Medieval Runaway Wives

Madeleine knew the noble­man would rec­og­nize her. They’d spent too much time togeth­er for him not to know her upon first sight. She groaned. Where Sir Ash­by was, she was pos­i­tive his friend, the brood­ing Lord Mon­tayne, would soon appear. She did not care to see him face-to-face, espe­cial­ly since he had been so angry at her when they’d part­ed.

Mov­ing stealth­ily, she hoped to avoid atten­tion. Just as she thought she’d made her way unseen, she heard shouts head­ed her way.

Stop, thief! Stop!”

A cut­purse ran by her swift­ly, throw­ing a cur­so­ry glance over his shoul­der. She despised peo­ple who preyed upon oth­ers and would see this shab­by scoundrel caught. Madeleine stepped out, ready to give chase when some­thing slammed into her, knock­ing her to the ground. She tried to draw a breath but the wind had been knocked from her.

Instinct caused her to roll into a ball, her arms wrap­ping around her in a pro­tec­tive cocoon. She had spent many a time lying on the floor after one of Henri’s swift punch­es to her bel­ly and knew she must guard her ribs at all costs. Oh, God, it hurt so much when one broke. Please, not again. Not again.

A hand, firm but reas­sur­ing, touched her shoul­der. A voice came through the fog rolling through her brain. It wasn’t Hen­ri! She half-laughed, half-gasped, as she opened her limbs and came to lie on her back. She even reached into her pock­et and stroked Hen­ri-the-Peb­ble, val­i­dat­ing that she was alive and unharmed.

Yet who had attacked her? She peered up into the blind­ing sum­mer sun but could not see who stood above her. Then the shad­ow moved, cov­er­ing her face from the harsh light.

Why, if it isn’t Lady Mon­tayne,” said the dread­ed famil­iar voice. “Where the Hell is my favorite cloak?”

*Excerpt com­ing Sep­tem­ber 2020

*Excerpt com­ing Octo­ber 2020