Read Warrior Online

Authors: Violette Dubrinsky

Tags: #erotic MM, #Romance MM

Warrior (3 page)

BOOK: Warrior
5.11Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

weight shoving at hers, she lost her

seat, falling with a loud crash to the

unyielding mud. He was instantly

upon her, but Jaisyn rolled quickly,

holding tight to the impressionable

leather hilt of her sword. The

blacksmith had said it would give her

a firmer grip.

Once standing, she realized this man

was bigger than the rest. He topped

her by at least two arms’ lengths, and

wielded a sword as long as her leg.

An awful roar split the air as he

charged her. Jaisyn danced aside,

pivoting to confront him.

“Ye lot and yer fancy footwork,”

the warrior snarled, and lunged again.

This time when Jaisyn feinted, he was

ready and with a ringing crash, his

sword came down on her left arm.

For the span of two breaths,

numbness grabbed hold of her

shoulder and quickly spread through

her arm. Within moments, pain as

she’d never felt before shot through

her shoulder and she squealed,

attempting to move her arm. It hung

limply. Broken. So shocked was she

by the pain, Jaisyn released her grip

on her sword to reach across for her

injured shoulder, as though by touch

she could send the pain away.

A shadow stepped into her path.

Jaisyn lifted her head. The giant

loomed over her, his sword half-

raised.

She was going to die.

Although she feared it, Jaisyn

accepted that truth. At least her

brother had gotten away. Her father

would be heartbroken but she had two

sisters. It would take time, but

Wilhelm would eventually get over her

death.

“Is that how ye Lytherian bastards

holler? Like girls?” the soldier taunted

and advanced more. Jaisyn held her

ground. Never would she show this

cur fear; never would she cower.

“Why don’t ye squeal for me some

more, eh, girly?”

He lifted his blade and behind the

helmet, Jaisyn closed her eyes,

prepared to meet her Goddess.

Instead, she heard a familiar scream

before the soldier released a string of

curses that were decidedly foreign.

She opened her eyes. The scene

briefly stunned her. Stephen had his

arms wrapped around the soldier’s

neck as he attempted to wrestle him

for the broadsword. Jaisyn blinked in

confusion. One moment she was

preparing to meet her creator, and the

next, this. The soldier had managed to

throw Stephen from him and was now

advancing on the scuttling boy.

“No!” Somehow the sword was

back in her unwounded hand as she

screamed and ran forward. The

soldier turned and delivered a solid

kick to her middle, sending her flying

backward and onto her already

throbbing left arm.

Bright lights flashed before her eyes,

reminding her of the jagged lines

she’d witnessed splitting the dark sky

earlier, and Jaisyn screamed When

her eyes focused once more, it was to

find the soldier looking down at her.

Before she could react, he was

tugging her helmet away.

“A girl?” he snorted and as if not

believing his eyes, removed his own

helmet and leaned down to get a

better look. Jaisyn knew what he’d

see: unblemished, if dirty, bronzed

skin, curly golden hair tightly pinned

to her head, and eyes so gold, they

sometimes appeared yellow. All were

traits of her ancestors, her people.

He was an older soldier with a hard

face, hard eyes and a nasty scar that

ran from ear to lip, curling it forever in

a snarl. And the way he was staring at

her was making her skin crawl. There

was something brutal in his eyes,

something she’d never seen before.

Intuition told her it wasn’t good.

“Just ye wait there, girly. I’ll be

done with this one then I’ll teach ye

yer true place,” he leered.

Fear clutched her. He was going to

kill her brother. As soon as he turned

his back, she placed her weight on her

broken hand, biting into her lip to

keep from crying out, before finding a

good enough position to push herself

up with her right hand. She tracked

the soldier on silent feet, waiting until

she was certain she had a great shot at

his neck. When she stood behind him,

she gripped her sword as tightly as she

could and swung with whatever power

she had left. Blood sprayed her armor

in a fine mist as the soldier’s head fell

with a dull thud to the side of his

body. He remained standing for the

span of two heartbeats before falling

forward.

She heard a scream and it took her

brain a while to register that it was

Stephen. Immediately, her body

moved into action.

What was it? Was there another

soldier? She looked around frantically

and seeing no one, finally looked

down. The headless soldier was lying

atop her brother. Jaisyn could have

sighed at that. Her brother had always

been squeamish about blood. She

dropped her sword and used her right

hand to push him from Stephen.

Jaisyn froze. The weight of the

soldier, coupled with the angle, had

pushed the sword into an unprotected

portion of her brother’s thigh.

Stephen’s

breath

was

coming

harshly and from the pushed-up visor

of his helmet, she could see his pallor.

.

“Jassy,” he whispered, his lips

trembling with fear and pain. “Jassy,

help me.”

Shaking her head, Jaisyn forced her

body back into action. She leaned

over the wound and knowing she had

no choice, grabbed hold of the sword

and with a fierce pull, tugged it from

his leg.

Stephen screamed his pain and

began to sob. Blood gushed from the

wound, running over the burnished

metal thigh plate and onto the

muddied ground. It ran like water

from a broken dam. There was so

much.

Oh Goddess, oh Goddess, oh

Goddess
.

“Oh Lyria, please,” she prayed

softly. “Please, don’t let my brother

die.”

At her words, Stephen shook his

head, and his lips began to tremble.

“Ajax,”

she

called,

searching

through the pelting rain and clustered

trees for the outline of the stallion. She

whistled loudly, hoping that he or Lulu

would come.

When no shape moved, Jaisyn

stooped next to her brother and

placed her hand over the wound,

pressing against it. He screamed and

cursed, begging her to stop.

“It needs pressure, Stephen,” she

told him firmly, deciding that the only

way to get him to stop worrying and

crying was to be firm. “Place your

hand here.”

He did as she asked and Jaisyn

moved around him, using her right

arm to try and pull his cape from his

armor. When that didn’t work, she

stooped for her sword and began to

slash at the material. Finally, the fine

blue fabric separated and she dropped

her sword, and tugged at it. A long rip

penetrated Stephen’s whimpers and

she knelt before him, trying to wrap

the cloth around the wound.

Stephen groaned and closed his

eyes. “Stephen, you have to bind it as

tightly as you can.” When he didn’t

respond, Jaisyn screamed his name

until he blinked and nodded. She’d

seen tourniquets like these before, on

the soldiers who were injured during

practice or those involved in minor

skirmishes at their borders, and they

were usually held in place by strong

twigs until a proper surgeon could be

called. The pelting rain blinded her to

everything but muddy water.

With red-rimmed eyes and shallow

breath, Stephen tied the edges

together, crying as he did so.

“That’s it, Stephen. Now, put your

hand on top of the cloth and press

down. Good.”

Jaisyn looked around. The day was

overcast, and growing darker. There

was still no sign of the horses.

“Ajax! Lulu!” she called again,

adding a whistle. Moving next to her

brother, she placed her good hand

atop the trembling hand that covered

his wound. “Don’t worry. One of

them will come.”

Stephen nodded. His lips were

turning blue. She moved closer and

began to talk about everything and

nothing, prompting him for responses

to distract him from their situation.

After what seemed like hours, she

heard the sound of horse hooves and

looked up to see Ajax moving toward

them.

“Ajax is here, Stephen. Come on.

Stand up. You have to climb onto

Ajax,” Jaisyn stood and led Ajax

closer to her brother.

“Good boy,” she whispered to Ajax,

caressing the side of his face, before

turning to Stephen.

Her brother lay as he was. His hand

clutched the makeshift bandage of his

wound, as his eyes—now glassy—

stared up at her.

“I’ll help you up,” Jaisyn said

immediately, hating that look. She

grasped his arm and tried to lift him,

to no avail. “Come on, Stephen.

You’re a St. Ives—a future king! Fight

it.” Her voice began to tremble and

break so she halted and cleared her

throat. “Do it for Father. Think of

how proud he’d be. You saved me,

protected me. Stephen, open your

eyes.

Focus

on

me.

Stephen.

Stephen!”

Chapter 1

Lytheria,

Five years later…

“You don’t think Father’s going

to…
die
, do you, Jassy?”

The ominous question came from

one of the royals who sat upon the

large, canopied bed at the center of

the room. Mathilda St. Ives, the

youngest of the Lytherian princesses,

nicknamed the “Flower of the East”

for her innocent, yet captivating

beauty, stared up at her older sister

with wide golden eyes. Zenoba,

Queen of Lytheria, had died only a

few years after Mathilda’s birth, so

from the time she could speak, she

had looked to Jaisyn as a maternal

figure, despite Jaisyn being only five

years her senior. She’d had the best

governesses but still Mathilda came to

Jaisyn, as did Isolde. The older by two

years and by far the more dominant

personality,

Isolde

sat

next

to

Mathilda. Unlike her younger sister,

she wasn’t as naïve or clinging. Of the

siblings, Isolde favored their mother

most. Her skin was a milky hue and

instead of the golden hair and eyes

common to most Lytherians, Isolde

had loosely curled red hair that fell in

waves down her back, and vivid green

eyes flecked with a hint of gold.

Although she had no nickname,

Isolde’s beauty had lured many a

prince to Lytheria, only to be turned

away by Wilhelm, who refused to

marry his daughters before he deemed

them ready. Considering Jaisyn’s age

of twenty-one, there were those who

believed that day would never come.

“Not for a long time, Matty,” Jaisyn

replied, turning from the looking-glass

to face Mathilda. As she stared at her

sister’s concerned face, Jaisyn ran a

wide-toothed, wooden comb through

her hair. “Father is strong. He’ll stay

with us as long as Lyria permits.”

King Wilhelm was sick again. Two

years ago, he’d caught a raging fever

that had held him for months and

since then, he’d had relapses. With

each, he became weaker, but he

fought it. Jaisyn knew this time was

worse than the rest but wasn’t

prepared to tell her sisters that. Death

was nothing pleasant and knowing it

would happen beforehand didn’t

make it any easier. She knew that

from experience. As her lids closed, a

BOOK: Warrior
5.11Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

Other books

The Dead Have No Shadows by Chris Mawbey
The Barefoot Princess by Christina Dodd
Nobody's Angel by Mcguane, Thomas
With Friends Like These by Reshonda Tate Billingsley
Breakup by Dana Stabenow
Karen Mercury by The Wild Bunch [How the West Was Done 5]