My Works In Progress

The Pirate Princess

Her mind filled with second thoughts. As soon as she defeated one, another would jump out to worry her. Do I really want to involve Helga? It would be foolish, and dangerous, to escape alone. She glanced at the table still holding the bread and cheese from her midday meal. Will there be enough to eat? I'll take this bread and cheese and steal more from the kitchen as we leave. She stamped her foot, impatient with herself. I can’t stay here! There are no second thoughts. I have to make good my escape.
She went to the bed and reached beneath it again to bring out a second small leather bag to fill with food. As she stood, her bedroom door swung open long enough to reveal Helga silently motioning to her. One last look around and Alvilda left the room, locking the door behind her.
“Prince Alf has arrived. He wanted to slay the snakes and lizards immediately, but your father persuaded him the hour was too late. He agreed to stay the night and make his attempt at the prize in the morning.” Helga whispered this information as the two of them slipped down the circular stairs and into the corridor leading to the kitchen.
“I want to see him! I want to see if he is the way I remember him from childhood. He was so handsome then, I think I fell in love with him at first sight. His parents brought him for a visit. I believed we were to be betrothed, but father would hear nothing of the sort.”
“You risk too much if you attempt to see him, Princess. What if we are caught?” Helga spoke in hushed tones. “The others are waiting down by the postern gate. Milady, we must leave immediately.”
Alvilda ignored Helga and walked quickly toward the great hall. She simply had to see the Prince. “Just one glimpse, Helga, and I can go.”
Silently she moved down the hall, the shadows obscuring her presence to all save Helga. Standing on tip-toe she peeked through the narrow window and sighed at the sight of Prince Alf. His magnificent body stood outlined by the flickering glow of the fireplace. He had his back to her and she was able to admire the muscles outlined by his tight fitting britches. His hair fell from his shoulders in a brilliant blonde wavy sheen. Her heart pounded when he swung his head to gaze in her direction. Had he seen her? She held her breath, half-fearing discovery and half-excited by the prospect, until he shrugged and went back to staring at the fire.
“Milady, that was too close! He felt you watching him. Please, we need to make haste! The more time we have before the king discovers your escape, the better our chances to be away and not get caught. Do you want to be dragged back here to marry the prince?”
Alvilda’s eyes narrowed and her brow wrinkled. “You know I don’t want to marry anyone. I only wanted to see him. He’s beautiful, isn’t he?” She didn’t wait for Helga’s answer already moving swiftly down the corridor to the kitchen. She paused long enough to fill her leather bag with apples, bread, cheese and a full wine skin.
Making her way down the moonlit path to the postern gate, Alvilda chanced a glance up to the castle towering behind her in the night gloom. She spied her mother watching from her lighted bedroom window. She couldn’t see her mother’s tears so much as feel them deep in the core of her being. The princess touched her heart with her right hand and made to grasp it and throw it to her mother, a sign that her heart would always be with her. Her mother did the same.
Turning back toward the gate, Alvilda faced over a dozen women with their eyes on her, silently waiting for orders.
“Quickly now, no time to dawdle. Our new life begins very soon. I’m taking one of father’s ships, and the faster we move the sooner we can be at sea. If time is on my side, it will be late tomorrow morning before he discovers me gone.”
The women made their way down the cliff side path to the cove holding her father’s two ships. They boarded the smaller of the two because it was closest to the open sea. Besides, with a crew of inexperienced women as sailors, the smaller ship was the wiser choice. When all the women were aboard, Alvilda manned the rudder while the others, including Helga, took up the oars and headed out to sea.
The princess glanced over her shoulder again and imagined her mother still watching from her window. Once more she touched her heart, grasped it and threw it in the direction of the castle. She’d made good her escape. She would be her own woman. She would answer to no one, but she would certainly miss her mother.
Will Alf be angry when he finds me gone? No matter, I’m sure he will quickly get over the loss of me.
“We are well on our way, so keep watch and wake me only if there is no other choice.” Alvilda slipped below decks and found her father’s cabin. Shutting the door, she collapsed on the berth. Before long the heat of the enclosed space had her taking everything she wore off. Confident they would not be followed for some time, Alvilda smiled as she lay on the bed and stretched her naked body over the roughhewn wool cover upon the bed. He certainly was a handsome man, far more handsome than I remember. “Just stop it, he isn’t meant for you, no one is,” she said as she turned over onto her stomach and fell asleep.
His hands caressed her skin, lightly skimming over her back and across her buttocks then down the backs of her legs. Alvilda arched her back; when she did her legs slightly spread open, giving him easier access to the treasure covered in golden curls. One hand slid between her legs and delved into the curls finding her most private parts, the hard little nub hidden from the world. Stroking that tiny button elicited a small moan in the back of her throat. Encouraged, he rubbed harder and Alvilda drew her legs up, bringing herself onto her knees.


Ravenwood: Night's Salvation

The above review was done from the first version, the print version of the book. I will post any other reviews as I get them.

Night had the distinct feeling someone had been watching him. It must be near to dinner time. He started to rise from the bed. With no coverlet over him there was a bit of a chill. Perhaps that's what woke me. As he moved to the side of the bed, he heard a small, almost inaudible gasp. It was then he realized his feeling of being watched was not his imagination. He turned in the direction of the gasp and smiled as he discovered the beautiful Satine in his bedchamber. He was naked, having not put a dressing gown on after his bath, his door was shut and Satine was there. He smiled when it dawned on him that she had been able to watch him while he slept, totally unaware of her perusal of his male body. Night was inordinately pleased by this show of boldness. Hmm; perhaps I had been wrong about the simpering fool bit, about her being afraid of my manly parts. Mayhap, she is not the cold fish I have come to expect. He smiled as he looked at her, never once thinking to cover himself from her gaze.
"How long have you been watching me?" he slyly asked her, wondering absently if she might be a pretty shade of pink in her embarrassment. After all, she had been caught in his chamber looking at him, and he had on not one stitch of clothing.
Satine looked away, but could not seem to control her own movements and turned to look at him again, her boldness reaching new heights. "Only a moment or two. Your mother sent me to wake you. Dinner will be served in a quarter hour."
She started to leave; she would have to pass him to get to the closed door. He was still looking at her and was still naked, and now a smile spread slowly across his face. Making a move toward the door, she stopped when he stood up.
His lust for her was visible, yet he did not frighten her as he thought he might. He wasn't ashamed of his nakedness in front of her. Satine's eyes were inexplicably drawn downward, where they rested on his swollen manhood.
There was a hint of her incredible eyes widening as she saw the evidence of his wanting her, but nothing close to the fear he was truly expecting. Surprised yet again, Night smiled, for she had unknowingly pleased him. He knew he was being a rogue, but he just couldn't help himself.
"Do you like what you have seen?" he asked her, smiling as she reached for the robe on the end of the bed. She tried to hand it to him without looking him in the eye.
When he didn't take the robe from her, Satine took a few tentative steps toward him. Once again she reached the robe out to him; her relief evident when he reached up to take it from her.
She squeaked in shock as he took hold of her arm instead of the robe. Pulling her close to him, she gazed into his eyes.
"I asked you a question. I expect an answer," Night said. Her face was close to his.
"Wh-what was the question, sir?" Satine stammered, obviously nervous, though her eyes never left his.
Lowering his head, he kissed her lightly, longing to taste her perfect lips. Longing to possess her in any way he could. His lips touched hers softly at the start, his tongue silently telling her to part her lips. He almost expired on the spot when her lips parted for him innocently, deepening the kiss, mating his tongue with hers in a dance far more intoxicating than even he had expected. He forgot to be gentle with her; his only thought, to possess her.
She responded to his kiss without reserve, winding her arms around his neck as she dropped his robe and arched into his body.
It numbed his mind to find that she fit him perfectly, as if she had been made just for him and no one else. They were both dazed and panting when he finally broke the kiss.
Breathless, he turned her to the door. "You should go now, before I do things I can not yet do. I will be down to dinner shortly," he told her. He opened the door and gently pushed her into the hall. Closing the door softly, he leaned against it to catch his breath. She never answered my question. He dressed, absently wondering what his wedding night would be like.


The Highlander's Hope
Scotland, 1740
“You canna do this thing. He hasna done anything to ye!” Laird MacDonald plead for the life of his son in the lair of the witch. “I should have burned ye when I had the chance ye wee nasty beast.”
“My dearest Laird, your son will have a chance I give no one. Should he find someone to love him as he is, he shall once again draw breath, though I wouldn’t wait for that to happen, for it will not happen whilst you still live.”
“What say ye? Ye’ll not kill him? Then what is it ye plan to do?”
Conner MacDonald, eldest son of Laird MacDonald stood petrified, scared to move. “Father, do something.”
The witch Moira’s head turned in his direction, “What should thee father do my young man? Your father is no match for the likes of me.”
Mumbling under her breath and waving her arms about Conner where he stood, changes started taking place.
“Father, I canna move my legs, please help m…” Conner started to say, but the words were lost as he turned from flesh and bone into stone.
“Nooooo, Conner, my son.” Laird MacDonald rushed toward his son only to embrace the cold stone that was once warm living skin. “Weeping, Laird MacDonald turned toward Moira and screamed “What have ye done?”
“I have exacted my revenge upon your clan. Your son has a chance to breath once again, but he will not do so whilst any of this generation or the next still breaths.” Moira said cryptically while stroking her protruding stomach. “I loved him, he used my body to slack his lust. I am with child, his child.” She pointed toward the stone statue in front of them.
“If ye think that this will bring that child closer to the bosom of mine family, you are sadly mistaken WITCH. Ye’re offspring shall have nothing of mine as long as you both shall live.” Turning his back on her, he motioned his men to take up the statue that was once his son, and they all left the small hovel she called a home.
“And your son, for turning away my love, shall never know love or life again as long as you draw breath and those close to you do the same. Pass on your story dear Laird, for it will eventually die out like your family, without your son ever drawing breath again.” Moira rubbed her stomach as she turned from the door and sat down at her table, smiling.
Chapter One
Present Day Scotland
A stone statue stands alone in the Edinburgh Museum, the face etched in sadness and fear. The carver unknown, yet the work is exquisite enough to draw many onlookers to simply gaze at the unnamed work of art. “Yes, that’s how I will start my paper.” Moira Lescott stated to the room at large.
“Pardon me, were you speaking to me?”
Moira started, raising her hand to her chest and looked behind her, her heart thumping a frantic tune. “I’m sorry you gave me a fright.”
“Certainly didn’t intend to, I just heard you speak and there was no one else about, I thought you must be speaking to me.” The handsome stranger smiled.
“Oh, well, I’m sorry, I wasn’t speaking to you, or anyone really, I mean other than myself that is. You see, I am working on a paper for a class and it is about Clan MacDonald.” She picked up the tablet on her lap to show him her opening line. “See?”
“Very good opening. How do you know this statue plays in the Clan MacDonald history?” He asked, pointing to the statue she had been admiring.
“Local gossip points to a good story of a witch and a short lived love affair that produced a child. I am actually related to the witch, and the story was passed down through the years. I don’t know that this statue is the one in the story but it seems to fit.” She stood and walked to the statue, “He is perfect don’t you think? No visible chips or marks on him. Does his face not represent the sadness of loss and the fear of the unknown? I think it does. Whether or not he is the actual statue in the story or not, I am drawing my inspiration from him. He really is beautiful.”
“I can see your point young miss. I wish you luck with your work, and may you get the grade you deserve for it.”
When she turned from her statue to say thank you, the stranger was gone.
“Well, what do you make of that?” she turned back to look up at the statue and smiled. “No one knows you like I do, do they?” Moira touched the statue’s hand before going to the bench to pick up her tablet of paper. Turning back to the stone face behind her, she smiled, “I’ll see you tomorrow my dear.”
The museum opened up with a smiling Moira Lescott awaiting entrance.
“Hello Ben, back again, hope you don’t mind”
“No Miss Lescott, we love to see you however often you come. Have you come to view the statue once again?” he replied as she brushed past him.
“Then you might want to know this, the museum is placing the statue up for sale next week. It goes on the block with many other pieces. Revenue is done you know, and well, since the statue has no known artisan, they see no reason to keep it.” Ben informed her.
“You can’t be serious, he’s the inspiration for my final paper, I need him.”
“You could bid on it if you like, it will be an open event, the museum hopes to drum up more business this way. I should warn you though, it will surely bring a good price, simply because of its presumed age and condition.”
“I’ll not have the money to buy him,” eyes filling with tears, Moira turned away. “Damn it, my inspiration, my love will be gone.”
“What was that last bit, I didn’t hear you.” Ben asked.
“Oh it was nothing, I guess I’ll go spend some time with him now.”
Moira stopped at the stairs and hung her head, turned around and sat down on the stairs. She glanced up to see Ben opening the rest of the doors of the museum, getting ready for the day’s business.
“Oh what am I going to do? I’m only part way through Donald MacDonald’s journals, and I only have the one small journal from my many great’s grandmother. Without my dearest Conner to guide me, how will I ever finish?” She hung her head and let the tablet slip from her hands to the floor, unaware of someone watching her from the shadows. “There really is nothing for it, I’ll have to find out who buys him, and see if they might let me visit him for my inspiration. Will they allow it? Maybe, who knows?”
Moira bent to pick up the tablet of paper she dropped and stood at the same time, straightened her long skirt, brushed her dark curly hair out of her eyes and proceeded to climb the stairs. Force of habit left her pushing up non-existent glasses on her nose before she realized they were no longer there and she sighed. “Boy that Lasik surgery was a success, I still feel the glasses there because I can see so well, better even than when I did wear glasses.” The heavy comfort of my glasses is sorely missed. Dad always told me they were my crutch, something to hide my beauty. I told him that he really should get his head examined.
Climbing the stairs as she removed her jacket of tweed, Moira slung the jacket over her arm and readjusted the tablet she was holding to compensate for the movement. With slow deliberate steps, she moved to the back of the museum where the love of her life stood. Gazing at it, she didn’t see the shadow of someone approaching behind her. Preoccupied with her thoughts, Moira didn’t hear the footfalls of the person behind her either. When she arrived at the foot of the statue she so admired, she reached up and touched his hand, much like she did upon leaving him the night before.
“If only the stories were true, and you could come to life for me. Oh what a paper that would be, now wouldn’t it?” She asked him. Shrugging to the empty room, she moved to the bench across from the statue and sat with the tablet opened to the first page. Glancing away from the stone face, down at the paragraph below on the paper, Moira realized that she should feel very stupid for being in love with something like a stone figure of a man from some bygone era. Tears welled up in her eyes, but she dashed them away as she resolved herself to learn to work without him.
Glancing about, Moira saw no one was around and stood up, strode to the statue and climbed upon the pedestal. Not a small woman, at 5’ 10” tall, she still had to go up on her tippy toes to come face to face with the beautiful face of her Highlander. Softly, she grazed her lips over his and whispered, “I love you and always will.” Before she could understand what was happening, the stone she had been leaning on was softening.
Wide eyed and breathless, Moira scrambled down from the perch she had been on. She backed up so fast she bumped into another display, which almost fell, before she turned and caught it, returning it to safety upon the pillar it had sat on. Moira took a deep breath and turned back around, feeling for sure that her imagination had certainly ran away with her, that she knew when she saw her statue again, he would still be the cold unforgiving stone she knew him to be.
“Gabhaibh mo leisgeul”* The words echoed throughout the massive room. Moira stood frozen, afraid to look upon her statue. “Gabhaibh mo leisgeul.”
Yes, I heard that, now to find out where it’s coming from. Moira took a fortifying deep breath and once again gazed upon her statue, which was no longer a statue, but a living breathing man. The gasp was choked off as Moira crumbled to the floor in a dead faint. The stranger in the shadows, having witnessed it all, smiled and slunk back into the dark recesses of the museum unseen by each party and wanting to remain so.

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