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

By: Violetta Rand

Viking’s Fury Book 1




Acknowledgments




I wish to thank Kathryn Le Veque for believing in this story and me.

Star Montgomery, you are forever in my heart.

I have the greatest street team, Violetta’s Valkyries. Thank you for all the love and support.

Sue-Ellen Welfonder, my fairy book godmother, hugs and kisses for all your help and encouragement.





Chapter One





Jorvik (York)

March 867 A.D.

Silvia clutched a dozen scrolls to her chest as she raced through the scriptorium searching for somewhere to hide. She covered her mouth and coughed violently. Smoke filled every corner, diminishing the afternoon sunlight that typically filled the high-ceilinged room. Shelf after shelf of manuscripts had been obliterated by the steel axes these heathen occupiers hefted. God’s breath… She halted. A man-beast of mythological proportions stood nearby, his attention focused on the table before him. The place where the monks passed their long days studying.

“No!” She couldn’t remain silent—couldn’t stop herself from screaming as he tipped the torch he held, the loose parchments providing the kindling the flames needed to spread.

She clung more desperately to her precious cargo, texts her father specifically requested she grab before he was cut down. She closed her eyes for a brief moment, stifling tears that threatened to spill, ones she’d held back so she could think clearly. But nothing helped now. How could she keep the harrowing memory of her sire’s death out of her head? The answer came as goosebumps crept up her flesh like a cold wind.

She felt the weight of the intruder’s stare and opened her eyes. Had the heathen heard her yell? Or was he simply in search of something else to burn?

“Jeg er glad for å se at det er mer enn bøker i denne forlatt stedet.”

His words were not lost on her. Her father had taught her enough Norse to communicate with the filthy invaders. This was no Dane, but a Norwegian. The bloody animal dared to humor himself whilst devastating her home.

“Brenn i helvete,” she cursed him. Burn in hell.

He laughed riotously, then turned his attention back to the room.

Fool. He obviously underestimated the threat of a woman. Panic gripped her heart, but she had to remain focused. The secret tunnel running along the north wall came to mind. If she could reach it … her gaze searched for a clear route. Unfortunately, she couldn’t see three feet in front of her. Nor did she know how many men were still inside. Her greatest chance of survival depended on getting out, now.

Silvia ran for the main entrance. She’d spent a happy childhood here—growing up exploring the buildings while her father worked. If the fire wasn’t extinguished, all would be reduced to pile of smoldering rubble. A part of her soul was dying, consumed by the same flames destroying the only scriptorium in the north.

Outside, conditions weren’t much better. Bodies littered the ground. Saxons—men of honor who risked their lives to reclaim their city were dead or dying. It was too late, in any case, to fight. Now mere survival would have to do. Amidst the agonizing screams and sounds of clashing metal, she hunted frantically for a place to stash the scrolls. Somewhere no one would look.

The ancient cemetery came into view. Who disturbed the dead when a city was under siege? She knew she’d done everything possible to help her father. Fulfilling his last request was all she had left to give him.

By some miracle, there was a half-dug grave nearby. It hadn’t rained in days and the soil was dry. There was time to retrieve the scrolls later. She reverently laid them on the ground, unpinned her thin cloak, then knelt, wrapping the delicate papers in her mantle. Her heart pounded as she placed the bundle in the earth, then spread loose soil over it.

Satisfied they were safe, she scrambled to her feet, noting her exact location. God would lead her back here if she forgot. And if he didn’t, she’d sacrifice her life trying to find it. But what now? The sanctuary appeared unharmed. If the Vikings weren’t trying to purge the northlands of holy sites, why were they targeting just the repository? She didn’t understand.

The sounds of battle grew louder…

She must find shelter. The cottage she had shared with her father was on the edge of the extensive church grounds, nearly a mile away. Vikings left nothing unsearched, no one alive—no woman untouched.

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