She ran her finger slowly over the dark stubble on his face, tracing
the jagged white scar down to his chin. He kept his eyes shut,
enjoying the feel of her soft fingertips on his face. He sighed,
content as he hadn’t been in a long time.
Placing her hand on his muscled chest, she leaned in close, barely
touching his lips with hers. His heartbeat quickened under her palm
as his body responded to her nearness. Timidly, she kissed him, eyes
still studying his face under dark lashes. When he returned her kiss,
she closed her eyes, relishing the feel of him. Pulling back, his
head following to maintain their kiss, she saw his eyes open.
Beautiful silver-grey eyes stared back at her, traces of puzzlement
visible but quickly vanished, replaced with warmth that threatened to
still her heart.
He reached up to her and hesitated, unsure even then if his touch
would be welcomed. When she didn’t back away, he placed his rough
fingers on the smooth, pale skin of her face, lightly cupping her
cheek. She closed her eyes, her hand reaching up to touch the one on
Her other hand went behind her back, fumbling awkwardly, then
reappeared holding a knife.
Feet already in motion, Cassie spared her friend a glance over her shoulder as she ran through the banquet hall. Arrows pierced the air,
the tapestries burst into flames. The crowd burst into motion,scattering in an attempt to find shelter from the attack. Dishes
clanged to the floor, people screamed, but none of it registered in Cassie’s mind.
All that mattered was escape.
Spinning around a fallen Lady, Cassie careened into a hard body. She bit back a scream, slapping at the wall of chest with her left hand
while digging for her dagger with her right. Before she could get her dagger free she felt a strong grip on her wrist pulling her towards
the shadowed wall of the room. She strained to pull away, her mind not registering the hooded figure as familiar. Fingers closed over
“Shh.” Hot breath spilled down her neck as her captor whispered into her ear. “Stop fighting, Cass, we don’t have time.”
Nodding, she turned to see the Prince’s eyes looking out from the cloak’s hood.
She kept her eyes downcast, but that didn’t stop him from noticing
her. Her dark hair tumbled in curls down her back, tiny springs
coiled and ready to be pulled upon. Her tanned skin accented by the
deep blue of her gown and the white lace of the trim, a style that had
come and gone yet looked fresh and new on her. Her hands fidgeted at
her sides, drawing his attention to her flared hips outlined in her
He had to know her.
Breaking away from his group of nobles, he strode towards her.
“Highness? A word?”
Damn. Not now, he thought, though he almost said it aloud also. “Sir
Isaac, I was just about to…”
The tall man took his arm, steering him away from his goal towards the
man’s own daughter. “Never mind, Highness. I saw you coming and I
knew you’d want to meet my Katherine. Ah, here she is!”
He spared a glance over his shoulder to see grey eyes looking back at him.
She paused, wiping the sweat from her head with the back of her hand. The sun beat down on her small clearing, melting the dusting of snow that had fallen overnight. The need to keep her mind from wandering rather than a need for firewood had driven her out of her bed early, the songbirds greeting the daybreak with an enthusiasm that she lacked.
Now that she’d stopped chopping the firewood, she noticed how quiet it was around her. Hefting her axe, she slowly turned around, searching for the cause of the tension. Her corner of the woods was typically left alone, too far from any roads to get to easily and too out of the way for anyone to stumble passed.
Not that anyone knew she was there.
I hope, she thought. Glancing at her hut, she shifted her stance, not quite able to shake the feeling that someone was watching her. The hair on her neck prickled up, increasing her unease. Her head spun around at a cry from her horse gave her the direction she needed.
She only got to take three steps before they were upon her.