A Knight of Honor Excerpt

A Knight of Honor by Laurel O'DonnellSlane plunged his face into the water, trying to douse his growing rage, but the heat of the water only seemed to inflame his anger.  When I find that accursed woman, I will wring her neck.  She’ll learn the true meaning of respect.  Slane pulled his head out of the water, and as several streams of the warm liquid trailed down his face, he felt a slow grin form on his lips.  He saw himself teaching her the proper way to treat a knight of the realm.

Suddenly, a dark shape shifted in the shadows across the room and Slane felt his body stiffen.  Somebody was in his room!  He glanced quickly to his right, at the sword still secured in its scabbard, leaning against a chair leg on the other side of the room.  Damn.  Too far.

“I would have given my payment back to see the look on your face when you got my note,” a feminine voice said, its owner stepping out of the shadows to stand at the side of the tub.

Even though she was clothed in a dark brown robe, a hood half concealing her face, Slane recognized her immediately.  “You…” he muttered, his voice an unbelieving whisper.  The Sullivan woman!  His fingers dug into the edge of the basin; he could feel his nails sink into the wood.  His eyes narrowed to thin slits as his mind transformed the wood into the soft flesh of her neck.  What in God’s blood was she doing here?

“Are you happy to see me?” she wondered, laughter in her voice.  She grabbed a chair from the bed side and slid it over to the tub so its back was near his hand.  She threw her leg over it, straddling it.  “I heard you were looking for me.”

Slane sat motionless.  Here she was, the woman he had been searching for, sitting in a chair not more than a foot from him, and all he could do was stare dumbfounded at her.  In the flickering candlelight the bruised and battered face he remembered was gone, replaced by a cheek so smoothly rounded that he found himself entranced by its perfection.  He caught the scent of lavender about her as a soft breeze brushed past the open shutters and circled the room, blanketing him in the delicate aroma.  He felt a stirring beneath the water and shifted his body lower into the tub…


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