My heart might very well beat itself from my chest, " she whispered, "and 'tis difficult to breathe." "How odd." Passion thickened his voice. "I seem to be suffering the same symptoms. Does anything else plague you?" "A terrible weakness, " she whispered shakily. "If you let me go, I am not entirely certain I shall be able to stand." He buried his face in her neck. "Then I shall never let you go.
I've a need for knowing what potion you mixed with these, lass." The rich baritone of his voice washed over her with a mesmerizing quality. She liked the sound. A lot. 'Twas deep and majestic, the kind of voice a body would never tire of hearing... Apparently we have company. We shall finish this conversation anon." "I highly doubt that we will, " she retorted. "My brother has arrived to accuse me of witchcraft and arrest me. Unless you are available for hire as my protector, this conversation is quite finished." Instead of appearing shocked, the stranger's eyes took on a twinkle. "Is that so? Most damsels in your distressed shoes would be either weeping or swooning by now. Instead you offer me employment. I'll admit I am fascinated by your offer.
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A year ago on my twenty-third birthday, I rebuffed the advances of a beautiful young woman whom I did not love. Alas, she turned out to be a sorceress. She repaid me by casting a spell that forces every female I touch to fall into a frenzy of lust." His mouth twisted bitterly. "Thus she robbed me of one of mankind's greatest gifts - the ability to seek and find true love.
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The only other guest in the room was sprawled atop a corner table in the shadows. He was snoring away amidst a rather impressive assortment of empty mugs. The round shield wedged beneath one arm and the scarred helmet resting askew his dark shoulder-length locks was a sure sign he was a supporter of William the Conqueror. A Viking raider...
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I am not a witch! I am a healer, ' she cried. 'There is a world of difference between the two." 'Call yourself whatever you will, Branwyn. Your powers do not scare me. In truth, I sought you out a-purpose in the hopes you would heal me from the effects of a spell. 'Twas cast on me by a wretched sorceress when I refused her... ah... advances.' Fearing another trap, Branwyn stared at the ground. 'Methinks you mistake me for another. I am naught but a lowly healer, cast off by an overzealous brother in a fit of religious fervor. Wh-why do you ask me such things, m'lord?' 'Very well, ' Eirik snapped and pocketed her wand. 'If you wish to indulge in games, at least choose one that gives me equal pleasure. By Thor, I've been long without a woman.' He closed the distance between them and hauled her into his lap.
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