He turned. The thrall rose high on her knees. Her long, mussed braid dangled like a dark brown rope. She strained against her tether, and even from this distance, he saw the leather bindings pinch her skin white. Hakan drew in a deep, rib-expanding breath.
The tides waited for no man.
Yet, his long strides stretched one in front of the other, returning him to her. The closer he came, the Frankish thrall inched back, her long legs folding underneath her until he towered over her.
“I’m here,” he said in Norse. Convince me.
The thrall rubbed color back into her wrists. She blinked
rapidly. His presence could be like a wall, or so his sister always
chided him. Thus, he crouched low to meet her eye to eye. She
brushed away dark hair, and her deep blue stare penetrated him.
“Hakan…Svealander?” She asked.
Her voice flowed nicely to his ears, the kind of voice a man
could listen to in the dark on a cold winter’s night.
“Aye, Svealander.” He draped his arm over his thigh and
willed the picture of her wrapped naked in fur from his mind.
Hakan dipped his head a fraction, searching her face. This
close, he couldn’t miss the wound: one side of her face was smooth
except for a thin, curving scab which curled toward her ear. She
would scar. Dirt smudged her slender nose and the soft, uncut
cheek. He angled his head, trying for more from the quiet maid.
“Frankish?” He gestured to his mouth but spoke Norse. “You
After Magnuson’s attempt at deception, Hakan had to be
sure. Her gaze darted to the tents. The thrall took a deep breath
and spoke in Norse.
“Aye, Frankish.” She stuck her tongue out at him. “And I’m
Hakan jerked at the unexpected display. She blushed and
dipped her head. Faint freckles sprinkled her nose, and his hand
clenched his thigh, tamping down the urge to explore them. He
came to the camp to transact business only, not flirt.
“You know why I didn’t purchase the other woman,” Hakan
said, and the beginnings of a smile spread.
She smiled back, displaying fine teeth. He liked her courage.
“How did you come to be here?”
Norse Jewel, Book 1 of the Norse Trilogy Coming soon in 2015 Norse Fire, Book 2
~Catch up on the series~