’d seen the terrible things that happened when men became distracted.

‘The last thing I need to do is sleep.’ He gave a crooked smile as she slid down from the horse. ‘I spent enough time the last few days asleep. Someone has to keep watch.’

‘I can take the first watch.’

‘When were you trained in swordplay, my lady? It will be safer for all if I remain alert.’

‘I never had the chance to learn.’ Cwen tucked her chin into her neck. ‘My late husband considered it beneath my dignity, or rather beneath his wife’s dignity. Perhaps I should have questioned his authority, but he was much older than I and much wiser in the ways of the world.’

‘He made a mistake.’

‘How hard can it be to use a sword? All you have to do is to remember which end to strike with.’

‘There is more to it than that.’ Thrand paused and silently vowed that he would teach her to fight before they reached Jorvik. For her own safety, she needed to learn.


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