Books & Broadswords: Chapter 7

Part of the serial story Books & Broadswords
Books & Broadswords, Chapter 7, on a purple background of dragon scales, with a crest of swords crossed behind an open book.

Ansel was waiting for me in the courtyard, Percy at his side. The knight’s jaw was clenched, and his expression blazed with stubborn determination.

“I’ll find you,” he declared. “No matter how long it takes.”

“People have been looking for me for hundreds of years. None have succeeded.”

“They weren’t me,” he said with the boundless arrogance I usually associated with knights. Finally, he was starting to act his part, but it was too late.

I’d already fallen.

“They weren’t you,” I agreed softly. “But in a few weeks, this will seem like nothing more than a strange dream.”

His eyes narrowed. “We shall see.”

“Are you ready?”

He took three long strides, then his arm clamped around me like an iron band. He tilted my head back and glared at me. “Next time I find you, you won’t send me away. Swear it.”

I silently shook my head.

“Swear it, and I’ll leave without another protest.” His expression hardened. “Or don’t, and I will fight you the entire time.”

I closed my eyes. If he fought, I wasn’t sure I was strong enough to let him go. “Very well, if you find me again, and it’s at least two months from now, I will not send you away. I swear it.”

A muscle in his jaw flexed at the additional clause, but he nodded his agreement. Then his mouth was on mine, a hot, hard kiss that felt like a brand.

He jerked back, leaving me shaky and off balance. “I’m ready,” he growled.

I gently laid Ansel on the pallet of blankets I’d made in the soft grass. He was frowning even in sleep, but this was for the best. He would realize that as soon as my magic faded.

Percy was tied nearby, and the warhorse watched me with a wary eye. He’d stopped shying every time I approached, but I’d still put him to sleep for the trip. Even the bravest horses didn’t enjoy being picked up and hauled through the air by a massive predator.

The rest of Ansel’s gear was neatly piled next to him. I checked it again, though I already knew everything was there. I was lingering unnecessarily, but I couldn’t quite make myself stop.

After a long moment, I knelt and pulled the pilfered book from the knight’s pocket with a bittersweet smile. I’d known the moment he’d taken it, of course. He had bravery to spare, because I’d warned him I would kill anyone who stole from me.

But I’d also told him I could track the book anywhere in the world.

He wanted me to find him, consequences be damned.

I pulled out the note I’d hastily scrawled while in the library. It was short, just a single line: Forget me, and be happy.

I tucked the paper into his pocket with a handful of silver, then kissed his forehead. I curled my fingers against the urge to grab him and spirit him back to my castle as fast as I could fly.

I had to let him go. I closed my eyes. I had to.

I forced myself to my feet, then strode into the trees to watch over him until he awoke, all while pretending I felt nothing at all.

Books & Broadswords Navigation
Previous: Chapter 6

10 thoughts on “Books & Broadswords: Chapter 7”

  1. So this is how things ” go down” at home these days;

    I check your internet site a couple of times a day. When a chapter comes out, I “Squeee, Yipee, horray…” excitedly all over the place. I enthousiasticaly pick up the phone and call my parents. Moore “Squees” ensures collectively. Then they put me on speaker and I read them the chapter out loud.

    …Meanwhile, my husband wonders what is happening to us. I tell him it’s because of the dragon. He doesn’t know much english, so I’ll have to translate it verbally for him, so he’ll understand what all the hype is about.

    Toodles, ’cause now I’ve got to reread this chapter. :)

  2. Am I absolutely adoring this story?
    Yes. Yes, I am.
    Am I now basically an impatient toddler waiting for the next installment?

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.