The January winds whistled outside the old donjon, threads of cold air cutting under the wooden shutters, but her bed was warm and she planned to put off leaving it as long as possible. She was an old woman now and far too fat. The shutters were closed tightly against the cold winter, and the only light came from the small fireplace and the tallow candle on the tall iron stand by the bed. The soft glow highlighted the full curves of her slim young body. Lucy helped her mistress into the thin linen shift and then the woolen tunic, the tightness of which emphasized her womanly body.
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The January winds whistled outside the old donjon, threads of cold air cutting under the wooden shutters, but her bed was warm and she planned to put off leaving it as long as possible. She was an old woman now and far too fat. The shutters were closed tightly against the cold winter, and the only light came from the small fireplace and the tallow candle on the tall iron stand by the bed.
The soft glow highlighted the full curves of her slim young body. Lucy helped her mistress into the thin linen shift and then the woolen tunic, the tightness of which emphasized her womanly body. The sideless surcoat hid nothing. He is friend to my father? He is a handsome young earl, fair, and rides a white stallion? Now get your comb so I may remove some of the tangles from your hair. What color are his eyes? His hair? Gressy, the older girl, spoke.
Even his horse is all black. She had heard stories of the Black Lion since she was but a girl—stories of strength and courage. But each story was misted with a sense of evil, that mayhaps his strength was ill-gotten. I vow he gave me gooseflesh just to be near him. Lucy stepped forward. Now get on with your work. I must go below to the Lady Melite. Lucy imagined that her own locks were still the soot-black of her youth.
When the door was closed, Lyonene sank to the stone windowseat. Lyonene would be the mistress of her own castle someday, but for now there was one area where Gressy was superior, and that was in her knowledge of men. It is said he can unseat twenty men at a tourney and that in Wales, in the wars there, he could hack a man or his horse in half with one blow. Suicide was a mortal sin. Your father and mother are below now with him. No one denies the Black Lion a request, however small.
Gressy was smugly pleased that she had caught the undivided attention of the two girls, for she considered them both girls, although neither was more than two years younger than she. Outside the heavy door, Meg found her voice. It is also said that the woman who makes him laugh will become his bride. She felt her heart thud with a sinister terror. That was a horrible thought. She already wished he had not come.
There had been too much turmoil lately, and now a troublesome earl to care for! She pulled the top fabric out and over the belt, completely hiding it. She fastened a dark green mantle about her shoulders with two intricately wrought gold brooches, connected across her collarbone with a short chain.
I am getting to be too much like William, dreading an event before it happens, she thought. He is a man, no more. We will offer what we have, and he must be content. She straightened the long linen veil that covered the back of her head and hair and fell past her shoulders. She prided herself on having a still-beautiful throat and did not wear the covering barbette.
Leveling her shoulders, she went below to greet her guest. It was said that the Black Lion could, while riding at full gallop on that black horse of his, cut a four-inch oak post in twain. William hoped he could persuade the earl to demonstrate this impossible feat. It was silvered.
William thought with amusement how difficult it was for him to provide each of his twelve knights with even a mediocre grade of chain mail, and here this man had a hauberk just for tournaments. William often accused Melite of making judgments too quickly, and so she had stopped volunteering her opinion to him, often waiting weeks or months for him to reach the same conclusions that she had drawn in but moments. Now that quick judgment did not fail her—instantly, she knew this man Ranulf de Warbrooke.
Ranulf was startled by her warmth. Usually mothers with daughters were greedy for him, for his money and title, or else afraid of him on account of his reputation.
He sensed neither of these in this elegant little woman. We so seldom get visitors here at Lorancourt. They come to show their pretty forms to one another on the lists.
No one has time to talk to an old woman hungry for news. But sit for a while and let me hear all. Melite, usually the most sensible of women, had taken the arm of the most fierce knight in England and had led him to a corner as if he were a gossiping old woman.
And whatever had she said about their coming to see Lyonene and to appraise our property? This was too intimate a statement to make to a stranger. He must speak to her. Then we would not have to sew on the sleeves of the tunic any longer. Melite turned to her husband and smiled sweetly.
I desire our guest to meet with our daughter. Great warrior he may be, but I would take an oath he is a gentle man. Were you not frightened? Lucy, you have heard the stories of his character! I know not one whiff of truth in them. I do not know how you could have such a thought. Know you his reason for coming to Lorancourt? You say my mother talks easily with him and he is handsome?
She found her hand trembling and tried to still it. She reached the bottom step, paused, and then smoothed her skirts and her hair, taking a deep breath to still the fluttering of her heart. From her vantage point on the dark stairs, she could view the scene in the Great Hall. The enormous fireplace roared with several logs blazing in it. At a small distance from the fire were two chairs, one occupied by the petite form of her mother, the other revealing only a mailed arm, the silver gleaming dully in the firelight.
She succeeded in calming herself and looked toward the other end of the hall, to the other fireplace, which also was blazing. Their voices were quiet and she heard one of them laugh. They did not seem to be the devilmen that Gressy spoke of. They looked rather tired, and Lyonene felt a desire to go to them to see that they were given what food and drink they needed. If the Black Guard were tame, mayhaps the Black Lion would be also. She stepped into the light. She must control her urge to stare and remember her manners.
Her mother spoke to this man as if they had known one another for many years. She was aware that the Black Guard had come to their feet and that now the Black Lion also stood before her. Her nervousness increased. Ranulf had not felt so at ease in a long time. Only Eleanora, the queen, had ever made him feel so comfortable as this woman had. Her head was lowered and he could not see her face, but her thick, curling hair tumbled down her back past her waist. It was tawny, a dark blond with thousands of dancing lights caught by the fire.
Her figure was amply revealed by the tight tunic, and it made his mouth dry. A tiny waist, curving hips, a soft, inviting bosom. He could not remember ever having been so affected by a pretty woman. Lyonene raised timid eyes to Ranulf de Warbrooke, not sure what she expected but fearing the worst. He was dark, with eyes as black as coals and sable curls of hair that seemed to be ever unruly. The top of her head did not reach his shoulder. But the expression in his eyes was what intrigued her.
The dog had been caught in a trap, his leg nearly cut in half, and the pain had made him almost mad. It had taken a long time for Lyonene to soothe the animal and gain its trust so that she could release the iron jaws of the trap, and all the while the dog had looked at her with just such an expression of wariness, pain and near-dead hope as did the man who stood before her now. She almost gasped at the sensation but was glad she had not, fearful of giving offense. Gone was any knowledge of anyone else in the room.
She became a disembodied hand, all feelings and thoughts transferred to the fingertips of that one small area.
JUDE DEVERAUX BLACKLYON PDF
He had no match among enemies, or women Through a whirlwind romance and stormy marriage, she endured every peril to be by his side One man could save her -- only the fierce Black Lyon had the courage to destroy the ruthless plot that had driven them apart and threatened the bond of love they had vowed could never be broken. File Name: read the black lyon online free. Jude Gilliam was born September 20, in Fairdale, Kentucky. She has a large extended family, and is the elder sister of four brothers. She attended Murray State University and received a degree in Art.
Read the black lyon online free
The January winds whistled outside the old donjon, threads of cold air cutting under the wooden shutters, but her bed was warm and she planned to put off leaving it as long as possible. She was an old woman now and far too fat. The shutters were closed tightly against the cold winter, and the only light came from the small fireplace and the tallow candle on the tall iron stand by the bed. The soft glow highlighted the full curves of her slim young body. Lucy helped her mistress into the thin linen shift and then the woolen tunic, the tightness of which emphasized her womanly body. The sideless surcoat hid nothing.