My next book is a Medieval set in Scotland in 1360 and its title is ‘Lady With The Devil’s Scar’
Lady Isobel Dalceann is fighting to save her keep from
being swallowed up by David the Second. She is a figure the bards
tell of all across Scotland, a witch they say who has repelled
three sieges upon her castle and a woman who dresses as a man.
Rescuing the hero from a shipwreck off the stormy waters of Fife Ness she brings him home to tend to his wounds.
Isobel Dalceann came back to him as the sun fell low against the
window and she brought a mash of sorts with bread soaked in milk.
Marcus ate it as if it was his very last meal and felt stronger.
Again. It seemed of late he had been indebted to this woman time after time.
Waving away the word she countered with her own question. ‘Are you one of David’s men?’
She had found the ring, he supposed. He should have tossed it when he had the chance, but the piece held a value to him that was sentimental and he had not wanted to.
‘Once I was,’ he replied.
‘It has been a while since I was in his company.’
She moved back and he knew he had erred.
‘You knew him then, personally.’
The furrow on her brow deepened. Thinking. He could almost see her brain turn.
‘My mother was from the House of Valois in Burgundy. David of Scotland gave me the ring when he lived there.’
‘Under the protection of Philip the Sixth?’
So she knew her politics. He nodded.
‘You are a friend of kings?’ The words fell into the silence of the room, the talk marking him off as...what?
When she breathed out heavily he saw she had not wanted this truth. A simple soldier or sailor would have been so very much easier to deal with. Still, in the face of all her assistance he found it difficult to lie.
‘Many here at Ceann Gronna have already died under the guise of David’s ambitions.’ Her voice was flat and hard.
‘And I can promise you that I should not wish to bring one other person here harm.’
She swore again at that, a ripe curse that was better suited to a man. The lad’s hose were tight against the rise of her bottom and despite his sickness he felt his body react.
‘If I was braver I would slit your throat as surely as you wanted to slit Ian’s.’
‘What stops you then?’
‘This,’ she answered and leant down into him, her mouth running across his lips. Not gently either but with a full carnal want that left him reeling. He felt her bite his bottom lip before her tongue probed, felt the sharp slant of desire and the fierce pull of lust. Felt her fingers on his face and throat and then on his nipples pinching, the rush of hunger acute. When she had finished she moved back, wiping the taste of him away with the top of her uninjured hand.
‘There is not much to hinder the path of a woman taking a man.’ Her eyes went to the stiff hardness that was so very easily seen through the thin linen cloth covering him.
‘Men hold to the premise of self-satisfaction far more than any woman is likely to, you see. A small caress here, a whisper there, the cradling of flesh between clever fingers...’
Jesus, Isobel Dalceann was a witch. Marcus looked away because every single thing she said was true and because the need to come right then and there before her was overriding.