Kiss of the Dragon Excerpt by Ellie Mack
We were asked to share an excerpt from our book or current work in progress. Mine is a work in progress, currently in editing.
A brief synopsis: Isabelle Lennox has always been a little different. She felt like she never really fit in anywhere, and true satisfaction was always out of her reach. After an ugly divorce, her best friend takes her to a Renaissance Fair in Scotland set at CastleFallon. Isabelle gets one of her “black hole” headaches; they come on suddenly and she often passes out for days, sometimes weeks in unconscious oblivion. She awakens in a strange setting but remembers she had been at the Ren Fair. This is the chapter where she realizes she has fallen through time and is actually in medieval times, not at the Ren Fair.
He kissed her deeply, hungrily, demanding more. He shifted her weight, moving from beneath her to having her pinned against the back of the seat, with him pressing against her. Zane kissed a trail back down her throat, to her neck, nipping gently with his teeth, a heated breath in his wake. Soon his mouth was on her nipple, sucking. He worked with his other hand, lifting her skirts layer by layer, caressing her legs. The rough pads of his fingers played against her inner thigh. His mouth found hers just as his fingers barely brushed against her bud. Isabelle nearly came off the seat, at the contact. A horse’s neigh outside of the carriage caught his attention.
“Damn” Zane hastily retied her laces. “We’ll continue later, my love. We’ve arrived at the Eldwyn’s cottage.” He kissed her again deeply, possessively. “I’ll leave Merryk to escort you through the village where I’ll join up with you.” He kissed her on the hand. “Mmmm, till then Isabelle.” He exited the carriage.
Izzy sat there flushed, her breath coming in jagged bursts as she tried to regain her composure, Merryk rapped lightly against the door. “Lady Isabelle, would you prefer to walk or ride to the village.”
She pushed the door open to see Merryk staring down at the ground. “Well, how far is it to the village Merryk?”
He dared a glance up at her, then shyly looked down again. It’s just down the way milady, but if it’s too far for you.”
“Walking would be great.” She quickly exited the carriage, smoothing her skirts as he assisted her to the ground. “A bit of fresh air might be just what I need right now.” She offered her elbow to Merryk.
He grinned and linked his arm in hers. “This way milady.”
Merryk pointed out the different shops. He took her to Widow Brooks shop first. “The laird instructed that you are to have at least one gown of your own. You will need to pick out some fabric.”
Izzy pored over the fabrics. Some of them feeling rough with dyes and nobby textures, some feeling nearly like silk. There were fabrics of nearly every shade, and color. Just when the selection seemed nearly overwhelming a shimmering green fabric with a gold thread caught her eye. “Oh, this is lovely.”
“Merryk coughed. “That is the laird’s fabric milady. Ye’ll have to choose something else. Perhaps he might allow ye to use it for the trim.”
A pale, mint green fabric with dark green threads was next to it. “How about this one?”
“Aye! That would look fetchin’ on ye lass.” It was a raspy voice behind her. Izzy turned to see a short stooped old woman. “The laird’s already instructed me to make ye a dress lass. The name’s Anna Brooks milady.”
She shook the lady’s proffered hand, turning to catch Merryk grinning. “What?”
“Tis the one the laird selected for ye milady.”
“Aye” he cleared his throat. “Said it would look lovely on you, bring out your colors.”
Izzy blushed. “Well, what do you think Merryk? Would it look good on me?”
“Aye it would” he turned away nervously. “If ye were to select another, this one would flatter you as well.” He handed her a bolt of dark blue fabric that had alternating threads of gold and emerald green every couple of inches. It was very subtle, but the contrast was beautiful.
“I’ll take it. Oh wait, I don’t have any way of paying for this Merryk.” She grasped his arm, a look of terror in her eyes.
“Aye ye do milady. The laird has offered it, so ye canna refuse.”
She nervously chewed her lower lip. The fabric was amazing, and it would be nice to have something to remember this vacation by. “Oh well, if you’re sure.”
They walked past several little shops. All of them were perfectly done in the reenactment theme. Izzy was impressed by the attention to detail. A thought had been troubling her as they walked. “Merryk?”
“When did the laird choose that fabric?”
His eyes dropped and she swore there was a blush on his cheeks. “Er, well.”
“Out with it Merryk. What aren’t you telling me?”
He stopped, and turned facing her. He reached up and scratched his head , placing his hand on one hip. “The laird see.” He swallowed several times and bounced back and forth on his heels. “Well it twas yesterday milady whilest we were traveling through the village.”
“Yesterday?” She placed her hand on his arm. “When did he decide I should have dresses of my own Merryk?”
He looked around nervously as if one of the passing villagers would rescue him from her questioning. “After ye kissed him on the wall milady. But it wasn’t till after I told him of Bess’s ill treatment of ye that he ordered it done.”
He looked down nervously at her hand on his arm. “I don’t think ye should be touching me like that milady. His lairdship. He will be most angry and the villagers might think ye’re my gel.”
She released him immediately, caught off guard by his comment. “Oh, sorry.” Maybe he had issues with personal space or something. “Wouldn’t want that.”
A strong scent caught her attention. It was familiar, yet she couldn’t place it. She followed her nose, sniffing, trying to recall what that smell was. It was so familiar.
She turned and continued walking. There was a candle makers shop ahead. Quickly she ducked into the shop to try to distract herself from the awkward feelings. She glanced over her shoulder, noticing that Merryk hadn’t followed her into the shop. He stood outside the door. She heard another voice and noticed a second pair of shoes in front of his.
‘Just as well.’ She eyed the merchandise, then watched the rotund man dipping candles. He had a wooden brace built with the wicks threaded through it. It held six candles the size of his thumbs. She watched as he dipped them until they were roughly an inch in diameter and six or seven inches long. The smell was stronger by his melted wax.
The man looked up at her. “Aye, ye be wanting candles then?”
He motioned over to the tray of completed candles. Izzy moved to the box. She picked four of them up, noticing how smooth and heavy they were. She lifted them to her nose, but they weren’t the source. “I’ve no money of my own, but perhaps Laird Zane”
“She’s no buying yer candles Malcomb.” Merryk interrupted. Merryk stood with his arms crossed, glaring at the candle maker.
“HHuummmmph. As if I care. If ye’re no buying then I’ll kindly ask ye to leave me shop.”
“Gladly!” Merryk roughly grabbed her arm and jerked her back out to the street.
“Ow! You’re hurting me!” Izzy complained as Merryk pulled her from the shop.
Finally he stopped, and released her. “I’m sorry lass, but ye shouldna ha’ gone in there.” He looked down at where she rubbed her arm. “Did I hurt ye? I dinna mean to hurt ye lass. I’m such an oaf. The laird will have me head for certain.”
“I’m ok. Just. . . why did you do that?”
He glanced back at the shop, leaned in and whispered “Malcomb is one of Erik’s men. A traitor. If I hadna stopped to listen to Ranald, I’d have seen where ye made off to. Ye had me worried for a bit. When I figured ye may have gone in to Malcomb not knowing, well. . . I went to ye straight away.” He raked his fingers through his hair glancing around nervously. “Laird Zane had some unexpected delays and he wants me to take ye back to the castle immediately.”
She glanced down the road at the other shops she hadn’t visited and spyed a fruit basket. “Oh can’t we get some fresh fruit first? I adore fruit, please Merryk?”
He nervously glanced down the street and then around. “Ok, but we best be quick and then I’m to get ye safely away.”
Izzy picked through the apples. Most of them looking wormy. She picked out six of the nicer looking apples and moved to a large basket filled with grapes. A little girl ran out from behind the wagon, and grabbed a cluster, giggling as she ran down the street. She watched the child until she ducked between two huts.
A loud crash sounded behind her. Merryk was fending off two men with huge swords. They were attacking him from either side and Merryk was defending himself admirably. When one lunged at him he turned, made a move with his own sword under the other mans, knocking the sword loose from the attacker’s grip. He deftly caught it as it dropped from the other man’s grasp. With two swords now, Merryk moved more aggressively, as the men began moving back. In a matter of seconds he’d slashed across one man’s chest, leaving a trail of blood spewing, and stabbed the other point first in the throat.
The blood flowed, an acrid pungeant coppery tang to the air. The swords looked all too real. There was no way this was a re-enactment. These weren’t prop swords. She stared for a moment as the first man slumped to the ground, blood flowing until he lay lifeless and still. Izzy dropped the apples and began screaming.
The reality hit her. She’d just witnessed two murders. Merryk moved towards her. “Shush lass, or ye’ll have all of Erik’s men down on us.”
“You just killed them!” Izzy shouted.
“Ye’re not an actor?”
“A what lass? We need to be heading back now.” He took her arm, more gently this time and moved her towards the carriage and their horses.
“Stop it! I don’t want to go anywhere with a . . . a . . . a murderer.”
“Murderer? Ye stand there and accuse me of bein’ a murderer?” He was already pumped full of adrenaline from the attack. “Ye’d prefer I just let them kill me then? And you? Because that was their intent, lass. Ye don’t know what ye’re talking about. I killed them, aye I did. But it was to save our own lives.” He stalked towards her and grabbed her hand roughly, dragging her towards the carriage.
“Let me go!”
“I willna!” He clasped his hand tighter on her wrist as she squirmed trying to wrestle free.
“Merryk, stop it! You’re hurting me.” Izzy leaned back, her weight causing him to pull her along.
“Then cooperate, and stop yer fighting.” He tossed over his shoulder at her. His eyes blazed with single minded determination. Erik’s men had already attacked once, they could be anywhere. “Stop yer yelling unless you want to fight off the next attack.”
At that, she quieted, and fought him less, but still resisted. None of this made sense. What kind of re-enactment allowed actual killing? The coppery tang hung in the air making her feel queasy. The lingering smell and the visual shock was just too much. Her stomach churned.
All indications led her to the conclusion that this was not a re-enactment, but was in fact real. But that wasn’t possible, unless she’d been thrown back through time somehow. Fear gripped her with a vice like grasp. “Wh-what year is this Merryk?”
He shook his head. “The same year it’s been fer a while lassie. The year of our Lord 1648 of course. It’ll be a new year soon enough.”
They reached the carriage. Merryk tried to get her in the carriage, but she fought him. This last bit was just too much for her. Izzy stilled, her glowing skin suddenly pale and clammy. She swallowed hard, feeling that familiar salivation right before the contents of her stomach threatened to dislodge.
“Isabelle? Are ye alright lass?”
“She turned away from him and wretched. Merryk had his hand on her arm for support as she shook visibly. Finally he motioned the driver and got into the carriage with her.
“Stop it! This isn’t funny. It’s all just a bad dream.” She was near hysterics. This couldn’t be real. There was no way. It just wasn’t possible. Izzy took a couple deep breaths. “Yes, I’ll wake up shortly. It’s all a dream.” A high pitched nervous laugh erupted. “It’s part of my black hole. I never really woke up, that’s it.” Izzy beat on Merryk’s chest as he held her tight.
“Milady, calm down. What’s got into ye lass?” Merryk tightened his grip on her, and pulled her tight against his chest. Soon she began sobbing. As the tears flowed, Merryk relaxed his grip, and soothed Izzy. He stroked her hair, rubbed her back, patted her shoulders as the sobs subsided. “It’s alright milady, it’s alright.”
He tried to comfort her, but really didn’t understand what she was upset about. Had she never witnessed a death before? Had she never seen a man die by the sword? It only confirmed his suspicions that women were too unpredictable. Give him a battle any day and he could handle it, but a crying woman? He felt reduced to a helpless babe.
“Milady?” The sobs had abated but she still shook in his arms. This didn’t look good, him holding the laird’s woman like this. “Lass ye’ve got to get a hold of yerself.”
The carriage stopped and Merryk walked her into Zane’s study. Making sure she was comfortable in the armchair, he squatted down in front of her, lifting her chin. “I don’t know what it is that’s come over ye lass. Just stay here whilest I get you some drink. I didn’t mean to scare ye so.” He stood, patted her hand then walked briskly from the room.
Read more about author Ellie Mack
Ellie Mack lives in a small town near St. Louis, Missouri. She graduated from Southeast Missouri State University with a BS in geography/cartography. She has worked for Department of Defense, county government, as a substitute teacher, and various other jobs. Her hobbies include reading, bicycling, playing Tombraider, and Dance games such as Dance Dance Revolution, and Zumba. Between being a mother to two teenage girls, a wife, homemaker, and a mortgage loan officer, Ellie writes paranormal romances.
Find More From Ellie Mack Here:
Ellie’s first erotica piece is appearing on http://storytimetrysts.blogspot.com/
Ellie’s blog can be found at: http://quotidiandose.wordpress.com/2012/05/25/passion-2/