Love's Fury (Viking's Fury #1)(4)

By: Violetta Rand



He passed the smoldering scriptorium—laughing bitterly at the useless pursuits of monks. Then he hurried by a group of sheds and a barn. He scanned the area, no sign of her. What was her accursed name? Who was she? Why did she speak Norse and know how to curse a man so skillfully? He’d get answers and a whole lot more once he got his hands on her.

Sometime later, after kicking open door after door and searching every building he could find, Konal growled in frustration. The girl had a clear advantage. She knew where to hide. As if Odin heard his complaint, he found a monk in a garden. He wore a woolen dress, his head as smooth as a newborn’s arse. As Konal approached, the man dropped his rake.

“I’ll not hurt you, old man,” Konal growled. “Tell me where I can find the girl who you allow in the scriptorium.” As weak and incompetent as Saxons were, it surprised him that a female was permitted near the church.

The old man twisted his hands, clearly afraid.

Konal stepped closer, he expected complete cooperation. “My patience has been tested already—tell me.”

“She could be anywhere.”

Konal stroked his throat. At least the priest knew who he was referring to. If the holy man failed to provide the information he needed within the span of another breath, he’d split his bald head in two. “Where?” he demanded. Silence. “Answer me goddamnit, or you’ll die, now.”

“I’d give my life for much less,” the priest challenged.

Konal lunged, seizing him by the throat, squeezing hard enough to deprive the monk of air. “At least we agree on something. Your life is worthless to me.” He exerted more pressure. “Tell me.”

The monk coughed uncontrollably as Konal slowly eased the pressure on his throat. “Follow the footpath west,” he choked out. “Half a mile, there’s a cottage surrounded by flowers and rose bushes. The girl lives there with her father. Please, don’t kill her.”

Konal nodded and pushed him away. “Her name?”

“Silvia.”

It was not a Norse tradition to leave enemies alive. But Ivarr took pity on the residents of York so long as they submitted to his authority. Most did. And in return, the church, school, and scriptorium had been spared in the past. Northmen cared little for what gods their slaves worshipped. But not today. These ingrates had waited for the perfect moment to strike. The rebellion lead by the two deposed Northumbria kings had cost this city dearly. Hundreds had died.

The stone cottage came into view. As the priest had described, a flourishing garden ran the length of the front of the house. Konal forced his way inside, the space was dim, but he could see well enough. Two rooms downstairs, a kitchen and sitting area. The stairs probably led to a bedchamber. He climbed cautiously, listening. The door stood ajar and he entered. The small room was femininely decorated. A narrow bed with an embroidered coverlet, a table and chair, gowns laid carefully across another table. He sensed the wench’s presence—the soft fragrance of flowers filled his nostrils. The same scent in her dark hair. His cock hardened instantly.

She’s was here.

Perhaps hiding under the bed. He looked but found nothing. Something heavy smashed into the side of his face as he began to stand, the force of the blow enough to make his head spin. Odin’s blood. Out of the corner of his eye, he caught a flash of movement. He spun around in time to see her retreating, but exploded sideways, snaring her ankle.

“I almost lost you,” he said, still on his knees.

She kicked her hand-shackled foot, dropping the scuttle she held.

“You assaulted me with a platter?” Konal didn’t know if he should laugh or beat the wench silly.

“Let me go.” She kicked again, but this time, he yanked her down. He let go as she fell to the floor, the impact knocking the breath out of her.

“I suggest you get used to kneeling,” Konal grabbed a fistful of her hair and dragged her toward him.

“I swear if I ever get the chance, I’ll leave your lifeless form in the open so crows can feed upon your liver.” Silvia thrashed like a snared rabbit.

It was a wonder that she acted so insolently. Once he regained control, he freed her hair and clamped on to her hips, flipping her over. He hovered above her face, rage and shock contorted her delicate features. Already hard with desire, her ceaseless resistance did unspeakable things to his body. But he mustn’t let carnal need overshadow his duties.

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