Love at First Sight

Love at First Sight by Sandra Lee Read Free Book Online

Book: Love at First Sight by Sandra Lee Read Free Book Online
Authors: Sandra Lee
Tags: Fiction, General, Romance, Historical
next you come creeping ’round my bed in the dead of night.”
    “My apologies,” the chamberlain sniffed. “Might I remove your boots, that I may get some rest?”
    Gavarnie rose again to sit. “You have yet to gain your bed? Why do you not rouse Roland to remove my boots? Or does he yet run errands at your command? And what has become of that miserable dowd I sent you to collect?” “When we returned, you were sleeping. I assumed you would rather deal with matters on the morrow than be disturbed.”
    Gavarnie ran a hand over his face. “Faith, Sperville, you and Roland have much to do. De Warrenne will be arriving on the morrow. The silver plate needs counting and spices must be doled out to the kitchens.”
    He paused as his thoughts came full circle. “Nicolette. Is she . . .” He could not complete the question, so sharply did his inwit stab him.
    “She is recovering.”
    Gavarnie’s pulse quickened. The child was recovering? Before God, he vowed, Nicolette would never want for anything again.
    “You would do well to avail
yourself
of the witchwife’s miracles before you scare her off.”
    “Humph,” Gavarnie snorted, feeling better than he had in years. “The hag is not afraid of the devil. Know you what she dared earlier? She threatened to castrate me with her bare hands. Had the audacity to clutch my—” Wheezing gasps issued from the foot of the bed. “That had best not be laughter I hear spilling from your mouth.”
    The windy mirth only increased, and Gavarnie drummed his fingers on the hilt of the sword. ’Twas not at all like the staid chamberlain to find humor in such baseborn behavior.
    “Your reasoning has deserted you,” he remarked sourly. “Take yourself off and get some sleep.”
    Sperville cleared his throat. “The young lady is most resourceful, is she not?”
    “Resourceful? Snakes doubtless flee at her approach. Spiders likely scramble to hide, lest she pluck them from their webs to eat.”
    More gasping merriment.
    Gavarnie struggled to shove the sword back under his pillows, the length of the blade making the task difficult. It kept catching in the bed linens. At last he succeeded, then bent forward to wrestle with a boot.
    “Young lady,” he grumbled, and slammed one boot on the floor. “I’ll wager she has not one tooth left in her ancient head.”
    “You have formed quite an image of the woman. Surely she does not frighten you.” Sperville’s voice quivered, clearly a result of his struggle to contain his mirth.
    Gavarnie jerked the remaining boot from his foot and clutched the stiff leather in his fists. “Begone, imbecile, lest you find my boot between your teeth.”
    “As you wish, my liege. But my inwit would allow me no respite were I to leave you with such nightmarish visions. Golde is not as you think.” The chamberlain’s tone grew earnest. “Though I will admit she is no beauty at first glance, if you could see, you would find her quite striking.”
    “She is big as a horse, judging from the size of her forearm. And tall as you, according to Nicolette, with one black eye and one green. I’m not sure
striking
properly describes the wench.
Hideous,
perhaps.
Ugly,
of a certainty.”
    “Aye, she is tall, but in the likeness of a sapling that bends with grace before the wind. Far from big, she is lean in the way of woodland creatures that depend upon agility to survive.”
    Big as a tree and lean as a boar
sow, he translated Sperville’s description. “Get thee gone. You are moonstruck and I will hear no more.”
    He dropped the boot and plopped back on the mattress, pulling a pillow over his head. He’d never heard the chamberlain speak so warmly of a woman. Not that Sperville did not know beauty when he saw it. He’d oft remarked on serving wenches, and even a time or two on Isabelle’s appearance. But ’twas always dispassionate, in the way a jeweler might examine a particular stone.
    Removing the pillow from his head, Gavarnie rolled to his

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