The Bright Possibilities
Things have not been easy. Xavier Brice has had to fight not only against physical threats to his wife, but also those threats to her peace of mind as they travel to court. But the further they go, the more he is learning about what he needs to do to keep the woman who is his very heart and soul safe. His confidence grows with each step forward they make.
A Haunted Past
Io Brice knows there’s nothing so futile as revisiting the past. It cannot be changed, yet it could do harm. As her dark history steps into the light, can she trust her husband and those she calls family to stand with her? Or must she once again be ready to stand alone?
Publisher’s Note: This steamy, action-filled medieval romance contains a theme of power exchange.
“I can get my own water. I am not incapable of doing things for myself.”
“No one says you are,” Xavier said then sighed and leaned back against the wall, too.
“Then tell them to let me do things.”
“You can do as you need, take a man with you.”
“It does not take two people to get a bucket of water from a stream only several steps away. I do not need a fucking escort to get my own water.”
“Either take a man with you or send a man to get it,” he said, his voice tight, telling her he was using restraint. But damn it, so was she.
“They are soldiers not servants and I will not use them as such.” She turned her head to look away from him.
“Then you should have brought your own servants. You did not, so they will have to act in the place of one.”
His words jerked her around to stare at him. “Do you mean to tell me it would be safe enough for Ann or Jude to fetch the water, but it is not safe for me? Or do you say they are little more than beasts to be sacrificed if danger comes?”
“That is not what I am saying at all, and you know it,” he almost snarled.
“I know no such thing. If Ann could have fetched the water alone, then I should be allowed to,” she said, her voice rising. “It is just for this way of thinking I did not want them to come with me. You would so willingly let them find harm in service to me. No, I will not have it. I can take care of myself.” Turning, she took the few steps needed and kicked the bucket out of the wagon. “I can take care of myself.” She turned back toward Xavier who pushed up off the bed. “I have done it far fucking longer and better than you ever have.”
If she intended to be hurtful in her words, she couldn’t have chosen better. Xavier jerked back as if she had slapped him. In the dim light, she saw him pale and then redden. He said nothing as he pushed past her and leapt from the wagon. She watched him pick up the bucket, turn and set it, empty, on the boards. “I do not need water, my lady,” he said and caught her eye. “To use soap effectively on your mouth. You will do as I command and allow the men to serve you. And you will hold that scold’s tongue in check, or I promise you will be most displeased with the outcome.” He reached up and yanked down the flaps engulfing Io in darkness so she could only hear him step away. A moment more, she heard the call to start moving.