Monday, November 4, 2013

Dance of Love by Anna Markland - Excerpt

Dance of Love
medieval romance
by Anna Markland
Amazon - Nook - Kobo - Sony - Smashwords

*Farah is about to dance an eastern dance for a group of Norman knights, among them the hero Isembart, nicknamed Izzy. He suffers from arthritis.*

Izzy inhaled sharply. The vision that swayed and dipped and moved sensuously before him rendered him boneless. Farah wore a red costume that revealed no more of her body than her usual garb, but its form and fit showed every curve and swell of her figure. His eyes raked over her full breasts, fertile hips, taut belly, and long arms.

A veil still hid her face, but her hair flowed freely, adorned with a bright red flower at her temple. He laced his fingers together in his lap, itching to weave them through the thick black glory that reached to Farahs waist. Was the hair at her mons the same texture and color?

The arch of her back as her arms swayed in undulating movements emphasized the swell of her breasts. He thirsted to lave his tongue over the nipples that strained at the fabric, and suckle.

It occurred to him the dance was designed for two. Farah danced with an invisible partner, whom only she saw. He had never danced in his life, but it was all Izzy could do to remain in his seat. He wanted to leap to his feet, mold his body to hers, chest to breast, hip to hip, thigh to thigh, to gaze into her eyes as they moved to the inexorable rhythm.

The click of the castanets drew his eyes to her elegant fingers as they turned and twisted gracefully. Her long nails were painted the same red as her costume. It was an abrupt reminder of his own ugliness, the gnarled and twisted stumps at the end of his arms. Farah would be repulsed if he put his hands on her flesh.

He averted his eyes, bitterness welling up in his throat. He had difficulty breathing. He pressed a palm to his knee to stop the insistent twitching. Again he had allowed this woman to bewitch him.

Gritting his teeth, he glanced at the other members of his family. Dorianne leaned against Robert, her chin perched atop her folded hands, smiling. Elenor de Giroux looked like she might swoon. Denis, Baudoin, Caedmon and even Izzys elderly father were openly appreciative of the performance they watched. Antoine's sons, Adam and Mathieu, and his own brother, Melton, gaped. Izzy was the only one sweating. Every part of his body ached and throbbed, his hands, his head, his groin, and his heart.

When the dance ended, silence filled the room. Berthold finally led the applause. Izzys hands refused to work. Robert would expect him to thank their guest. He was about to come to his feet, deafened by the loud beating of his heart, when he became aware that it was a drumbeat he heard. Farah ran to the screen and emerged holding a curved scabbard.

Everyone sucked in a breath.

Holding the hilt in one hand and the end of the sheath in the other, she raised the weapon above her head, her feet moving to the slow beat of the drum. Lowering her arms she held the sword in front, then to the side, then back to the front, then to the other side. The tempo increased gradually. Farahs feet kept pace.

Suddenly she raised the weapon over her head and drew the sword from its scabbard like a bolt of lightning. A collective gasp rose from the

Izzy had never seen such a blade before, but Farah twirled it so quickly around her head, and at her sides, leaping over it again and again, that it became a whirling blur of steel. Fear and fascination choked him.

Suddenly she dropped to her knees, breasts heaving, the sword held high. Slowly she lowered it and balanced it on her head like a deadly halo. She reached into a hidden fold of her costume. Light reflected on the metallic objects she extracted and attached to her fingers. She clicked them together, like miniature cymbals.

The drumming had stopped. Now it was his own heartbeat Izzy heard. The shawm player took up the slow refrain. By the time Farah had risen, walked around the hall with her arms outstretched, and resumed her kneeling position, all to the hypnotic rhythm of the music and with the sword perfectly balanced atop her head, cymbals clicking, Izzy was exhausted.

The music ceased. Silence reigned. Suddenly, Farah leapt to her feet with a bloodcurdling yell, a warrior gleam in her eyes. She started to spin, holding the weapon at arms length. The blur of red, black and silver and the tinkling of ankle bells made Izzy light-headed. He felt feverish and sick to his stomach. He feared he would be obliged to make his excuses.

Farah fell to her knees, threw back her head, and pointed the blade to her throat. Dorianne squealed. Izzy squeezed his eyes shut.

Dance of Love

Amazon - Nook - Kobo - Sony - Smashwords

Anna Markland
Passionate About Medieval Romance

1 comment:

  1. Dance of Love was already on my wish list of books. Now that I read the excerpt, I think I have to read it sooner than scheduled. Stirring scene!