He restrained himself, and tenderly traced the line of her cheekbone with his fingers as he gazed into those soulful eyes. "I have seen your image everywhere, in the blue, bubbling creek, in the white clouds of the heavens. I've heard you call out to me on the wind, and in the chirping of wrens. I knew you were coming. Yet I can hardly believe you are here. I bless the gods for keeping you safe."
"I worried about you as well. As the Iceni Archdruid, you would be the first the Romans would slay."
"Do not worry for me, cariad. The Romans murder anyone who disagrees with them. I am blessed to be among those." Anger surged through him as he spoke of his foes. "We still have the freedom of our tongues. Though they took our weapons from us, we have forged new ones to wield against Roman flesh." Absently, his fingers curled into a fist.
"It is Andraste's will that we battle the Romans. The goddess bade me to tell Boudica to move onward."
"We shall keep moving." A wave of apprehension swept through Rhys. "These tidings from Andraste puzzle me. I wish I knew what the goddess is trying to forestall. Something I have not foreseen must hinder the queen."
"Yes, it must be so. Though the goddess has called me, she had not revealed what I am to thwart. I only know I must bid Boudica to march onward."
"Yes, I ken what you say. The goddess often asks things of us we do not understand. I have also been put to a hard task, but we will speak of it later." Rhys cast his eyes downward.
Will I ever be able to tell her? If the final battle is lost, I am fated for adbertos. A sacrifice to the gods. "Now we need to think of tomorrow, when we ride into Londinium. The city is sparse, for when Suetonius rode in, most of the men in town left with him."
Sulwen clasped her hands together and shook her head. "The Romans are cravens. They leave the women and children to the mercy of their enemy."
"Yes, when have you known Romans to do otherwise?" Gods, when I learned of the massacre, I could not sleep nor eat for days. I feared they had killed you.
"In truth, they are as treacherous as the feline monster, Y Cath Palug," Sulwen snaped. "Yet they shall not stop us. It is our land, we mean to keep it. The gods will prevail."
"Yes, and for now we shall forge ahead as Andraste bids." Once again I am facing the thought of loosing you. Yet this time it will be at my death. Knowing I shall not see you again until our next life together makes my sacrifice even harder.
"Do you think it will end soon?"
Rhys raised his chin, meeting her gaze. "Yes, I do. Very soon. I shall end with it."
"What do you mean by that?"
"Worry not of it now." His gaze swept over her face, knowing he would never forget the glow of her skin, her large, deep green eyes, nor her perfectly bowed lips. "It is best you rest." He caressed her soft face with his large hands. "Let us lay together by the bonfire."
Before she spoke, the smoldering light in her eyes said yes. "I will join you at the bonfire."
"Ah, Sulwen." His eyes locked onto her full, sculptured lips.
His mouth swooped down to capture hers. He caught her upper lip between his and suckled them. Salty, musky, he loved the taste of her and the soft, warm feel of her mouth. Blood pounded in his head. His skin burned. He plunged his tongue inside where it danced and curled. His breath was ragged. Raising his mouth from hers, he gazed into her eyes, which shimmered with an inner fire. His lips still burned.
Rhys led her to stand with him beside the crackling blaze. He wrapped his arms around her small, willing body. He crushed her against his chest, where her pillowy breast rubbed against him.
Burning. Wanton. He held her tightly as he rasped, "Do you know what we must do?"
Vampire Highland Fling |
Queen of Kings |
A Fine Cauldron of Fish
© 2010-2015 Cornelia Amiri