Warrior’s Wrath is here! The sequel to Warrior’s Vengeance, Warrior’s Wrath is a dark tale of seduction and domination. You’ve seen the blurb and cover before, but I’m going to share it again, and an excerpt as well.
In 14th century England, a long-kept secret upends Rowan Langley’s life. His anger sends him on a quest to discover the truth behind the lies he’s been told. Determined to avoid such betrayal again, he trusts no one and lets his wrath guide him and keep others from getting close, except fellow knight Gerard, his only ally.
Aeron Dawkyns is running for her life – fleeing Wales and a false charge of murder. Forced to live in the street and pickpocket to save enough money to travel to England where her brother can help her, she steals coin from Rowan. Though she at first escapes capture, her luck runs out when Rowan catches her attempting to steal his horse. He offers her a choice – sexual slavery to himself and Gerard, or be handed over to the sheriff to be hanged. To stay alive, she agrees to Rowan’s deal, never expecting the torment she will endure.
As the days pass, Aeron finds serving a bitter and angry Rowan has dark pleasures of its own, pleasures she soon learns to crave. For the first time in months, she feels safe, despite the wicked and torturous games the two knights play with her body. But when Rowan insists on dragging her back into Wales, she fears that safety will be utterly destroyed at the end of a hangman’s noose.
When Rowan learns of Aeron’s plight, he vows to help hunt down those who have falsely charged her. He promises to protect her, and keep her, using the debt she still owes as his reason. But how can he keep her safe when he fears he is no better than the brutal enemy who wants her hanged? He has come to crave his slave’s touch, as much as he craves her heart and never wants to let her go.
Staying with Rowan becomes Aeron’s heart’s desire – but could very well mean the end of her life.
Includes: Bondage, spanking, multiple partners and anal sex
Here’s a taste of the story:
Aeron crouched against the wall, hoping the shadows and the stack of livestock crates hid her well enough. Her breath came in heavy gasps, due to her panicked dash through the village streets. She’d narrowly escaped capture twice already this week. Would the finely dressed nobleman giving chase finally end the months of sheer survival?
She had to get free of this town, and move on. Toward Shrewsbury. Once there, and she found her brother, all would be well. The nightmare of the last months would remain with her always, but she had learned well how to care for herself and tend to her needs. She’d become an adept pickpocket, working in tight bustling crowds so none knew what she was about.
Until this week. This was the third time she’d been seen. Why had she been drawn to the man with the fine cloak?
The crunch of a footstep sounded. Close. Too close. Another step, and another as her pursuer neared.
She held her breath, and willed her body to complete stillness. Another step, but this time further away. Aeron waited several minutes before daring to shiver in the cold, worried even that slight movement would draw notice. Was he gone? She didn’t dare leave her hiding spot for a long time, afraid he lay in wait for her. But after what seemed much longer than she could bear, she finally eased her stiff body out from behind the pile of crates. She gingerly stretched, then pulled the pouch she’d lifted out from under her cloak. She smiled.
Heavy enough that she could buy some food at the market before the vendors closed their stalls and still have enough leftover toward her goal. Once she had a meal, she would venture into the woods again, to her secret place. She must figure a better way to earn enough coin to get to Shrewsbury.
She hurried to the market, where she arrived just in time to purchase a loaf of bread, a meat pie, and some ale. Her purchases safely wrapped within her cloak, she made her way to the edge of the city. Few paid her any notice, and she preferred it that way. She patted the dagger in her pocket, and took comfort in knowing another rested in the garter at her thigh. It had come in handy to defend herself against drunken and randy men who thought they had the right to touch her. As if she’d let any man touch her. Nay, she would decide who she’d allow to do so, and so far, had not yet met any who stood against her standards.
But tonight had convinced her that her luck quickly ran out. In the months since her parents and sisters had died, she’d survived, with skill and good fortune. If she didn’t find a way to Shrewsbury soon, that good fortune would fail. She might find herself reduced to begging or selling her body. Neither choice suited her. Her skills as a seamstress were passable at best, but she knew fabrics well. Surely in a city as big as Shrewsbury, she could find work with a draper. First she had to get there.
She shivered and pulled her thin cloak around her as she trudged through the trees. How she longed to be back in her warm home, her parents and sisters around her. The days spent cataloging and selling their fine fabrics to the tailors of those noble and those not, the nights in camaraderie as they prepared for her older sister’s wedding, ran through her thoughts haphazardly, bringing the sting of tears. But they were gone now, lost to the flames that had taken their small shop and their home in a matter of minutes, thanks to the inventory of fine fabrics stored within.
She wiped away the tears. She couldn’t afford to waste any more time mourning. Too often, dwelling on the loss had only served to get her into trouble. With the pouch she’d lifted today, she could almost afford an escort to Shrewsbury. When she settled into her tiny hut, she would count the coin. Tomorrow would bring new opportunities, mayhap just the one she needed.
She finally neared her tiny camp, hidden in a thick grove and came up short. Two horses were tethered to trees close to her shelter. Too close. She looked around, but saw no one. Surely the horses’ owners were nearby. She hesitantly neared the animals.
From the looks of the saddles and gear, these were knights’ destriers. Then she noticed the smaller pack horse also tied with them. Who traveled through here and had stopped so close to her shelter?
With cautious steps, she moved nearer and realized no one lingered in the area. Had they abandoned the animals, then? An idea sprang into her thoughts. Had her prayers to find a way to Shrewsbury been answered? If the knights weren’t nearby, perhaps… Nay, she could be hanged for even thinking of it.
Still, on an animal such as one of the fine steeds, she could make the trip in a fortnight. Perhaps less. She walked all over the area, searching and listening, but found no one. Senseless, and yet, mayhap this was divine intervention. She walked back to the animals. She stroked the silky neck of the black steed closest to her. The giant animal snorted and stamped his foot, before turning his head to butt his nose against her chest. Aeron giggled.
She gave another look around the area. No sign of another soul. Had they wandered off and gotten lost? Her chance had come and she had to take it. She reached for the reins of the black. A hand clamped on her wrist.
“What have we here?”
“What have you found, Rowan?”
“A thief. The very one who lifted my coin today in the village. And now she looks to be stealing my horse.”
Aeron gulped and tugged on her arm, but the knight’s grip was simply too strong to break. She stared up into his dark angry eyes, and recognized him as the man who had followed her into the alley.
God’s teeth, what mess had she gotten herself into now?
Rowan stared at the slip of a girl cowering before him. When she’d lifted his coin earlier, he’d thought her no more than a child, but now he realized, ‘twas a young woman. A comely woman at that. He jerked her to him, wondering why, although he possessed a healthy dose of anger for her thievery, he found himself drawn to the pale blue of her eyes. In the fading daylight, he could still make out the color, and the shape of her cheek and jaw. The full lips that pressed together as she tried once more to tug free.
“Stealing a knight’s mount is a hanging offense,” said Gerard as he came to stand beside Rowan.
“Aye. But I think I have a better idea.”
Her throat moved when she gulped and licked her lips. He found himself wondering what those lips tasted like and realized his idea would work far better to his advantage.
“Please, I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to –”
“Silence.” Rowan drew her nearer. “Gerard, fetch me the rope from my pack.”
“Nay, don’t hang me! I’ll do anything you ask.” With her free hand, she offered the small sack she carried. “It’s all I have, some bread and meat, and what’s left of the coin I took from you. I… I’ll find some way to repay you the rest.”
Rowan shook his head, leering at her. Why did the sight of her fear stir him in many ways? He rather liked the thought of her willing to do anything he asked in recompense for her thievery. He knew just how she would pay. Would she agree? He cared not. She had stolen from him and he would be repaid.
“I have already decided.”
Gerard handed him the rope and Rowan let it uncoil. With quick motions, he grabbed her other wrist, and quickly bound them with the rope. She let out a frightened cry, and a twinge of remorse tugged at him. He pushed it aside. Withdrawing his dagger, he sliced through the rope, leaving a fair amount to trail from her bound hands. He tugged and she stumbled against him.
“You will serve me until I determine your debt is paid.”
Gerard let out a hearty laugh. “Rowan, surely you’re not going to keep this wench all to yourself?”
“Nay, Ger, I will share. She looks to be able to handle the both of us.”
The girl looked from Rowan, to Gerard and back again. The fading light revealed the horror in her eyes as she realized their intent. She shook her head and tried to pull away.
“Nay, I will die before you rape me!”
“‘Twill not be rape. You owe me coin, and for the offense of attempting to steal my horse. Don’t worry, girl, you’ll like it. Gerard and I know well how to please a woman, and we’ll teach you how to please us.”
“She’ll certainly make the rest of our journey less tedious,” Gerard commented. He reached out to stroke her fair hair, and she jerked away.
Rowan tugged on the rope binding her. “You are not to refuse. If you do, you will be punished.”
“You sick beast! How dare you! I will see you jailed for this!”
“And shall I tell the sheriff how you stole from me? I suspect you have many other victims who’d like to see you pay. You’ll be hanged for sure.”
She continued to shake her head, but said no more.
“You have a choice, wench. Service to us, or I bring you to the village sheriff and let him deal with you.”
He watched her closely as she debated her options. Would the foolish girl choose to die over providing him and Gerard with much needed companionship? After several long moments, she slowly nodded.
“Aye, I will repay you as you asked.”
“Be sure. Any refusal will see you severely punished.”
She lifted her chin. “I will survive whatever you choose to do to me.”
“We shall see. Come. Gerard and I are hungry. You will prepare the fowl we caught for our dinner.”
He tugged her back toward where they had made a small camp. Rowan silently pointed to the ducks Gerard had caught. He gave her a little shove toward them and she sank to her knees to begin plucking the feathers. Rowan sat nearby, leaning against a tree to watch her as she worked. After starting a fire, Gerard hunkered down beside him.
“She’s comely, with that pale hair and eyes,” his friend commented.
Rowan nodded. His journey near its end, he suddenly found himself distracted by the girl. He couldn’t afford to be careless, not when he was this close to learning where he came from. His goal of finding his father’s family might truly be attained. But with the presence of this thieving girl, his urgency seemed to have faded. Why? He scowled when she looked up just before spitting the first bird and placing it over the fire.
She made quick work of the second duck and soon the aroma of the meat filled the air. Rowan’s stomach grumbled. She glanced at him, then again at Gerard. Rowan stood and walked over to her, picking up the rope. He tugged, urging her to stand.
The wench was taller than he had first thought, her head nearly reaching his chin. He lifted her face and stared into her eyes, glowing from the firelight. Fear and anger mingled in their depths, and he held back a grin. She possessed a fire that would certainly make the rest of his journey enjoyable.
“What is your name?”
She hesitated but a moment. “Aeron.”
“Very well, Aeron, you will help set up our tent.”
She shook her head. He scowled and yanked on the rope, causing her to fall against him.
“Already you refuse my orders?”
Her cry spurred a moment of remorse, one he quickly pushed aside.
“Then what do you mean by refusing?”
“I… I have a shelter. Over there, in those trees.”
He turned to where she pointed. He glanced back at her. “Show me. Gerard, watch our dinner doesn’t burn.”
She led him through the thick stand of trees to a tiny grove within. Sure enough, some planks of wood and an assortment of fabrics had been strung together to form a crude sort of cabin. While the shelter would save them the time of erecting their tent, he found himself wishing for the comfort of his own abode.
He realized she watched him with a strange hopefulness, and although she’d said nothing, he found himself understanding her silent message.
“You fashioned this yourself?” he asked.
The note of pride in her voice almost drew a smile. Rowan held it back.
“Very well, we shall use this before we depart in the morn.”
“Depart? But… where will you take me?”
“I journey to Wales. My travels are nearly done, as the people I seek reside just over the border. You will come until I am satisfied you have repaid your debt.”
“But… I cannot go back there!”
He studied her, her fright so strong it scented the air with bitterness. This fear overpowered the fear she held for him. Why?
“You are from Wales, then?”
She nodded, her breath coming in short gasps.
“Why can’t you go back?”
“Nay, ‘tis not your affair. Surely there must be some way for me to repay you before you reach Wales.”
He shook his head. He found himself with a strange urge to never let her go, no matter what she claimed. She would accompany him and Gerard. While they would certainly enjoy the use of her body during the cold nights, she would also provide an extra set of sturdy hands to help with various needed tasks. The little thief would be his slave until he saw fit to release or mayhap even sell her. The coldness with which he reached his decision briefly surprised him until he recalled the nature of his true heritage. Still, he would protect what was his.