The Warrior Poet

The Warrior Poet by Kathryn Le Veque Read Free Book Online

Book: The Warrior Poet by Kathryn Le Veque Read Free Book Online
Authors: Kathryn Le Veque
brutal
gesture; even in her unconscious state, she grunted. In spite of the fact that
she was a de Gare, Christian cast his men a disapproving glance.
    "It would not do to mortally injure her before we
achieve our goal," he rumbled, giving the woman a shove on the bottom to
better balance her and noticing how wonderfully supple and firm her buttocks
were beneath his hand; he could feel her through the mail. However, he would
not be distracted and secured his visor in preparation for mounting.
"Return home and tell my father that our mission was a success. I am
taking the woman into the Galloway territories and will send word as to our
approximate location if I am able."
    The soldiers nodded firmly. "The territories are a
wide expanse of lands, my lord," one man said. "Mayhap we should
accompany you until you have settled, and then return to your father with the
information."
    Christian tightened his gauntlets and pushed the woman's
leg out of the way so that he could slide his foot into the stirrup.
"Unnecessary. I am quite capable of sending word of my location when I am
able."
    He mounted the saddle, pushing the limp burden forward
and struggling to find a comfortable position for them both. The boneless, limp
captive nearly slithered to the ground during his movement, but Christian
grabbed hold of her wonderful hair and managed to right her somewhat. Cursing
and grunting, he put one arm around her slender torso while the other grasped
the reins.
    "Waste no time," he commanded in his deep
baritone. "Return to my father with the victorious news. The de Gare wench
is ours."
    Digging his spurs into the pristine white sides of his
charger, the horse thundered its way out of the destroyed vegetable garden and
northward to the road. As Christian's men watched, their liege disappeared down
the well-traveled byway en route to the Scots border.
    "Sir Jean will be mightily pleased to hear that we
have succeeded in capturing Alex's daughter," one of the men said,
observing the faint outline of Jean St. John's distant son.
    The men nodded in agreement, moving for their mounts and
reveling in a triumphant mission against their hated enemy. Truthfully, there
had been very little victory to rejoice over as of late and this particular
mission, however small and bordering on blasphemous, was nonetheless an asset
to their cause.
    Like most other men-at-arms in the midst of England's
realm, their father and grandfathers had devoted their lives to the same houses
they themselves served. It was a tradition of loyalty passed on through the
generations, and the seasoned men bearing the colors of the House of St. John
took great pride in their vows of dedication. As with the tradition of service,
another more powerful legacy also infected their way of life - the traditional
hatred of the de Gares.    The prisoner on
Christian’s saddle was as important to them as it was to him.
    "I wonder what Christian is going to do with the
wench," a particularly seasoned soldier scratched at his dirty mail, then
rubbed his nose with an equally dirty finger. "He's got quite the
reputation as a randy with the women."
    "Not that woman," the sergeant in charge shook his head, whistling loudly for the
rest of the men to assemble. "She's a de Gare and entitled to such
treatment. I wouldn't be surprised if he tied her to a tree and left her to the
elements."
    "Or deflowered her and begot her with his
bastard," the dirty soldier snickered.
    "Who's to say she's virgin?" the sergeant
snorted, stressing his point. "I have yet to meet a pure de Gare."
    As the final stragglers moved into
formation, the sergeant counted heads and, satisfied, waved his men onward. As the horses cantered lightly across the trampled
grass and met with the dirt of the road, he turned to the dirty soldier once
again.
    "I shall be quite curious to learn what Christian's
betrothed has to say to the fact that he's taken another woman to
Scotland," he laughed softly at the thought. "Marble-head

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