Delilah stormed down the corridor, determined to confront the man who’d stolen the last tendrils of hope from her heart. His men had ripped them like weeds from a garden bed as they ransacked her family’s home and killed them in their beds.
Had she been moments earlier, her blood would be mingled with theirs sinking into the cold, dark earth. She shook the horrid images from her mind and focused on the few words she would have with the king. The bastard hadn’t even been on the throne for three seasons before his men raped the land in his name.
Slowing her pace, Delilah took several deep breaths to clear the rage festering inside of her weary body. She needed to compose herself, otherwise the guards would seize her immediately, especially if they deemed her a threat to the king.
The throne room loomed ahead. She caught a glimpse of the silver and emerald liveried guards keeping watch outside. Her mind set, she exhaled and walked with determined stride toward the doors.
Without warning, Delilah felt a firm tug on her arm before stumbling into a corridor concealed by thick tapestries. A firm grasp on her arms steadied her before she slammed into the stone floor. Of all the days…she frowned as she brushed the hands from her person. Once she caught her bearing, she turned her attention to the person who’d interrupted her mission.
The man before her wore a dark expression to match his apparel. She eyed his modest but well-made clothes. A sword lay strapped to his right hip and a leather doublet beneath his crossed arms. His long, mahogany hair was tied back, although some of the curls had escaped, framing his beard covered face. The intensity of his eyes pinned her to the spot. Indignance rose like a coiled serpent in her chest.
“Why have you detained me?” she asked as she straightened her bodice and skirts.
“They would have tossed you out in the street on your arse had you come to the king in those rags and stinking of a pigsty.” He smirked at her with a brow raised. “Better run along home, schmutzig Kind.”
“I am not dirty!” Delilah scowled at him. “And I’m no child.”
“Is that so?” The glint in his eyes made her blink twice before she realized he’d taken her denial as a challenge. He stood close, too close for her comfort. A glance at her surroundings confirmed her fears…he had her trapped. “Perhaps I should take you in and make you my own personal pet.”
She shook her head. “I…Aren’t knights supposed to be chivalrous?”
He chuckled. “I am a knight if you be a lady.”
“Who are you then? And why do you insist on teasing me thus?” Delilah swatted his hand away when he reached for her.
The man moved like a wolf, striking at the most vulnerable area on its prey. He leaned close pinning her against the cool stone wall. His hands held her wrists even as she twisted to free herself from his grip.
“Those of elevated birth take pains to teach those beneath them,” he whispered against her cheek. “Even I cannot allow a peasant in rags and filth pay court to my brother without a proper escort. Those savage nobles might mistake you for sustenance and devour you whole.”
“You…” Delilah ceased speaking when his lips brushed against hers.
“Would you deny a starving man?”
It’s a bit rough, but I like the general direction. What do you think? I love the possibilities with the theme of Nobility. *rubs hands together* Perhaps they shall make an appearance again in a later story? What did you think of today’s teaser? Let me know!