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Beauty and the Beast Hannah Howell England, sixteenth century Behind appearances ... On the eve of her wedding, Gytha Raouille, a young woman of rare beauty, discovers that the groom is dead. And now she must marry the new heir to the land Saitun of a knight hardened by many battles, known as the Red Devil ... With a scarred face and heart wounded by a great disappointment, the last thing you want is a Thayer Saitun wife. However, not even the Red Devil can break the commitment made by his adoptive father years ago. thus, he finds himself attached to a beautiful and innocent. But it would be sweet Gytha able to see beyond appearances and discover the deep feelings he keeps in soul?


England, 1365

- Dead? - Totally dead. - But how? - He fell from his horse and broke his neck. Gytha blinked, then looked intently at his father. There was no sign on his face lying, although he seemed strangely uncomfortable. She waited feel sorrow for the loss of the promised, the handsome and gallant baron William Saitun. Grief came and went. After all, just seen this man. What intrigued her was now

by the preparations for the wedding still continued. If William was dead, there could be no wedding! A moment later, his mother revealed to be thinking the same thing. - But what about the wedding? The banquet is almost ready. The guests are arriving. Should I send them away? - It is not necessary, Bertha, dear. - Dad, I can not marry a dead man! - Of course not, dear. - John Raouille quickly covered the delicate hand of his daughter with him, thick and calloused. - We will not interrupt the preparations? - Gytha frowned confused, noting that his father was not moving. - My daughter, the deal I made with my good friend, Baron Saitun, God rest his soul, provided you marry the heir to the property of Saitun. - And this was William. - Yes, but there are other heirs. Thayer comes shortly after William in succession by inheritance. - So you're saying that now I must marry Thayer? - She does not know if he understood the agreement made by the father. - No. He died in France. Or a bride was cursed, or Saitun were not very healthy, she thought. - I'm getting married or not, Dad? - Yes, you will. The third is the heir Robert. And with that he is getting married tomorrow. I think it already knows. His memory was a feature by which many admired. It was fast and very accurate, keeping even the smallest details with clarity and precision. She wore a now, but he was not happy about it. If you did not have memory so precise, Robert Saitun not have been recorded in his thoughts. He was like a Shadow and William spent most of his time trying to escape the screaming and the orders of his uncle, a man very unpleasant that completely dominated. - Yes, I met him. Is not it ... well, disrespectful to marry another man so soon after the death of wiliiam? - Well .. William died some time ago. He was too far away, why did not you call to close to your bed. Not been informed, she thought.

- And the second heir? This Thayer never met? - I told you, daughter, he died in France. Do not want to sound insensitive, but maybe it was better that way. He was not the man for you, Gytha. Thayer Saitun removed the female hand from his chest and sat down. - It dawned woman. Time to go. Grabbing her purse from under the pillow, he drew her some coins and threw them toward the woman who took the with ease. A cynical smile stretched his lips. Watchful eyes saw weigh the coins in his palm. The woman smiled too. Had always been so. He was a man respected and honored by other men, feared by them, but women always had to see the glow of their money before they show any interest. Lying back and crossing his arms under his neck, he saw her dress without haste. He was tired of harlots unnamed, but at least there was in them a certain honesty, and these women could not afford to despise him for being big, devoid of physical charms, or worse, redhead. Although he had the Reddish skin tone always cursed redheads, knew that few people noticed this detail. Red hair and freckles covering much of his body. Until its size was a negative point, simply because it represented a larger area for a goddamn coloring show up. The sound of the door being pulled open the of self-deprecation. - You want to spend the day in bed? - Asked Roger, his right arm. Before entering and closing the door, he left the evening entertainment Thayer leave. - No. Thayer got up and went to wash. - A setback in waiting. - Roger settled on the unmade bed. - Soon you will cease to be an heir. - Yes William will soon have an heir. I have no doubt of that. He has proven his ability in this field often. - There seems to be very concerned about the verge of becoming a knight without land or the administrator of a wealthy landowner. - That just bothers me. Only a fool would think that a man like William would never marry or have an heir. Best obligation that is his, not mine. I would find it hard to fulfill it. - Underestimate their value. I never saw him without a harlot to warm your bed. - Before they certify the value of my money. Thayer has ignored the air of disapproval of Roger before the bitterness he could not hide. Roger does not

saw how women saw him. The friend saw him as a brave battle buddy, someone who was like a brother. Roger saw nothing wrong with red hair. In the eyes of a man, the abundant hair on your chest, groin and snails hairs on his arms and legs were signs of virility. Men also envied her silhouette grand. Many would like to be able to stand head and shoulders above other men. They did not understand that is far greater than many beautiful and delicate ladies inspired them more fear than admiration. Roger also did not see anything wrong with his face, as strong as your body. Years of life by the blade of the sword had begun to transform the absence Thayer beauty in ugliness. When Roger saw as several fractures had left her slightly crooked nose, just remember the battles that caused them. Thayer knew that having all teeth was something that I should be proud, but that pride was reduced by the knowledge that her mouth thin lips beginning to show scars from all the times I suffer cuts. He touched the scar that marked his face. Roger did not see anything wrong with that, as recalled the glorious battle that caused the mark. He tried to straighten her hair, which had the unfortunate tendency to curl. Even though Roger was right, even if I could capture the heart of a woman, did not matter. Had no house to house this woman. If you find love, it would be just to see this woman be given to another man. Few wanted to give their daughters a landless knight. - Come on, Roger, help me trim the ends. Soon we will have to leave. I long to see that William says that being an angel. Gytha entered the room and slammed the door. Throwing himself on the bed, she began to curse vehemently and continuously. The fleshy mouth and red, so often praised for her suitors, spitting all horrible profanity she knew. And when those ended, she invented others. As always when overflowed this way, she finally said one impropriety that considered funny. Laughing, he saw the door open and her cousin Margaret looking cautiously the interior of the room. - Finished? - Margaret walked slowly, closing the door behind her. - Yes, I just put a curse on every man's kingdom. And I thought about what could happen if the curse surtisse effect. - She laughed again. - There are times that I think you should be paying a great penance. - Margaret smiled halfheartedly and left on the bed a dress embroidery very elaborate. - Your wedding dress. Finally ready. Let's see how it looks on you.

Sitting, Gytha touched the dress, recognizing and appreciating its beauty, but without feeling the joy of it. - You must be the best seamstress in the world. She could sew to the queen. - She smiled at the blushing face of the press. In fact, he thought, Margaret was not only beautiful with its amber eyes and light brown hair, but it was pretty close to eighteen. It also should marry. It was true that Margaret could not aspire to anything too high, but by no means was not possible. His uncle had secured a dowry for her only daughter bastard, and a sum admirable part of it. There might be someone suitable for prime among men who made up the entourage her husband. Would have to devote to this issue. - Gytha, stop making plans for me. Immediately. Trying to look innocent, even though he failed, Gytha murmured: - I would never be so naughty. - Humph. Cursing, and lying now. Your sins grow. Will try on the dress? - I suppose it's necessary. After all, the wedding will be celebrated tomorrow. - Without moving, Gytha continued looking for the dress. Margaret sighed, picked up a brush, sat behind the press and began brushing her long honey-colored hair. Even frowning, Gytha was beautiful, and never exhibited vanity. Margaret felt that her cousin deserved a better life. Actually, she really believed that a young man like Gytha should be able to choose their own husband, marry for love. The beauty of the press was also in the soul. The bright blue eyes and sensual body could cause admiration and desire for many men, but her loving spirit soften even the most cynical. As brothers, Gytha via beauty itself as a gift from God, something to be enjoyed briefly and then set aside not be of great importance. Often, when he was forced to defend or dodge an ardent suitor, she saw her appearance more a curse than a blessing. Needed a man who could see its essence, beyond the lovely face, and recognize it as the true treasure, and Margaret was certain that Robert Saitun was not that man. Getting rid of melancholy, Gytha murmured: - Somehow, it seems wrong to get married so quickly with the heir successor to William.

- I do not know if it's so fast. I believe William died some time ago. Moreover, interrupt the preparations now would bring great financial loss his father. - Margaret helped her undress dress and asked: - Do you know Robert? - No. Why do you think was here cursing everything and everyone? I'm not ready for that. - Many would say that would not have been necessary to prepare to marry Lord William. - Yes, he was handsome, strong and honorable. Even so, marriage is a big step. It's always better to have some time to reflect. But at least one day, I will be marrying a man who does not know. I know nothing about the character of Robert. - You're lucky to know William as well. Few women have this advantage. - True, but this seems to be a monstrous way to drive the issue. A woman is protected and preserved in its purity throughout childhood and youth. One day, she finds herself facing a man in front of a priest and receive strict orders to go live next to this stranger and obey his orders always without ever questioning it. Fear committing some foolish because of nervousness. Maybe even faint. Margaret laughed. - You never fainted. And I dare say it will never melt. - A pity. That would be spared much discomfort. - Aunt Bertha certainly talked to you. Should know what to expect. - Yes, she talked to me. However, it was very difficult to understand what she was saying. Many flushes, trembling and hesitation! Margaret laughed again. - I can even see. Poor Aunt Bertha. - Poor me! However, the issue that most concerns me is that I have to undress. I can not like it. Focusing on making ties dress Gytha, Margaret hid a grimace. She also did not like the idea. Gytha had a body capable of awakening lust of men. Although not aware of it, apparently this was one of the reasons was so fiercely protected. Somehow she could be slender and elegant and at the same time, the lush and sensual. More often as she could tell, Margaret had seen the fire kindled in the eyes of a man before their prime. Accidents occurred, despite careful surveillance occasions where Gytha had to withdraw hastily to preserve their virtue. Put it

naked before a man was highly dangerous, especially a man who would have all the rights on it. The poor Gytha could live on his wedding night violent and painful experience. - He will also have to undress - Margaret finally muttered. - Ready. - She turned away from Gytha. - Oh, you'll be a lovely bride. - The dress is beautiful. - Gytha turned slowly before the mirror. - No need for adjustments. - The fit was perfect. - Been with Robert? - She smiled at Margaret startled expression, conscious of having changed the subject suddenly a hard habit to break. - I've seen him, and you too. Remember the boy who accompanied William on his last visit? - Yes, I just wanted to hear your opinion. - Well, it's slim and light. And quiet. - Very quiet Hum. As discreet as possible. I wonder when he was knighted and why. I can not say that he honor the title, because they spend all their time trying to escape the authority of his uncle, an attitude that does not match a rider. - She sighed. - Oh, well. At least I do not need to fear that is a brute. - There is much to be said in favor of it. - Gytha Margaret helped to make the dress. - Far from the uncle and cousin, he may show more favorable one side of his character. That's what I hope. Shortly after the arrival of Robert, Gytha was beginning to think that his hope was vain. Charles Pickney, Uncle Robert, was always around. Everything What she discovered was that it was not able to enjoy Charles Pickney, no matter how hard she tried. So we had a chance, she escaped with her future husband, and its shadow, to go looking for Margaret, who crawled out of the castle to gather flowers. The day was sunny and warm, and the fields around the castle were covered in buttons. Logo Gytha's mood began to improve. She loved the spring with its promise of life and warmth, and laugh and walk in the company of Margaret, helped her to forget the worries. Before long, she looked more like a girl Rustic and devoid of the ways that a lady on the eve of her wedding, but did not mind it. Just for a while, wanted to forget Robert, his uncle and marriage.

Thayer saw two youths running down the field and stopped a few feet of them. Fast, he motioned to the two men who accompanied him for that too stop, knowing that the more impulsive of them would deal with no subtlety, if so allowed. Despite the decomposed state of the two, knew it was coming the peasant. The dresses were too thin. Fearing scare them, he rode cautiously toward the double, closely followed by his men. Soon his approach was noted. When stopping near them, Thayer felt strongly affected by the beauty of the little blonde. - Hello, ladies. - The smile with which she toasted took her breath away. - Harvesting flowers for the bride? - Yes He came to the marriage, sir? - Gytha found it easy to smile for the big red man, though he was much bigger than her and even more imposing on his black horse. - Yes, so we're here. My cousin is the groom. Flirting openly with two young, Roger asked: - They think that the celebration will justify the journey? - Certainly, sir. - Gytha led the conversation, because Margaret was apparently dazed and helpless. - Wine and beer will flow like a mighty river. There will be plenty of food flavor unmatched. Minstrels will play with unsurpassed skill. She could not fully contain the laughter provoked by his comments. - It is appropriate, considering that my cousin says he will marry the angel of the West. Thayer was astonished with the frank laughter and sweet. - An angel is? - Gytha looked at Margaret, who had emerged from the stupor and smiled. - I could not tell. - She grabbed the hand press. - We will see in the Castle - said, already starting to run behind her and pulling Margaret. - It's a shame we can not follow them. - Roger looked at Thayer. - This feast becomes brighter every moment. Thayer felt the weight of depression on the shoulders. Had experienced a strong and undeniable attraction to the delicate maiden with golden hair as light sun. The reaction of the young his presence was more than I ever gotten from many created over the years. But he knew she would not go beyond that. Not with it. Beginning to fear the approaching festivities. With much effort, fought the urge to flee. William was his favorite among the few relatives who had

and not allow a girl and created delicate blue eyes prevented him from witnessing their marriage. - The little blonde was all smiles for you - Roger commented when they resumed their ride in a slow trot. - She was polite, nothing more. - Thayer instigated and followed the horse in front of Roger, ending the conversation. Roger swore in thought. Thayer had great confidence in his ability and strength, an assurance that bordered on arrogance. However, with regard to women, he was totally insecure. And the blame for that lady was Elizabeth Sevilliers. Some might say that Thayer been foolish loving a woman like her. However, the damage that caused shrew was indisputable. Even if we could convince Thayer that the little blonde had shown interest, it just would stay away. Thayer was the scourge of any battlefield but a maiden beautiful and highborn filled him with dread. Elizabeth was a maiden beautiful and well-born. Deciding not to waste time discussing, he muttered: - Yes, maybe. Let's see what this angel William. Clearly this is an area of pale beauties. Gytha stopped running to see the castle. She and Margaret took a minute or two to catch my breath. In silent agreement, the two struggled to put some order into disheveled appearance. Gytha noted that the press needed less care than she was, and still struggling to clean up and straighten their clothes, when he realized that the knights who had found little before, as they approached. - It is not anything like William or Robert. - Gytha sighed when he saw the red bodied disassemble with natural elegance. - What lovely eyes. - I know. - Margaret mimicked the sigh of the press to see the knight who accompanied the big red man. - And as new grass, fresh and just out of the earth. Frowning, Gytha murmured: - Green? How may find that he has green eyes? - By understanding who Margaret was talking, she laughed. - Oh, no! So that's where your attention. - Quiet. They can hear. Who has lovely eyes, then? - Now, the big red-haired man, of course. - The big red man? Kidding! Gytha felt a strong need to defend the unknown of Margaret openmouthed amazement, but could not say why. - No. He has lovely eyes. The color is beautiful. A soft brown, sweet.

- Sweet? One can not say that a color is sweet. Margaret felt a strange mixture of confusion and mood. Some of the finest horsemen had harassed Gytha with no success, and now a brief encounter with a great knight, red and somewhat chastened by marks and scars, made her all melted. - I'm not sure, actually - Gytha said. - But sweet is the word that comes to mind. - With a sigh, she headed to the back of castle. - Ah, well, back to Robert. Following the press, Margaret asked: - What did you think of the young knight with green eyes? Gytha took a moment to remember the man whom Margaret was referring. - It is favored. The words echoed in the mind of Margaret to gain the magnitude of a revelation. As she and her cousin had to sneak through the back entrance of the castle to get to their rooms without being noticed, the stunned silence was not perceived, to his great relief. Gytha said that when a man was favored, was just being polite. It meant nothing. Choose a trait and praise him was his true form of praise. They entered the room Gytha, and Margaret closed the door, looking at the material with genuine puzzlement. - Ah - Gytha sat up in bed - we are safe and, better yet, have not been seen. Mom would be upset if I was caught in that state. - We are not in a state so deplorable. - There is mud on the hem of my dress. - Oh yes, it would upset my aunt. What we do with the flowers? - Margaret left them beside Gytha on the bed. - A garland for our hair? - Good idea. I will use my tonight, while still fresh and beautiful. If you still have some, will send the maid put them in the bridal chamber. They perfume the air. - He began picking the flowers I wanted. Sitting on the bed and devoting themselves to the same task, Margaret asked: - What impressed both on the big red knight? - What does it matter? Tomorrow I will marry Robert. Gytha could not hide the sudden overflowing sadness in his voice. - If you must know, it intrigues me. Have you had your feet the hearts of many young men and beautiful.

- I doubt that they really have to put my feet, although I importunassem with bad poetry. - Let's say they flirted with you then. All I ever said about them if they said anything, it was that they were favored. Then, there arises a man that is neither it. In fact, compared to William, this red knight is almost ugly. - Depending on when poor William died, the rider could be beautiful compared to him now. - Gytha! Margaret could not stop laughing or disguise the irritation caused by evasive answers of the press. - Never looked at someone and felt like smiling for little or no reason? - Yes, for babies, usually. There's something about a baby who triggers in me a tender happiness. - That's what I felt when I looked at that man. I wanted to take care of him, make him smile. - The men take care of women - Margaret muttered, feeling a little surprised. - Women can not take care of men. - Oh, yes ... Men fight, protect, lead and do things of that nature. I know that. I once asked Dad if women were actually put in the world only for having children. He answered no. Said that we were not created to let men forget things soft and beautiful life, to keep alive the most delicate emotions. He told me that we were put in the world to soften the ways of a man, to comfort him and give him refuge when the world there out becomes too cruel. - And this is what she wanted to do for that man? - Yes, I wanted to erase the worry lines on his face, make that rich voice vibrating with laughter. - She sighed. - But not for me to do such things. In less than a day I'll be married to Robert. - There is nothing that feels for him? - I'm afraid not. Perhaps later. Now, I just want to control it, like so many others already do with their permission. - This is not good for marriage. - Well, a wedding is always what you make of it. - Gytha was examining its garland of flowers in front of the mirror. - Ready. What do you think of it?

Margaret accepted the change of subject, and went to the door to let in the maid who had just beat, she nodded. - Very beautiful. Will use it tonight? - Oh Yes, Edna. - She smiled at the young and graceful criada.-Have you heard of our guests newcomers? - Yes, ma'am. The largest is called by all of Red Devil. The Red Devil and his band of bastards. Gytha frowned. - And a cruel nickname. - But true. Almost always true, at least. The man is really red, and say he is the devil himself on the battlefield. Many of his men are bastards, natural children of men of high origin. They all have skill and knowledge, but has no money or land. So they follow the Red Devil and sell their swords as he does his. They say that the mere sight of this group is enough to end a battle. The enemy flees or surrenders immediately. - And a nice thought, but I doubt that the Red Devil has won so many scars with mass surrenders - commented Gytha. - Who is he? - A Saitun, from what I hear. Single, no land, but rich in honor. And not too low in coins, judging by the rumors. Margaret shook her head. - There should encourage all this gossip. - The gossip will exist with or without my encouragement. I do not need to encourage it. Why should not I profit from it? What about the man who rides the right of the Devil Red, Edna? - Gytha! - Margaret exclaimed, blushing. Seeing the blush, Gytha winked at her cousin. Come on, admit you're curious. Edna? Know anything about it? Dreamily, Edna sighed. - Oh, man. A beautiful smile. - As if I did not know - Margaret muttered to herself. - Arrived just moments ago and has already attracted the eyes of all the maids. It was not easy, but Gytha snickered. - That's all I know about him, Edna? It has a beautiful smile?

- No, ma'am. He is also single. Actually, I think we all are. His name is Roger. Sir Roger. He is a knight. - Thank you, Edna. We will need water for bathing, please. - So that believed came, Gytha looked at her cousin and smiled. - That's it, Margaret. Man is single. - Yes, it is a master in the art of flirtation. Must be a rascal, too. -Tsk, tsk. - Gytha assumed a rueful expression. - Label the poor man that way just because he smiled at a maid graceful ... I'm afraid your heart is hardened material. - Nonsense. And stop teasing me. This time it will not work. Yes, it is attractive. Yes, my heart behaves in a strange way when I look at it. However, it is better to stop thinking about him. The man is devoid of land, possibly poor. If he ever find a wife, there is no want of someone in the same position. Gytha was taken by a sudden dismay. There was no argument that could be used against this sad reality. Even if I could think of some, was better keep it to herself. Would not do any good to feed hopes that Margaret could well be false. Even without any wealth, the rider could get land and money by marriage, thus gaining all that out by private condition bastard. That would be more important than any emotional bond. Currency and property would always be above love. It was a fact of life that she would not deny, however much deplored. Discouragement became even bigger when she was forced to admit that this was the decisive factor in his own marriage. He was sure the father's love, but with regard to marriage, he at no time was considered his feelings. Studied the lineage of her husband, their properties and how much money he had. His interest was in ensuring that it was well located and provided, even if not loved. If he tried to suggest another type of arrangement, it certainly would judge crazy. And that would be the majority opinion. Although she worried about her future emotional, that was not the major concern of Gytha. His parents had found love. Needed to believe had chances to live something. If you do not know love, at least I could find contentment. And she told herself that it would be enough. Plucked from the gloomy reflections by the return of Edna, Gytha began preparing for the festivities that night. Many guests were already there to marriage, and promised to be lively occasion. She tried to catch her usual mood. Guests waited a bride smiling.

- Are you afraid of what's to come? - Margaret posed the question shy when they wore. - A little. My biggest fear is hate sharing my husband's bed. - Nobody expects a lady enjoy such obligation. - And what they say. However, if this is true, why do so many people still doing the same thing so often? Why women take lovers? I think that these things are said to us that we remain chaste. - She shrugged. - Never mind. Pleasure is not necessarily what I seek. Just do not want to feel repulsion. If God gives me life long pass much time in bed than my husband. Think of how terrible it would not tolerate this experience. - What do you think might consider disgusting? - I'm not sure. I said, Mom was not very accurate. - But must have obtained some knowledge with this conversation. - Well, it's something related to that between the legs of a man. He will do something to me using this appendix. Something that has to do with what is between my legs. And how those two things relate that I could not discern. - Gytha frowned, surprised by the attack Laughing created. - Perhaps Edna can clarify the doubt. Stifling laughter, the maid went to the door. - Oh, no, ma'am. Not up to me the role. Moving quickly, Gytha blocked the exit of the room. - Edna, will send me to the wedding bed in complete ignorance? Do not tell anyone we talked about it. All think that Mom was more consistent it really was. - I'm afraid I only know harsh words and inappropriate for your ears, ma'am. - My ears survive. Edna, you better start talking because it will not get out of here before that. Do not understand what is best for me if I know? Best for all? The maid thought for a moment and nodded. With great excitement and followed blushes, she explained exactly what would happen on the wedding night of Gytha. When finished, a long silence invaded the room for several seconds until Gytha retrieve voice. Finally, murmuring a thank contained, she allowed Edna has left the room. After closing the door, leaned against it as if afraid of falling. - Well, I am no longer ignorant.

- And now afraid? - I'm not sure, Margaret. Maybe it's better this way. - She sighed and shook her head. - I feel better now that I know what awaits me. There is one thing fear, at the thought. - What is it? - I'm afraid to start thinking about how much it will be with Robert. - By the blood of Christ! I said that the Red Devil was a knight too good to be overthrown by a Frenchman! Owned suddenly Gytha stumbled and cursed under his breath, telling herself that the fault was hers. If you were not looking with much interest to the Red Devil, who had entered the room a few steps in front of her, certainly would have noticed that his companion had stopped. She cringed when she felt fingers Robert squeezing his arm. Serious, looked at the hand that held her brutality. Trying to get rid of painful physical contact, she looked up into the face Robert and frowned. He was pale. The amber eyes seemed to want to jump out of their sockets. Small beads of sweat appeared on his forehead. Following the direction of his horrified gaze, she realized that Robert looked at the Red Devil. As there was no threat from that direction leaving, she was intrigued and curious about the strange reaction of the groom. Thayer looked at the man who had just spoken. Found him a few times and come to fight at his side once. Willing to find out what had caused so strange comment, he walked toward the man. - Have you heard that I won in France? The man nodded. - Where'd you hear that? - I heard the news of our host, my cousin, Sir John Raouille. Looking for the host, who gazed at him without trying to hide the shock, Thayer said - Who told you about my death? - Your own relative. - William? - No, Sir Robert and his uncle. - John pointed to Gytha and Robert, still standing at the door. Turning, she looked at Thayer cousin scared and shaky showing no affection.

- His conclusion was premature and unfounded, cousin. Why? With a gasp, Robert dropped the arm Gytha. He turned to run, but was not fast enough. Thayer grabbed his elegant coat. Robert's feet dangled inches above the floor, and he started making sounds strangled while her thin hands and lily pulled unnecessarily strong hand and Huge Thayer, who held firmly squeezing her neck. Noting the difficulty of Robert, Gytha murmured: - I think he can not respond in that position. She smiled when the Red Devil looked in his direction. Dropping cousin about to collapse, Thayer shot: - Answer. Why? - My uncle told me - Robert spoke with difficulty. - He told you had been defeated in France. Thayer pushed Robert, who fell to the ground without any elegance. Thoughtful, the Red Devil scratched his chin. - What use can have such a lie? Charles and you have nothing to gain from my death. With the help of Gytha and Margaret, Robert stood up, trying to compose herself. - Clearly profit. You're not the heir of William? And I'm not your heir? - He shouted again to be grabbed by the collar of his coat. His face almost touching Robert then paler, Thayer shouted: - Where is William? - Dead - Robert squealed. Thrown to the side, he hit his head on the ground hard enough to lose consciousness. Turning to the father of Gytha, Thayer asked quietly menacing: - As dead as I am? - No, William is really dead. - Who guarantees? The liar who calls Robert relative? - The very squire William brought us the news. - How did he meet his death? - He fell of the horse or was knocked down, we're not sure. His neck was broken. I'm sorry. - Despite numerous indications offered by short, noisy confrontation, John did not know who was the target of the wrath of man. - You sir Thayer Saitun?

- Yes - With the thoughts centered on the loss of William Thayer endured presentations with great difficulty. - William is dead, but the wedding will happen? Gytha Margaret helped in trying to revive Robert, but looked up to answer: - I was going to marry her cousin here. Seeing the frown Thayer, John hastened to explain. - Part of the deal. - What agreement? - The agreement signed with William's father. We hit the wedding when Gytha was still a baby. The Plague had made his first scar on the earth, why the agreement was worded a bit ... strange. - He paused and ordered his wife to fetch a copy of the document. - The name given Gytha the agreement, but not William. His father wanted the union between the families. And I also. Three of you could reach maturity and achieve that purpose. William, you and Robert. All were under the care of the father of William at that time. The agreement dictates that Gytha marry the heir to Saitun, who survived, it was William, you or Robert. Gytha felt the look of Thayer as a physical touch and painful. The color was gone from his face. He looked horrified. This was a reaction she had never caused a man. I knew that I would not have bothered if it was another man, because I never cared about what they thought of it. It was unfair that cared Now, just a man who seemed to consider it a plague. Lady Raouille put a document in hand Thayer, pulling him from the stupor into shock. For a moment he looked stunned at the sheet of paper, making the mind by fragmented thoughts. Now he was a wealthy man, a man of property and title. It would not be difficult to accept change. But the price to pay for it filled him with dread. Would marry. And what wife would! A man like him to get married with such beauty was simply a curse. Finally, she forced herself to read the document in his hand, but found no relief there. In calligraphy firm his adoptive father and uncle, the document stated the owner of the Castle Manor Saitun marry Gytha Odel Raouille when she completed seventeen. It was no longer the marriage of William he testified, but the marriage itself. His eyes fell on Gytha when she and another girl helped Robert to sit. He was still stunned, but not

had time to take care of his cousin now. He faced John Raouille. - Is this legal? - Legal and valid. As you can see, the king put his seal approving the bond between our families. Thayer saw the royal seal. The document forced him to marry Gytha. The approval of the king gave further weight to this obligation. In fact, such approval was almost a royal order. The title of Lord, Baron Saitun, now was it, as well as the Castle Manor Saitun. It also was his family's wealth. And also Raouille Gytha was his, even if it wanted to. He was there. The bride was there. The marriage had been prepared. There was no escape. Still dazed by the turn of events, Thayer was carried away to the table and took the seat between John and Gytha. He vaguely noticed the worried look of Roger, who sat between Gytha and Margaret, who also exhibited an apprehensive expression. At that moment I needed more than a simple apprehension. Robert was lady sitting next to Raouille and seemed about to burst into tears. Thayer also felt a strong urge to cry and scream. He barely acknowledged the quality undisputed food and wine were served while trying to find a way to escape. However, there was none. Gytha looked at the groom, emptied his glass of wine and reached for it to be served another drink. Saw to it that his cup was kept full during whole meal, hoping to drown the pain itself into wine. Knew he was not wounded vanity that caused him discomfort. Not only vanity. It was true that the men had always reacted favorably to his presence. It was also true that never bothered much with this reaction of the opposite sex. But this was different. For the first time in his life he felt an interest in a man. A feeling authentic, genuine. And this time the man was not interested in their smiles. That man reacted to the news of the impending marriage with her as if she had just been informed that she had contracted the Plague. Yes, soak up the wine was exactly what she needed to do at that time. Holding the cup to be filled again, she ignored the attempts of Margaret to draw your attention. Margaret was so worried about Gytha who forgot their manners. Leaning over the table, she put an arm in front of a stunned Roger to poke the press, finally getting his attention. The light in the eyes of Gytha when she turned to look at her only fueled his concern. - Want to stop drinking like ...

- As we commemorate? - Gytha smiled and drank a few sips. - And a celebration, right? My wedding party, actually. So, I'm partying. - Are you drunk, so yeah. Gytha looked at Roger and noticed that he laughed. - Tell me, sir, what people do at a party? - Eat, drink and celebrate - he replied with a smile. - Aha! I already ate. Now I'm drinking. And I'm celebrating. See, Margaret? There is nothing to worry about. When turned Gytha, Margaret tried to poke it again, but Roger stopped her. - Leave her alone, miss. It does more than all the others. - What is much more than she ever did. Gytha never drink more than a glass of wine with the meal. She never gets drunk. I can not imagine where this indulgence the lead. - Straight to bed, no doubt. Margaret was about to answer when a familiar male voice shouted: - Excuse me! Do not leave me nothing to eat, then? - Bayard! - Gytha said, rising to his feet to go greet his brother. Margaret did the same. She ran to the slim boy standing in the doorway. Without any difficulty, the newcomer took the two girls in his arms. Everyone laughed while Gytha and Margaret covered the face of the newcomer and kisses crivavam questions. Over his brother's shoulder, she saw Lord Edgar, his uncle, approaching the door. Soon the Gytha parents were also greet the child and, after a welcoming more restrained, they invited him to sit down. Looking. back to the cheerful company assembled momentarily at the door, Gytha realized there was something in the wedding party who deserved his gratitude. His family was together again. Observing the happy meeting, Roger murmured: - The guy has excellent appearance. John Raouille produces heirs of striking beauty. Thayer agreed to a granhido. I could not stop thinking about how two people as common as John and Bertha could have produced such beautiful children. When he was surprised what could be the appearance of their children with a woman as beautiful as Gytha, swore to himself. Thinking about future children was a final acceptance of his fate, almost a breath of hope for the future. Never had real intentions to marry. Now that he had possessions, this was a step

natural. However, he did not want a wife so beautiful. In this case, the future would bring nothing but trouble, disappointment and pain. - It hurt deeply the feelings of the girl-Roger continued. - How so?-Thayer had trouble believing that. - How so? - Roger shook his head in amazement. - And still asks after having sat there as those preparing to hold a trap in itself ass? - A man like me is asked to marry a beautiful woman ... And as a mousetrap. - He could imagine the future. Days and days kicking men out of your bed. - My friend, for the first time in my life is making a judgment without having knowledge of the case. You are drawing conclusions without facts that may explain it. Yes, the girl is beautiful and can ignite the blood of a man. But here I am, ready to exchange smiles and flirt, and she did not respond to my efforts. Not I believe it is irresponsible. - It need not be. Still, I'll be tripping over men in love until the end of my days. And when he is old, she will end up succumbing to one or other harassment more elusive. - So, harden your heart and let the body feast on that beautiful wife. Had the voice of an edge that scared Roger Thayer. However, he had no time to reflect on why. Was being presented to Bayard Raouille and Lord Edgar Raouille, brother and uncle of his future wife. Some subtle comments from family members revealed who she was and now Margaret I knew she was the reason why his wife and children Edgar did not attend the wedding. The few comments only lamented the absence of the children of Edgar. - John and Fulke has not arrived? - Bayard asked. - No - replied his father. - Sent messages explaining the delay. Hope they arrive in time to witness the ceremony. - I'm sure it will arrive. - Bayard smiled at Gytha. - I see that there was another exchange of newlyweds. - Looks like it. Robert rushed to put yourself in the position of heir. The account of the death of Sir Thayer was untrue - she replied. While Bayard laugh, Thayer looked at the bride. He was sure he detected sarcasm behind his words, but she seemed too sweet for this type

attitude. The exaggerated innocence in his eyes, however, fed his suspicions. He decided to consider this issue later on another occasion. All talk, but he could not hear what they were saying because pondered the situation he was in and tried to accept the fate that appeared without warning. Margaret talked about the wedding ceremony the next morning, and he wanted to follow closely the reaction of Gytha. - We'll see - she muttered. - We can wake up and find that the groom fled. Thayer looked at her sternly. - I'll be here. I do not usually break agreements. - Sorry! - She put her hand on his chest in a dramatic gesture. - Romance is in the air tonight. Roger choked on his drink. Margaret laughed and slapped him on the back. The two seemed to have fun too, unlike the groom. Thayer looked at the glass of wine Gytha had it in hand, and his eyes too bright and the color on the cheeks, suggested that she had drunk too much. He reached out to grab the cup and found that, besides having a strong tendency for sarcasm, his bride could also be stubborn. Gytha grabbed the cup and refused to deliver it. She looked serious, acknowledging that he had drunk too much, but I felt the need to drink even more. Do not give up his glass. The wine eased the discomfort caused by the offensive attitude of the groom. Noting how the bride looked at the hand of Thayer, Margaret put a piece of meat in the hand of Roger. - When she opens her mouth, fill it with meat. - But why? - Roger did not know whether to follow the strange suggestion. - No time to explain. There she goes. Do what I said ... quickly! When Gytha prepared to sink his teeth into the hand of Thayer, she found herself with a mouthful of meat. Half of the piece was still outside. When he heard the laughter of Margaret and Roger, she realized that her cousin was behind their inability to cause harm to her future husband. While looking at him, She chewed slowly and swallowed the food. It was hard, but Thayer managed to contain his laughter. I knew it was best not to give the smile that threatened to stretch his lips. One thing you should expect from wife was obedience, and felt it was necessary to inform her of his intention from the beginning. Her father, however, robbed him of the opportunity.

- Gytha, my daughter, why do not you show the garden to Sir Thayer? - He looked at the knight, trying to convey his hope. Some time alone and everything would start to improve. - Lord, I guarantee you will enjoy my garden. Feeling the man's intentions, Thayer muttered: - Maybe we should let this ride into the light of day. - No need to wait. The garden is illuminated by the moon and many torches. Even as he was drunk, Gytha had no trouble guessing the intent of the father. She was about to say that he felt no need Immediate better know the groom when he saw Roger Thayer look with pleadingly. Roger sighed, but got up so Thayer stood up. It also Margaret stood up and called with a gesture. If Thayer insisted on having company, it would be no different. Reluctantly like Roger, Margaret rose. - I thought I would just the two - John murmured, looking puzzled at her daughter. - If my boyfriend decided to take a companion, I think I should do the same. Feeling flush, Thayer bride's arm and led her away from there. Irritated, he noticed that Gytha took the cup, and a good supply of wine keep it filled. Roger and Margaret followed them, the presence of the two helped him regain some calm. Once outside, he soon understood the comment of the father of Gytha. Shrubs, trees and flowers offering total privacy to those who wanted to walk and enjoy the natural beauty of the place. At first, a man could decide that the use of space was frivolous, as the preciousness with which they were treated beds from geometric shapes and vibrant colors. Thayer turns mansions gardens alike in Europe, but he knew the style was still new in England. There the gardens were just a tangle the natural plant or vegetable beds useful, spices and herbs for cooking. John also been right to suggest that this was an excellent place to the novel. Thayer grimaced at the thought of the last word. Romance. His bride deserved a little seduction. Could not deny this fact. She was not to blame for the situation nor for the beauty. Unfortunately, the art of seduction is lost to him. Seeing Gytha walk a few steps in front, and recording the awkward silence Roger, he tried to think of something to say. Anything. Ignoring criticism of Margaret, Gytha refilled his glass and hers. She offered wine to Roger, making a great effort to get rid of anger

that poisoned quickly. The next day she would marry the man who marched behind her. In a place that suggested romance, he kept away and frowning. Was suddenly taken with the urge to speak directly with complete honesty. Needed to find out exactly why he so fervently opposed to the idea of marry her. Stopping suddenly, she turned to face him. Still thoughtful, seeking words with increasing desperation, Thayer did not see stop and tripped her, knocking her down in the grass at his feet. Roger and he moved the same time, both with the intention to help her up, and almost stumbled into each other. Margaret also ran and reached. - Should have warned that plans to stop - Thayer shot while Gytha, already standing, removed the blades of grass dress. - I stopped because he wanted to talk to you, sir. - Yes? What do you say? Gytha stared at his position and decided that there was very uncomfortable and delicate. With all that occupied his mind and all the words I had to say, felt he could suffer a severe torticollis before giving the mission fulfilled by. Looking around, she found a stone bench. Taking him by the hand, pulled the scared groom there and then putting it sitting, keeping herself standing face finally managed it with a little more comfort. - What repudiates this idea so much we got married? - She asked. - Gytha ... - Margaret began a protest hesitant. - It is a reasonable question, press. And then, sir? Ladies prefer brunettes? - No. - I could not tell her about your fears, about how he feared a future full of suffering, shame and betrayal. - I'm too small for your taste, then? - Well, it's true that it would be hard to find, it was a little lower. - Oh, I see. I regretted not higher? - She frowned when she saw him shake his head in a negative response. - Thinner? Fatter? Despite the effort to resist, eyes Thayer analyzed the slim figure. There was nothing in it that could criticize. Tall and full breasts, narrow waist and rounded hips, finally proportions undeniable interest aroused in him. His body manifested unequivocally the urge to just start married life with Gytha. - None of that. I was shocked, only. I came here expecting to witness the marriage of William and suddenly discover that William is dead and I'll be the groom.

I came with the intention to meet the wife of my cousin. Instead, I am introduced to my future wife. This is a situation that would make any man disturbed. She understood the feeling. Even so, he was sure that the groom was not telling the whole truth. Despite the wine he disturbed the reasoning, it I also knew that it was useless to continue pressing. Fortunately now made the decision to close the matter, because voices on the other side of a bed attracted his attention. - We should not - protested heaving a female voice. - My husband ... - Is drenched in wine and near unconsciousness. - His wife? - Lying. And she does not give much importance to me as entertain. Oh, you're so lovely ... Her breasts are full and sweet like ripe melons. Gytha looked at Margaret, who covered his face with red hands. Although there were always heard comments about lovers and chance encounters, infidelity and adultery, never really believed them. His parents were deeply in love, and she considered faithful and solid marriage that was the result, as a rule. Now it was clear that the rumors had rather a kernel of truth. At the height of indignation, she decided that such things would not be allowed in your home. After censoring the look with the two men who seemed to have fun, Gytha walked toward the natural fence. Hearing the footsteps of the three companions behind her, tried to hurry not to be deterred. The vision of the couple embraced and lying on the floor infuriated. The man saw her and rushed to stand, but she hit him with an unexpected and violent kick in the buttocks. The couple tried pinching the clothes under the stern gaze of Gytha. She began a harsh sermon, emphasizing certain statements with a kick or push directed to either. He was able to understand human frailties and could tolerate their mistakes, but this was too much. Find someone in the act of adultery in the garden newly built by his father, among the flowers that were the pride and joy of his mother, was more than he could tolerate. Fully dressed and recomposed, the woman finally revolted. - What do you know about love? - Are you saying you love this bastard infidel? - If there was love involved, could temper his conviction, although deemed foolish love a man can betray his own wife. The woman hesitated, and when answered, there was no conviction in his voice.

- Well .. Of course it does. - Bullshit! Now increases your sins lying. Go back to your husband. Your place is beside him. - Have you seen my husband? - Yes, and I recognize that it does not have the beauty that pig traitor. However, it is clean, healthy and still has all his teeth and hair. It also seems to be a man cheerful. Could have found someone worse. Now the two go away, because they are bothering me. She was surprised when the couple rushed to obey the imperious command. - Oh, Gytha - Margaret murmured when the adulterous couple disappeared - should not have interfered. - Margaret, my parents stroll through this garden. Thayer laughed and laughed. Roger also laughed. Gytha stared at the floor as if the couple had left the grass indelible marks, and still looked indignant. Furious she was even more beautiful. Slowly, Gytha looked Thayer attracted by the sound of her laughter. It was deep, rich, but with a quality almost boyish. It was contagious. Roger laughed too. Margaret was intrigued. Gytha was tempted to ask the press to laugh Roger warmed inside as Thayer warmed the inside. - I suppose it was silly of me to interfere - she murmured, moving closer to where he sat down with his back against a tree. Roger stood up, grabbed his hand and led Margaret to far away. From what I could see, his father was not the only one to believe he should spend some time with Thayer. Just her and him. Although not try to stop them, Gytha felt divided. The fit of laughter softened the expression of Thayer, making it far less. On However, not wordy what to say or what to do. She was nervous, almost shy. Knew that the coldness and detachment Thayer could return, because there were many reasons for this. The shock of finding themselves engaged, however, was not one of them. And she did not know how to get to the truth behind this strange behavior. Try to think of a way to get the conversation was moon head hurt. Never had a problem before. The only difficulty I faced was maintaining the small talk, avoiding words of love or desire that always ended up escaping the lips of men. All others, unless your fiance. She sighed takingby a sudden sadness, acknowledging that it would not have this problem now. It was hard not to think of the cruelty of fate. This was the first time I wanted to hear sweet words, but it was certain that the man beside her not to utter.

Thayer studied the bride so close to him. There was no malice in his white face and perfect. No trace of vanity overshadowed the natural glow of your beauty. There was around it an aura which suggested he had been a child protected. Still, he clung to the discomfort, fearing relax, knowing that if you do not defend, no injuries suffered in battle could be equal in painful suffering that would result from such delivery. - They will only elsewhere. - Thayer kept the tone gentle, avoiding to imply that somehow ridiculed. - You may have hindered the relationship, but did not stop. - I've thought about it. They will burn in hell. - Gytha, this is a very common occurrence. Women take lovers, men lie with harlots ... - My parents do not commit such sins. They are faithful to the vows made before God. And I know that loyalty is the result of love that strengthens the marriage. - Yes Anyone who knows them can see that they love each other, and that they are lucky. But not everyone has such luck, and many take lovers. - Lovers ... bah! Partners in lust. There was no love between this couple. And therein lies the sin really. - Suddenly she thought of something struck with lightning. - You will have lovers? For a moment he was tempted to speak harshly about impertinence. This was a subject that any sensible and obedient wife should ignore. Gytha was really naughty and daring, but also was naive enough to still believe in the sanctity of marriage. He decided that this was not the time for a sermon. Moreover, he knew that, while his wife remained faithful, he would not have trouble doing the same. He had a healthy sexual appetite, but not needed variety. If Gytha took some heat to your bed, do not feel any need to seek other beds. - Not unless you bring another man into her bed. The beauty of the smile Gytha took her breath away. - In this case, it is better to start writing farewell letters to all the women with whom it interacts. - I have no lover. Unbelief in the face of his bride was flattering. - The women I know are interested before the value of my coin. - He laughed at the persistent expression of doubt, but it soon became serious. - Met

William? - Not very well. We spent only a few hours together. Wondering if crying the death of my boyfriend? He nodded slowly. - Do not know him well enough for that. What I felt was just a passenger regret the loss of a healthy young man. - Yes, and in very dire. He spoke absently, thinking they were coming here alone. The beauty of Gytha was the type that inspired the minstrels. Knowing that she would soon be his by king's laws and God was intoxicating. He touched the hair shiny and studied the delicate face and lips. Gytha recognized that look, but did not feel the usual urge to pull away. - You want to kiss me? - You are always so bold in your questions? - They say yes. But I believe that wine makes me even more bold than usual. Or not? She has to wonder. - I confess that I like the idea. - He stroked his flushed face with his fingertips. - William kissed? - Yes, and I had to restrain him with some tapas, once or twice. He had bold ideas about the art of conquering a woman. Thayer could well imagine how his cousin had behaved as a woman of stunning beauty. He smiled. - Robert E? - I barely had become engaged to him when you arrived. If you want a list, I confess that I have many names to recite, but I have had to put up with a flood poetry sickening and horrible. The spontaneous comment made him laugh. - The wine also makes naughty. - I fear that this characteristic is not the fault of the wine. - She watched him with an anxious expression, full of expectation and curious, wondering how would be kissed by this man. Noticing his gaze, Thayer shook his head in admiration and took her in his arms. It was an honor to be the object of attention of beauty. Firm, he told himself that lived just a fleeting pleasure, but the idea did little to assuage the feeling of pleasure.

Without further thought, he kissed her. When Gytha embraced and corresponded, the kiss won ardor. Only when Thayer tried to make the kiss even more intimate, she recoiled hesitant, staring at him with a mixture of curiosity and irritation. But there was also a hint of longing in his expression. - It was then that William slapped. Hands sliding down her back aroused in her a delicious heat. You warned him-the way it is preventing me? Thayer kissed her repeatedly in the face. - No. - I was breathless. The voice sounded hoarse, which surprised her. - This is just a part of the kiss. Come, let me kiss her. - She offered her lips. - Oh, what delightful vision. Thayer kissed her again, this time with more intimacy and Gytha sighed with satisfaction. Each time that the heat fed to burned inside. She hugged him tighter, leaving pull the neck of the groom. When the kiss ended, she was trembling in his arms. Passion made its nebulous thoughts, then dominated by strange sensations. Thayer was also a little dizzy. Never a single kiss had excited much. Maybe it was the wandering hope fueled by the glow he saw in her eyes. Nothing you say to yourself could change what he saw in the eyes of Gytha. Aroused many women before, but none like her. Women like she never approached enough to test your skill or lack thereof. - I did well? - She murmured. He smiled. - Yes, very well. Both, I think we should go back to the party. - He helped her stand up. Do not want to be slapped. Exchanging various information about them, Thayer and Gytha returned to the hall and joined Roger and Margaret. Though participate in the conversation, Thayer was immersed in his own thoughts, taken by doubts and fears. Gytha had been engaged to William, a man of exceptional beauty, and then almost had married Robert, who was also very attractive. Now would marry him. Felt his reaction when he kissed her, but she knew that soon she would resent for having married Cousin more devoid of physical attractiveness. Try as he might get rid of the thoughts, whenever I looked at the bride, he foresaw problems. CHAPTER II Despite the generous dose of wine, Thayer remained tense. In the company of three brothers Gytha, he waited for the bride, and noted that the three boys also

traits exhibited surprisingly beautiful. Cheerful and vigorous, did their best to keep you relaxed, but the effort was futile, to his dismay. Even the environment of camaraderie could dispel the whispers around him or blind him to cast glances in his direction. Pity. That was the feeling of the guests by the bride. Everyone there felt that the beauty of the bride would be wasted next to a man like him, and it was impossible not to agree with those people. - I feel I have a duty to warn him about the character of our sister. - Fulke Raouille Thayer winked and laughed. Thayer managed to smile at the boy. - You want to correlate the defects of her? John, the older brother, assumed an air of false Outrage. - Our sister has no defects. Only one or two scratches on his perfection. - Well said - Thayer muttered. Bayard added: - She was not spoiled, but has been covered a lot of care, like Margaret, who will accompany. Both were protected as two maidens should be. - This is evident in two ways. Calm down your fears, Raouille. I want to be a good husband to Gytha. - In a few moments you will feel that your patience is at stake. - John is right - confirmed Fulke. - Our sister always had the freedom to express opinions. John nodded and added: - And it is common for his sense of humor seems strange. Joining the quartet, the father of Gytha said: - And she insists on being heard. Do not get us wrong. We're not trying to convince you that marrying a shrew intolerable. Not that. The fact is she never accepts orders a submissive silence, because he always insists on explanations. Yes, and also want to have a chance to express their opinion on the subject. And she is very stubborn in that sense. - Yes - confirmed Fulke - she is known to cling to things to be heard. Momentarily distracted from their worries, Thayer smiled. - She clings to things? The father of Gytha sighed. - Tables, chairs, even people. It clings like moss. It is impossible to dissuade her. Thayer laughed.

- What fate has in store for me? Lord John smiled. - It will not be a boring wife. A lot to say in favor of it. Before she could answer Thayer, Roger came up and asked: - Has anyone seen Robert or that his uncle? - Yes - said Lord John. - They left before sunrise. Thayer frowned upon receiving this information. I had assumed that the lack of immediate retribution would clear its intention to give the double benefit the doubt. There was no reason for the desperate flight. In his opinion, the act served to confirm the guilt of the two, but he banished from the mind all thought about both. The arrival of Gytha interrupted reflection and left breathless. Her beauty was accentuated by the apparent lack of vanity and simplicity that illuminated their perfect features. She approached slowly, stopping here and there to greet guests who wanted to wish happiness and luck. Her smile was shy, but there was no sign of him reluctantly. This only served to reduce some of the tension that afflicted. Gytha walked to her future husband with safe steps. I was a little nervous but cheerful, too, and had not felt anything like William or Robert. Only with Thayer Saitun. William and Robert had not given their dreams a dose of sensuality. Only Thayer Saitun. These dreams had awakened in her a certain curiosity. To lay his hand on Thayer, she discovered that waited anxiously for the wedding night, despite fears generated by inexperience. The ceremony was faster than she had anticipated. Suspected that nervousness stole the notion of real time. All his attention was concentrated the priest, the words he said, his voice rich and deep Thayer repeating their vows. She knelt beside him flooded by the knowledge that, whatever the problems in the future, his place was right there beside her husband. When the ceremony broke Thayer, she found herself annoyed by it. The celebration continued excited when Roger got a moment alone with Thayer. - A lovely bride, Thayer. - There is no living creature can disagree with that. - But you'd be happier if it were devoid of charms.

- Yes, although many consider me crazy for it. You, inclusive. Look there. We've been married a few hours ago, and she is surrounded by admirers. - Yes, but note her eyes, my friend. That look sweet always falls on you, ignoring the men who surround her. Do not be unfair. Do not condemn without proof or trial. Thayer sighed deeply. - I know it would be better if it were not so beautiful. On the other hand, this will be a hard-won victory. Many seek to feed my fears. Many say that my marriage is a step too far for my position, which I now possess something more valuable than myself. They remind me that there will always be someone trying to steal my trophy. - Do not listen to what they say. - It is not so easy. - If his arrest is justified only young and looking for a pretty face, then she is not worthy of their concern and their suffering. - I know. - Thayer looked at his wife hoping to absorb these words of wisdom. The face in the crowd constantly sought Gytha was judged by many to excessive beauty, the fact that many were forced to praise and comment with her. Gytha smile and was always polite with the guys that beset him, but Thayer followed his gaze. However much he tried to make him understand that he wanted to be rescued of his admirers, he grasped the message. Finally, she sought the father willing to ask for your help. Instantly, he saved the avid group. Unfortunately, he took her to Thayer, but for a group of young women which was part of Margaret, which she appreciated very much. But soon she realized that this would be his only satisfaction. The cousin was the one who knew contained the language. The other manifested pity for her having to accept the bad choice made on its behalf, a husband ugly and devoid of grace and wealth, and despite the effort to remain calm and ignore them, Gytha was getting angrier. A young woman named Anne sighed deeply. - Oh, you are so brave! As well stand the misfortune. - I did not suffer any misfortune - Gytha spoke through his teeth, but none of them seemed to notice his anger. His cousin Isabel spoke in a overly sweet and fake: - No need to hide your feelings. It is horrible. So horribly red!

Gytha resented the words used to describe her husband. - He is a good man and strong. Your courage has been proven many times. - Oh, no doubt it - said a blonde named Edwina. - Ah, but then sweet William? It must be terrible to see themselves forced to marry a man so lacking beauty and elegance. And do not forget, Gytha, who married a man with the sword rarely have long life. Gytha lifted the cup with the evident intention to empty it on the head of Edwina, but someone grabbed her wrist. The intervention of his brother Fulke not pleased, and she looked furious. Fulke's smile only fueled his anger, but Gytha not protest because his brother already took her away from the group, which was a relief. Thayer watched his wife and realized her predicament. He followed the Fulke when away from the group. Margaret also ran after them. Gytha turned to look at him when he felt a presence next, and Thayer was scared by the fury in her eyes of his wife. I was curious as to the cause of such intense emotion. Fulke laughed and shook his head, ruining the effort to show stark. - Dear Sister, is not a good idea to wash our guests with wine. - It was that or tear her eyes. - Gytha regained the cup that the brother had stolen. - What a vocabulary! - Fulke rolled her eyes in an exaggerated expression of false discouragement. Margaret touched his arm press offering comfort. - They are jealous, that's all. They wanted the party to be them. - Ah - Thayer muttered, taking his wife's hand to his lips - they were poisonous to you, is not it? A little calmer, Gytha looked at the man who now called husband. A big hand enveloped her completely, but the touch was gentle, and this kindness was reflected in the eyes framed by long, dark lashes. - Yes, but I should have known that such nonsense should be ignored. I'm afraid I have a slightly volatile temperament. - She looked Fulke air debauched to hear her laugh. - Ignore this fool - Thayer said before drinking another sip of wine. The two brothers began exchanging taunts, Roger and soon joined the group. Thayer decided he had many concerns, but his wife's family was not one of them. There was a closeness between them that extended to the new members, and this was an important benefit. A dysfunctional family could become aPlague in the life of a

man. After spending a few moments in the company of Raouille I knew I could trust them. I wish I could have that same confidence Gytha on. Then the dancing began, and soon Thayer realized that his wife loved to dance. Unfortunately, he danced so rarely that distrusted own ability. Still, danced with Gytha sometimes hating deliver it to as many gentlemen who looked with an air of greed. To prevent these suitors eager to approach her, he turned to his men. All were willing to dance with her. Trusted them. Only so was able to allow his wife the pleasure dancing and still enjoy the joy of watching her. However, it was with relief that he saw the time comes the consummation of the marriage, a ritual witnessed by a small select group. The permanence of the people the chambers of the couple would be soon, and spicy comments were received with good humor. As the door closed behind the guests, Thayer turned side to look at his wife. Although he had been exposed to the group only briefly, Gytha was visibly embarrassed. She covered herself with the sheet and tried not to blush. When Thayer offered a glass of wine, she accepted it with a shy glance toward her husband. - Are you afraid, Gytha? - Yes No Do not know for sure. I'm not used to being observed - she whispered. - And I did not like. Silently, he admitted that there was also much appreciated the experience. Roger chosen, Merlion, Reviewing and Torr as his witnesses, and they had looked Gytha to with awe and great respect. Still, it was a relief when she received permission to seek refuge under the covers for a moment after stripping the robe. Thayer resented against the sense of ownership, but it was useless to deny it. - They are now like family - said, trying to calm her. - The men I chose are very close to me, almost like my relatives, rather than Robert, that fool. Been with me since the beginning, fighting beside me for many years. I can not count how many times saved the lives of each other. Furthermore, this is only done once, my dear, and it's over. She nodded, a little more relaxed, then stared and recalled the words of Edwina. - Will continue surviving on his sword? - No. Now I'm a man of means. Will no longer be necessary. I have a bed and food needed to ensure that before the blade of my sword. However, one

Man must fight from time to time, either by the king or for their own reasons. Considering where we live, I doubt that my sword rusting for lack of use. Moreover, the property that now brings me the wedding is very close to the problematic Wales. I asked my men to stay and integrate my guard. This will keep us safe and protected. The smile relieved Gytha almost made him swear never to raise the sword. He slid his hand over her bare shoulder of his wife and the skin felt warm and soft as more FNLA silk. Her eyelashes were long, thick and silky. When she lowered her eyelids, these lashes cast shadows on their faces flushed, and he bent to kiss the delicate nose. Thayer thought of the women who had bought sexual favors recently and was soon invaded by a wave of guilt. He banned the feeling. At that time was not committed or anticipated such an event. And was the best. He felt the blood boil in the veins even having lain recently with harlots. wanted introduce his wife into the mysteries of the marital bed gently and without haste, and if there was been a long time without the comfort of a female body, it would be even more difficult than it would be under current circumstances. Taking the empty glass from her hand, he laid it on the bedside table. - Try not to hurt her, Gytha. - I know that some pain is inevitable. My maid, Edna, was very accurate in his account. Your servant? - He laughed. - Her mother never talked to you? - Yes - There was a tremor in her voice that revealed nervousness. - But with so much hesitation and all those blushes, I could only understand the passage on duty and modesty. I learned very little with my mother. I was just saying that to Margaret, when Edna, who arranged my room at that time, began to laugh. I realized she knew more about it and did speak. - A servant - he muttered. - Yes, you'll need a maid. Think Edna accept and to live with us in our house? - I can not imagine why not. She has no family or lover who can keep her here. And your idea is brilliant! - Squealed when her husband began to pull the covers. Thayer preferred the bright room, but he knew that, for now, it was better to respect the modesty of his wife. He rose to delete all the candles, leaving

only the two beside the bed. When he returned, it was impossible not to smile the stunned expression on the face of Gytha. He shrugged. Were married. She would have to get used to their appearance. There was nothing he could do to improve it. Despite the intense flushing, Gytha watched. Red hair and scars countless battles not repelled. Her eyes registered the broad shoulders, a slim waist, narrow hips and long, muscular legs. The body had a grace almost animal erection and only accentuated this characteristic wild. It was impossible not to wonder if your figure so small could accommodate it. Although the effort not to show fear, she looked afraid when her husband lay beside her. Reluctantly, Gytha left to discover. Realizing the fear of his wife, Thayer wished he could placate him, but knew it would be difficult to control your need. The feeling was confirmed when he could see the naked body of Gytha the pale candlelight. A flush of shyness dyed her satin skin, and she waved her hands in an attempt to cover up. Gently he held her wrists and enjoyed the sculptural beauty with complete freedom. The pink nipples stiffened under his gaze. The waist was thin enough to be overcome by one of his hands, or that was the impression he had. The legs were shapely. A golden nest concealed femininity. Thayer stared. - Ah, Gytha, my wife, you are really beautiful - he muttered before kissing her. She hugged him and kissed him without any hesitation. Thayer covered her delicate body with his and felt the tremor that shook. Slowly, he began to caress her. Gytha felt intoxicated by burning kisses. A hoarse sound escaped his throat when he touched her breast and squeezed the nipple between his fingers and rubbing it, hardening it. It was like fire running through his veins. His lips left hers to kiss her neck, stroking it with the tip of the tongue. - I will be kind to you - he promised. - Trust me, my dear. - I trust - she whispered hoarsely. Thayer saw no sarcasm in his eyes, but response confused him. - So, why tremble with fear, my little one? - There is fear. - It was difficult to talk while he caressed her breast, because the touch of strong hands stole her ability to reason. - I do not know to determine

what disturbs me. - How do you feel, my dear? - He caressed her belly and felt the aftershock. - I am burning. It's as if my blood boil. That scares me a little. Shocked to learn that their caresses so inflamed, he struggled to answer. The voice sounded like a hoarse whisper. - There is nothing to fear about it. - I do not want to disappoint him. Ah, Thayer ... - She stroked the abundant red hair and kissed him passionately. - It will not disappoint me, honey. How could I? - He asked huskily before kissing her breast. Gytha writhed under the tongue warm and wet. The content was overcome by passion. With some initial shyness, she moved her hands down her back and the wide muscular arms and touch the warm skin and firm fueled his desire. The way he touched her thighs produced a strange heaviness in their legs. The eager fingers touched hair between them. Gytha departed fleeing the contact. With eyes taken by shock, she stared at him. Thayer grabbed her hips to keep her quiet. Deciding that the pain would be tolerable if more rapid than he entered once. The muffled scream filled him with regret, but finding the barrier of innocence, he overcame firmly. Then lay still, holding her and trying to rekindle the desire of his wife. - Calm down, my love. - He kissed her, reassuringly. - Open up to me, baby, give me your secrets. Gytha discovered he had no choice. He kissed her between her lips and breasts, covering every inch of skin. The fire burning again with redoubled force. Caresses before she offered tentative and shy now became frantic. The sensations were so engaging that she barely noticed the change in position. When he felt the concrete proof of the husband's desire within her body, she moaned and started a dance ritual older than the world, rubbing it on your skin in an emergency instinctive. Only when he also began to move the passion cooled. Tension and anticipation stormed. What was happening? Why did he feel that growing tension in the region of the womb? Gytha looked at him startled. His eyes glittered. Something your pupils dilate and he had his face flushed. A brief, sharp pain was gone.

She realized again snug fit between bodies, almost as if they were one. The strange warmth that he was able to come back cause flooding your veins, powered by soft kisses, but hot and humid. - I was afraid of not being able to accommodate you - she revealed in a trembling voice, surprised at his own daring. Thayer laughed, his tongue tracing the delicate ear design. - I'm very well accommodated. Almost as if to penetrate heaven. Now, wrap my body with your legs, honey. - So? - She laced her husband's waist with her legs. - Yes - Thayer moved slowly, listening to the groans of pleasure and surprise. - Still in pain? - No. - The pleasure made her close her eyes. He watched spellbound. - I was afraid to feel repelled by the act ... Or bore you expressing excessive appreciation ... He shook his head in a negative response. - I know that other men disagree with me, but a wife that matches my desire pleases me more. - You. .. like? He stroked her delicate face. - Never liked both antes.-Thayer kissed her. - I like both, I think I'll repeat the experience. Gytha sighed contentedly. - Immediately? The innocence of his wife delighted him, and he decided to preserve it. Gytha would have a lifetime to understand that the sexual act was far beyond what she had experienced until then. - Why? Is painful, small? - No. Not really. - That was all I needed to know. Again, he rekindled the passion that had not yet arrived at its zenith. Now that had overcome the fear, she felt free to enjoy even more pleasure provided by experience. The feelings aroused Thayer were delicious. He loved her with less control, venting passion without reservation. The signals before being questioned now knew indications of desire wife for him. The knowledge was almost as exciting as the woman herself.

The morning light penetrated the room when Thayer woke up and looked at the delicate creature who slept with his head resting on his chest. Logo breakfast Bridal would be brought to the room, and then the stained sheet would appear to a select group of witnesses to prove the innocence of his wife and the consummation of the marriage. He stood up, thinking it would be better to avoid that Gytha was again studied in their intimacy. A smile stretched her lips as, still asleep, she murmured his name. He ran to fetch robes for both. Already dressed, Thayer found that waking up the wife was no easy task. - It is already morning? - She asked sleepily, sitting up in bed and leaving the dressing robe. - Yes, and soon people will be coming. It is not necessary to display their charms for the second time. - How thoughtful ... Covered Gytha yawned and dropped his head on her husband's chest. He laughed and lay back. - Ah, well, I know I did not let you sleep a lot. - Hmm .. Very little. - She snuggled into his arms, feeling warm and happy. - We can sleep now. Yawning, she closed her eyes, indicating that he accepted the suggestion. Though he had never been a lazy person, waking up early was not one of the favorite tasks of Gytha. But never before had been so difficult. Never before had a sleep so choppy. Wedding nights and sleep were two incompatible things. Pleasure to nest chest Thayer made her hate even more the idea of leaving the paradise of warm bed. He was almost asleep when the group returned to the room last night followed by a maid carrying a tray. When she could not wake wife, Thayer had to endure many snide remarks. The ceremony was held at breakfast with them still in bed. Appalled, Thayer saw the wife stir asleep, murmuring his name in the body and rub it with obvious intent sexy. The women left the room running, blushing and laughing. The men were most recalcitrant. When everyone retreated, he tried to eat still holding his sleeping wife, but his movements and the aroma of the food produced the expected effect. Gytha began to awaken. She sat up slowly, blinking a few times and rubbed his eyes. It was just lovely.

- It's best to eat - he said, placing the tray on your knees - before I end up with everything. Smiling sleepily, she served. His shyness was evident. After dinner, Thayer removed the tray and Gytha flinched under the covers. Laying aside, he touched his face lightly flushed. - It's very quiet. Not going to kiss your husband? She kissed him shyly. Thayer was satisfied, but only for a moment. After deepened the kiss. When he raised his head, he gasped. Was satisfactory realize that she wore the same reaction. - And Day - Gytha murmured, holding her robe and hating himself embarrassment. Smiling, he undressed her. - Yes, little one, and I know a perfect way to celebrate the sunrise. She did not thrust him away, despite timidity, weariness and aching body. - Do not prefer the darkness? Leaning on one elbow, he enjoyed her body with desire and appetite evident. - No, because she conceal my eyes all its beauty. His fingers caressed her breast. Wanted to possess it in daylight to make sure that the Passion wife had not been a dream. He wanted to see his reaction clearly free from the illusion created by candlelight. After the hell to which Elizabeth had dragged him, had sworn never to get involved with a woman of high and beauty more than the median. Now saw himself married to one. Worse, her chest heat treacherous, one response theme every smile or look. When he kissed her soft breast, he felt the fire break it and recognized the fear of making a fool of himself once again. Gytha trembled with pleasure. He kissed and caressed, and she also played without reservation or hesitation. With increasing abandonment, moving under her husband's body and played on the thighs, sliding his fingers from inside of them. Thayer did not contain a groan hoarse when the delicate fingers found their throbbing and erect manhood. Her body shook with the force of pleasure. Surprise, she interrupted the caress, but he grabbed her hand and led her back to the turgid member. - Yes, sweet Gytha, touch me. - The desire made her voice sound strained, making caresses fiercest. - Yes, my love, yes. Touch me. Involve me with their fingers.

Despite the effort to contain himself, his passion became wild. The touch of the Gytha induced forgetting caution. To his delight, she also burned. Gytha felt pleased with the increasing ferocity of her husband, though her caresses were almost an assault. The possession was almost painful, but she felt intense pleasure. When he reached the climax, she knew she had the company of her husband. Thayer took some time to regain his balance. Then he looked amazed at the woman in his arms, he saw the red marks on the skin morning and was taken by remorse. However, hands caressing his chest revealed no anger or fear, only sated lethargy. Gytha stroked his chest covered with red curls and moved her legs over his, reveling in the sensation. The union between the bodies was something she appreciated. - That's wonderful, is not it? - Wonderful? - He did not know what she meant with "it." - We are so different but we fit perfectly. - Yes, it's true. Did I hurt you? - No. - She looked at him with a suggestive smile. - I begin to think that maybe were not his enemies who nicknamed Red Devil. Maybe they been women whose bed you visited. - Witch. - She kissed him tenderly. - You give me fire, sweet Gytha. I fear losing control. - I could understand. - Yes, now you can. - Yes, I can. Do not behave like a lady at times. - Well, not always a lady meets a man in bed. - He cradled her against his chest. - A certain boldness is appreciable in a wife - provoked laughing. Gytha laughed sleepily. - Man pervert. Soon we will have to get out of bed. - Take a break, honey. - It seems a sin to continue lying so late. -No one will miss us. We also need to draw the plans for the next few days, planning the trip ... - One more reason to get up.

- Rest, my pretty. This can all wait. - How you decide. - This is a proper attitude for a wife. Laughing, she shifted in her husband's arms. He did not want to be anywhere else. Making love with Thayer only intensified the feeling of having found their place in the world. Only one thing bothered her. Despite the heat of passion, felt Thayer reticence, as if he wanted to stay away. He would need time. Do everything he could to demonstrate that the union between them was perfect. When he fell asleep, she dreamed of the children who would have and the peaceful future that awaited them. She was sure that soon he would share those dreams. Thayer looked at his wife and was taken by an intense admiration. Despite the fire that consumed, had been able to watch her and make sure that there was no passion been illusion or trick of the light. She actually burned under his touch. The finding was intoxicating, but also was a source of consternation. Now that had introduced the delights of passion, she does not slap as fast a gallant opportunistic. His previous morality could have been the result of ignorance. Now she would see men and women with adult eyes, not with the naivete of a child. Feared he had sealed his own fate, the cuckolded husband and unhappy. Gytha felt a mixture of excitement and sadness. A week after the wedding, she and Thayer were ready to leave. Began a new life together. Unfortunately, also left behind all who loved and knew. Knew that the family would always be there, but everything would change forever. Was necessary. Now her world was Thayer's world. When the parent hugged her to say goodbye, she saw the glint of tears in his eyes. Turn that same twinkle in the eyes of siblings, and mother wept copiously. Fearing succumbing to tears, Gytha climbed into the carriage to join Margaret and Edna. Tears distorted the image of the castle disappearing in the distance. It was impossible contain them. Fate was now Saitun Manor. Was anxious to know the place. Once everything was put in order there, they would follow for the small property she had inherited with the wedding. It was hard not to shake with the trip. Traveled much in life, and never so far. It was also hard not to feel a certain fear. Looking at the twenty men who accompanied them on the journey, she told herself that fear was foolish. Thayer and Roger were hardened fighters, as well as

the other twelve men in the service of her husband, many of them devoted knights on the battlefield. His father had given six men for the small battalion, all warriors strong and courageous. Neither hid joy to be able to ride alongside the renowned Red Devil. She knew she need not be afraid. What little I managed to find had confirmed everything Edna had said about Thayer and his men. Many were illegitimate sons of nobles, as were also the pages and squires who served. In fact, many squires were half brothers of men who served. One piqued his interest. He had red hair like fire, and Gytha decided to talk to her husband about the boy once he had a chance. Jealousy almost mastered when she saw the boy first, but she tried to stop herself. He must have been eight or nine years. Gytha was a child when his birth. Even so, find out the truth. Just do not know how to react if his suspicions were confirmed. Roger saw her watching the boy again. - You better tell her - he suggested quietly to Thayer. Thayer looked at his wife and sighed. - Yes, I knew I would not be reticent Gytha, so I made the choice most cowardly. I decided to wait for her to ask about Bek. The story is sordid. I have eager to repeat it. Especially for her. - It is one of the few people who have the right to know. However, I understand your reluctance. Gytha's innocence is admirable. Until Margaret and created this exhibit same sweetness. And as if they lived in a world far from ours. - Lord John made his home a unique world. Who can blame him? There is much darkness in the world. His people follow what he determines. And a good and simple people who believes that rules were made to be fulfilled. He treats his people with kindness and understanding, they pay for this treatment with unshakable loyalty. And a clear example of how life can be ... but rarely is. Unfortunately. - I confess I would have appreciated a less correct. I missed the maids who met in other properties. Even his children have to go to town to lie with a woman. - Thayer and Roger laughed. - But I understand the positive side of it all. - How so? - There is no possibility of a maid to put up the wife, thinking that is better than she. The lady of the place does not need to deal with situations this delicate nature.

- Yes - Thayer frowned. - Maybe I have to clean my property. - Women take care of it. Do not fear. When they stopped to sleep, the excitement of the trip Gytha had greatly diminished. It was all so tedious and dirty! Once the tent Thayer was armed, she asked for water and boy named Bek answered the request, forcing her to remember something that struggled to forget. She saw the flame-haired kid get away, then entered the tent. Margaret shook her head. - Why hesitate to question him about the boy? - Because this is a difficult question. - I've never seen so hesitant before. - Oh, Margaret, I might be afraid of what I'll hear. - Better to know the truth, milady - Edna said as she helped her mistress with water. - Why is that? All claim that a wife is happier when remains ignorant. - Nonsense. And if the woman is still alive? And if it's a fine lady? You can find it at some point. And if you know the whole story by third parties, for someone who can poison the account and your heart? No, it is better to know everything, my lady, for thus avoid surprises in the future. E. .. - Edna breath. - It is better to knowif this is a love of the past, or a rival to be fought. Gytha was precisely what he feared most. - Everything you say is true, Edna. I just need to find the courage to ask him. - Come - Margaret touched his arm in a gesture of solidarity and understanding - let's up the area around the camp. I saw some flowers scattered through the woods. We'll bring some to lessen the smell of horses and sweaty men. Pick flowers will soothe her. Before she could protest Gytha, Edna led to the exit of the tent. The men paid little attention to them, and the two crossed the camp without no one can stop. No hurry, walked through the woods taking care not to depart from much of the area, keeping close enough to hear the men working in the camp. Gytha just felt more calm surrounded by silence. She smiled gratefully at Margaret, who was picking flowers. As they prepared to return to camp, Gytha saw a particularly colorful and fragrant. She bent down to pick the flowers, lingering several steps behind Margaret. As he stood, he was facing an armed man.

For a moment, the shock paralyzed. He looked around, saw that other men appeared from behind the thick trees, pulling their horses. It was an attack. She ducked as the man in front of him tried to grab her, dodging successfully. - Run, Margaret - Gytha yelled, trying to get to camp. Margaret hesitated only a second, looking back to see what happened, but obeyed the command of the material and also went to camp. - Warn them, Margaret - Gytha yelled as she ran, feeling that the man approached. - To arms! Attack! Guns! - Margaret screamed. The men in the woods mounted their horses, deprived of the element of surprise that both would have benefited. Thayer heard the cries of Margaret and tensed. The words were not clear, but the meaning was obvious. Although men arm themselves already, Thayer ranted their orders. Afflicted, Edna approached him. - They were alone in the forest? - Yes, my lord. - She recoiled upon seeing the fury in his eyes again sir. - We pick flowers. Thayer ran toward the trees at the same moment that Margaret appeared in their midst. - Where is Gytha? - Right behind me - she answered without disrupting the flight hallucinated. At the entrance of the forest, Thayer fought the panic that threatened to overwhelm him. -Gytha! - Here, Thayer - she said coming through the trees. Look at the face of her husband renewed their strength, and she passed him with the wind speed, according to the tent without arguing or ask questions, but merely to comply with the order given by a silent signal. Thayer's fury was almost tangible. She heard the cry of his pursuer, but not stopped to look back. Knew the scene was bloody. In the tent, Edna and Margaret were waiting for her. Together they watched the battle with a mixture of horror and fascination. Gytha felt no fear. Not much. I could not imagine that her husband, so big, strong and skilled, would be defeated. Not this time. She tried to calm her companions, arguing that they were protected by the group of pages and squires gathered in front of the tent. Understand the concern of all and admired the courage of the boys, that stood before the tent with clear intention to protect the new lady. However, did not believe that this particular enemy could pass Thayer and his men.

Steps behind her drew her attention, and she turned terrified. A man managed to get around the camp and invade it from the back, and now walked in his direction. Gytha Margaret and Edna pushed out of the tent, away from the immediate danger. Frightened, the two women stumbled on the boys. Before someone could come to the rescue, Gytha was grabbed by the attacker. Despite the desperate struggle, he took her out of the tent, putting them ahead of the body. Even Terrified, she was thrilled with the action of pageboys. Quick, they surrounded the women and, wielding swords, made no move for fear that she suffered the consequences. Gytha had understood that it was not dead, but imprisoned. Would hostage. Fear gave way to anger, and she fought with renewed vigor. Movements not served to free her, but forced the attacker to retreat unbalanced. He even swore when Gytha felt a sharp pain in the head. Then plunged in darkness. Removing the sword of another body, Thayer stopped to look at the tent. A shriek flowed refuge in women, a cry that filled him with apprehension. Was still looking in the same direction when a man holding Gytha hit in the head with the hilt of his sword. A furious howl burst from his chest when she fell unconscious. Without thinking of his own rear Thayer ran for Gytha. The battle was over. Roger ran after him with the intention to protect him, having certificate that none of the fleeing attackers took advantage of the moment of inattention Thayer. The man who had captured Gytha paled when she saw him running in his direction. Margaret, Edna and the pages were also very pale. Any normal person would be terrified with the advance furious. But, relieved, Roger saw Thayer contain the murderous impulse. He regained his sanity in time to stop himself before attacking the man holding Gytha. The stranger held her in front of him, and it was precisely the vision wife fainting and helpless that made him stop. Thayer faced his rival, sword ready for the attack, claiming the instinct that he buried the blade that who dared threaten his wife. - Caution - Bek murmured, recognizing the fury distorted the traits of the father. - He made the lady a shield. - Yes, I know. The coward hides behind a skirt. Come and face me like a man, crawling worm. - I want to surrender. The man looked at Roger. - I want to surrender. Roger Thayer's arm movements to prevent rushing and ordered:

- Play the sword away. After a brief hesitation, Gytha still holding hostage, the man threw the sword at the feet of Thayer, trembling under the force of the impulse to kill, but left Roger collect the weapon and approach the attacker. Wordlessly, Thayer sheathed his sword and took his wife's arms trembling unknown. He took her to his tent. Still was lying on the bed, when Margaret and Edna rushed. Looking Gytha, Edna announced: - Let's take care of injuries, my lord. It was just a blow to the head. - Are you sure? - Yes, my lord. See? She is beginning to awaken. We can take care of it. Thayer looked Gytha for a moment, fighting panic before his stillness and pallor. Edna was right. Gytha already moved and was frowning as if the thoughts aroused. Turning suddenly, he left the tent and almost toppled Roger, who was waiting at the door. - How many did we lose? - He asked, walking to the only prisoner. - Two are dead. Three suffered injuries, but nothing too serious. It was foolish to turn away women like that, but his screams saved us. - They stopped in front of the prisoners, and Roger murmured: - You will not find anything to kill this man. - I will not kill him. - Thayer looked at the frightened man. - Your name? - Black John, my lord. - Who sent you here, John Black? - Seeing the hesitation before the answer, Thayer swore. - I'll rip the skin from your bones. Strip by strip ... - We were hired by his cousin, my lord. - Robert Saitun? - Yes, although we have received orders from his uncle. Grabbing the man by the shirt front, Thayer ordered: - You will find my dear cousin Robert and one stray dog who commands. Will advise them to disappear before I find them. I do not want to kill my relatives, but, by God, do not hesitate to take the lives of these two worms if the see or feel the smell of them. - He threw the man to the side. - Cut three fingers of the hand he uses to wield the sword - He told the men guarding the prisoner - then send him away.

Thayer walked into the barrels of water, closing the mind to the supplications of the attacker and his cries of fear and pain when the order was fulfilled. - You? - Bek hastened to provide a bucket of water to his father. - Edna assured that she only suffered a blow to the head. Roger smiled gratefully when Bek provided water for him too. - So his punishment was so lenient? - He asked. - No. - Thayer sighed as the boy helped him undress upper body. - The man only following orders. It was clear that he controlled his own Gytha force when attacked. He just wanted to hold it. I realized all this when I overcame the blindness of rage. With the help of Bek, Roger also bared torso. - You think it was wise to prevent Robert or his uncle? Thayer shrugged and began to wash. - Who knows? I believe that this attack was thoughtless and rash. Robert wanted Gytha. I saw his expression when I was appointed groom. Furthermore, it is my only relative besides Bek. I do not want to kill him. His uncle is behind it. He wants Robert as heir property and must be willing to do anything to it. We haveto remain vigilant. I do not want the story of my death be true the next time it is told. - Especially when there are so many reasons to live - Roger muttered, staring at the tent Thayer. - Yes - He looked in the same direction while wiping. - It was she who saw the man entering the tent - Bek reported. - And the other two ladies pushed out, ensuring your safety. - And was captured - Thayer muttered. - When you yell at her, try not to overdo it. - What are you saying? - Well, her head will hurt for a while. After looking at his son for a moment, smiled Thayer. - A gentleman does not yell at a lady. Bek's father returned the smile before saying with boyish enthusiasm: - See how rushed? - Yes, the poor were quick on the trail - Roger agreed. - I do not mean to men, Sir Roger. I speak of the ladies. - He smiled when the two adults laughed. - I never thought women could run both. Bet

they are faster than some of our group. - Yes, they are fast. And that gives me an idea. Maybe - Thayer continued laughing - we can put them to compete in races and earn some money for nodes. - The shocked expression son did laugh. - And just a joke, boy. Now go arrange a meal for us. Eat while I take care of Gytha. I just seeing Edna fetching food. Gytha must have awakened. While Bey ran to obey, Thayer was taking care of a personal task. Needed to provide a shroud for the two dead. So they passed by a church, take care of the burial in consecrated ground. Lamented the two deaths, but was relieved by either be close or have spent much time in his company. After exchanging a few words with the wounded, making sure that none of them ran risks, he sat down with Roger to eat. There was a long silence before Roger murmuring: - You are very thoughtful friend. - And only the effect of the battle. The calm that follows the storm. - I could see the doubt in the face of Roger. - How can a man keep his heart melted by a beautiful woman? - Can not. Not have to be this way ... - What had to be was Gytha and William marry. - Maybe not. Who knows how God operates and destiny? - Not us poor mortals, that's for sure. - I would not let me tease so. Live this moment. Despite all the pain that can cause this feeling, there is nothing that can overcome it. - Speak as if he had experience. Thayer did not remember Roger have mentioned similar problems before. - Yes, it's true. It was many years ago. There was no hope for that love, because I was a knight and destitute poor, and still am. Even having been Soon, it was glorious. - And with that you have not learned anything about how to contain those feelings? - I do not want to learn that lesson. What I learned was to realize when he can bring joy or sadness. And thus encouraging possible occurrences happy. - He took a deep breath, knowing that the next words would touch a sensitive spot. - I knew that my love would be futile under the circumstances, and yet

the ofertei. The lady did not make false promises, always told the truth. When the little we had reached the end, the pain was shared. She never treated me with disdain. His heart was not a slave, like mine. but she never despised me for it. Never mocked my feelings. - And there's the difference - Thayer muttered. Roger nodded. - Yes, there is a difference. Might think a little about it. Promising himself he would think, Thayer retired to his tent and dismissed Margaret and Edna. For a time he thought Gytha was asleep until surprise her looking at him. As a child, she tried to hide by closing your eyes to avoid his anger, an anger that he no longer felt. Thayer blew out the candle, undressed, lay down and took his body tense in his arms. - How's the head? - Asked, kissing her forehead to help her relax. Gytha knew he was no longer angry. He was a coward for having feigned sleep to avoid the anger that her husband had every right to feel but not felt prepared for confrontation. Deep down, I knew that cutting words Thayer could make it bleed. - It hurts a little, but not much. - She clasped her waist. - It was foolish to go out alone. - And she was not alone. He laughed. - Gytha, this is a sermon. Be quiet and listen carefully. - Yes, my husband. He ignored the touch of impertinence. - It was foolish to leave the safety of the camp. Never deviates from the group without first going to tell me where and why. I know you expect to see me angry, and I would, if he had not kept me away until my blood cold. Fortunately, you did not suffer serious injuries, and the warning he gave me saved my men. A surprise attackas this would have resulted in a massacre. Our. Instead, only two lost men. After all, why leave the camp? - I wanted to pick flowers to perfume that environment. - The next time you want flowers, let me know. Send armed men to escort her. Maybe two. - They will not like it much. - But do what I say anyway. Get it? She nodded.

- What happened to the man who made me hostage? - Lost three fingers of the hand he used to hold the sword. And was sent back to his master with a warning. Gytha knew that the punishment was merciful compared to what many others had faced. - And who is this master? - My cousin Robert. - Robert? - She nodded surprise. - Are you sure? - Yes, that was the name under which the attack was perpetrated. However, it was his uncle who planned and commanded all. You must know that. - Yes, and Robert accepted the orders, while not agreeing with them. And always so. But why? Why do such a thing? - He wants it all. My property, my fortune. All legally belongs to Robert, but his uncle would command the goods. Moreover, Robert wanted you. No - he muttered to realize that Gytha meant to protest. - He wanted and still wants. And now I know that this would not have been a wedding insurance for you. - How so? - You could have made Robert a man. She nodded, indicating that he understood. - If Robert were strengthened, it assumed more responsibilities, so he could become a threat to his uncle. And that man would not tolerate a threat. - No, he would take care of quickly remove a threat like this. - What will you do about it? - I've sent the man back to Robert and his uncle. Now they know that the plan failed, I am aware of his schemes. Sent to notify them it would be wise to disappear. It will be my only warning. - Do you really think they will do as ordered? - I hope so. Do not like to kill someone of my own blood. - It's sad when family members fight among themselves. Happened a lot in my father's family. - It is hard to believe. His family is so united, so loving. Anyone see. - My father learned from the mistakes he witnessed while growing up, Thayer. He saw a man turn his wife against him. Seen as, in her grief, she threw their children against the father. Seen as illegitimate, recognized and raised in comfort, but without love, became bitter and greedy, going to covet what

been denied them. While growing up, he saw people who should have remained united by bonds of love and trust, move away from each other. These people plotted, fought and killed until only my father and his brother. He and my uncle swore to never let this poison touches your heart. - It shook head. - But my aunt still tries. - Because of Margaret? - Yes My aunt is jealous of a mistake made when my uncle was still single, although I hate to think of Margaret these terms. Because of this jealousy, my aunt tries to poison the family against her husband. She tries, but fails. - Are you sure? - Absolute. Soon the boys will go to other houses, and the girls too. My uncle will send their children to the house of my parents. Margaret is here with me, as always been planned. The two houses will come together even more. If a poison is instilled, will be expelled and set aside. Thayer listened to carefully, realizing that this was a good time to talk about Bek. A conversation about Margaret made her relax. Even so, it does notknow how to begin .. He was not concerned with the possibility of not accepting Gytha Bek, because that would be solved. It was the story that would repeat that troubled him. It was nasty and made him look like a big idiot. Besides which, no wife would be happy listening to her husband talk about their love for each other, even if the woman in question was out of his life or dead. Even so, he swallowed all the fears and began counting. - Speaking of mistakes singles ... - Said hesitantly. Gytha fought tension. Did not want anything to stop him from speaking what he was about to report. She waited in silence, praying not to leave very hurt that moment of revelation. - I must speak now - Thayer announced agitated. - It is easier to talk about certain things in the dark. - The sensation of being exposed is reduced. - Yes, it is. Gytha, Bek is my son. - I already suspected that. - She stroked the hair from her husband. - This color is rare. - What are you listening to now is a secret. - Do not tell anyone anything - she promised - except, perhaps, Margaret. And Edna. - His mother was Lady Elizabeth Sevilliers. His birth name was Darnelle.

- Do not know any of these families. - But will the two meet, if we are called to court. Where the court is, there is Lady Elizabeth. - She is very beautiful? - Yes, very. Ebony hair, ivory skin, green eyes, smooth curves. I was very young when I met her. He was only twenty-one. At sixteen, she had mastered the techniques of flirting employed at court, and his virtue was but a memory. But I was not just young. It was silly, too. Believed the innocence of the woman and decided she was dominated and used by corrupt and sinful style court. I became her lover. A flash of pain assaulted. Gytha told herself it was just a little girl of eight years at that time. The pain disappeared. - It corresponded to all my vows of love. - Thayer nodded. - And made me believe there was a chance to get married, even though I was only a knight without land. I sold my sword to a count in the hope of getting rewards amenizariam my poverty. She behaved with dignity when he arrived the time of my departure. Gave me the certainty that I really loved. - And you went back to her? - Yes Six months later, still no land, but with a bag full of money. Full enough to buy a small property. But she was no longer more in court. It took fifteen days to find her. - Where was she? - In a convent, preparing to take my son. Bek had days old when I met Elizabeth. She sat listening calmly as I told of how he had obtained my winnings and spoke about love and marriage. When I finished my story, she started laughing. Gytha heard the pain and humiliation in his voice and hugged him tighter. I wish I could erase from your heart and your memories of this whole story pain. It was hard, but Thayer was able to continue. - She said she had never imagined that I was so foolish. What was even believed in all oaths she had done. Elizabeth remembered about the son she'd just give me the life that was proof of his love for me. She laughed again. Said that everything was a son demonstrated that their tricks to

prevent my seed to germinate were not perfect. Nor were perfect the methods she had used to pull the child from her body, - She tried to kill the child she was expecting? - Gytha muttered shocked. - Yes, but Bek was strong. I later found out that his first breath could also have been the last. To be alone with the baby, she tried to choke him. One of the nuns surprised, and they stayed with the boy. They justified their actions claiming that the living proof of their sins had brought her to madness, but I knew her intention was not to leave evidence of their lack of chastity. A marriage was already arranged. I could not believe, could not believe it. Again, persisted for her to marry me. Elizabeth called me a fool for thinking that she would accept to marry a knight deprived of land, someone who needed to sell his sword to survive when he could marry the rich and noble Sevilliers. A man of many possessions. Argued that it would cease to love her quickly when to discover violated. She laughed. Would bleeding in bed and Sevilliers believe that she had married a virgin and chaste. - And you left and stayed with Bek. - Yes, I was with Bek. But Elizabeth could not give up, and it is my shame. Shortly after she married Sevilliers I became again her lover. She knew how to use the blindness of my heart. Thought was her only lover. There were rumors about his reckless behavior, but I insisted on ignoring them. - But the rumors were true, were not they? - Yes, totally true. One night, I discovered the truth in a garden. She fornicated with a courtier as a harlot any. You know, I think it was stupid enough to forgive her even after that. That's what she said finally freed me from that obsession. The man spoke as if he had beaten me, lying with her, and was someone who would never have surpassed me with a sword. She laughed, saying that I was her lover more persistent and enduring. And said my state of perplexity amused. The man expressed surprise for her to sleep with someone so big, so red and so devoid of physical attractiveness. She agreed about me being crude and ugly, said I deserved all the jokes and taunts, but claimed that I was generously endowed. Since that day, I never approachedher. - He sighed. - Well, this is a horrible story. Now, I know what you have to say about Bek. Gytha felt a twinge of bitterness when he realized he had not said he had left to love such a woman, but said nothing. At this point, need Thayer

a response regarding the child. Needed to make sure she did not despise nor repel the boy because of the past. - Bek is his son. From the little I've seen, he's a good boy. I would never reject him because of the circumstances of his birth. - I am grateful for that. - No need to thank me. E. .. you are not ugly or gross. - I'm not beautiful, Gytha - he said, refusing to be convinced by empty compliments. - I'm not William. I'm not Robert or Roger. - I did not say that it is beautiful. - She looked at him smiling. - However, if you keep letting her face is beaten, may soon become hideous. - Gytha was serious again. - Yes, you're big and red. But it is also strong and healthy. It has all the grace that fate can give someone. And a big man, but proportional. Nothing is too long or short. Her face is not beautiful, but it is impressive and inspires confidence. His voice and his way of laughing are more than pleasant. When you smile, is not to make fun of someone or to hide a lie. And lovely. - She touched her cheek. - Your eyes are lovely. The deep brown and soft brings to mind kind things. - Eyes charming? - Yes, I had this impression from the start. He narrowed between the arms. The instinct suggested that she was telling the truth, he expressed his feelings exactly. Gytha noticed and praised its most favorable. Suddenly, I was desperate to have her, but contained this need. After the events of the day, she needed to rest. - Enough, woman. It'll make me blush, and I'm already enough red. - He smiled to hear her laugh. - Go to sleep, my little one. This is the surest cure for a headache. She snuggled against her husband and felt the evidence of his desire pressed against her belly. - What a headache? Laughing, he hugged her accepting the invitation implied. CHAPTER III - My cousin and that pig that cared little dominates this place. Trying to keep up with the long strides of her husband, Gytha not answered. I felt the same rage and Thayer, beside him, ran through the castle. All the beauty

could have existed on the property was now buried beneath the grime and neglect. The beautiful and rich castle that both heard it was not appropriate to pig that ran freely his quarters. She struggled against rabies. The feeling was useless. The damage was done. The energy wasted hating the cause of the damage would be better used if worked hard to repair it. - I can not believe William let the situation get to this point - Thayer said. - No - Gytha was so out of breath that she could hardly speak. - He seemed to enjoy cleaning. Hearing her breath heaving, Thayer stopped to catch her in his arms. Gytha was so light! The breasts were moving with the effort to breathe. It was difficult taking his eyes from her face flushed. Even so, the anger still dominated. He started walking again. Needed to move to deal with anger. Exit the castle served not to relieve anger. From the outside, the situation was as bad as inside. - There is so much work to do - he commented. - Cleaning, basically - Gytha said. - Yes, every corner. Each stone. - We have enough arms for the job? He kissed her on the cheek. - If not, we will bring more people from the village. After making sure that the ground under a tree was clean, Thayer sat. Gytha not tried to leave protection hug. Instead, she just settled more comfortably. Thayer had noticed that she used to openly demonstrate their affection. This attitude wife awoke in him a good feeling, a feeling that could be dangerous. This feeling could end up weakening the decision to stay away, thereby protecting your heart already so punished. But it was impossible not to smile warmly. Was not strong enough to resist this kind of trick seduction. - You are dealing well with all this, my little one. - Well, I must confess that I am not very pleased with the idea of all that work waiting for me. However, all tasks can be accomplished with ease, provided we have enough arms. And there will be rewards for that effort. Under the negligence and dirt there is a valuable place and beautiful. In the days following Gytha faced great difficulties to prove the words I said. It was hard work for both men and women alike. She hired

few more workers, but was cautious, noting that it should not distribute their money freely. Since the plague that ravaged the population, knew not could no longer rely on free labor and unpaid servants. The father quickly learned to master the art of hiring and negotiating payment and now she was happy to have taken the trouble to learn from him. Thayer left everything in his hands, because never before had to deal with such issues. The first decision was Gytha clean everything. Was certain, this stage could see more clearly what needed to be replaced or repaired. For an entire week, she devoted herself to work with the same tenacity of all others. When he decided that the place was clean enough, was exhausted. Later that week, he looked around, she realized she was too tired to enjoy the outcome of the effort. After dismissing workers he had hired, she had dinner and fell into bed succumbing to exhaustion. When Thayer lay, Gytha shifted without opening his eyes, unable to wake theheavy sleep. For the first time since she met him, I was too tired to even want her husband a good night's sleep. Smiling, Thayer cradled her in his arms and smothered desire. He knew that his wife was too tired. She whispered his name, but did not move in his arms. This time he would have to contain the momentum. Nothing could arouse the interest of Gytha that time. Suddenly he sniffed. - What's that smell? - I am afraid it is - Gytha replied sleepily. - Yes, I had noticed it. What is it? - Any product that I used to clean the house. - It's horrible! What is this product? - Better not to know. - She removed the hug. - I know I should have taken a shower, but I could not. I'm very tired. I'll sleep on the other side of the bed. - It will not help much. - Thayer stood. She tried to call him back, but without strength, fell asleep again. I knew that the next morning would feel bad to have him removed from the bed, but this time I was too exhausted to care. When he again plunged into a deep sleep, Thayer pulled the covers off her. - What are you doing? - She tried to cover herself, but he took her in his arms. - I want to sleep! - Go take a shower.

- I'm tired ... I'll end up sleeping and drowning. - Do not worry. I myself will take care of everything. - He stood up beside the tub had filled earlier. Suddenly, Gytha aroused enough to understand what was happening. - The smell is so bad? - I'm afraid so, my love. - He laughed and began to undress her. Gytha was too tired to be embarrassed. Still did not feel comfortable displaying their nakedness, but fatigue was more than modesty. Weak she gave herself to the care of her husband. Thayer found that bathe it was at the same time, frustrating and delicious. Could touch her and look at her with freedom, but because of that exhaust that was the cause of all freedom, could not satisfy the hunger that physical contact aroused. Sometimes I was very distressed at how easily she awoke his passion. Even glorious as it was, that craving was a dangerous weakness. He played unhurriedly. Sighing, he decided that Gytha awaken this same weakness in any man. As hard as it was to accept it, he had to admit that reaction was inevitable and natural. Each morning we woke up and discovered in his arms, the surprise was renewed. Thinking about it some collaborated to relieve burning in your body. Was beginning to think would never be able to contain it completely. While dressed and wiped with a clean nightgown, Thayer could not help but smile. She seemed drunk. Gently, he put her in bed. After to extinguish the candles, lay down beside her and took her in his arms. - Ah, much better - muttered. - It was so bad? - Yes, now is smelling. - Thanks, Thayer. E. .. - Despite the fatigue, the body could feel the vibrations of her husband's desire. - I'm sorry. I'm exhausted. He smiled. - Tomorrow will be rested. - Yes, I will. So what? - And then you wait.

She fell asleep while Thayer was still laughing. Feeling the sweet scent of his wife, he decided he would not run out again. And it took the decision impelled only by the needs of the body. I also thought the health risks of Gytha. Fond of order and cleanliness, but this was too high a price to pay. In hindsight, the frustration they felt at that time was also too high a price. Closing his eyes, he tried to sleep and ignore unmet needs. Gytha stretched and unhurried, watched her husband who washed. She decided it was very nice to wake up with hot kisses and caresses provocative. The euphoria caused by the act of love could not be overshadowed even the idea of all the work that awaited. - Gytha, do not want to work that way. - No? - No. I understand the need to clean this place. But now it's all clean. The work that remains to be done can be done without haste. Your health is more important than the organization of the house. In fact, get sick, only lose more time. - Yes, you're right. I thought about that when I fell into bed last night. It was filth. I could not bear. He walked over to kiss her. - I know. But everything is clean. Only needs to oversee the maintenance work. Take care of yourself. And that's an order - he completed before leaving. Gytha not protest. This was an order that could easily meet. There were many things without which it could survive, but cleanliness was not a them. Could not bear the dirt that had found in the house. Now everything was clean. Could work less. Had plenty of time to make the home lovely place she could be. Give one step at a time. Before long she began to wonder if even one step at a time would not be too much. Looking at the garden, Gytha muttered: - It is difficult to distinguish the herbs from the bush. - Yes - Margaret agreed. - Clearly fools never bothered with drugs. - Not with pleasant aromas. - I already had noticed. Gytha rolled up his sleeves and knelt on the ground. - Well, we can not live without these things. Let's see what is useful in the middle of this mess. Herbs can be weakened by lack of care. However, I believe

there is still time to retrieve them. - Yes, and make them bloom. - Margaret imitated material. - I think I can see some plants. A comfortable silence fell over the two. Gytha enjoyed working in the garden. The task soothed, The work was hard but rewarding. - Gytha? Are you happy? - Yes, I am. Why? Afraid I be unhappy? - No. But you just talk about it. - Not much to say. I think we talk more in difficult times. - Yes, sometimes. I mean who loves Thayer then? - Ah, that question ... - Yes, exactly that question. Do you love him? - I'm not sure, Margaret. Not so easy to know. Not how I imagined it to be. Only sure that I like it very much. But like and want to equate to love? I think it is very possible to like someone without loving that person. Know what I mean? Margaret shook her head. - He loves you? - Who knows? We never talked about it. Perhaps it is this silence that keeps me in uncertainty. - Oh, he likes you. I know that. - Like me ... yes. But like this leads to love, or is it simply the feeling of a man by someone with whom he shares the bed and have children? Do you understand what I mean? There are many answers to those questions. Many issues. Be love. It can be a feeling strong and durable. If we could talk about So perhaps clarify the confusion. But never touched the subject. - Need to give him time. Maybe, but do not know if Thayer is the kind of man with whom I can talk about these things. Some men refuse to have this conversation. - It is true. But there are others who speak of love easily and lie. - I prefer silence to lies. - It is much better. It is possible that something will help to keep the confusion, something that, when understood, can reveal the answers to many questions.

- Well, there is one thing. - She shrugged. - I do not know if that can resolve all enlightenment. Thayer does not trust me. - No. You're imagining things. - I'm afraid not. I'm all he has learned to avoid. There is an evident distrust him. I can feel it, though not sure of its depth. Worse, do not know how I can remove this uncertainty. It is an obstacle to everything we feel for each other. - It certainly is. Gytha, I think all you can do is exactly what you are doing. If any woman deserves trust, that woman is you. Soon he will realize that insecurity is silly and unnecessary. Time will solve everything. After all, even married, you are still practically strangers. Both have much to learn about another. This learning takes time, but it brings knowledge and confidence. - Maybe. Uttering vows before a priest does not mean immediate trust and love. I'm very lucky. Never my confidence was undeserved. He did not can say the same. Can I trust more easily. - She smiled at Margaret. - And you, what have you decided about my husband? - I have not decided anything. Not quite. It is true that it can cause me great uncertainty at times. - Yes, when his anger spills - Gytha laughed. - There is nothing to fear about it, press. - It seems very safe. - And I am. Trust me. There is nothing to fear the wrath of Thayer, except the possibility of being deaf to their cries. He brandishes his fists, press. And can destroy things, as he did with the stable door last week. But rarely touch a living being. He knows his own strength and his temperament. Yes, he shouts, threatens ... but I never saw my husband hurt someone. - The set of the stable would have liked to know. Must have feared for his life. - I suppose so. Their negligence almost crippled the best horse Thayer. Many others would have punished the time. But the man is still alive. And maybe keep position of master of the stable, if not make another mistake. - Of course. I'll try to remember that next time the cries of Thayer make the walls shake. - This is oregano? - Gytha frowned at the plant before her. Margaret studied the leaves carefully. - Well, I think the three in the middle are.

Gytha began removing the weeds that surrounded them. - I think it would be easier to start the oregano and leave the bush. Margaret laughed, but then turned serious again. - I expected some answers, some knowledge. Maybe some of revelations. - Revelations? About what? - Love - Margaret murmured blushing. - Oh, no. Roger ... - Yes, Roger. I suppose. It's hard to be sure, not only of my feelings, but his. Roger is a master in the art of flirtation. See more fear in their smiles and its beautiful words than there really is. Hoping you could help me clear up this confusion, understand all this. - And now you know I'm as confused as you - Gytha said. - Sorry, cousin. I have little to say. Never saw Roger trying to seduce the servants of the house. He also does not usually accompany the men to the village. - I know that. But I fear I am only seeing what I see. If says he also noticed what I saw, then perhaps it is true. And if it's true, maybe it be sincere. - Wondering what I do? - Yes Maybe help me. - I have reason to trust. And act according to their apparent sincerity. Too much insecurity can cause the loss of all that we most desire. Yes, Truth is that suffering is a possible consequence of the error in the choice of the object of our trust, but the reward that can be achieved justifies the risk. Thayer is my husband, and so I have to endure the distrust him. Roger is not obliged to tolerate his hesitation. He is free to go where you want to look for someone not suspicious of his sincerity. Margaret nodded slowly. - Yes, you're right. I hope to follow his advice and be brave enough to take the risk. The two returned to work in the garden in silence. The heat of the afternoon sun warmed the back of Gytha, so she was aware of her immediate removal. Someone was watching. - We have clouds? - Margaret asked puzzled, looking up at the clear sky. Gytha looked over his shoulder and murmured:

- Only one. A large red cloud. - She smiled at her husband. - Any problem, Thayer? - I thought it was going to work less. It was difficult to keep the stern. Gytha was filthy. He did not remember anything the lady was. And her innocent looks enchanted. - This is the only task of the day. - But it is not easy, I see. - No, but as you can see, I have help. - And that's all? - Yes, it is the food that will be ready later in the day. Men have to eat. Not much, Thayer. Really. And I like that. - Avoid tiredness that just dropped last night. - I promise. Oh, and Thayer? You can ask someone to bring a load of manure? - Manure? For what? - To fertilize the garden. The plants were very neglected. Need nutrition. - Nutrition? With manure? I'll have someone take care of this for you - before he decided to retire. Gytha watched him go. He was really attractive. The beauty that enriched his face could not be easily found in your athletic body. Margaret laughed and blushed. - What is it now, Margaret? - Oh, nothing ... And just the way you look at it, Gytha. Seems to feel ... hungry! Yeah, hungry. - That's exactly what I feel. My body wakes up when I look at it. - Indeed? - Indeed. Ah, cousin, I know my husband is not beautiful, despite having lovely eyes. However, in physical form it near perfection. There is a power in his body, a grace that make me think of a stallion. I saw this force from the beginning. Of course, now that I know what happens in the marriage bed ... Thayer is a good lover, press. I have to compare it to what we live, but ... No, I can not believe that another would give me more pleasure. The evening or tomorrow. Margaret looked shocked to Gytha, holding his fingers a weed that just started. - In the morning? Gytha laughed.

- Yes A maiden receives little information. Expected only support my duty, may not feel much pain, or, if lucky I smiled, knowing some pleasure to please him. But I got much more than that. More than I can describe with words. - It is good then? - Margaret asked timidly. - Yes, and perhaps why we have so little information. With Thayer everything is so good, I begin to think that I feel love for him. How can it be otherwise? On the other hand, I remember that he also appreciates our physical union. That means he loves me? - She shook her head. - I think not. The passion of a man not always come from the heart. And maybe the woman did not. And that brings us back to the beginning, to the confusion. Margaret nodded. - To you is easier. Passion does not disturb your feelings or confuse your thoughts. Gytha smiled for the press. - And this. As I imagined. However, although woo, seduce and cover of attention, as do the lovers, Roger is not your lover. Thayer was a stranger to me. And suddenly we found ourselves married. Know that's how things usually happen, but begin to question if it is not wrong. I know not the man who holds me at night. And there are many duties that we must devote ourselves during the day. When we have time to get to know? We talked a little at night when we embraced the dark. But the passion burns between us makes these conversations brief and less conclusive. Sometimes I am afraid that the passion goes out. So, I will be forced to live with a stranger. We will know the body of one another, we may have a child, but do not know ourselves really. - Oh, no, Gytha. - Margaret tried to comfort her by touching her arm. - No. I can not imagine such an occurrence. Will find that you know much about Thayer. Perhaps not know the depth of his feelings, fears, hopes, and all that is in your past, but you know something, and this knowledge will only grow with coexistence, because you talk a lot. I noticed. Gytha nodded. - Yes, you're right. We talk a lot, actually. And these conversations bring the knowledge that I want on Thayer. Must seek to know him, think more everything that talked and everything I see, and time is my ally in this quest. The rest will come more easily. I will have at least one good idea that still need know. The conversation was interrupted by the arrival of a man with the muck that Gytha had requested. She promised herself she would not forget what she and Margaret

had discussed. The conversation was important. Think also what I had learned about Thayer and what still needed to know. However, she was preparing to go to sleep when he found time to fulfill that promise. Lay down and still have a few minutes of solitude to Thayer go join her. Intended to make good use of this time. Lying down, she crossed her arms under her neck. Examine first the obvious, what was sure. Thayer was strong, skilled warrior and winner. That was a plus point. Meant that she and her children would always be protected. The honor was also part of his character. He was honorable and fair. The money was not the only reason behind his struggles. And he was gentle. Vira this kind in the way he dealt with people, how to treat her. God gave Thayer a strong body and big, but he never abused this apparent physical power. The sudden arrival of her husband interrupted her reflection. But she did not resent, because I felt I was making progress, building an understanding of their own feelings. Resume contemplation elsewhere, because now I just wanted to be with Thayer. He undressed and began to wash. - It seems that fulfilled his promise to go slower with the job - he commented. - Yes, I complied. - And good to hear. - I was very obedient. - And it's very tricky, too. - He smiled. - And you? Worked hard? More favorable a gift: a sense of humor. He also liked to tease her with pranks and jokes mocking. Gytha enjoyed such characteristics. - Worked hard - he said. - Actually, I worked enough to plan our next move. Soon we will be able to travel to the land you inherited our marriage. - I heard that the border area can be dangerous and problematic. - Yes, I heard the same thing. - It blew out all the candles except that burned beside the bed. - Do you think this is true? Thayer lay down and picked her up.

- Not always these stories are true. I'm not sure what to expect, and I will not know until we get there. I need to go see the place. Maybe you should stay here while I get the recognition. - I'd rather go with you. - Will discuss with your husband, then? - Well .. not exactly. - Not exactly? What name would you give this attitude then? - Talk about it? - Save your rhetoric, short - he said, laughing. - Also would like to have your company. Prefer to ensure your safety personally ensure your comfort and always know what is good. - My father never mentioned all these problems Riverfall. Maybe they do not exist. -Hum ... Maybe. Gytha knew her husband's attention was no longer in the conversation. The way he stroked her back was proof of that. She smiled and hugged him. Bodies naked met. - Tired of talking, Thayer? - She murmured as she kissed him on the ear. - Yes It's good to know that you noticed. - A good wife should know when to shut up. - We'll talk later. Now, my interest is focused on other issues. - I've noticed. Can you tell me what are these issues? Thayer lay on it. - I'd rather show my little. A mocking laugh was smothered by a kiss. As always, Gytha let himself be dominated by passion. Only later, sated and happy in the arms of her husband, she wondered why it was still trying to understand how he felt. Whatever the meaning of his feelings, he knew they were positive and did not need to worry with them. She looked at the man lying beside her. I wonder what was in the mind and in his heart. Thayer gave no clues or indications. I knew that would never have complete certainty of his judgment is based only on the actions.

Still carried engraved in mind the image of the face of Thayer at the time that he had been informed that they would marry. This was largely the reason for the seizurethat tormented her, the doubts that at times dominated his mind. It would have been better if I had not seen that look. Something in her marriage to annoyed Thayer, despite the passion he showed, despite how he treated her. Somehow, it would solve the problem. He only hoped that the discovery was not painful other and that the problem was not very difficult to solve. - Riverfall is over the next hill. Gytha sighed relieved to hear the announcement of Thayer. I was more than ready to complete the journey. If the carriage closed the heat was unbearable, and to keep it open had to face the dust. They opted for the dust, and now she had the feeling to be carrying the clothes all the earth road. Looking in the direction indicated, she could barely see the hill mentioned by Thayer. She looked at her husband, who was riding on the outside of the vehicle. - The hill is too far? - Asked. - A day's ride. We camp right there in front. There is a small clearing and water for the horses. She saw him move away from the carriage and regretted having nothing to throw against his broad back. The announcement had suggested that the purpose of the trip was not next. Another day? Expected to have enough water for a bath at least. When they stopped, the night was already falling on the landscape. Gytha spoke as little as possible into the tent to be set up and ready. Then, with the help of Bek, she managed to take a shower. Free of dust and sweat, she felt much better. It was no surprise to her when, so withdrew the tub, Margaret went to take his place. Dressed, with her hair tied with a ribbon, she went out to look for her husband. He was sitting by a campfire in company with Roger, Merlion, and Revises Torr. Thayer watched intrigued as she sat beside him. Noticed as the wife humor was gone every kilometer of land traversed. Any person would have resented, knew it. But the silence of Gytha could be a consequence of other annoyances. Perhaps she had grown tired of his presence. The novelty of marriage is already exhausted. Maybe he did not find anything that captivate your interest, now that the initial curiosity was satiated. Trying to rid of the apprehension he considered a dangerous weakness, he told himself that he had more to occupy. I could not waste time with humor unstable

a woman. - I never thought there was so much dust in England - Gytha said. - And I think every grain of it just stuck to me. - The region is dry - Thayer said. - Until men less inclined to cleaning habits felt the need to take a shower. - True - Roger confirmed. - All passed the river. - Yes, we are very strong! No need to heat the water in our bathroom - Thayer added laughing. - Well, some would say it's crazy to jump into cold water when there is a way to warm it before, but I would never say such a thing to my husband - she replied, taking a sip of wine that was shared by all. And he laughed. - No of course not. - Thayer also laughed and touched the damp hair from his wife. - It would not be appropriate. - No. Not even having heard the cries of men strong and brave the icy stream. - Tomorrow, at the same time, we will be Riverfall - Thayer promised. - The preceding we got to see the place? - Only one of them succeeded. He said that the construction is solid and looks good. Built to serve defense and shelter. - And good to know, but it was not that kind of knowledge I sought. - I know not, but it was just what he said. Should not be approached for more than that. Oh? He did not inform anyone about our arrival? - No. I sent another man to take care of it. He'll be there to take care of the preparations. - I regret not having asked my father about this place. - Can not be worse than Saitun Manor. - Please, I hope not! A lively discussion followed, but Thayer was lost in thought. From the first night of trip, had little more than sleep beside Gytha. Tired, she was asleep when he could go join her in bed. The bath was refreshing. The news that the journey came to an end also served to revive her. Needed to get her into the tent before he lost again to exhaustion. He has stood up and held his arm Gytha, willing to take it away, when a cry of alarm rang through the trees closest to the clearing. Thayer

drove his wife to a safe haven, when one of the guards left for him in the forest arose in the camp. The man staggered. Bloodied and weak, man barely new issue alert before the attack began. Gytha was stunned. Understand what happened, but hesitated to seek the protection of the tent. Wanted to help, to act in the fight against the attackers, but could not think of anything he could do. Thayer looked at her. While shouting orders to his subordinates, he also managed to command it. Pointing the finger at the tent, made clear the silent command. Gytha obeyed and ran for shelter. As she passed through the opening, the tent was surrounded by pages and gunmen. This time Thayer would not run risks. Do not leave room for one of the attackers approach without being seen. Armed men guarded the entrance. - What is happening? - Edna cried clinging to Gytha. Approaching the press, Margaret whispered: - It is another attack? Gytha felt comfortable in the presence of the two, despite the fear. - Yes Other. - There was a warning, and the men were surprised? - Margaret asked. - It was not a surprise. Not quite. I saw men coming from the woods and saw the men of Thayer running to meet them. - Thieves? We came to camp in a den of thieves? - I think not, Edna. Are large and well armed. - Robert and uncle again? - Margaret was still beside the press. - Maybe. I dare not say. After all, we are in an area of conflict. They remained silent, attentive to the sounds of battle outside the tent. Gytha feared for Thayer. It was strange that nothing made sense in the first fight when he defended his life. Was it some kind of premonition? She banished from the mind the scary thought. If not bothered at first, it was because had full knowledge of the cost of a battle, because we have not had deep feelings for her husband. Wanted to convince and prayed for him and end of the battle. Thayer struggled and cursed with the same ardor. He knew that if he failed, Gytha suffer the consequences at the hands of the attackers.

That's when the invaders began to withdraw and the battle lost power, which Thayer found himself in greater danger. By removing the sword from the body of a fallen man, he turned on his heel and was faced with two major opponents. They did not seem affected by the fighting. For his part, he felt tired and worn and near exhaustion. - Look around, dogs. Your pack is starting to stick his tail between his legs. Better join the others. - He also wielded the dagger, increasing its lethal power. - In this case, we will have to send you to hell sooner than planned - one of the attackers shouted, lunging Thayer. He easily dodged the blow, but avoid the second opponent was not so easy, especially because he attacked at the same time. Little skilled, they joined forces to try to overcome it. Roger, who normally protected his rear, was removed from the scene. Would have to count on luck to escape unharmed. Not could be careless of his own back. Needed to keep the two in your field of vision. Concentration was the key word. The smile on the lips of enemies via confirmed their suspicions, they were aware of its many disadvantages. For a while, he kept them away without too many problems. While testing its legendary strength and reputation of invincible fighter, they also studied their way of fighting. Logo decide which was the best form of attack. Needed reach them before the duo came to that consensus dangerous. It was their only chance to overcome them. He attacked one of the enemy and turned quickly, finding the other unprepared and open for blow. His sword pierced the body of the opponent. The victim fell, he removed the blade from the inert body and prepared to pursuein fierce fighting. The opponent acted quickly. Thayer was also fast enough to prevent the attack was fatal, but not enough to prevent deep cut on his arm. Staggering, he tried to prepare for another attack, but the strength was fading from the injured arm, just one who wielded the sword. Fought against the feeling of inevitability. I knew that accepting defeat was the surest way to promote it. A cold smile danced on the face of the enemy. Thayer knew his weakness had been noticed. Gritting his teeth against the pain, he raised his arm to defend himself of a new coup. The impact was pure agony. It was hard to fight the darkness of unconsciousness. In an attempt he knew to be almost useless and pathetic, he raised the sword to try to contain a further blow.

The sword enemy did not come into contact with it, because it was intercepted by a third blade. Recognizing Roger and see the murderous rage in their eyes, Thayer gave in to weakness. Cursing weakly fell to his knees and saw his friend to end the life of one who dared threaten him. The battle was over. The attackers retreated, running like scared rabbits in an attempt to save his life. Roger stooped beside Thayer and forced a smile, but his eyes showed concern. - Is that bad? - No. The bleeding is heavy enough to leave me helpless. We won? - And it seems. But still I can not say how much that cost us victory. - I hope that was not too high a price. - No. It may seem terrible at first, but it was nothing serious. Roger helped him get up. Together, they saw Gytha, Margaret and Edna cautious leave the tent. Attracted by the silence that followed the din of battle, Gytha looked around. Again, a warning sounded in time to save them from the worst, but it was easy to see that this attack had cost the group more than the previous. She did not waste time thinking about it. His main concern was to find a husband. When we finally saw him, gasped. Thayer was covered in blood and remained standing with the help of Roger. She ran to her husband followed by Margaret and Edna. Desperately clung to the bloody tunic. - You're hurt! - I knew stated the obvious, but I was terrified. - It's just a scratch. - A scratch? It's covered in blood! - It's not just mine. And we won the battle. Ended. Calm down. - Soothe Me? There is bleeding like a pig and wants me to take it easy? Roger, Merlion, take him to the tent. Water. I need some water. And bandages - she concluded, running ahead to prepare the tent. Margaret Edna's arm, preventing her from following Gytha, and looked at the three men. - If your injury is not very serious, my lord, Edna and maybe I can help others injured. - Yes, they can go - Thayer said. - Merlion, Roger can take me to the tent. Lightweight women to where the wounded. While the others walked away, whispered to Roger Thayer:

- What happens to Gytha? She remained calm in the last battle, when it was almost kidnapped. - This time her husband was not injured. - They may have been many battles soon. She may fear living surrounded them. Roger sighed annoyed. - Of course. She may not have been nervous just because you found it soaked with blood. - The injury is not as serious. Gytha felt calmer, but the peace only lasted until Roger Thayer and enter the tent. Again see her husband pale and bloody rekindled his dread. Trembling, she spread a blanket on the bed before Thayer lie in it. Roger helped her undress him, leaving him with only his pants. She cleaned the wound Merlion when entered. It was hard to contain the urge to have everyone come out of there. Taking a deep breath, concentrated on the wound and tried not to faint at the sight frightening gash. While working, he heard the conversation between the three men. - Women were caring for the wounded? - Merlion Thayer asked, trying to ignore the pain. - Yes Maybe even save those who judged sentenced to death. The man who sounded the alarm and saved us all. I hope he does not pay with his life for the act of courage. Any prisoner? - No. And do not worry about it. The dead revealed everything we needed to know. - But how? - I fought one last attack. - Are you sure? - No one forgets a face as ugly as that. - So - Roger murmured - Robert and uncle did not listen to our warning. - Apparently not. That first attack was not only a reaction to anger - Thayer said. - No. - Roger sighed, knowing that the battle against relatives bother Thayer. - This is war. Uncle Robert and intend to go to the end of it. The news only increased the uneasiness of Gytha. He knew he was losing the battle against fear and all the other emotions that afflicted. She covered the wound with a bandage and continued listening to the conversation, taking notice of the plans of men to hold Robert and uncle. What listened only increased her distress. Was

a relief to see Roger and Merlion leave. When finished, was washing his hands and stared at them positioned over the bowl with water. See her husband's blood ended what little control he still left. She dipped her hands in the basin and rubbed with despair as she cried. Knew he could not contain himself, but struggled to keep silent weeping. Thayer did not want to condemn weak and useless, unable to even care for their injuries. - Gytha - Thayer called worried, wondering how vigorously rubbed her hands. The answer was silence. Intrigued, he saw dry hands and save everything that was used to make the dressing. His movements were not habitual grace. It was evident that she was crying, and would not make so many noises muffled. The wife's behavior puzzled him. She seemed very upset because of his injury. - Gytha. She turned and was terrified. Thayer was almost standing. Forgetting the intention to hide the tears, she ran to catch him. - What are you doing? Thayer touched her face and ignored the pain in the wound. - Was crying. No. .. Crying. - I'm not. Lie. Forgot who is wounded? He left seat back in bed, but kept his gaze on his face marked by tears. - Looks I be more concerned with that scratch. - Scratch? Calls it scratch? A scratch does not need to be sewn. Nor soak a coat of blood. And not just on the strength of a man to the point he need help to get to your bed. - I was just a little weak. - He suppressed a smile. - And at that time could have torn the head from the neck. - The idea made her shiver with fright. - Gytha, delete the candles. All but the nearest bed. - What? - Blow out the candles. That's right - he encouraged to see that your order was heeded. Now, undress and come to bed beside me. She obeyed the command without hiding his irritation, moving with great caution when approaching him. When the healthy arm wrapped, she almost threw against Thayer. Grabbing it with despair, sought comfort in its warmth, the strength of your body, in your heart beats strong. And she promised herself she would learn

to handle in the future. - Have you seen my scars and know that I can take one or another blow from time to time - he muttered. - Yes I know. - But never thought of blood, pain or danger that produced each of those scars. - I know I lost a lot of blood and I was a little weak, but the injury is not serious. - I know that too. - And knew the points were needed just to reduce the extension of the brand. He kissed her on the forehead. - So, can allay their fears. - No. My tears and that attitude foolish weak woman ... yes. But not my fears. Robert and that worm he calls Uncle want to end his life. As Roger said, this is war. They will try again. - I'm ready. Suffer an attack, but now I understand it was more than that. It was an assassination attempt. - His assassination. - Yes They Roger away from his post behind me, leaving me facing two enemies and without any help. This can not happen again. In the next Instead, we will be prepared for this type of plan. Survived battles with men stronger and more skilled. - I know. Forgive my weakness. I will never disappoint you. - He felt embarrassed. - You did not disappoint me. Even shaken, took care of my injury and remained steadfast in time of need. I need to work to protect it such of violence in the future. - There was violence. There was a battle. - Well, I remember that remained firmer in that first attack. Thayer felt a glimmer of hope warming his chest. If there had been a battle, should have been the wound. And if she had shaken so much about it, should feel something more serious and deep for him. - Yes, it's true. It's very strange. I was not afraid or worried about the possibility of you being injured on that occasion. This time I did not have much confidence. By the time the attack occurred, feared for his life. Sought reasons for this change. I do not want this capability ... well, to predict what will happen. I clung

the silly reasons, baseless. And I think seeing realized a fear that I would rather be able to ignore only fueled my foolishness. - These feelings are not as rare as you can imagine. Men who find themselves on the verge of a battle often feel their destiny or those closer. - I hope not to be cursed with this gift. It is terrible you have to fight. - A man ... - I know. I know that the world is like. I know it's necessary. In fact, I learned to deal with it for a long time, because my father and my brothers always set out to the battlefield. But what will feel your fate all times? No, I hope not to have to suffer this fate. - Maybe he felt that the attack was perpetrated by Robert, his desire to kill me - he muttered. - I do not think Robert really wants to kill you. His uncle ... - The two are one. - Yes Maybe you're right. When the attack occurred, had to recognize this feeling I had tried to ignore. Oh, Thayer, do not want to be a widow! - Nor do I intend to make you a widow. She laughed. It was the perfect time to express what was transpiring in his heart, but hesitated. Knowledge was still very new, scary. The assurance came to see her husband weak and bloodied. Wanted to savor for a moment it was like to be deeply in love with Thayer. And also wanted to keep that feeling pure, unblemished, free from a possible lack of response or an unsatisfactory response from the husband. She sighed as she felt his hand sliding down her back. - Your wound ... - I'm not crippled. - On the contrary. He felt alive and healthy, a man full of life and vigor. Gytha corresponded to the feeling, judging by his muffled moans. - You should rest. - The battle warmed my blood, sweet Gytha, and you effervesced. - Are you sure you still left enough blood to be fervilhado? He pressed against the body, pressing it against the evidence of his desire. - More than enough. And you? Too tired to test my claim? She smiled.

- I think you can convince me to seek to engage. Thayer kissed her. He continued the kiss and made it deeper and sensual, arousing your senses. It was delicious realize Gytha respond with ferocity growing. I felt her rubbing her body against him destroyed what little control he still had on his own impulses. He knew that she was prepared to receive it. - Delivered to your husband, my sweet Gytha. Blushing, she rode him and surrendered to desire. - I do not know if I understand what you expect of me. - I want you to lead me in this dance. Move on me, baby. She accepted the request. Passion gained strength and became wild. Gytha was careful, because he was afraid to hurt him even more. The hoarse groan Thayer indicated that the prevailing feeling was of pleasure, not pain. The union between the bodies was even more perfect than before. She moved. The sensations stole her breath and gave more speed movements. Hands of her husband on her hip impelled to the proceeding. Thayer kept his eyes open because he wanted to accompany the dance of expressions on the face of Gytha. See it fed his pleasure. I felt a joy that no word could describe. He raised his hands to hold her breasts tempting, and the contact made further accelerate the pace. He knew that soon come to a climax. He pulled her into a fierce kiss. The way she reproduced with the tongue body movements drove him to madness. The cry of pleasure exploded in her mouth and she followed the explosion sensual and uncontrollable. Several minutes passed before Thayer gather the strength to move or do anything but breathe and hold it against his chest. Gytha fell asleep at his side, nestling in his chest. Satisfaction could be heard on deep breathing, could be felt in the body warm and relaxed. As always, watching her 0 amazed and fascinated. She could not stop thinking about how such a gentle beauty found pleasure with a man like him. He was ashamed to admission, but knew there was a reason for the need to observe it while making love. Needed to make sure that it was all an act, that pleasure she seemed to feel in his arms was genuine. - How's the wound? - Gytha asked sleepily, without opening his eyes. - No pain - he lied. The discomfort was a small price to pay for what he had to live.

She laughed and shook her head. She knew that her husband was not telling the truth, but chose not to contradict him. If there had been any pain, should not have been very intense, because there was no weakness in the strong embrace or agony in his voice. Giving in to desire certainly not caused great harm to the husband. CHAPTER IV ? Ah, I see you're still strong and healthy, Janet - Gytha caused to greet the woman next to the laundry shed. - And soon, my lady. Can I still get a chill. Gytha rolled her eyes in a gesture of exasperation, but also laughed. Riverfall was a pleasant surprise. It took a little work to make the place habitable, although there were all simple. The simplicity did not bother her. It would be nice to give his own touches the house. However, the workers and the people who lived around Riverfall needed notions of good personal hygiene. She ignored the howls had put aside fears of contracting a fatal chill because of a bath, and insisted that all follow the same rules of hygiene that she had adopted. Many of the complaints and concerns had disappeared with the passage of time, and no one died because he lost the thick layer of dirt on the skin. Some, like Janet, felt comfortable play and make jokes. Gytha not expect to find great resistance when, within a few days, announce the rule of the daily bath and thorough cleaning of home once a week. - Well, try again in two days - she teased Janet as she inspected the cleaning result. - I see that the young Bek has jumped in bed with the dirty feet of clay. The sheets reveal the antics. Laughing as he rubbed the water filthy, Janet agreed: - Yes, he is a boy full of life and energy. - I'll talk to him personally about the sheets. Bek need to learn how to save the labor of others whenever possible. If the conversation is not enough, I will him wash his own sheets. I guarantee that this will be an unforgettable lesson. - Gytha smiled at the laughter hoarse Janet then went on his rounds. In the short time I was in Riverfall, found a few things that needed to be corrected. People were careless with personal hygiene, but there was more faults that could criticize. All worked with commitment and competence. Perhaps this contributed to the deep sense of adequacy experienced

that land. If you could choose his residence certainly would opt for Riverfall, but did not know if it would be convenient to Thayer. After all, Saitun Manor was owned by his family. Realizing the presence of Bek, she walked over to where the child was. Standing next to his father, he watched the training of men with their swords. The presence Thayer beside the boy made her hesitate. Bek was his son ... not hers. Shaking her head, she went on. They were a family. To get it right, needed to treat Bek would treat their own children. She just hoped that her husband understood and agreed, because otherwise the situation could become painfully complicated. Thayer smiled when he saw her approaching. - Skilled fighters found here. His father managed the property well. - He sent forth men who seemed more ... well, bored with relative peace where we lived. - And made a good choice. Here they have to occupy, but not as much as they did imagine the rumors we hear. - This is a great consolation - she replied smiling at her husband. - Do you need anything? - Thayer asked to notice his serious expression. - Actually, I came to talk to Bek. - She looked at the boy, who smiled quizzically. - Want me to help anything? - He asked. - In a way, yes. I noticed that forgets to wipe his feet before climbing into her bed. Frankly, your sheets give the impression that you jumped in bed with dirty feet of clay. Bek frowned and shrugged. - The sheet is washed. Women take care of it. - Yes, there is the problem. You let them so dirty that women take more time washing their sheets than watching the rest of the outfit. - Their work is this. Clean soiled things. - I know, but that does not mean we should be relaxed to make the job more difficult. I want you to wipe your feet before going to bed, and I also we think a little more on the people who have to clean you dirty. - She noticed the boy's prolonged silence. - We understood, Bek? - Yes - He turned away. Gytha looked at Thayer. - Do not want him to be angry.

Laughing, Thayer put an arm over her shoulders and kissed her forehead. - I'm afraid he has the temperament of the father. As it is still very young, has not learned to master it. Gytha smiled, then looked for a moment as he thought. - Believes that had to censor him? - Yes, he needs to learn to think of others. And even if they did not agree with you, I would never say such a thing in front of the boy. More on this later, okay? What I think is that Bek must learn to respect it and respect me. Gytha hugged him tightly. - Thanks, Thayer. - You're welcome, although I do not know what I did. Still laughing, she went back into the castle. Thayer accepted his authority over the child. He doubted that he could understand what it really meant to her. Now, just needed to think about how Bek would accept such authority. With the passing of the day and continued scowl on the boy's face, she guessed that would face a battle. This suspicion was confirmed the next morning, to his great disappointment. On leaving the hall where hopefully breakfast, she saw Janet down the stairs carrying multiple sheets. Even rolled as they were, could see dark marks on them. - Bek returned to step on sheets with dirty feet? - Yes, milady. - By God - Gytha moaned after examining them. - It will not wash these sheets, Janet. Prepare the tub, but wait for me in the shed. I'll get Bek. How did that would have to be washed again? - The boy called me and ordered the exchange and washing your bed sheets. - What arrogance! Gytha dismissed the maid and sighed. At least the boy faced openly, instead of plotting behind his back. When she turned to go find the boy, she found herself face to face with Thayer. He watched the door of the hall. - Problems? - Asked. - A little. Do you know where Bek? Taking her hand on his back, pulled his son Thayer forward.

- He was hiding in the corridor. Now I understand why you tried so hard not to be seen. With hands on hips, she looked at the boy with the most severe air he could compose. - What did you do? Stepped in as gunk that was found and then tap dance on top of your bed? Would not surprise me to find out who took the clay in buckets to dirty feet several times between dance and other. I do not know how he managed to sleep that filth. The guilty look indicated that he had not slept in bed. She almost laughed. This would be a serious mistake, you know, so he tried to contain his laughter and maintain the expression severe. - As if that were not enough, he ordered that the poor were Janet remove the sheets to wash them. - That's her job - Bek shot. - Yes, but not because a boy decided to misbehave. I think you need to be aware of how painful this is work that requires the other with such ease. - What? - Bek cried when she grabbed his ear. - Go wash the soiled sheet that, mister. - No! This work is women! It is the obligation of Janet, not mine. And her duty. Santa! - I think the solution is fair - Thayer replied calm. - Justa? I'll be a knight, a warrior. - Yes, a knight - Gytha confirmed. - And the riders follow rules. They are considerate of those that ensure your comfort, those who rely on their protection. And now you will learn what is consideration. Gytha held the ear Bek, forcing him to march to the laundry shed. Earlier, Janet and the other women hesitated. After all, the boy was the son the master of the estate. But soon they heeded the determination lady. Bek was stubborn. Almost an hour later, Gytha felt he could finally leave him the care of other women. Even frowning as he was, he seemed resigned with own destiny. She finished oversee all the household chores, then went to bed. Lying on her back, closed his eyes and felt a strong compassion by parents. Discipline a stubborn child was not easy. An old woman found it difficult to impose his will on a boy! Thoughtful, felt that there alone anymore. When he opened his eyes, saw Thayer sitting on the bed beside her. - He's stubborn ... - Murmured the father embarrassed.

- Yes - And moody. - Oh, yes, certainly. Thayer laughed tone emphatic response. - Bek created difficulties? - Some, but devoted himself to the task. I hope he understands that the work is hard and feel a little pity for those who bear created by washing the clothes. - Yes This is a lesson he needs to learn. He had no who teach. Not with the life that led up to now. - I know. So I limited myself to blame him so so bland at first. But he needs to learn. And you have to learn from scratch. - Yes, and you need some time away from it all. - He stood up and pulled her by the hand, indicating I should follow him. - I need, is not it? - Yes, you do. Has worked hard since we got here. First nursed me to close the wound, then devoted himself to the supervision of the household chores. And now still have to measure forces with a stubborn boy. Yes, need to step away for a while. - He took her out of the room. - And where can I flee? - For a very quiet nook I found riding on the property. She asked no more questions, because I approached the barn. Thayer had sent ensile just a horse. He settled in front of the body and together left the protected area of the property. Thayer refused the offer escort. Gytha kept his eyes on the ground before her. Tired of the journey, she just noticed when they arrived, and had not yet had the opportunity to explore the area beyond the walls. The place where they stopped momentarily left speechless by the beauty. Irrigated by the same stream that cut Riverfall, the area was green and lush. There were flowers in abundance. The water ran down the bedrock surrounding singing a song. Gytha approached the stream and dipped his fingers in the cool water. - It's as cold as it sounds - she murmured, wiping her hand on her skirt. Sitting with his back against a tree trunk, Thayer nodded: - She gets a little sunshine.

- A pity. Looks inviting. - She went to sit beside her husband and laughed when he picked her. - It's so quiet here ... When he found this paradise? - When he went through the boundaries of the property. - The land is good? - Part of it, yes. Will not make us rich enough to never tell our terms of currencies, but also will not impoverish us. - It's good enough, then. - Yes - Thayer kissed her lingeringly. When the kiss ended, he said: - I speak with Bek, if you want. - No. I think it will be best if I handle it alone. - Yes, I think so too, but wanted to make the offer. I think things have changed too quickly for the boy. He loses control over his temper more often than before. Gytha held his hands. - It will be quiet. Should be afraid of you leave it aside. Soon realize that his place is assured. I suspect that he also is not used following orders from a woman. - It is true. He has lived in a world of men ... - Thayer frowned upon realizing that the horse suddenly stirred. Feeling the sudden tension in her husband, Gytha asked: - Is there a problem? - I do not know. - Putting it on the floor beside him, he touched the sword. - Something disturbed the horse. Gytha was lifting cautious when an arrow pierced the air. She screamed in terror to see that the sharp edge found the tree trunk and arrested the arm of her husband. When started to help him, Thayer used his free hand to stop her. Swearing vigorously, he used the knife to cut the fabric the sleeve of his coat and liberate themselves. The arrow did not caused any injury. But it was a dangerously easy target. He still finished break free when another arrow whizzed into the air and buried itself in the trunk of the tree, shaking her hair. Free, Thayer held the hand of Gytha and ran to the mount. He stopped furious to see that the animal was hit by an arrow. Turning quickly, ran into the woods, seeking the protection of trees and shadows.

Identifying a good hiding, Gytha did bend down and knelt beside her. The enemy would have to hunt him down, exposing themselves in this quest. This was a small advantage which he intended to benefit greatly. Making sure that Gytha was well controlled and, although a little out of breath, he studied the area around them. Gytha tried to keep quiet as he breathed deeply, trying to recover a minimum of tranquility. Thayer was not injured. Her husband was a lucky man. More than any other she had ever met. Expect this trend were to continue. Knew they needed a cart overflowing lucky to be able to escape unharmed. She heard someone approach and felt that Thayer tensed, eyes searching for the source of the sound. The brief touch of the index finger on his lips was neither necessary because I knew I had to be quiet. He knew the value of silence in situations like this. Moving the minimum necessary, looked in the same direction in which Thayer looked and saw three men walking toward cautious in what they were. Knew who had been sent to kill Robert Thayer. - I think this is not very smart - one of them muttered. - It can be hidden in a multitude of holes in the middle of so many trees. - Quiet, cowardly dog. He is only a man, and still have to protect the woman. We'll separate here - decided the highest of the three. He looked at the most hesitant. - You go ahead. I'm on the right. Let's get this bird. - I think ... - Nothing. You're not paid to think. Find him and also find that damn woman. - The leader followed by the right. A cold smile appeared on the face of Thayer and Gytha shuddered to see him. Here was the man who won the nickname Red Devil. Surrounded by protective and safety in other confrontations, never seen him actually in these circumstances. Knew would soon see the death, and needed harden his heart. These men planned Thayer kill. Mercy would be a fatal mistake. While acknowledging that this was a necessary attitude, Gytha was shocked by what he saw. He was fast and agile. Considering its size, the movement was even more surprising. Thayer waited until the man was before them. Then attacked. With an impressive jump, covered her mouth with one of the attacker hands and pulled him back. The unknown even raised his arms to try to get away when he had his heart pierced by the blade of the dagger. Gytha echoed spasm choked that sprouted body falling.

Thayer did not really expect her to react to what had just seen. He dropped the body and caught her with one arm. Trying to breathe some normalcy while took her to another hiding place, he prevented her from protesting or asking questions. Gytha stifled a cry of terror, remembering fighting for survival. Thayer tossed between tall bushes and bent down beside her. Someone approached. He jumped up to intercept another striker. Gytha looked away. I'd rather not see when her husband put an end to this threat more. Resigned and numb, she felt drag again, as if was a luggage any, to be deposited in a new hiding place. To his despair, the last enemy did not die as quickly or as quietly. Thayer needed answers, so faced with sword drawn and pointed at his chest. He got all the information I needed before end the life of man. The man revealed that there were only three attackers, so they knew that they were now safe. So it was no surprise that she felt drawn by hand, this time out of the woods. Thayer laid it on the soft grass surrounded by bushes which provided some shade and protection. Gytha saw him use the bar the tunic to wipe the sword and then cut it, throwing it to the side. Recovered all that just to see and feel, she prepared to make some claims, when her husband faced. The words died in her throat to see his expression. The desire darkening his eyes, and hardened his features. She felt an immediate response. Deciding to leave complaints later opened arms and laughed to see him practically soak them. The sex was fast, wild, troubled. Gytha felt taken by the ferocity of the encounter. Only when the arms were already filled each other, it have realized that if left lying in the grass like a peasant any. Neither had undressed. Had their skirts lifted to her waist, and Thayer was still with pants attached to the ankles. When the husband revealed himself embarrassment rising to pry his pants, she laughed. Relieved, he saw her get dressed without hurry. - Did I hurt you? - No, although I find some bruising at strategic points. He hugged and kissed. - Having her around when he was the hot blood of battle was an irresistible temptation.

Remembering what had warmed her blood, she was suddenly serious. - Think we sin because we have delivered with passion after ... after all? - No, they wanted to kill us, Gytha. - I know. I know it had to act as he did. Be merciful would have been his end. Still, feel this desire so intense when there are three dead men ... Do not feel you have done something wrong, but it seems so insensitive! Relieved that she was not sorry to have meaning and pleasure in their company, Thayer tried to explain feelings that were very familiar to him. - Maybe. I always thought something very similar. Lust does not dominate me in the middle of the battle. I'm not cruel enough to ignite me for spilling the blood of a man. - While he finds himself surrounded by death and dead, still lives. - Yes - He looked demonstrating appreciation for His perception. - This is when the need arises. I look around and know that I survived to see another day ... - He shrugged, unable to clearly describe how he felt. - Then, looking more concrete evidence of their well-being - she deduced. - It's a celebration? - Maybe. You did not fight this battle, but was caught up in it. Maybe it happened the same with you. - Could be. I think that all of this had much to do with how you held me. - Really? - You should not let the admission of Gytha go to his head. - Yes, Really. Whoever burning ... I felt as if the fire sprang from his body and burned my. - I'll try to remember that. - Oh, then I must be more careful? - No, to be able to figure out exactly what sparked this, then practice enough. - It can be difficult ... - She murmured, smiling. Thayer laughed, but the laughter stopped suddenly and looked around, listening carefully. - Riders. - God forbid! More hired killers? - She cowered in the bushes. Collecting quickly tunic and sword, Thayer bent in front of her, looking in the direction where the sound came. - If Robert had more men here, they would have attacked. The chance to kill me would be much higher. Anyway, it is better to act with caution.

There are others with whom we care. Gytha had the impression that hours passed before the riders emerge. She almost fainted with relief when recognizing Roger in front of the small group. The fear he had felt was so intense, it took a while to get up and greet the men, as did Thayer. - She said she wanted to be alone? - He shot, though she smiled. - Yes, I remember something along those lines - Roger replied. - But something caught my attention and made us think that he could enjoy some company, anyway. - What was that? - Thayer asked wrapping an arm around his wife. - Merlion city returned telling an interesting story. Strangers were seen there in recent days. - How many? - Six, according to what they told us. - Well, now there are three, then. Roger looked at him with eyes full of curiosity. - Are you saying that we no longer have to worry about the other three? - If you do not want to leave them delivered to the nature, the bodies are in the woods Thayer said. - That just bothers me. Where is your horse? - Dead. We need a mount. You saved us a long walk. Logo Gytha and her husband stopped in front of the castle in Riverfall, where a king's messenger was waiting for them. Gytha was curious about the message, but feared it was a simple call. As it was up to her role as wife, she retired and left Thayer deal with the man in complete privacy. It was clear that this was a matter of men. Containing the momentum back to the salon and require information that, ultimately, concerned her life, she climbed the stairs to go up and rebuild the wash room. Later would know everything, had no doubt about that. After the bath, using a clean dress and displaying her bright hair and still damp, Gytha surprised to knock on the door of his room. Not expected have to solve domestic problems right now, because I needed peace and quiet to reflect on the events of that afternoon. It was with great surprise that saw Bek

open the door to receive permission to enter. - I finished washing the sheets - he said. - Hard work, no? - Gytha asked as she brushed her hair. When he reached adulthood, Bek leave many hearts with those green eyes and deep. - Very. She left the brush on the dressing table and stared at the boy. - And yet, Janet did repeat it for two consecutive days. - Yes - He looked down. - That was not correct. - Realize your mistake is the first step to become the best knight in England. - She smiled at the boy, then turned serious again. - Things are no longer as before, in the times of my father. Back then it was appropriate to treat the servants and the people in general, but now, after the plague, that care has become even more important. We are fortunate to count on arms necessary Riverfall here to do all the work - she said seriously. - You understand what I mean? I do not want you to think I should just show consideration to keep working servants. - I know. I do so because that is the right attitude. Janet was cruel, and cruelty is always condemnable. But I was angry. - I realized. We all get angry from time to time, Bek. Have you seen your father get angry. - But he never commits cruelty. - Not that I have seen, and that's something that gave him a lot of respect. And you, Bek, just show me that has the same quality. - She held her smileto see that the boy's chest swelled with pride. - I'll be a knight so gallant as my father. - I have no doubt of that. And probably will be as big as him. - You could also envision this detail because Bek was already too high for his age. - You think so? - Well, it will be taller than me, is right. Thayer took another sip of beer, looking at the king's messenger with obvious annoyance. The king was in the West preparing to meet rebels and thieves. And requisitava his presence in court. Still owed the king forty days of service. It was clear that the debt was charged.

- We do not need to look so glum - Roger manifested. - I have my own problems to solve. This is a bad time to be called to resolve difficulties of our sovereign. - Maybe not. - What are you thinking? - Well, I doubt that Robert and Uncle dare to attack while you're in court. - But he can seize my absence to attack Gytha. Roger frowned. - Do not want to take it? Would not it be safer to keep her by his side? - Do you think it would be? Knows how to cut ... - Yes .. And Elizabeth will be there. - I'm thinking about it, but not me referring to it. I was thinking of all those well-dressed men jumping from bed to bed like peacocks exhibitionists. Roger shook his head. - And of course they will display on your bed. And Gytha will allow. As you like it, because it would be different? - Roger - Thayer tried to silence him, annoyed with the sarcastic tone. - Continued to tarnish her name without cause. Because mark my words, my friend. Gytha is not foolish. Soon she will deduct your thoughts, if they have not already made. When you realize how much you think badly of her as suspicious of his conduct, may do exactly what you expect and fear. Since condemns without cause, she can give you that reason. - Oh, I see. The fault is mine? I myself will put horns on my forehead? - Yes, Thayer, if you keep waiting for them, they will come. - Roger drank the last of his beer and rose from the table in the hall. Thayer also emptied his mug. What bothered him most was being able to detect the truth in the words of Roger. When you expect the worst, the worst happened. I knew that. Unfortunately, I also knew that many women like Gytha ended doing exactly what was expected of them. Turn happen. Was doomed. Courted disaster, was continually to anticipate a shameful betrayal was to have a wife as beautiful and attractive Gytha. Discouraged, he retired to his quarters. He could take his wife to court as him. Maybe he was making room for more problems, but needed to think

in her safety. When he entered the room, he found Gytha Bek and laughing. Seeing the happy wife, forming a bond with his son, he could almost believe that the idyll of the past could last months. Wanted to believe it, but part of it clung to the fear of betrayal, the mockery and humiliation he had known in the past. - The messenger brought bad news? - Inconvenient, but not exactly bad - he replied. - We have been called to court. - We went? You and I? - Yes, you and me. We leave in three days. - Margaret, how could you do this to me? Suffering the effects of an attack of sneezing, Margaret sat up in bed and saw Gytha walking across the room. - Think you suffer so option? - She took the mug of broth on the bedside table and sipped to alleviate pain in the neck. Gytha sighed and went to sit on the edge of the bed of the press. Poor Margaret seemed to be very bad, especially because of the red nose and eyes swollen and watery. The three women who shared the room with her had fled, fearful of contracting the disease. It was selfish to feel upset that the press could not accompany her to court. - I'm behaving like a fool insensitive. - No, Gytha, I understand. And I would love to go, but do not understand your grief with the trip. - That woman will be there! - Lady Elizabeth? Bek's mother? - Yes, she. - Are you sure? - From what little Thayer told me about it ... yes. The fact that Lady Elizabeth attend the court was the only reason he told me what little he revealed on it. - But Thayer also said it has nothing to do with this woman now. - Yes, but he said that it no longer love her. He avoids, and this is the answer to your question. To me, this indicates that such a woman can still have power over

my husband, or he does not feel the need to stay away from her. - Well .. if he still cares about the bitch deserves to be left in the throes of suffering. But I hope that their fears are unfounded. - Me too. - Gytha stood up and surprised to find Roger on the bedroom door. - Do you know where is my husband? - In charge of armor. So Margaret came to visit before going to talk to him about what I found and Merlion. She is best? - It's bad, but it will survive. - Shaking her head, she went out and left in the company Roger's poor Margaret. He needed to find her husband. He left the shed armor and smirked when he saw her. But even before the radiant smile, Gytha still felt fear. A visit to the court should be source of excitement and joy, but feared she would cost their happiness and marriage. Maybe I should confess her love for Thayer. , So he would have one more reason to continue avoiding Lady Elizabeth and stay beside her. However, if it does not correspond to the sentiment, the ratio would be composed only of guilt and obligation, and that was something he did not want. It was a proud woman. If it did not know how important it was in his life, also could not hurt to know How to leave to follow Elizabeth. - Everything is ready for the trip - he announced, putting an arm about her shoulders. We leave tomorrow in the daylight. They walked together back to the fortified castle. - How long the journey to the court of the king? - A few days. No more than that. It will not be as arduous a journey as we did the other. - How much time will pass there? Gytha stopped in the hall to instruct a servant. Wanted wine, bread and cheese in the lounge. - I fear we have at least forty days of bonds Thayer revealed as he sat at the table. - So much so? We are at war, then! - Well, there was an official statement. In fact, the king seeks rebels and thieves, because it is full of the constant attacks and veiled threats. To hunt these bandits must have time and intelligence, because they live hidden in their dark lairs. She nodded, then turned to serve the wine brought by the maid. Was preparing to resume the conversation on the court, and when Roger entered Merlion

the hall. She served and waited impatiently for the account of the search for Robert mercenaries. - We found the other three - Roger announced. - And? - Thayer encouraged him. - They faced us, but we got more information about the plans Pickney before we send the bastards to hell. - He wants you dead - Merlion revealed bluntly. - I already imagined - Thayer said. - We believe that Pickney is involved in the death of William. And from what we hear of the mercenaries, he planned his death for longer than we could imagine. - Also had considered this possibility. Now I remember some incidents that had the mark of an attack. There were simple accidents or consequences a fair fight. - Yes, I also remember some - Roger agreed. - So ... - Gytha barely speak. - Charles Pickney plans that Robert is the lord of Manor Saitun? He certainly planned this desperate action after Robert coming so close to get the inheritance and losing it. - We can not be sure - Thayer said. - And not matter, but now we know that he plans to kill me. Ponder crimes of the past is lost of time. - I suppose so. However, if he killed William ... - You will pay for it - Thayer announced firmly. - They found something about the intentions that have miserable with Gytha? - Had thought to take it hall, but decided that she'd better be aware of that expected, for it was the worst threat. - Oh, yes, it was very clear - Roger replied. - Gytha Pickney wants to marry Robert, that idiot weak and dominated. Thus, it would ensure the power about Saitun Manor and still have also the property where we are now. - And he expects the family Gytha accepted everything without manifest without reacting? - Pickney will Gytha hostage. She will be your protection. - Yes, it would. The Raouille would feel with their hands tied, because would fear damaging it with a hasty action. Am I right? - He looked at his wife. - Fully - she confirmed. - It would take some time until the desperation forced the action.

- Exactly. Come a time when they think have nothing to lose. - Thayer nodded. - Do not know how this guy hopes to escape with his life. Earlier, when acted subtly, perhaps ... But now he attacks me openly. And would take Gytha by brute force. There would be a warning. - I think he became a hostage of his own plans - Roger opined. - Now you'll have to go to the end, because there is no stopping it. Pickney has proven itself as his enemy. And you will always be alert, vigilant. - Yes, I know, but ... Are you sure he did not intend to kill Gytha too? - At least, not for now, but that does not mean she will not suffer. Pickney need her alive at first, but will not mind if I have to kill her. - Yes, I understand. Well .. must serve the king now. You're right, Roger, suggesting that Pickney will retreat while we're in court. We will use this time to surprise him with a plan. - How? - Gytha wondered. - Do not know yet, but I'll think of something. We'll be safe in the court, my dear, and that's what matters. Gytha let men and left the room, thinking of the words of her husband. I could not think of the court as a haven of safety. It was true that ever had been there but had heard rumors and conversations enough to suspect that the court could offer many dangers. Intrigue and treachery were commonin the corridors of the palace. And certainly, this would be the perfect place for Charles Pickney implement their plans and schemes. Thayer much she knew about the world in general. If Pickney believed would leave them alone while they were in court, would have to rely at his trial. Margaret also trusted Thayer and his men, judging by his reaction after hearing the report of the press. - Pickney suffers from the disease of greed. It is not a rare disease, so I hear. However, it is difficult to understand how the man expects to realize all these evils and escape unharmed. It should be a little unbalanced, too - Margaret concluded coughing. - I would be much more peaceful if he were dead ... God forgive me for that. - He will forgive. The man wants to kill her husband and wants to pay attention also on his life. And a relief to know that Thayer is a skilled fighter.

- Yes, he is very strong, brave and capable, but if the enemy keep attacking in large numbers, will eventually overcome it. I fear for the life of Thayer. - You love him. - Yes I really love. - So, just confusion. And I think until we know when it's over. When her husband was injured. - Yes, that's when I realized. Acted as if he had lost a leg. - She laughed. - Well, at least not fainted when tending the wound or drowned my husband in tears. - And what he said when he confessed his feelings? - I did not. - No? Why? - Preferred to keep secret for a while. I know it does not match the feeling, and I know that this lack of retribution will hurt me deeply. Prefer avoid this suffering. And you can not criticize me for it. - No, but I think we should be careful. Do not let that fear take root deep, or will end up keeping silent when it comes time to talk. - I know. Moreover, I consider Elizabeth. - What lady Elizabeth has to do with his decision to reveal his feelings Thayer? - Very. I thought I'd talk to him before we go to court, before he reunited this woman. - It would be a good decision. Give him strength, if necessary, to avoid this woman. - Yes, it would be on my side, even though she tries to lure him. But will he also feels the same for me, or something at least? And if even knowing my feelings, he is behind it? And prove my love to her? I could not bear this humiliation. - Ah, pride. - Yes, pride. Not the noblest of emotions, but we all have to some extent. Mine says I should wait. Talking to Thayer will not bring me anything positive. Not to mention spare me pain. The pain of knowing how much he can hurt me decide to go back to his old love. Do not reveal what I feel will at least preserve a minimum of dignity in the face of defeat. I pretend not to care, and he will never know of my agony. - Gytha not believe Thayer return to Lady Elizabeth, a woman who treated him so badly. Not when you have. He is not stupid.

- Men can always be fools when they relate to a woman, and we both know it. She's not just an old love, but mother of his child, too. This is a strong and undeniable link. I know you want to assuage my fears, but I consider sensible cling to some of them. So I will be alert to problems that may arise. - Yes, maybe you're right. Bek said something about his mother? He should know that Lady Elizabeth will be in court. - Oh, he knows, but says little about it, and I do not want to pressure him. Bek not seem to be bothered by it. And he does not seem happy agitated or anxious. Maybe I've learned to hide her emotions. If Lady Elizabeth tease or hurt in any way, I will have to interfere. If not, I prefer stay out of it. - Sensible as always - Margaret passed. - Six more men killed. - Robert looked with obvious nervousness for the uncle, frowning, shared the table with him. - That his campaign is costing us too expensive. - Nobody asked your opinion - Charles replied, looking around the cottage that used as a hideout. - Want to spend the rest of life? - We can fix things with my cousin. So, would return to Saitun Manor. - You do not reason? For months we tried to kill the man! You really think he'll just forget about it and get as relatives and friends? He will head start in the neck, that is. - Well, we can not reach you in court, and now has become more difficult to find men for the mission. We have increasingly less dead and money. We should not have started with that. We should not ... - Robert was silent when struck by a slap uncle. - Stop whining! We have not lost. Robert opened his mouth to argue, but gave up. Every failure, Uncle became more violent, and it was terrifying think that had tied their fate to that of a madman. Cursed the weakness that kept him connected to the mother's brother, forcing him to participate in plans that did not approve. Had always been jealous of William and Thayer, but never wanted any harm to them. Did not want the evil of Gytha, but began to suspect that his uncle had nefarious plans for her too. Hated to think that not so sure gave him the strength to fight it. - Thayer and his whore ... - Piekney said. - Gytha is not a whore.

The protest earned him another slap, but Robert kept the statement. - They will be busy in court. This can benefit us. We will have time to take Saitun Manor. - And how to keep the property? We need more men than we have now. - We have more men and Gytha. It will be our defense in case of attack. - If we can capture it. She is kept in complete safety. - I put that plan into action. It will not be easy, but if we go back a little, maybe relax his guard. We have time. If we Saitun Manor, we can even avoid Red Devil knows that the loss for some time. We can use his wife to take the place. - He will come behind her. - Of course it does. And I want you too. Let's draw him using women as bait and then kill him. - And I will marry Gytha? Robert watched the reactions of watchful uncle. - What? Ah, yes, of course. Marriage is necessary to ensure dominance over the land. Have a beautiful wife. For a time Robert heard the words that were not spoken. Could not understand what Uncle profit from the death of Gytha, but felt it was not his intention. The plan Pickney was like a net full of holes. Charles really thought that men Thayer would withdraw when he was killed? Believed Gytha's family would not react? Would be surrounded by powerful enemies! And his uncle did not seem to think about it. Robert filled the cup of wine and drank with despair. Drunkenness would not solve their problems, but would free the mind of the doubts, fears and confusion. For some time, find peace and not have to admit it was weak. Sitting on the bed, Gytha hugged her knees and watched Thayer prepare for sleep. The next morning would start for the court. She tried to convince herself that the journey does not mean the end of her marriage, but the fear persisted. Trying to let the fears aside, concentrated thoughts on the problems Robert and Uncle represented. - He made a plan with respect to Robert and Pickney? - Asked. - No concrete. We talked a lot, but the possibilities are endless. We have to choose carefully. - I understand. Go talk to the king about this topic?

- We also discussed this possibility, but we have not decided anything. - Why do not reveal this problem to the king? Pickney is a criminal. The king has no right to know? At least have the royal sanction to any attitude be forced to take. - Yes, it would save me from having to give explanations later. But we are dealing with a family issue, a battle between relatives. I am reluctant to reveal all this situation. I think it would be best if you could keep these difficulties in the private, family. Know what I mean? - Oh, yes. But the relatives are not mine, so I can see the benefits and difficulties that you can not see. - The same happens with Roger and Merlion - he replied, wiping out all the candles except one that was next to the bed. - They think I should tell everything to the king. - Thayer lay down and took her in his arms. - You can not be worried about what will happen to Pickney. And Robert are you thinking? - Yes Cost to believe that he is behind it all. Robert is weak, easy to master, but never cruel. He is not a murderer. Never had stomach to fight. - But he and Pickney may have others kill for them. - It is true. I may be confusing the child that he was the man he has become. A man molded and commanded by Charles Pickney. - Poor Robert. - Poor Robert? - He laughed. - I am the target of the sword! - I know, but I can not help feeling sorry for him. Do not really know him, but I feel that it is hostage to something that does not want or can not stop. It's wrong, I know, but I never felt any malice in him. As much as I strive, I can not imagine him behind it. - It's what I feel. But part of me insists that I am only a weak, emotional fool who is blind to reason. The result is doubt, and this is not a sense favorable to a man who finds himself on the verge of a battle. - In short, do not want the blood on the hands of Robert. - No. - And there is no way to avoid it? Can not defeat Robert Pickney and save?

- Maybe. I do not know. And if I'm still leaving a knife pointed at my back? I know that Robert never face opposite each other, but not I haveSure he did not become able to attack me from behind. This is a question with which I could not live with. - And do not reveal that the sword could be singled out for her too. - Would not it be wonderful if Robert had the strength to break free of his uncle, was passed to his side? - Yes, it would be splendid. In this case I could trust him. He could still remember the cousin childhood, his face pale and frightened. Despite all the effort employed for this purpose, he never succeeded and William remove the fear from the eyes of Robert. Now realized that Charles Pickney had begun to dominate him. Few currents were so strong as those forged by fear. Thayer doubted that Robert had met another feeling. Still feel sorry for that child, but had to harden and resist the appeal of memories. Pity could weaken it at a time of great danger. It would be fair. Not deny the cousin no chance to repair their mistakes. What was he could not allow emotion to interfere with what had to be done. Gytha moved, interrupting his thoughts. - I just think that ... I did not tell any of this to his family - he said. - And you think it is necessary? - Gytha asked. - At the moment I do not need the extra power that they represent. - In this case, it is better to say nothing. Only cause apprehension. Let's keep it a secret for a while longer. While it is possible. And try taking the head every these concerns, at least for a few hours. - It would be nice not to think about problems for some time. - He smiled, hugging her tighter. - As his wife, it is my duty to ensure that you are always satisfied. - Gytha kissed his neck and smiled seductively. You're right, it is their duty - Thayer nodded before kissing her. - I will forget you Robert. - Robert What? - He muttered laughing. Robert looked at his uncle and fell into bed cottage. Drank beer to no end, but could not find the peace that both wanted to have. Images and thoughts

still haunted him, and revolved in his mind a carousel drunk, confused. He felt dizzy, nauseous. Lying on your back and keeping your eyes closed, waited Uncle and his men soon ascend to the lining of the castle, so it would be alone and in silence. - Why do you keep around the drunken idiot? - For Thomas, he is the rightful heir of all I want - Charles replied. - This has always been their only use to me. I think this drag dead weight if you had a choice? - Can not get what you want without it? - Bertrand asked scratching his belly. - No. If there is a means, not yet found. After his parents died, I got access to goods through my nephew. When he married with the beautiful Gytha and have an heir, continue controlling everything through that child. Then he will no longer have any use. Thomas shook his head. - It's hard to believe that this guy has his weak blood. - My sister was weak. I only had to take care that the boy never develop the spirit to challenge me. You have to start when they are still young, submit them to his will since they are still babies. So he still bends to my command when in fact he is entitled to everything that I dominate. Will create his heir likewise. - And have the control over everything while you are alive. - Exactly. Well, now we must rest. Tomorrow we will have many decisions to make. When all sounds ceased, Robert opened his eyes and was staring into the darkness, listening to the echo of everything just listen. For a moment, he experienced unexpected strength and engaging, a feeling of anger that resulted. Wanted to kill Charles Pickney. It was a shame to be too drunk to implement this will and follow the impulse. With the return of the weakness came the doubt. Was drunk. Maybe there was misheard. Suddenly he thought of the sweet face of Gytha. The beautiful and adorable Gytha. She was the only thing that had ever really wanted. Followed by her uncle's plans. Even wrong and even criminals, they would lead to Gytha. And she become immune to nightmares. Give him strength, would make him a man. Only when he had by his side, he would think again the words he had just heard

the mouth of his uncle. Yes Gytha would help him get rid of Charles Pickney. CHAPTER V Gytha sighed and gave a finishing touch in the arrangement of the head. Were in court was a week. One week, for she had been too long. The Court was little more than a nest of vipers immoral. The only hobby courtiers seemed to be stealing husbands and wives, lovers and promised. Only one thing the distracted this sport, and it was a chance to weaken the affixing of another person in court, thus strengthening their own position. It was impossible to untangle the web of lies and intrigue. And to top it off, there was Elizabeth. Gytha aroused thinking about her in a killer instinct. Thayer's first reaction to the woman out of coldness, but the joy she felt it was short-lived. Feared now that he's close in once again the old lover. courtesy prevented him from openly repel a lady so high position, but ... It would be just that? Gytha feared beauty and the plots that woman. She was afraid Thayer returned that love her. - It's beautiful wife - he said, putting behind her and smiling in the mirror. - Do not get so worried. - Are you sure I'm presentable? - Much more than that. Ready? - Yes - She smiled and turned in his arms. Thayer kissed her on the lips and held by the hand. - No need to fuss much. - I'm not used to enjoy as high company -: she explained as they headed to the salon. - I never had to show ways for so fine time earlier. - You will not have to bear the pressure any longer. Soon will I know the plans made for me. I'll take you back to Riverfall, thus Alternatively, accomplish the tasks that the king appoint, and then I will find it in our house. Also get irritated with court life. Everything here is subterfuge, betrayal and idleness. - Hmm .. I thought you wanted to leave me here while meeting the royal orders. You said it would be safer. - It is. But can not stand to see her unhappy and tense. I know that there is nothing here of interest.

E-fact. Sometimes ... Often, to be honest, I find myself looking around and thinking about everything that could be doing in Riverfall. -My thoughts also wander. I prefer to take care of the land and property. There is more work than I realized at that position, and we still have to consider the work the Welsh give us in Riverfall. There have every chance of battle that I want. - It's good to know. - She laughed satisfied. At this time, entered the great hall, and this alone prevented him from kissing her mouth, as I would do. Felt that impulse each time I saw smiling. Fears soon invaded. The men looked at Gytha with greed and desire, openly expressing admiration for their beauty. All were much more attractive than him. His greatest desire was to get her out, get her away from temptation. Gytha looked around and sighed, recording those looks again. Nothing we did could avoid them. She felt uncomfortable and angry. Was not shaken with praise and attempts to approach the young courtiers, and yet they tormented her relentlessly. I did not know how to deal with harassment, still thinking about it when he noticed Elizabeth walking towards them. Felt the immediate tension in Thayer. He could not leave upset. Had to think it was in his bed he spent every night. It was her husband. He amparava, heated and quenched, and man Whose heart was elsewhere could not show such tenderness. But insecurity persisted. Lady Elizabeth announced that she was there to escort Thayer to the king. As if he could not find the sovereign alone, Gytha thought irritably. Still, she sought a nook away to wait for the return of her husband. To his dismay, Elizabeth returned to join him. He knew the dreaded moment had arrived and the confrontation, resigned, prayed that Thayer returned as soon as possible to end the predicament. - Feels very safe, is not, Lady Gytha? - And not to be so, milady? - He loved me in the past. - In the past. - And you'll love me again. Do not see how it changes in my presence? Could have it snatched from their clutches right now, and without any difficulty.

- For what purpose? - Gytha asked, trying not to show that this was his greatest fear. - I know you are looking for a husband, but Thayer is already married. - Yes, actually seek a husband, but in the meantime, I need to live. Thayer is no longer a knight removed. As a lover, I'm sure he would very generous. - I do not think will have the opportunity to confirm his suspicion. - No? He is a big man and healthy. And full of vigor. Ah, I remember well how he can stop consuming lust. One woman can not satisfy a man with the appetite of her husband. - He has not complained. - No? Maybe wrong choice. We'll see ... - Thayer is a man who honors his vows. - Gytha would feel the same conviction he showed. - Wedding Vows? - Elizabeth snorted. - Silly girl! No man honors. It is only revealing its ingenuity. I'll show you, innocent child, how a man can easily forget the words spoken before a priest. Gytha saw Elizabeth walk away. Had in their footsteps an open invitation to sin, an assurance that fueled his rage. Bold, the woman went to the site where Thayer conferred with the king and began to flirt with a young courtier who recognized Gytha, a boy of rare beauty named Dennis. But green eyes Elizabeth sought ... those of her husband! Gytha also watched, although I know I should leave, ignoring the game proposed by that viper. Hated the doubt and insecurity, but could do nothing to placate her. Could not erase the memory Thayer's expression when he revealed to have loved Elizabeth, could not ignore the fact that he never declared the end of that love. Feared he again succumbed to the charms of women vile and vulgar. Knew that when the heart was involved, even the wisest of men could be a fool. When Thayer followed Elizabeth out of the hall, Gytha felt the air freeze in her lungs. He not only left without even looking in his direction, as had eyes on the beautiful face of the courtesan. Elizabeth rested her hand on his arm. They were like two lovers escaping for a moment of privacy. Gytha refused to believe that her husband to submit to such humiliation. It was as if all eyes were focused on her. - Ah, my lady, come with me. Let me take you to the garden - called a soft male voice. Stunned, Gytha looked at Dennis holding his arm.

- Garden? He said he wants to take me to the garden? - Yes - He led her to the exit. - It seems so upset! It is not wise to reveal weakness in a nest of vipers. Sorry, milady, but these things happen. One must learn to maintain dignity. Dignity was the last thing she thought. The mind was filled with a collection of images of Thayer and Elizabeth in torrid hugs, and little space rest was already dominated by violent images of her attacking them, tearing them into strips. - What things? - Asked through gritted teeth, trying not to vent anger at the wrong person. - Lovers, dear. - He stopped at a discreet corner of the garden. Resting on a tree trunk, Gytha felt suddenly tired and disgusted. - Give the sin his true name, sir. Is adultery. - E is common. Marriage serves the purpose of legitimate heirs. Nothing more. - Dennis leaned one hand on the tree trunk, beside the head Gytha, and approached. - Marriage is a union between a man and a woman, a union sanctioned by God - she murmured. - Yes, so that the children are legitimate and inherit without difficulty. Everybody knows that. - He put his other hand on the trunk. - Nobody understands anything! - My dear, let me ease your pain. - Holding her chin, he kissed her. Gytha took a moment to overcome the shock, but in the next instant, reacted. Depositing the blow full force of her fury, she slapped the face of bold gentleman. The sound of the slap echoed through the silent garden. Dennis staggered. His expression suggested that he considered an insult to refuse. Gytha screamed when he grabbed her shoulders and pushed her against the tree with violence. - Damn it, woman! Her husband is happily gorging themselves in another body, and you still behaves like a nun! - Do not commit another sin to punish sin. Leave me alone! Others accept it with joy, my lord. I do not. - I'll make you beg for my touch, my lovely nun. When he threw down, Gytha was perplexed. All the air escaped from his body by the force of the blow, and she tried to refill the lungs. However, when

could scream, it was too late. He kissed her passionately, and when removed his lips from hers, came to replace them with one hand, silencing her with efficiency. Gytha tried to bite him, but he hit her with a slap in the face that left her dazed, helpless. Dennis tried to undress her. Seizing the moment of distraction gentleman, she introduced one of her legs between his. His brothers had instructed the vulnerability of a man, explaining that such knowledge could still be useful in a time of danger. And the moment arrived. She still struggled, trying loosen the strong hands of Dennis and hit him when he noticed the presence of someone else in the nook recluse. Thayer, Elizabeth and Roger approached. Thayer laughed, amused by the exchange of glares between Roger and Elizabeth. He also had fun with the pathetic attempt at seduction of women. On when she said indisposed, on the verge of fainting, he knew that it was a lie, but accompanied the garden anyway, curious to expose her in your game. Nothing felt for this woman. Had finally released its pernicious domain. Gytha now completely dominated, occupying the spaces before Elizabeth could have claimed. The wife had restored his confidence, and there was no weakness in it that Elizabeth is worth to keep it under control. She was fun, although a bit annoying in its boldness. That's it. The delicious euphoria provided by this discovery was short, with painful violence destroyed by the scene that unfolded before their eyes. Gytha was lying on the grass under the body of a handsome gentleman. His clothes were descompostas. It was like traveling back in time. Was in another garden, experiencing a new and definitive attack on their delusions. The only difference was that now, the pain was much worse. He paused waiting for the sound of laughter. For comments that expose them to ridicule. Feeling that Roger wanted to interfere, he held his friend. Wanted see how far they could go their ingenuity, their folly. Ali the truth would be revealed. And wanted to face it head on, without reservations. This time there would still be foolish, a pawn in the hands of a woman. Gradually, the truth he saw bucked the first impression. Gytha was not in that situation willingly. His movements were desperate, She saw him. And looked at him with a pleading look on. There was shock on his face, fear and a lot of pain, because her husband did nothing to help her. Thayer knew what she considered

its immobility bitterest betrayal, but could not move. Gytha was perplexed. Why Thayer took no action? He simply watched, reaching the extreme contain Roger, preventing him to rescue her. Her husband, bound by sacred vows to defend it and protect it, let it be delivered the very sorte.como fight. What I was seeing was not what I imagined at first.

The cool breeze on your thighs yanked the stupor. Would have to fend for herself, and the time was not his ally. Later he would deal with the attitude of Thayer and suffering caused by their indifference. Lifting his leg in a steady motion and fast, took the knee to the crotch of Dennis, employing all the strength he had. He screamed, grabbed the part offended and fell sideways, freeing it. Gytha got up quickly, using the tree as a support to keep from falling. Without even trying to hide the pain caused by his betrayal, she looked at Thayer as if to strike him too. Was heaving. Let me tell you something, anything, but feared vomit. He took a step toward her. She raised a hand to stop him. As he ran toward some nearby bushes, Elizabeth saw Dennis helping him up. Pale, he said nothing, realizing the watchful eye of Roger and threatening. The couple exchanged some angry words, and taking advantage of the distraction of Thayer and Roger, quickly disappeared. Gytha deduced that everything that had happened in the last few minutes had been planned. However, the physical reaction to the shock occupied his thoughts, and she vomited incessantly. Fallen to his knees, weak and trembling, saw Thayer reach out to help her. - Do not touch me! - Said, succumbing to yet another violent attack of nausea. Thayer recoiled as if he received a slap. Roger approached her and used his handkerchief to dampen the fountain to wash your forehead, helping to overcome the malaise. Thayer did not know what to say. There was no explanation for his attitude reprehensible. Minutes later, when he could get up, Gytha noted that Bek had joined the two men. Elizabeth and Dennis had disappeared. Knew all this meant something, but was too shaken, too angry to think clearly. His attention was focused on the main cause of his agony.

- Gytha, I ... - Do not speak! Do not you dare try to explain what has no explanation! I will say that it is not able to distinguish an act of love from a rape? Or thisis one of the customs of this decadent court? You're my husband! - Gytha ... - My husband! I should have killed that bastard! But preferred to wait to make sure your suspicions, do you? - No! - Yes! I always hoped that one misstep, you made a mistake. Do not violence because they realized not expect to see it. Never trust me, Thayer. Never! ? Gytha, let's talk in our quarters. You need to recover, rest ... - I'm not going anywhere with you! - You can not wander alone by the court. - I can not? And why not? I'm more protected than alone in his company. An assassin could attack me, slit my throat and exit quietly before you decide if everything is a scam or a real attack. - Gytha, please ... - I'll retire to our rooms ... alone! It was a long hard day. First his ex-lover distills the bitter poison in my ears, then I am forced to see them leaving the hall arm in arm before the eyes of all the debauched court, and while I fight jealousy'm dragged to the garden for a courtier who loses the right to offend me with their boldness. And as if all that were not enough, I find that my husband always thought me a harlot. And entertainment too much for me. - She felt someone hold her hand and looked away. - Bek? - I'm with you - the boy said. Compassion in the eyes of the boy was a balm to his tortured emotions. He could not understand all that was said there. But he knew he was suffering, and approached to provide comfort and warmth. Fearing see her go before she could say anything, Thayer extended hand to hold the wife. Gytha spat a curse that made eye-popping. Roger and Bek also looked shocked. Then she hit him with a punch in stomach. Still folded in half, Thayer saw her walk away beside Bek, who looked nervous over one shoulder. When he finally moved to follow it, Roger

prevented. - No, Thayer. Leave her alone. And better. - I need to talk to her. - About what? What will you say? - I do not know. I want to apologize, I think. - I still think it's best to leave it alone for a while. - To that hatred will crystallize? - She does not feel hatred. Grief, anger, disappointment ... Yes Why behaved that way? How could stand as a worm groped your wife? - I did exactly what she accused me - with Tom Thayer acknowledged culprit. The people thought it was not important. He had to think of a way to repair the damage he caused to Gytha. However, I was not confident that possibility. And the words of Roger also did not provide much hope. - Apologize - he suggested. - It may be a good start. - And I intend to do. So she is willing to listen. - And what do you say? - Well, I can not deny the charges. It would be a lie. And lying would only make the situation even worse, if that is possible. I was just waiting for the betrayal. You know it, and even called my attention sometimes. Should have listened to his advice. And I was beginning to trust her. - Too bad I have heard too late. Threw pearls before swine. - Insulting me will not solve the problem. - No. And also do not want to help with anything. Nor could it, because I do not know what to suggest. - I can face an army with courage and safety! - Pena Gytha not an army. Thayer ignored the sarcastic comment. - But when I need to deal with a woman, I become a foolish boy and no experience. Tract the harlot as maid and lady like whore. A husband has a duty to protect his wife. In the opinion of Gytha, left to fulfill this sacred duty. - She needs time to get over it. - And you think you'll get over?

- Gytha is not spiteful. - No, but I've never hit so hard before. How do I know? - Listen, spend the night in my chambers. Leave to talk to her tomorrow. So it will take time to calm down, and you can reflect on all that occurred. - And maybe you're right. If I lie down beside her tonight, Gytha is well able to cut my neck. Gytha actually had violent thoughts as she headed to the bedroom. Edna looked scared and curious as she washed her face and rinsed his mouth, but gave no explanation. Nor could therefore sitting ha bed, she burst into bitter tears. Edna and Bek did not know what to do. The boy finally picked up the brush, snuggled up behind her and started brushing her hair. The gesture thrilled her. She drank herbal tea prepared by Edna, then let the maid to dress her nightgown. Meanwhile, Bek Edna reported the recent events. Gytha wanted help you, but the sobs and tears prevented her from speaking. Finally laid, getting on the forehead compress of cold water that Edna arranged in silence, and stared at the ceiling, trying to stifle the sobs that shook her body. - Poor Bek - murmured, looking at the boy who was still holding his hand. - Do not know what to do with me, right? - I'm staying here. At his side - he said. - Your company will be a balm for me. - She planned everything. - What did you say? - My mother. She planned everything. I heard her talking to that man. She wanted my father saw that man, because then reaproximaria her. - They deserve! - Oh, no, milady - Edna protested. - You can not be serious! Lord Thayer never be involved with this woman. - Not at all - confirmed Bek. - The problem is not Lady Elizabeth - Gytha argued. - That's him. Thayer stood there doing nothing. Never trust me. Expected me to act like a whore believes that it is.

- No! - Edna Bek and yelled at the same time. - Yes, I want to go home. I wish to return to Riverfall. - Santa will be here soon, I know! And he will be able to leave the court soon. - I want to go home now, Bek. Edna, begin to pack my things. - I'll tell my father - Bek decided. - Not necessary. Leave a message for him. Want to go with me, Bek? - Yes, but my father ... - Your father will not be angry with you. Edna has not yet started packing things? Edna and Bek tried to dissuade her from the idea, but Gytha was adamant. Knew both expected and appeared Thayer put an end to strife, but he did not come to her relief. Rumors they realized that he was in the chambers of Roger drinking too much and feeling sorry for yourself. Expectedhe continued until he could get drunk Riverfall, which would be out of their reach. Gytha was tired. Inside was a pain so great that no remedy was able to ameliorate it. Thayer loved, but preferred not to love him. Had been rightly this love that left completely devastated by his distrust, destroyed by the discovery of his. true opinion. What once seemed beautiful and promising, and now was the greatest curse. The sky was beginning to lighten when she finally arrived in Riverfall. Four men accompanied her father, ensuring their safety. Bek and Edna shared the Carriage with her. Maybe he was following the path of cowardice, but it did not matter. Needed this strategic withdrawal to ensure your sanity. Needed a refuge where he could lick his wounds with some privacy. I had to think about what action to take with regard to marriage, it is still had a wedding to worry about. The new day Thayer found in poor condition. His head ached, his mouth was dry and bitter, and knowing that made a mistake for which there could be no forgiveness tormented him. To increase his misery, had to answer an urgent call of the king. He answered the call with great reluctance, hoping man were brief. Gytha needed to see. To increase your frustration, the king kept him captive for hours. - Saw Gytha? - He asked Roger in the late afternoon, when the friend returned to quarters.

- No. And I do not see Bek since last night. - He must be Gytha - Thayer grunted as he washed. Knock on the door to anger even more. - Who can it be? Roger went to answer the call, and to recognize the woman standing in the hallway, did not hide his indignation. - What do you want here? Elizabeth came without even being asked, and walked Thayer. - You seem to be very well - she said. - How can I help her? - He shot coldly, trying to get dressed quickly. - Well, since his wife left, I thought I would accompany me to the festivities tonight. - Gytha left? - Yeah I heard she left the court before the dawn and ... Where are you going? - She asked scared. Thayer did not bother to answer, because I ran out of the room followed closely by Roger. A moment later, the two men entered the chambers that Thayer had shared with Gytha. Here were all the evidence required, all signals confirmed the sudden departure. - Wait till tomorrow, you said! Let overcome anger! - I never thought she would be able to leave it - Roger defended. - Well, of course she left. What is this? - He sat on the bed to read the note found on her. Thayer, Returned to Riverfall. Bek is me. I did follow some men of my father. No need to rush to meet me. Gytha He gave a brief message to Roger, who closed his eyes for a moment after reading the words dry. There was a coldness evident on the ticket. Thayer knew Gytha who was aware of the intention to Elizabeth, after all, the woman was not subtle. Still, she left him at the mercy of the plans and wiles of the shrew. The attitude was more eloquent than any words. She left him. That was it. - I need to go after it. - You can not leave, Thayer. Not without the king's permission. - But it may delay the trip in weeks!

- Gytha knows you can not just leave the court. If your task this drag on for a long time, talk to Edward. Explain to him that has issues personal to solve. At least it was for Riverfall, not to her father's house. - Yes, but the message is clear that my presence in Riverfall is not welcome. - She was still hurt when he wrote the ticket, Thayer. Maybe it's better this way. Time will ease the pain. He did not know whether he agreed with it, but Roger was right in saying that he could do nothing, at least at that moment. - Yes .. I will take this time to find the bastard that caused all this horrible mess. - It should already be on the way to London. - In this case, you are only postponing the bitter end of its life. Thayer had time. Long. The king sent some of his men in attacks on small dens of thieves and rebels, bandits who were like the plague that region. He vowed to fulfill his forty days of service, but would not one hour beyond that. Margaret received Gytha on Riverfall not hide his surprise. Gytha told the press everything that had happened and, to his annoyance, had to face the answer comprehensive and rational Margaret. It soon became clear that she hoped to convince her of his point of view before the return of the Lord of the place. Despite the persistent efforts of Margaret, days passed before Gytha start really thinking about what needed to do with regard to marriage. Was trapped and reluctantly acknowledged that he did not want to change that situation. Thayer did not want to give up. Actually, now waited anxiously for the return or for somenews of her husband. However deep the hurt was still belonged to him, body and soul. It would take a long time to come back to love him openly, with freedom of before. He taught her to be cautious, suspicious. On the eve of his forty-first day in court, Thayer told the king that Riverfall to leave the next morning. The king allowed reluctantly, and only after to be remembered that the debt loyal subject had already been paid. He also heard Thayer talk about the problems they have to solve at home, issues whose solution postponed had a good time. Since the sudden departure of Gytha out why comments in court, King Edward did not press. Thayer left before the sovereign could re-consider your decision. When you lay down to the last night at court, he thanked God for it. The nights she spent alone in bed before shared with Gytha were the most difficult to face. Falling asleep, was just drinking too much. There were several nights that Roger had to undress him and put him

in bed. Eiizabeth still harassed, trying to rekindle the passion or relive the spell cast over him in the past. He was anxious to get rid of it. She was tedious at times, but it was always tempting. Virile, solitary as he was, felt his body crying out for a woman who had put out of their reach. But when he was very close to Eiizabeth, which offered her favors freely and openly outrageous, he retreated without worrying about the courtesy and good manners. Never mind that now, after years, could finally return the humiliation suffered by their hands. What mattered was that rejecting Eiizabeth, had contracted an enmity dangerous and great weight. While waiting for the dawn, he tried to strengthen his courage. It was not very skilled with words or with women. Waiting for him in Riverfall, was a woman who had hurt him deeply. Repairing this situation demanded the right keywords, approach, perfect and timely. And not sure if he could. The cries of welcome echoed Riverfall. There was a sudden burst of frenetic activity. Gytha deduced that Thayer had returned. Before the window tower in which many hours spent in vain, she saw him coming. Slow down, go down the hall to receive it. With every step she fought the urge to greet you with a cold attitude and dignified. Had missed him. More than I care to admit. Each night had seemed endless. Met with work for the day that are not dragged. And not Thayer wanted to know that. Yet. The knowledge would give him an advantage, he knew, the brave knight recognize and would use. He had hurt her. Wanted to do it right this wrong. Do not let him think he could treat it well, then act as if nothing had changed. Otherwise, have a future of pain and suffering, followed by offenses impunity. And Thayer would not want a wife by his side so weak, so devoid of pride. In fact, the time was reduced depth of pain. Had obtained to a certain understanding. Elizabeth had marked him deeply, and other women had collaborated to deepen the scar over the years. I was very offended by it, but had to understand. But even forgive him for it, had to find a way to change your thinking. After reviewing the incident many times, now I could see everything more clearly. I could imagine the scene view angle Thayer. It lying on the ground,

under the body of a handsome young man. Her husband was shocked. Certainly confused past and present, Elizabeth and humiliation, Gytha and rape. However, that does not was the best time to be overwhelmed by confusion. And also need to consider the time spent away. As he occupied this time? Miais have succumbed once Elizabeth? When leaving, have played her husband in the clutches of that viper? I wanted to believe he was shrewd enough not to get victimized again, but could not forget that he never had declared no more love Elizabeth. - Thayer is back, Gytha. Smiling to Margaret and Edna, who hoped apprehensive at the foot of the stairs, she replied cynically: - I already suspected something along those lines. - What will you do? - Will I get my husband as it is the duty of a good wife. - Gytha ... - Margaret, will be preaching the wisdom of forgiveness, as it has done every day, I know that I'm willing to forgive. However, do not put submissive at his feet. We are not here dealing with a simple question, a mere discussion. He stood as I almost got raped. I understand all the reasons my husband had to act that way, but this only serves to soften a bit the feeling of betrayal and bitterness of the insult. Think about it. If you act as if nothing had happened, his crime will become smaller than it actually was. And also, if he makes no attempt to repair the error, it will devour me by inside. No, Margaret. Hopefully Thayer apologize, at least, that our union will be doomed. She finished down the ladder. - I also hope to hear a explanation, although I am willing to understand if he did not give me any. Perhaps even he understands what he did. Gytha stopped before reaching the door and took a deep breath. - Do not fail to fulfill my wifely duties. Never cause this shame to my family and myself. But Thayer is expected that more should this marriage, will have to repair the consequences of that horrible incident. And I was thinking ... - On what? - Margaret asked worried. - Well, maybe the best cure for this wound of my marriage to be a good sangria.

- How so? There was no time to respond, as Thayer and Roger already opened the door. Gytha felt his heart jump in his chest, but contained, stepped forward to greet husband. The situation was more difficult than he had anticipated. Already felt the blood boil in his veins, and he has not even touched her. If you continue like this, could not act as planned. Would have to control the desire for Thayer, or it would feel like forever, and would use this powerful advantage. Approaching, she offered to face a formal kiss. - Regards, husband. Greetings, Sir Roger. His arrival is a surprise to us, but I'm sure everything will be just the satisfaction in his quarters. So that refresh and change of clothes, there will be a hot meal at the table. - Thank you, milady - Roger replied as Thayer stood still and no action. - Ah, Bek - she called to see the boy enter the room - you can be kind enough to help his father and Sir Roger? The servants have prepared the baths for them. I will see how is the preparation of the meal. - She withdrew, before giving in to temptation and throw himself into the arms of her husband. - Hello, Bek - Thayer finally spoke, as following the child upstairs. - Hello, Dad. Are you angry because I have left? - No. There are always many squires in real entourage. I used some of them. - It's good to know, because she needed me. Thayer did not know what to say. So he said nothing. After getting rid of the armor, dismissed the servants and the son and approached one of the steaming tubs in the rooms prepared for Roger. - There is an intense coldness in the air - he muttered as he stepped into the tub. - Yes, I felt - Roger replied as he settled into the hot water. - And I stood there like an idiot. I could not utter a single word. - She is still here, Thayer. Could have gone to the family home. - Yes, I know, but it's hard to know what that means. So rigid, so polished ... She was never like that. - At least still cares for her home. - And that means something? Roger shrugged. - Many wives express dissatisfaction with cold baths and meals sufferable. - Still not eat - Thayer said jokingly.

- No, but do not consider able to use this kind of trick. Frankly, my friend, I believe that his problems await in the room. More precisely, the bed Bridal. - That's what I feared. She was cordata and polished when we received is fulfilling the duties of a wife to perfection, at least in the hall, but I doubt it intend to continue doing them in the room. And this is something that will not endure. - Then talk to her, man! Be honest! - At the risk of exposing myself to ridicule? - Even so. I see no other way out. - Neither do I. Thayer still clung to the hope of finding another solution. Gytha knew hurt, but still hoped that she had reflected, understood your reaction and ended the matter. I knew I had to do some kind of repair, apologize, maybe, but I'd rather not have to review the entire shameful event. Gytha think that would just be obedient in the marriage bed was the most terrible agony. I could not believe he could have killed your passion with that horrible insult. He needed her. Energy wife was as vital as the air we breathe. - Come, my friend, get out of that bathroom and soon face their destiny - Roger encouraged him. - I feel like I was one step from the gallows-Thayer confessed while wiping. - I understand. - There are many possibilities for error. - It is true. - Dress, Roger went to the bedroom door. - I will be on your side when the meal is served, but now I want to enjoy a private moment with Margaret. - Do not you dare play with this woman, Roger. - I'm not kidding. - In that case ... I wish you good luck. Thayer sighed to see his friend leave. Roger was happy, hopeful that he would find the rewards that your heart deserved. However, it seemed unfair

that fate put in the way of a friend, a love that blossomed while her marriage was falling apart. Could see failure looming on the horizon. It was a punishment could not bear. He did not feel strong enough to do it. But even as he was depressed, had to face Gytha. Ready for the evening meal, Gytha sat for Edna could arrange her hair. - Did Margaret? - Wondering at the delay in response, she pressed: - Edna? Do you know where Margaret? - It is with Sir Roger, milady. - Ah ... and afraid to speak because of my problems? - Lady, I ... - Fear not, Edna. I'm happy for my cousin. Tell me, do you think the intentions of Sir Roger are serious? - Yeah, I guess. It's in his eyes, milady. - Good. He is a good man. Our Margaret. deserve the best. I suppose she has said nothing considering my difficulties. Must have been afraid of be unkind. I confess that I feel a certain envy, but I need to tell her she does not have to hide, Margaret is like a sister to me. I share your happiness. - And she his suffering, milady. Such a situation ... - Yes, Edna? - I fear seeming impertinent, lady. - As if it could be something else. - Yes, I know I am very naughty. - She smiled. - And I want to talk about my lady and her husband. - Speak up, then. I'm not foolish enough to think I know more than you. In a serious matter like this which I now live, only a fool would ignore any advice. - Men are strange creatures. - Not making any great revelation, Edna. - And still not finished. They know they were wrong, but can not apologize. As most proud of is the man, the greater the chance of choking on the words. He know what to say but can not speak. - I need an apology, Edna.

- I understand. Yes, milady, and I agree. The reason for that your need is more than correct. If you let a man think he can abuse her with impunity, never more see the end of their suffering. However, this apology may not be direct, clear, or romantic as I would be. Some men know how to choose beautiful words. Others do not. If we do not listen with great attention, maybe not the notice. How about an explanation of why they did what they did ... Well, that is even more difficult. It is common that not themselves understand. - I have wondered exactly, Edna. If Thayer has some understanding of what it did to me. - Men do not usually analyze the reason for their actions. Especially if an action makes him look stupid. And that makes the apology even harder. A man would prefer to banish from the mind and memory that sort of thing. If you apologize, it is always fast and shallow. No man likes to beg and put at risk his pride. - And Thayer is a proud man. - Yes, milady. Very proud. And not very good with words. - You are right. - But his heart is true. He knows he was wrong. I'm sure they will try to compensate for this error, milady. And you'll need to be attentive to realize this compensation, to hear that request veiled excuses. - Aware ... Yes, unless my husband is encouraged to adopt a certain eloquence. - How so? - There's one thing I've learned about men, Edna. Some need the heat of anger to release the word. What can not tell in a moment of calm and stillness, may be advertised in a screaming tantrum. You only need to light the fuse. - Be careful, my lady. Will not want to cause a fire ... - Thayer never hurt me. He knows his own strength. You can break everything there is around us, but never attack me. So if you hear some crash here, do not be alarmed. It's all planned. Hear the words I need to hear, not what they ensurdeam me. Gytha wanted to feel as confident as it sounded. Honestly believed that promote anger Thayer was the best way to make him talk, and had no

doubts about what stated about their own safety. Thayer never attack her. What worried her was what he could say. After all, her husband had been at the mercy of Elizabeth for almost a month. - Milady? - Edna called intrigued when he saw his lady go to the bedroom door. - Yes? Any more advice? . - Do not allow him to shake or push this tantrum. In his state would not be appropriate. - My state? - The baby carrying in the womb. Surely you already know ... - Suspect. How can you be so sure? - She whispered. - Your rules have failed in the last three periods. Are now nearly four. Has been sick, even if only occasionally, always in the early morning. And his silhouette begins to change. I have no doubt you are expecting the heir of my lord. - Know a lot about this subject? - Well .. slightly. - Is there anything I should not do? - It was impossible to prevent the blush dyed her face. Both knew very well what "things" she meant. Edna replied bluntly: - No. Just do not let harm. And take care not to fall or hurt yourself. Milady believes that this is not a good time to have a child? - Not the best, Edna. - Gytha sighed and headed to the salon. Know that expecting a child Thayer provoked mixed emotions. She loved him, and that love was so strong that sometimes frightened, and it was this feeling that caused joy to know that she was pregnant. However, still needed to hide the emotion. Before revealing what he felt, would have to clear everything between them. Feared the consequences of a failure in that mission for clarification. The pain would crystallize. The coldness that would now pretend to be real, not another product Pride or protection tool. And that would be terrible for the child. Gytha? Abruptly interrupted in his somber reflection, she was startled by the voice of Margaret. -Oh, you surprised me. What is there? - To him, see the press out of the niche under the stairs. I wanted to talk to you before going to join the men.

- It's amazing how the marital problems loosen the tongue of all people. Margaret ignored the sarcasm of the press. - I know what you plan to do. Need even enrage him? - Yes, I do. - Gytha, I'm not enjoying this. - Anger make you talk. This is all very important. - Are you sure you want to hear everything he has to say? - No, but listen anyway. I know what you're worried about, and I confess that I share your apprehension. I left my husband alone in court, within reach of a viper that does not hide the desire for it. And quite possible that Thayer has again fallen under the spell of the shrew. And I think I'll be able to forgive this slip. - Are you sure? - Yes, when I left there I knew what could happen. - So why did you leave him? - Do you really think we could have resolved our differences in court? In the middle of all these people gossip, malicious and treacherous? - No. Of course not. - Moreover, the magic was still very recent. I needed time to recover myself. Suffering as he was, would surely have away from me, and it would have pushed for other arms without any doubt. Our problems will only grow and gain complexity. - I do not think he has broken the vows. Thayer is an honorable man. - Very honored. He once told me he would never take lovers, since I did not receive any other man in my bed. Of course he may have interpreted my departure as an announcement of separation, as a declaration of my intention to lie with another man, but ... - That does not mean he did anything. - No. But Thayer is a man of great ... appetite - she said, smiling, having fun with the flush of Margaret. ? After a battle he is always very burning, and I doubt that the king has left the rest of the sword. Thayer had many lonely nights after days of bloody fighting. - You've been alone - Margaret recalled.

- Yes, and I believe he will not get involved with other women every time we're away from each other. The only thing for which we pray is not lain with Elizabeth. - Still think of what happened between them? - I think about what may still exist between them. Thayer said he never stopped loving the woman. Said only that avoids. - No. He could not love a woman like her. Not when you have. - Margaret, now know that the heart can not be controlled. It goes where you want to go. - So your husband is a fool. - Maybe. Anyway, I would love to know if he still loves her, even if the discovery can make me suffer. - I understand. Just know that is treading ground that will have to fight battles. - Exactly. I do not know if she is really among us, or just let me engage in unfounded fears. - Well, although I'm not sure that I agree with his methods, but I understand that it should do something. Marriage is a bond that can not be broken, and his is very promising. Worth fighting for something so beautiful. - And this. And there is another reason I want to get over this whole issue as soon as possible. I. .. I'm expecting a child. Margaret's eyes widened and his mouth opened. - Are you sure? - She murmured. - I already suspected, and Edna has just confirmed my suspicions. Margaret hugged her cousin. When dropped, the joy had given way to apprehension on her face. - Oh, Gytha, now I think I should abandon this idea of the wrath of her husband. - Do not worry. The screams are deafening and the scene will be scary, but it will not hurt me. Unlike most men, Thayer aware own strength, so controls its use. Do not know where to find such courage - Margaret sighed as they walked to the hall. - I thought he might be sorry enough to feel depressed? This would prevent the tantrum you want cause. - Nonsense! - Gytha laughed. - Guilty, sorry, depressed ... No emotional state can prevent the fury of my husband, since she is properly triggered.

Upon seeing his wife enter the room with Margaret Thayer prepared for what could be a very challenging experience for your patience. Promised himself he would control his own temper. But when she greeted him with the same politeness that drove Roger at the meal table, realized that keep calm would be almost impossible. Suddenly she realized that was how she addressed the courtiers affected with cold indifference and manners. That irritated him. There was no behavior Gytha no indication of marital intimacy. Had not noticed before, but now that link is broken, I missed him. And there was little hope of recovering it. After a few moments of heavy silence, he decided to risk it. - I see you made a lot of progress here. - Yes, but there is still much to be done - she replied without looking at him. - I stick my forty days of service. Now I can stay here and help take care of the property. - As you wish. Thayer took a deep breath, trying to quell the first signs of an explosion moody. - And good to know who has recovered from his illness, Margaret. - And I would understand why she seemed so nervous. - Thank you, my lord. Janet was a nurse of great value. Thayer did not know who was Janet, and taking advantage of this ignorance he managed to keep Margaret talking for a few minutes. Was a little calmer, though still remained attentive to every reaction of his wife. It was time to try to speak again with Gytha. - He had no difficulty? - He asked, wishing I could think of nothing more profound to say. - Nothing. Want more wine, my lord husband? He nodded and saw a page call to serve him. Knew Gytha was acting that way on purpose. The silence, the cold ... Everything was studied, and annoying. Gytha watched her husband. Knew that anger was growing by the minute, and then he would lose control. But there were other emotions by parading their face, and were ones that really mattered. He could see the fear in her eyes. Was this a sign that Thayer also feared a significant departure? There was guilt, too. I hoped it was just the scene in the royal garden, not for things he did after his departure. A quick glance was enough for her to deduce that Roger guessed his plan. The fun did not stop smiling. Rather, he felt that he could help her.

Thayer would hate to see one of his men befriending her, and it would infuriate even more. It was time to take the next step. Wanted to settle once and for all the problems that plagued and kept separated from her husband, because his body cried out for of him. Feigning disinterest that was far from feeling, Thayer said: - We were sent to search row. The king wanted to find and subdue rebels and thieves. - There are many out there. - She preferred not to think about the danger her husband had faced. Gritting his teeth, Thayer continued: - I was one of those injured in clashes. His heart seemed to jump out of her chest, but she held him back with great effort. It was not easy to keep talking to that tone cold and distant, but needed endeavor. It was his only chance to save the marriage and rekindle the hope of a happy life beside the man she loved. - Seems to have recovered well. Remembering how she reacted the last time that he suffers an injury, Thayer felt disappointed with the indifferent response.

- Yes - Want Janet examine the wound? She is very skilled to take care of diseases in general. - No. - As you wish, my husband. - The name is Thayer - he fired, drinking a few sips hoping to regain his composure. - Yes, I know. - So, why not use it? - As you wish, Thayer. Want fruit? - She pointed to a plate of them. He took an apple with a furious motion, and Gytha snickered. It was a delicate game, a clash of forces. She was engaged to take him to uncontrolled, and he struggled not to lose his temper. Who would win? Every word polished Gytha fueled the anger growing in his chest Thayer. He remembered how it had been between them before the pitiful and hateful scene in

royal garden, and the pain of loss joined the revolt. I knew I had digestive problems later. While finishing the apple, he looked serious conversation between Gytha, Roger and Margaret. It was like rubbing salt on an open wound. He felt like a guest in his own house, and not a guest very welcome. Determined to make one last effort, he asked: - What other plans made for Riverfall? - I'd rather live one day at a time. - Indeed? And what plans for tomorrow then? - I'll take care of the herbs. - What herbs? - The usual. - Of course. Want to have a garden like his father? - If you want a garden like his, my lord ... - I thought you wanted a garden like this. - It would be great. - Then plant it. - As you wish, my husband. Want more wine? - Are you trying to get me drunk? - If you wish, my lord ... Gytha thought Thayer was not to grit your teeth that way. Could be dangerous. She smiled at Margaret, who was pale with fear, and Roger, who could barely contain his laughter. And looked away when the rascal winked at her, pointing out their complicity. The fury growing chest Thayer was almost tangible. Gytha tried not to smile satisfied with the imminent victory. Needed to keep the answers short and polished, though Thayer formulate questions increasingly elaborate, trying to get longer and more complex explanations. And each answer brief was another blow on the embers that quickly turn into fire. The game continued. To the extent that others were noticing their attention, the room grew more and more silent. Everyone looked at her, confirming his previous print. Nobody would dare to provoke the Red Devil as she did.

- Bek helped while I was gone? - Thayer asked breathlessly, as he tried to quell the anger. - Yes apple Want more? - No. - As you wish, my husband. At that moment she saw the light in his eyes and knew that Thayer finally reached his goal. The storm would befall Riverfall. CHAPTER VI ? Enough! Gytha tried not to flinch. The Howling Thayer could have deafened her. Hoped to regain full hearing to hear what her husband would have to tell you when were alone. - Any problem, husband? - I told you the name is Thayer! - Yes, Thayer. I. .. - She paused to suddenly be torn chair by strong hands. - If you say "as you wish" one more time, I swear I'll strangle you! Come with me. - Have you finished eating? - Yes, just! - He yelled, dragging it to the ladder. In the room, he sat on the bed with restrained violence, turned to close the door and took a deep breath, trying to control himself. It was not easy. Gytha-... - Yes, my husband? - I am a guest in this house? And that? - Of course not. You're my husband, and I am your obedient wife. - Very obedient. And cold. This is how you want to punish me? - Puni it? - I know not protected as it was my duty ... - It is true. - She stood to face him. - And also insulted me. I compared it to that whore! Did you know that anger Thayer was winding down, but had not importance, because now she was furious by two. - I got the chaste marriage bed, but you chose to believe that I had the character of a prostitute.

Throughout the time behaved like a vulture beside a corpse, waiting patiently I acted as the beautiful and elegant Elizabeth. - And why not? Men to follow and devour with eyes. Do not hesitate to harass her with praise and words of love. - It is true, and you left me at the mercy of those clowns lascivious court! - You did not seem very anxious for my company. - Are you sure you were paying attention, husband? - Thayer! - He shouted. - Stop this idiocy to call me my lord, my lord and husband! - As you wish - she teased. - Well - he said quietly, breathing with great difficulty. - I thought of all the accusations that I did. I know I had terrible and bitter experiences with beautiful ladies of fine manners, women who say sweet words and provide their bodies with freedom, but enshrine the heart and surrender to the many men same time, fooling them with his lies. So I was horrified when I was told that it would be her husband. Foresaw a future of bitterness that years live trampling in beautiful courtiers seeking his bed ... our bed! Foresaw laughter, mockery, humiliation ... That night in the garden, I found myself trapped between the past and the present. The shock was stronger than anything because it had just discovered that Elizabeth was free. You had given me freedom. And then I saw lying on the floor ... - He stopped and closed his eyes for a moment. - Now I know I've only been there for a moment, not for hours, until my mind recover clarity. I realized that what I had seen was not really there, but it was too late. Have you ever had defended and liberated. Never felt greater shame. Why did you leave him in the court hall? - Still looking for a sin that never existed? I left with that miserable scoundrel because I was not thinking. He took advantage of a moment of confusion. The miserable scoundrel is dead. The news left her shocked and paralyzed for a moment. However, soon resumed the subject that was discussed there. - He had seen my husband leave the room arm in arm with another woman. No rush, she began to prepare for bed. Thayer had said almost everything she wanted to hear. Now it was time to promote reconciliation. However, there were still some details that I would understand, and would sensually tease him a right way to hold your tongue.

- The bitch said she needed air, because he was on the verge of fainting! - A trick older than the world. - Gytha laughed bitterly. - Yes, I know, but I needed to test my recent discovery. - He could have chosen a more opportune time to perform this test. - She began to loosen the hair. - Would have frustrated the game Elizabeth Petty. She knew that if she saw me in the arms of another man, you condemn first to reason then. - I mean ... it was all a plan? Are you sure? - Bek told me. He heard his mother talking to the man before approaching you. - But why? Elizabeth wants a husband, and I'm already married. - A rich and generous lover would have taken the misery until she finds a husband. And it would have filled the void in her bed. Actually she was very precise in their capacity in this regard. And she was sure that would back if I got out of the way. - And yet, knowing the plans of Elizabeth, you left me. - I was not worried about Elizabeth and her bed. At that point I was just a wounded animal. I sought my lair to lick their wounds. - Do not lay down with her, even though Elizabeth has tempted me. - Do not doubt that. - I do not sleep with any woman. I spent my evenings drenched in wine and an empty bed, trying to quell the fear that this was a permanent condition. - He moved closer and touched the hair of Gytha. - No other. Not even when I was returning from battle with the blood still boiling. It was one of those situations Elizabeth tried more than me, but my rejection was direct, rude. Gytha stared at him with a new sparkle in her eye. - Must be hungry then - she whispered seductively. - Oh, Gytha ... - Thayer squeezed between the arms, relieved to not find it no reluctance. - My sweet Gytha ... - He kissed her passionately. Later, Gytha turned in her husband's arms to face him in the dark room. - Where was injured? - She asked worriedly, remembering how he had touched during lovemaking. - I was not. - Was not it? So ...?

- I wanted to provoke a reaction, to overcome that wall of coldness. - Thayer! - She laughed. He tightened his embrace, letting his hands slide around her waist. - Am I mistaken, or you gained weight a bit since we parted? - I gained weight, yes. - Lack of physical activity, I imagine. Especially ... - No, my dear husband. I think the reason for these extra pounds is just the opposite of what he says. Excessive physical activity. Especially at night. - What do you mean? - It shook it at the waist. - Watch out. Can disturb the baby. - O. ..?-Thayer sat in cama. You're expecting a baby? - That's what I just said. - And I'm the father? - Thayer! Of course yes! - I was not present when Bek was born. - He jumped out of bed. - Where are you going? - I need to tell someone! - Thayer shouted euphoric while wearing the robe, already heading out the door. - By God! I hope Roger is awake! Thayer invaded the chambers of his friend without even knocking. Uncontrolled, he grabbed him by the shoulders and shook him. - Wake up! This is no time to sleep! Roger felt scared. - We were attacked? Enemies? - No! I'll be a father! - Already father. - Again. And the mother is now Gytha. She is expecting a child of mine. - Ah ... congratulations. - Roger laughed, including the strange behavior of his friend. When? - When? - Yes, when. The child will be born when? - Ah ... I do not know. I forgot to ask. - He ran off without caring about Roger's laughter. Gytha, which harnesses the moment of privacy to wash and answer the call of nature, was serving wine in a mug while nearly toppled

liquid because of the noise of the door. Thayer was returned even more agitated than before. - When? - When what? - She returned confused. - When will the baby be born? - Ah ... five months or less. He ran back. After breaking into the room of Roger for the second time, said: - Within five months! Five months! I'll grow old while I wait! - Many men wait nine months. - I mean she's wrong? There are five months? - No, Thayer. I mean she is pregnant four months ago. Almost half of pregnancy has passed. I should be grateful for that. - Yes, of course. But she should be resting. - Women are stronger than they look, my friend. Especially when expecting a baby. - Maybe, but I will dedicate more time to my wife, now that we have a son. - Resolved everything, then? - Yes, the problems were solved. - Thayer was already heading for the door. - Have a good evening, Roger. Names - he muttered. - I need to think of some names. Again, Gytha was surprised by the sudden entrance of her husband. As if that were not enough, he took her in his arms and carried her from the toilet, where she brushed hair, to bed. - You need to rest. - Thayer, I am a woman strong and healthy. Barely had morning sickness, and the few that had already disappeared. - Sickness? - He looked horrified. - Was sick? - At the beginning of pregnancy, all women have nausea. After passing. Mine was so light that almost nor realized. - Ah, yes ... Of course. I'm not thinking clearly. But now you are well? - Very well. No need to worry. - It is difficult ... Can already feel the baby? - He asked, touching her belly with reverence.

- Yes, sometimes. I doubt you can already feel the movements. And just a quick shake ... - She started to get up. - Where are you going? - Remove the empty mug. I finished drinking the wine. - I got this. Lie down and rest. Gytha barely had time to settle under the covers before her husband back. He covered her and lay beside her, taking her in his arms with a poignant gentleness, how to touch a crystal too thin. She began to have an uncomfortable feeling about the next five months. The feeling gained momentum in the subsequent periods fueled by his immobility. Needed to find a way to free him from this absurd notion. Thayer looked at her and asked: - How do you feel about this child? - Enchanted. And it's still little. Just today I was sure. Edna confirmed my suspicion. - Father! By God, it is hard to believe! What a marvel! - Already father, Thayer. - If you think I'll give her back to him, do not worry. Bek is my son, and this is a bond that will never forget. Bek's mother only caused me pain and humiliation. Tried to wrest it from the body and tried to kill him shortly after birth. I even knew of the pregnancy. This time I will participate in everything from the beginning. I love Bek. He know it. I'll do everything I can to give him a future and some fortune, and recognize as my son in front of everyone and in every circumstance. The only bitterness he can feel it against her mother, and I think that feeling exists. Comfort you with his love. - I like to think that there is affection between us. - You may notice that feeling. Bek is a very affectionate boy. He never got away from me. Since I received the mother, never gave up and neither he wanted to leave. - Thayer, he left me - Gytha whispered, suddenly understanding what it meant. - It is true. And not consult me before leaving. This is good. - Good? - Always made sure to show him who is Elizabeth. I did not want him to feed vain hopes. Now I know that my effort paid off. If he clungon you so quickly, is because it has no link with the mother.

- He heard things that were said about her. And you'll hear more. It is inevitable. But as a boy is fair, took the brief stay in court to see for yourself who is Elizabeth. - He spoke with his mother? - No, but noted. And followed. That's how he found out about the plan she concocted against me. Against us. Thayer sighed, full of sorrow for the child. - And a very hard lesson for a boy so young. I understand that boys do not maintain a strong bond with their mothers, but nobody likes to discover negative things about them. - I do not know if it really bothered with it all. Not noticed bitterness or rebellion, Bek and not touch it again since you told me about what he had heard in court. - Maybe I should talk to him. - Can be good. Gytha kissed him on the neck. Thayer knew what she wanted, but tried to ignore the invitation unsubtle. - Let us choose names for boys and girls. Smiling to detect the hoarseness in his voice, Gytha shifted and kissed the corner of her husband's mouth. He held her by her hair, trying to contain it. The trick was inefficient. - Gytha, you're pregnant ... - I know. It was not exactly what I just tell you? - She went on to describe a trail of fire with the kisses was banking on his face, between chin and ear. - But ... You are so small! And I'm too big ... - Hmm .. Huge! - I hurt the baby. - I still have much to learn about pregnancy and childbirth, but there's one thing I know: the first three months are the most dangerous, because it is during this period where there is greater possibility of losing a child. And I'm already pregnant four months ago. - Four months ...

- Exactly. And we did a month ago, Thayer? - A month ago? - It was hard to think. The fever burning in your body affecting reasoning and memory harmed. - I think ... made love. And I could have hurt ... - But does not hurt. So what conclusions can we draw from this, my great husband and obtuse? - What do love will not harm the baby? - Exactly! - So ...? - Thayer, enough! Stop asking so many questions and will give pleasure to his wife! Even a dutiful wife as I may lose patience in certain circumstances. Laughing, he took her in his arms and kissed her passionately, indulging in the delights that could only live with his sweet Gytha. Gytha was happy. Very happy. Resolved all the problems with her husband, had assured that Elizabeth did not threaten their happiness, and even have a child the man she loved. Sleeping in his arms was all he could want after the intense pleasure she had just experienced. But there was a cloud on the horizon. One last question to remedy. - Thayer? - He should be sleeping, Gytha - he replied sleepily. - Baby ... - And just a question. The last. - What is it? - He said that Dennis is dead? - Yes Rascal returned to court just before I leave. How not tried to find him immediately after the offense, he judged to be safe. I challenged him. It was a fair fight in which he was defeated. Even if belatedly, avenged the insult against his honor. Does that bother you? - What bothers me is knowing that tarnished the honor can only be washed with blood. But if this is so ... - It was terrible to think that Elizabeth, the great and true guilty of all, had come out of the situation unscathed. - Sleep now, Gytha. You need to rest. I was really tired. - I'm going to sleep. But I would not worry about me. - I'm not worried - he lied, unable to ignore the fears that have surpassed the joy caused by the pregnancy news.

Gytha fell asleep in his arms. There were many nights he had not at his side, and spent many days wondering if he ever would again have it. For a time, he kept his mind free of all thoughts, concentrating only on the happiness of being able to feel it again. However, for most it was happiness, it was impossible to follow ignoring all thoughts about what could happen. Concern is required recognized. Invaded the confused emotions, all related to the child to be born soon. Were contradictory, some more intense than others. Felt euphoria, happiness and terror. Thanked God for this gift, but also lamented that the union had fruited. I could not wait to have arms the son of Gytha, but also wished she had never conceived. The death hung over the bed of childbirth. It was impossible not to think about it. The words "dead at birth" were recorded in many tombstones. Many women had life stopped at that time it should be of joy and beauty. Women rich and poor, loved or not, beautiful or ugly. Even the strong and healthy could fall victims of a complicated delivery. Until Gytha ... He refused to follow this line of thought. Pressed it against the body, smiling when he heard her mutter his name. He wanted to protect her from the threat that no sword could stop. If the will of a man had some weight in the game of life and death, nothing could pry it from his arms. But Thayer knew that nothing was stronger than the will of God. All he could do was wait and see what would happen. But think about faturo without Gytha prevented him from sleeping that night. And knew the sleepless night was just the first of many that have come. - I have a feeling of leading a procession - Gytha said as he looked back, watching the four armed men who followed. Margaret laughed and winked at Bek, who was amused by the situation. - Thayer says you should be protected. - And I'm more than protected. The only place where I can be alone in the bathroom is, and would not surprise me to find a guard standing at the door when you leave. - Looking around the village where they walked, she sighed. - I think people are frightened by this show of force. - No. The people are aware, it is true, but not startled.

- They keep well away from us. - Well, they realize that you are protected and deduce that for some reason. Do not want to make any movement that men may consider dangerous. So are distant, quiet. - I know. Only I complain because I'm tired of this whole story. There were more threatened by Pickney. - You think he gave up the plans? - Who knows? - Until someone to make sure the order of danger, you will remain protected. - Margaret grabbed the arm of the press. - I doubt that your husband let go around unescorted, even Pickney not pose more of a threat. - E - Bek said, shaking the hand holding that of Gytha - Daddy says it now has to protect you both. - My stomach still does not even appear. - She laughed. - Do you think I will have a brother? - I've been feeling a bit irritated and grumpy from the beginning of pregnancy. They say this type of change happens when the baby is a boy. You want a brother? - Yeah, but Daddy says I should just pray for the baby to be healthy, so ... - He frowned at the sight of a small woman and plump waving at them in front of the inn. - Who is that? - I do not know - Gytha said, looking at Merlion air astonished to see him stand before her. - Know this woman, sir Merlion? She may be waving for you. - No, no man knows. I'll see what she wants. Seeing Merlion walking toward her, the woman took a step back. Gytha noted that the expression of Merlion was becoming darker as he spoke with the unknown. There was something familiar about it. For a moment, Gytha thought seeing her in court, but could not be sure. Seen so many faces, all so similar ... It was impossible to say. When Merlion returned, she felt a mixture of curiosity and discomfort. - What does she want? - The woman's personal maid Lady Elizabeth - Merlion replied with annoyed tone. - Lady Elizabeth? What this woman doing here?

- It seems that she came looking for her, milady. Intended to ride to Riverfall tomorrow morning, but when he saw her here, she decided to arrange a meeting immediately. And she wants to talk to Bek. - She said why? - To redeem himself. There was an obvious disbelief in his voice Merlion and Gytha shared the sentiment. Elizabeth was not the kind of woman who apologized. On the other hand, she might be worried about their own safety. You should know that Thayer had already taken notice of their participation in the episode in the garden of the king. Dennis was killed for it. Elizabeth was probably expecting some sort of retaliation. For a moment, Gytha thought of refusing to talk to her. It would be a comeuppance let her consumed by fear and apprehension. But I had to think of Bek. Elizabeth was his mother. Even if the apology was not sincere, but a simple way to escape the consequences of their evil deeds, it would be good to hear the boy's mother to express regret. - She's in the inn? - Yes, the maid said that will take you to your lady. Do not like it, milady. - Well, sir Merlion also do not wish to revise this woman, but ... - She tilted her head toward Bek. - The meeting may benefit some people. And not imagine what kind of trouble can result from a brief conversation with Lady Elizabeth. - She just receive my lady and the boy. Anyone else. - I'm not surprised. If I wanted to apologize for anything, also would not want an audience so large and well-armed. Furthermore, there caberamos all in one room of the inn. - It would be preferable that she had to apologize in Riverfall. - Actually, I prefer to solve this today, as soon as possible. And she'd rather not go near Riverfall. - She looked at the boy. - I'm sorry, Bek, but it's what I feel. - I understand. She was cruel to you. - Bek looked Merlion. - I'll be with Gytha, sir, if a problem occurs. Merlion smiled. - It is true. Well, go then, milady. I'll be here with the men waiting for their return. We can not take.

- We will not take. Take the men to drink a beer at the inn, sir Merlion. After all this walking, they deserve a little comfort. Gytha walked away from the group and walked toward the created. He could hear the men a step behind her. They do not follow her to the room, but would be within the inn, which would be a comfort. Not believe that Elizabeth would be stupid enough to try to reach her again, but did not trust the woman. Holding Bek's hand, she hoped that the boy would not have to see again the devilish side of the mother. Behind created, Gytha entered the inn. When he stopped to wait for the maid to open the door of Elizabeth, she felt Bek shake his hand and shared nervousness boy. Taking a deep breath to calm herself, she entered the room. Elizabeth remained as beautiful as on the court. It also displayed the same attitude haughty and arrogant, in-congruent with someone who wants to apologize. - Well, well ... - Elizabeth said looking at the belly of Gytha. - I see that the man is still fertile. Sure to apologize was not the intention of the obnoxious lady, Gytha asked: - What do you want, Elizabeth? - Ah ... well, I do not want anything ... Alarmed by winning smile on the lips of the woman, Gytha turned to leave and was stopped by a thud. Bek suddenly became a dead weight hanging your hand .. The boy fell to one side of his face bloodied. The limp hand slipped from his fingers. She opened her mouth to scream but was silenced by a huge filthy hand. Gytha struggled, trying to fight, but a sharp pain in her head made her limp. Elizabeth's laughter was the last song she recorded before losing consciousness. - Hurry, get it here - she ordered as she took the mantle, calling the maid to help her cover up. - Leave the boy. The men who escort will soon be up here. We better get out fast. Pushing the dazed created, Elizabeth jumped on the child faint and went to open the door. Merlion decided it was time to end the meeting between Elizabeth and Gytha. I should not have allowed his lady drove up to the room alone. Left

the hostel to go pee outside, and upon returning he found Thayer and Roger at the door, which made him feel even more foolish. - Where is Gytha? - Thayer said. - Up there. In one of the rooms. - It does not feel right? - There is nothing wrong with it. Milady was to meet lady Eiizabeth. Thayer's expression suggested that Merlion was in trouble. -You let her go alone to meet that viper? - The maid said that your lady just wanted to apologize. - Eiizabeth? Apologizing? - It is possible. She may fear any retaliation now that Dennis is dead ... - Yes, you can, but leave Gytha go find that bitch alone ... - Bek's with her. The boy ... Oh, my Jesus! Turning to figure out what had suddenly become so pale Merlion, Thayer swore. With the face devoid of color and blood-splattered Bek staggered down the stairs of the inn. Thayer rushed to support him. Sitting on one of the benches of the hall, he settled his son beside her, keeping an arm around her shoulders. Someone put your hand in a towel moistened. He realized he was shaking when he began to clear the boy's face. The state Bek could only mean one thing: someone had taken Gytha. Kneeling, Roger helped the boy, still dazed, drink some broth. - I examined his head, Thayer. I found a huge cock and a cut surface, nothing more. Bek, you think you can tell us what happened? - Not sure - the boy whispered, unable to hold back tears of pain and fear. - You went to find her mother - Thayer recalled, trying to contain the distress and panic. - Yes, she ... said he wanted to apologize to Gytha. But she lied. Gytha disappeared. Thayer closed his eyes and breathed deeply. Give in to despair not help to rescue his wife. - Did you see who took it? - Asked. - No. My mother said she did not want anything. Gytha looked worried and ... And someone knocked on my head. When I woke up, there was nobody else in the room. I could not protect her.

- Son, you were attacked from behind. It could have happened to me or Roger ... With anyone. Margaret Thayer approached. - Let me take the boy, my lord. He needs a bandage that cut. - Thank you, Margaret. So she withdrew with Bek, Merlion said: - The men have left in search of someone or something. Think lady Eiizabeth allied to Pickney? - What else is there? - Thayer shot furious. - Pickney is the one who is behind Gytha. Merlion rubbed his head. - I would not allow the meeting, Thayer, but I never imagined it could happen. - Why should you imagine? As far as I know, Pickney and Elizabeth never met. I never told anyone that Eiizabeth deserve special care. When I left the court, I knew I had contracted a dangerous enemy. Somehow, she found what you want Pickney and saw in him a chance to avenge the humiliation who thinks he has suffered with my refusal. Why was Gytha find this woman? - I think she was the boy. I doubt you have waited a sincere apology, but she wanted the boy to hear. - Yes, I understand. - Thayer rose to his feet. I need to go look for Gytha. With the help of Merlion, Roger Thayer has held for the door. - Wait for the men return with news. It is not good to go around blindly. Pickney want married to Robert. Not that her life is in danger. - No? She carries my heir, Roger. If the child is born and live, Robert can no longer inherit Saitun Manor. And that's what Pickney want. - I think it's time to send word to her family - Roger opined. - Yes, so we know a little more. The men are now returning. With great effort Thayer managed to stay where he was, However, to see who the men crawled into the lodge, he even tried to contain. Roger and Merlion need much strength to contain the spread deadly against Elizabeth. Seeing him restrained and calm, the terror of the woman gave way to the old arrogance. - What did you find? - Thayer asked the men. Torr, the group's leader, said: - Little, except for these two. - He pointed to Elizabeth and her maid. The woman trembled and whimpered terrified.

- I demand to be released immediately - Elizabeth declared haughtily, trying to straighten the clothes descompostas. - Not in a position to demand anything - Thayer replied angrily. - What are you doing on my land? - He was traveling to go visit my family. - Alone? Have you ever lied better. Where is Gytha? - His wife? And I who should know the whereabouts of the woman who lives with you? - Elizabeth, listen, I'm not in the mood to put up with their games. Respond! Where is Gytha? - I do not know. We were attacked in the room while we talked. And were stolen. My maid and I managed to escape. Clearly the bandits took his wife. Logo will ask for a ransom, I suppose. Elizabeth let out a scream of panic when Thayer grabbed her shoulders and pushed her against the wall, keeping it immobilized with a hand on his neck. - I want the truth! - He thundered. - Thayer, how can you treat me like this? I am the mother of your child! - Mother? You never was mother to Bek. A real mother would not let someone else create your child. Neither would be attacked and then run away, leaving him unconscious and alone, with a head bleed! Who took Gytha? - Pickney. Charles Pickney and his cousin Robert. Two men fled with her Pickney. - Where? - Saitun Manor. Thayer released her. Elizabeth fell to the ground panting. The poor maid ran terrified to their rescue, but she stood alone and walked away with a angry gesture. The speed with which regained arrogance was astounding. It was also remarkable for its total lack of sense of danger. - How can he seek refuge in Saitun Manor? I am the owner of the place! - There will be more. Pickney intends to use his wife to open the gates and disarm the guard. - How to get involved with this man? - I met him when he left the court on the way home. He told me his plans, and saw in him a chance to avenge me and still earn good money. Charles

promised to give me a portion of what you make. - So you think it's all just a game for profit? I see that Charles mind much better than you. He involved in a murder plot, woman! The rescue that you want to ask is my life! - Well, we're all going to meet the Creator at some point. She seemed calm, but Thayer recognized one of his lies. The truth was reflected in his eyes, the fear that was in them. Elizabeth realized that the situation in which it was enveloped much more serious than I had thought in the beginning, and even its high condition from birth or the name obtained by marriage, could free her from punishment if someone died as a result of their plans. - You can make this trip well before you want - he shot threatening. - What do you mean? - Elizabeth looked around, studying with some distress the gunmen. - Take Lady Elizabeth to Riverfall, Torr, and keep well guarded prisoner. Struggling futilely against the hands that gripped his arms, looked at Elizabeth Thayer. - Can not do this to me. You can not arrest me as if I were a ... any one! Forget who I am? - Never, milady. Will be in Riverfall until all this is resolved. If I return with my wife, we will refund your family safe. If Gytha die, you will be hanged. - He smiled coldly when he saw her pale. - If I do not survive to personally put the rope around his neck, many others submit joyfully to this mission. - Can not ... I am the mother of your child! - This will not save your life if Gytha die. And if she and her family live is called to come pick her up, take the occasion to inform them about Bek. - Inform them ...? You promised! No one would ever know! No! - Elizabeth cried to see him make a sign ordering Torr take her. - Need to hear me! - I come back here, my lord? - Asked Torr. - No. Wait for me in Riverfall. Thayer Elizabeth turned away, ignoring his protests. Looking around, she caught the eye of the child. A sincere and penetrating gaze that made him recognize would not be so easy to get punishment for Elizabeth. Decided to consider the issue later. Now, the only thing that mattered was finding Gytha and take it

back to the safety of Riverfall. - So ... will do what Pickney waiting, going after Gytha or will sit and wait for it to come looking for him? - Roger asked, approaching Thayer. - I'm going after him. Armed and ready for battle, although he is not interested in a fair comparison. - You think it's a wise decision? - What choice do I have? Pickney keeps my wife hostage! - He wants to marry her to Robert. This means that it will not hurt her. Not until benefit from this marriage. - Do you think we can be sure of that, Roger? Gytha is pregnant. My heir grows in her womb, and it can threaten plans Pickney. The existence of put another heir to lose everything he wants to win. Thayer was shaking with anger and fear. Pickney had hands all that was precious to him. He could think of no plan immediately, but not surprised with this. In the state I was in, was not even able to handle a strategy action. - Let's go back to Riverfall. We will act as our intention was to promote confrontation and battle - Thayer announced, already heading out the door of the inn. Its people followed him. - This is what one expects miserable. Then pretend to act according to their expectations. On to Saitun Manor and we will meet on the walls. 'll Display all our strength and fury, as if we wanted to collapse the fortress on the head of the unfortunate. - And what will our real plan? - Roger wondered. - Our real plan? - Thayer let out a bitter laugh. - There is still no. I hope to think of something until we camp before the gates of Saitun Manor. The moment Thayer entered Riverfall he knew had prevented men Torr. Bluntly, he gave orders that all his army in waiting and went to his own room, preparing to leave. Not even in the privacy of the bedroom, he found peace to think clearly. The spirit of Gytha was everywhere. Her scent lingered in the air, and he hurried to escape the room and soon the memories contained therein. Memories fed fear that needed controlling.

Went to Margaret's room and was not surprised to find Roger there. The two were already considered a couple in Riverfall, and everyone expected the announcement marriage. However, his interest was not part of the moment of parting lovers, but finding Bek, Margaret accommodated in his quarters. The boy slept the bed of the press Gytha. - How is he? - Asked in a worried whisper. - Best, my lord - Margaret replied beside Roger. - I gave him a potion to relieve pain in the head. However, nothing can lessen the pain that the poor carries the soul. - I know. Instead of seeing any good in the mother, even false, as to be expected, he only saw evil even greater than they already knew. And lost Gytha, already was very important to him. - Yes, my cousin has a special way with children. Gytha seems to understand how small see the world. - I noticed how he converses freely with her. - Will bring her back safe and sound, my lord. I'm sure. Thayer knew that Margaret did not believe in his own words. Not enough to banish all signs of the face of concern. But she wanted to believe. - I hope you're right. You can instruct it to send news to the family of Gytha? They need to be informed about this whole issue. - Yes, my lord. And try to inform them with all ... kindness. - Do it. I will be forever grateful. Roger, we'd better go at once. - He smiled coldly. - We can not wait ... Charles Pickney - No. Of course not. - Roger took Margaret's hand and raised it to his lips for a kiss. - I'll be back as soon as possible, my heart. The two men have retreated. Already outside the room, whispered to Roger Thayer: - We will need a lot of divine help. The men waited in the hall, already armed and ready for the journey. - Do not have a plan? - Nothing. I can not think. All my attention is on Gytha and the harm it can suffer. Roger opened the heavy doors to the great hall. - No one will be surprised by it - he said. Thayer went to the table and waited for his men to follow him.

- I am the leader - he muttered to his friend quietly. - A man with impaired reasoning can not lead an army. - We'll think of something while we address Saitun Manor, old friend. We've done it before. Thayer sat. The servants served a simple meal, but very nutritious. Would eat while conferenciavam and prepared to face the dangers that were waiting outside. Thayer eat without feeling the taste of food. I was devastated. A plan rushed and carelessly did not seem to be enough. Not when there was so much at stake. - Perhaps we need to follow them - he suggested, giving up eating. - In which direction? - Roger asked. - The trail is not certain or clear. They may have followed in ten different directions. It would be a waste of time and unnecessary wear of men and horses. Better prepare and proceed directly to Saitun Manor. You know that. - Yes, I know, but I wanted my decision confirmed. The fear for the safety of Gytha shakes my confidence. I doubt my actions and I'm always hesitating, unsure if ever made a mistake or should have acted differently at some point. - And a man of battle. Follow your instincts. Hear the heart that earned him the nickname of Red Devil. That's what keeps us alive. And it will ensure survival Gytha the well. Believe it, Thayer. - If I can find that instinct ...-Thayer muttered discouraged. The man who had led and survived many battles seemed no longer exists withinhim, choked with concern and fear. The love could awaken cowardice in a man. He looked at the brave fighters gathered around him while he was devoured by the latter idea. As much as we had tried to ignore the feeling, she knew I loved Gytha. Was that emotion aroused so afraid now that she was in danger. So he felt overwhelmed by the desperate need to bring it back to safety, so we saw the failure as death itself, though he was not to be. The love he felt for her was explaining many things such as attitudes he had taken, words said or felt things. He had discovered what a man needs to feel fully alive. It was not surprising that no I could not even think at the possibility of losing it all. Have some explanation helped him regain some composure, even though it was cold and forced. He focused on listening to the plans that were suggested by his men. None of them were perfect. The idea was that Torr aroused more hope. Had already thought of it and disposed of in one of the few moments of sanity

since the abduction of Gytha. Sadly, Torr did not know how to solve the weakest point of the plan. How would reach Saitun Manor unseen? None of them could remember an entry I could use to gain access to the interior of the fortress. If the castle had an unprotected area and hides, only the family knew her, and William had taken the secret to his grave. Accepting with regret the need to chart a plan during the journey, en route to the battlefield, Thayer declared it was time to leave. He stopped for a moment when, between Merlion and Roger, prepared to assemble. His pride hated reveal a weakness, but I knew I had this moral duty with two friends. - Roger, watch me carefully - he said. - It's what I always do? Protect your back? - I do not mean my back, but me. Keep an eye on me. And you too, Merlion. Roger frowned. - Not sure I understand. - In the state I'm in, I can make some kind of madness. Crazy. - You seem very calm - Merlion opined after mounting. - And there's every reason to be altered. - With or without reason, take care of me. What boils my soul is precisely what can cause the death of a man. The seeming so calm is tenuous. This is a situation that we can not be guided by emotion, but she is so strong in me that can easily take over. You have my permission to pull me from the leadership, If I start acting weird or way endangering the lives that take to the battlefield. Swear not follow me blindly, because only God know where I can get them this time. To be a good leader in the fight, a man must have cold blood and head in place. I do not have any of those things in moment. Now swear - he demanded while riding. - I swear - Roger replied without hesitation. Merlion also made his oath. - But pray we do not get to that point. CHAPTER VII Gytha fought consciousness, because with it came the pain. A searing pain who punished his head. Voices invading torpor trying to cling to. Every noise, every little move intensified the pain.

Opening his eyes cautiously, she accepted resignedly the fact that would not have the comfort of unconsciousness. Was bound hand and foot. Was on a wagon, in the middle of bags and kegs. No need to look at the sky to know that the wagon was traveling at high speed. The were bumps that shook proof. Trying not to think too much in pain, she turned aside to find less uncomfortable position between the bags, protecting against bumps. So agitation would do no good to the baby. Changing positions also served to relieve pain in the head, but the hatred of Elizabeth was only growing. Had fallen into the trap Viper! Leaning a little neck, she looked at the two men in front of the wagon. Via broad back, very adult. Maybe they had some news of Bek ... - Ah, finally woke up! - Exclaimed one of them looking backwards. - The boy ...? - Gytha throat was so dry it was painful to speak. - We left behind. We do not need him. - How is he? - Who knows? I have not had time to look. And the fine lady also did not stop to examine the boy. Ran over him and ran away as fast as he could. Why stay? She had accomplished what he had promised. - Yes .. put me in the hands of Pickney ... - Will soon be with him. It was the confirmation I needed. Had imagined that Charles Pickney was behind it. Even so, make sure only served to discourage it even more. Worse still was not news Bek. Wanted to make sure at least that the boy was alive, or that Elizabeth, assailed by a remnant of maternal instinct, nursed his wounds before fleeing. Instead, the mind just took the last picture of the boy, a vision that only fed his torment. If he was being taken to Pickney, this meant that Thayer's life was in danger, she realized with a start of dread. Would be used as bait to attract her husband to death. It was horrible to think about, but knew he could not ignore it. For the sake of Thayer was really important that faced

danger. If there was any chance thwart Pickney, however small, she had to be alert to be able to grab it quickly. Closing her eyes, she decided that her situation was desperate. The feeling of defeat was inevitable and urgent, and for a moment let himself be dominated by pessimism. The wagon stopped, pulling it from the pit of whining. As he looked around trying to find yourself, Gytha was taken by a new discomfort. Could see that the pulses were swollen as a result of forced immobility. No need to look at the ankles to know they were in a worse state. She let out a startled cry when one of the men, the lowest and truculent, took it out of the cart and stood in the ground. Could not sustain itself body. Even tied, managed to use the cart as a back support, avoiding the fall. The two men began to set up camp. - I need help - she announced haughty and imperious tone, relieving humiliation. - Henry, just listen to the girl - who said ironically brought them out of the cart. - Take care of yourself, my lady! - If you do not need help, not lower myself to the point of speaking to the two worms like you. You tied me up with ropes too tight. I swollen hands and feet, which means I can not move alone. If you fall, can harm the baby I'm expecting. - Track, then. - Henry shrugged. - John and I have better things to do. - And Pickney will be pleased if you lose the baby - added John. - He may be, but my husband, the Red Devil, will be taken by his murderous rampage. That He be angry. Will die before you can do anything. John and I need not fear him. - No? Who can say that he will die? - Well, Pickney plans ... - John began. - Not always plans unfold as we want - she interrupted, smiling as he could leave them worried. - A smart man would reflect carefully about your moves. - What do you mean? - Henry was restless. - Well, a man really wise to try to please both sides. - No one is capable of it - John argued with a nervous laugh.

- No? Pickney want me to be brought to him alive. The Red Devil want me alive and still with your child in the womb. I do not know where is the difficulty of meeting to both sides. You only need a little more care. Remember that the Red Devil is known to be victorious in every battle. Battles that Charles Pickney won? - Go help her, John. - Why listen to her? - John muttered as he hold her. - Because it shows a lot of wisdom for a woman. Gytha was brought to the fire and sat down, had to convince them to change the bindings, because I knew that there would remove the. The strings that impeded circulation causing pain, and knew that would be harmful to the baby. - Do you believe what she says? - John asked his companion. - Yes Pickney has good plans, but we are forgetting to consider who the enemy is. The Red Devil bravest men ever faced and survived that Pickney. And is alive today. - Well, thinking about it this way ... Why do we put ourselves on the side of Pickney, then? - Because we received good money for it, idiot. - We will not be able to spend those coins if we are dead. - It is true. But the Red Devil fight fairly while Pickney relies on treason. So I thought he might have a chance of victory. - Henry looked seriously for the prisoner. - Now I have doubts. Pickney already attacked treacherously other times, and he always escaped. And it is quite possible that he quit playing clean when cornered come, which will make it even more dangerous. - So ... let's run away? Let's escape before the trap closes over us? - No. We can not escape. Pickney kill us for it. We forge our way and now we must follow it to the end. What we can do is to ensure that Red devil woman suffers no harm in our hands. - But we raptamos! - Pickney ordered the kidnapping. We are only servants, hired men to follow orders. It can save us. He will turn against one another and Pickney idiot named Robert, but will not waste time with your followers. We will be saved if we take care of you. Now, stop being a coward. We need to

eat and rest. Pickney awaits us tomorrow morning. You better not be late. John followed the advice of Henry, and cursed mentally Gytha. For a moment he had hoped that the fear of John could make them run, trying to escape Thayer and Pickney. Unfortunately, Henry was not only smarter, but it was calmer than their partner, too. - So - she muttered to herself - I need at least a little more comfort. - Extending his hands, raised his voice. - I need to be untied. Henry stared and laughed. - Do you think we are brainless woman? Gytha not answered. Wanted to scare them to make your trip easier, and respond to the comment with harsh words I would say only infuriate and worsen your situation. - Do not you see what these strings cause me? - She showed the wrists and ankles swollen. - It's nothing that should worry woman. - No? No wonder you can not realize the harm it can cause. I doubt you have children. This swelling can be very detrimental to a woman pregnant. - I do not care. - Despite the words, Henry approached her and looked apprehensively at his wrists. - How can we keep it under control to untie? Tola! - I'm sure that smart men will think of something. - I knew I could not banish the voice contempt, but expect them to attribute the tone at the very aristocratic arrogance. - A pregnant woman needs moments of privacy. If you still hesitating, you will discover that tell the truth and we both suffer a major constraint. When they finally untied her hands and ankles, Henry grunted - I see what you mean, but will not move away from here alone. - Keep me alone is the principal means to have private moments. - Well, your privacy will be restricted to I turn my back. Come on. Staggering, accompanied by Gytha among some bushes. His need was so desperate, she even thought about arguing with the man. Doubted even there was some argument able to make him change his mind. Despite being aware of all this, it was with great embarrassment that she reached down between

bushes while the bandit gave him away. It was humiliating. As if that were not enough, still need to rely on miserable return to the camp, because the poor circulation resulting from the shackles hindered the simple act of walking. So she sat beside the fire, John placed a bowl and a wooden spoon in his hands. The mixture seemed lumpy and uninviting, but was too hungry to refuse food. The food had no flavor, the texture was intolerable, but she ate everything and drank all the wine he was served. When Henry came up with a rope, she recoiled. Only now found full relief from pain and swelling. Not bear to face it again. To avoid the torment, vowed not to try to escape. - I will not tie strong as before, ma'am - with Henry explained impatiently. - Need to tie the woman - John protested. - Of course she will run away. - I intend to hold her to me. Waist belt. The choice is yours, ma'am. Gytha covered her stomach with her hands. - You can not tie my belly. The child ... - The rope will be above the child. And then? After a brief hesitation, she nodded. Anything would be better than the pain I felt. If experienced some discomfort, complain at the first sign. The way he tied forced a certain proximity. Gytha tried to ignore the disgust, even when he had to share a blanket with the bandit and lie beside him on the floor. Eyes closed, put some distance between them, as much as possible under the circumstances, and tried to find comfort in unconsciousness sleep. - There they are. Upon hearing the announcement of Henry, Gytha looked in the direction indicated by him. His only restriction was the rope that held her by the waist attached to the wagon. As the knot was very close to Henry, she had no chance to let loose, and he doubted that thought in trying, whatever the possibilities. Jump from one wagon at high speed would be a greater risk than was willing to take. But when he saw Charles Pickney, she contemplated this action for a moment, thinking maybe it was the lesser of evils.

The wagon stopped at the entrance of a camp. There was Charles. She noticed that the man had no more than two dozen armed men, ensuring their safety. When Robert Pickney and approached the wagon to study it, she stared boldly and firmly. Pickney's gaze fixed on her stomach startled her, but she tried to hide her fear. Robert looked perplexed. She told herself she was concentrating on something unimportant. Pickney was he should observe. He was the leader. - You are pregnant. - Pickney clenched his fists, containing the urge to punch it. - How much cunning. Pregnancy is something that frequently occurs to a woman who has a husband. - Enough of impertinence! Damn that man and damn you! We will have to solve this problem. Words icy Pickney filled her with dread. Robert also looked terrified. There was a limit to what he could endorse. Gytha just needed to find if Robert could find the courage to stop what appalled him, or if he could give him the courage somehow. - I would not make so many plans - she told Pickney with icy tone, without even trying to hide his hatred for him. - And fool enough to think that his great Red Devil can win this time? - It is foolish enough to think he can not? - Man, I made a prisoner, and through you, then I apoderarei of Saitun Manor. Now I got that bastard red. - Yet. - You better watch out, milady. As I said, you are now my prisoner. - In this case, it is best to keep me firmly secured, sir, because I might be the only obstacle separating you from death more than deserved at the hands of my husband. Is standing there bragging as if they had won, but it's best not to count victory ahead of time, because the battle has not even begun. Noting how the words of Gytha infuriated his uncle, Robert dared whisper - Beware, Gytha. - Yes, listen to the advice of my idiot nephew. It is not smart to challenge me. - He turned to the men. -Come on! And time to go to Saitun Manor! For a moment Gytha had the impression that Robert was going to talk to her, but he ran after the uncle said nothing. The group left too quickly, in your opinion.

It was evident that Pickney not want to risk being reached by Thayer in open space. Averting the eyes of the men who followed him in front of the group, Gytha noted that Henry looked at her. There was concern in his eyes. - Robert may be dumb, but he told the truth - The boy said after a moment. - Better be careful, my lady. Pickney usually have access to fury. He plans to marry her to the goofy calls nephew, but that did not prevent him from attacking her, should provoke his wrath. It is capable of killing. - Henry moved away, John and urging others to increase the speed of the trot. Gytha settled between the bags in the cart. I was not thinking about the warning he had just received, but the reason that now prepared. Suddenly realized that Henry and John were judged more dangerous than they really were. They have not mistreated. Were crude, yes, ignorant, no doubt, but they were not cruel. Fulfilled orders, neither more nor less. But now I noticed that they also had limits. Closing his eyes, he decided to rest and think of a way to use all these recent discoveries. - She slept. - Heard Henry comment a little later. - How can you sleep in a cart that shakes so much? - John frowned. - I heard that a pregnant woman is able to sleep anywhere. It's strange, but it seems true. - Yes, and there's something else that's true. We got into a mess much higher than it would have us believe. - All because of that bastard. Pickney damn! Delete an heir, he said. Marry the idiot nephew with this woman. And we believe him. Only hear the clink of coins, fools that we are. This is all much more serious than getting rid of a troublesome heir. - And we can fall out of favor with him. Do you think he was serious when he threatened the child that the woman waiting for? - John whispered. - Ever man made a threat that did not intend to fulfill? - I confess I did not like to know anything about the murder of the two men, but I thought ... Well, they can fight, and that's how this whole thing works cavalry, nobles and duels. Steal another man's wife? - John shrugged. - It happens a lot. Nothing serious. But now he talks about killing a baby. A baby Henry! And I think this will also kill the mad woman when you have no more use for it. - Yes, he is capable of it. Pickney can actually kill women and babies. I have more sins weighing down on my soul than I like to think, but nothing so horrendous.

Never messed my hands with the blood of women and children. And not intend to commit these atrocities. - So we can run away now? Let's escape before it goes any further? - How? If we take this cart to anywhere other than the path indicated by Pickney, he'll kill us. - We are lost, then. - Maybe. Maybe not. Let's see what happens in Saitun Manor. Gytha waited tense, but nothing more was said. Another chance, she thought, trying not to feed your hopes up. John and Henry could not be entirely bad, but that did not mean he would be able to convince them to help her. More likely they were thinking only of saving his own skin. To escape the consequences of a heinous crime they believed to be inevitable, they just run away. And would do nothing to prevent the atrocity. - Wake up, my lady. The castle is right in front of us. - Oh, Henry. - She blinked sleepily sitting in the wagon. - I'm awake ... More or less. - He slept throughout the journey - John muttered. - Help you pass the time - she replied. Had slowed so as not to make the approximation threatening. Gytha felt discouraged when they were greeted with warmth by men almost in the wall. Come to hope that Thayer had sent a messenger to the men on the property, anything that preempted against Pickney. The speed at which traveled killed that hope. No messenger could have them exceeded. The idea of shouting an alarm was also abandoned when Pickney approached the wagon. - Not a word, ma'am - he muttered, pulling a blanket over the rope attached to his waist. She swallowed the scream that was forming in his throat. All he could do was pray that his silence did not cause the death of the men guarding the castle. Fear the baby shushed. Expected that the cost of saving that life still in training was not a terrible bloodshed. - Lift up now - Pickney ordered so passed by the walls of the property. - Stand up so they can see that you are my prisoner. By the time she obeyed the order, revealing tied up, the sound of swords being removed from their sheaths echoed through the courtyard. Pickney also wielded their sword and approached her. Gytha barely breathing. All men who guarded the fortress stood motionless.

- I want all the men in the courtyard. Now! And all weapons discarded - Pickney screamed as reluctant, the castle defenders began to gather. Make no brave attempt to rescue or kill his mistress. And with it will the heir of his master ... the Red Devil. Nobody outlined reaction. To the great relief of Gytha, Pickney not killed unarmed prisoners who had just done. Instead, he ordered that all were locked up in the dungeons. Only when satisfied that the order had been fulfilled he removed the sword from the neck of the hostage. Gytha fell on the bags the wagon. While Pickney was dedicated to take possession of the castle, she was left in the care of Henry and John. - It seems that the key to the door of a fortified property is a woman - Henry commented as he pulled the wagon to the barn. - I doubt that will work with all women - John replied, helping his friend to park the vehicle. Gytha was being removed from the wagon by two men when he heard the sound of a muffled cry. Weeping women. She saw Pickney and his men gathering in patio all the women and children of the fortress. The way the group was helpless surrounded by armed men unnerved her. Shared the fear that women could not hide, because he could not imagine what Pickney meant for them and their children. Looking straight face Henry, she asked: - What will happen to them? - Pickney will them locked away. He wants to take the path that everyone can try to help you or men. Besides ... - He hesitated before continuing. - The Red Devil will not take time to appear. Come on. - Holding her by the arm, he led her to the castle. - I was ordered to put her in the tower room west. Once in the room of the tower, Gytha sat up in bed. She was exhausted and totally defeated. Thayer arrive soon, but do not find a way to save her or save their lives. And she could not think of how it could prevent Pickney using it as bait to attract Thayer a deadly trap. Could only pray that Thayer had any malice in him, because treachery and cruelty would be their only chance of survival. Only then Pickney be defeated. Approaching the window, she looked down into the courtyard. Pickney's men were preparing for the arrival of Thayer. Why are they armed themselves for a

Pickney battle that had no intention of fighting? He would use it to kill Thayer, then use to prevent men from Thayer to seek revenge. For a moment she regretted pregnancy complicating everything that kept her paralyzed to act when needed most. Every move had to be well planned not to jeopardize the integrity of the child. Then she touched her own belly in a silent plea for excuses. Pickney was the only one to blame for all the mess she was engaged. His thoughts were interrupted by the sound of someone opening the door. Pickney and two of his most loyal followers and coming, and Bertrand Thomas, entered confident air. The victorious smile on the lips of Pickney infuriated her. I would love to erase it with a stiff jab. - Lady Gytha, may soon see the Red Devil meet death - he said with hoarse and sinister. - Lord, maybe I'd rather watch his death. And I pray God that it is slow and painful. Unfortunately, I fear that my husband is unable to descend as much as you. Pickney hit in the face with the back of his hand. Gytha barely contained the cry of pain from being thrown against the wall. The taste of his own blood exploded in his mouth. Examining the inside of the mouth with his tongue, she found that the blow had caused a cut on one side. Banning breast a violent wave of hatred, she forced herself to recall the notice of Henry. Pickney was filled with rage, and she was the object of that feeling. Did not want to expose yourself more than necessary. - I won, but it is clear that you need more to accept this victory. Soon have evidence that both want, milady. I will put your hands on the head of Red Devil arrogant. Gytha felt a sudden urge to vomit, but fought the urge. She refused to refuse any kind of weakness before Pickney. - One day, sir, will pay for those who commit crimes with such joy. Before she could say more, a man pushed open the door and peered into the room. - A force approaching the walls, sir - he announced. Pickney nodded. - Bertrand, when I give the signal, you should hold the woman at the window for it to be clearly seen by man. - He laughed, looking one last time to Gytha before leaving the room followed by Thomas and another helper. - It seems, my lady, that her husband is very anxious to die.

- Pickney! Thayer shouted at the walls of Saitun Manor while fighting the blind fury. Seeing the castle, had wanted to ride directly to the gates a gesture of madness. When Pickney appeared on the wall, he drew his sword, unusual acknowledging a willingness to kill. Had never experienced such feeling before. - Ah, the great Red Devil cry in front of my walls - Pickney responded with mocking tone. - Are my walls, bastard! But this is not about robbery came treat. Where is my wife? - Your wife? Why would I know the whereabouts of the harlot? - When I get my hands on that bastard, he will have a slow and painful death - Thayer said Roger and Merlion, escorting him. Then he raised his voice again. - Your ally cherishes more than life itself that professed loyalty to you, idiot! She told me everything. - Ah ... that woman. His wife. Yes, she's with me, but will have to pay to get it back. - I will not discuss anything before seeing Gytha alive and well. - As you wish. Thayer saw Pickney waving calling someone. The man pointed to the west tower. Looking in that direction, Thayer swore fiercely. Gytha was precariously balanced on the sill of the narrow window of the tower. Her fear only cooled slightly when he saw the hands that held her by the arms. Someone prevented the fall. However, that same person would throw it to death. - Gytha - he shouted, not knowing whether the voice could reach so far - are you hurt? She shook her head. His fear was evident. - Okay, Pickney,'ve seen. Have your man take it from there. Seconds later, Gytha was led into the tower. - So Red Devil, now understands that I'm in charge. Will have to bend to my will. - That's what we see. What do you want? - At the moment, I have everything I want. Oh no, there is still one thing. Thayer contained fury with a great effort, focusing thoughts on security Gytha and baby. Pickney knew was a man deranged and dangerous. To pretend that was your game.

- What is this thing? - He asked. - You. - I? I want to enter the castle, then? - Yes, unarmed. - So you can kill me without any risk. - His life for the woman. - No - Roger murmured beside her. - Thayer, may not transfer as quickly. - He will not give me much time, Roger. - Oh, he will, even if only to be able to taste what it considers to be a sure win. - Do not believe this victory? Roger sighed. - We just arrived. We are tired and tense. Make some time for us. We need to study the place and try to guess what he really thinks. There must be any solution other than to surrender to death as an ancient sacrificial lamb. Thayer looked up and saw beside Uncle Robert. - There is the shadow of Pickney - he said, knowing that the boy would dare help Gytha. Pickney, I have the impression that you're expecting me to give in with no guarantee of return or benefit! - You have no choice, Red Devil. However, if you think you can not meet my requirements ... - I never said that. - No? Well, today I am in a good mood. I almost feel generous, you know? I'll give you a break. Stay there ruminating in vain if you want. Futilely try to finda way out, a solution that we both know that does not exist. You have until tomorrow at this same time to accept defeat. Thayer turned his horse and returned to the place where his men had set up camp. Roger and Merlion followed. The sarcastic laughter echoed Pickney in his ears. Thayer stopped his horse, dismounted and was sitting alone on a rock at the opposite end of the camp. Needed to master the emotions. Was beginning to overcome the worst moment of distress, when he heard someone approaching. A firm hand on his shoulder announced the presence of Roger. - It seems that I failed once again with the poor Gytha, Roger. - You have not failed - the man said after sitting beside his friend.

- No? She is a prisoner of a madman and I can not redeem it. There is no salvation for Gytha, even if I offer my head on a silver platter Pickney. All this will only keep you alive for a while longer. Do not you realize? - No. What I see is just a well-made plan. Pickney created a cunning trap, and you can not always avoid them all. But that does not mean that the trap will work. - He thought a way to resolve the issue, is not it? - Not yet, but we have time. Once dark, the men will scour the whole area around Saitun Manor and castle walls in search of some thing, it is a rat hole or a weak spot in custody, no matter. If this place exists, we will find it. Thayer nodded. - Pickney not want to release Gytha, even if I meet your requirement. - No. We all know that. Therefore men will scour the area to find what we need. Otherwise, you would lose your life for nothing, and we would not even have a chance to avenge his death. Men know that the life of his heir is also at stake. If you do not find an entry for fortress, is because it simply does not exist. And that is impossible. We know that there is always a passage whatsoever. - I hope you're right. Otherwise, tomorrow will walk to death without even knowing if it will be the release of Gytha. It will be a terrible way to die. - So why even consider it? - Why could not live if I refused to meet the requirement, and Pickney killed her. Doing what he wants at least some more time to win Gytha. At this time you can try to free it. If I have to give myself, I want you to swear that he will keep fighting to get her out of there. - I swear. And also swear that I will not rest until we put an end to the life of that miserable bastard. Even if I have to break down the walls of Saitun Manor stone by stone to get to him. Thayer felt comforted by the oath. If I had to go to his death the next day, would sure Gytha still have a protector. Someone would Pickney pay for their crimes. But his greatest hope was that, before the end of the night, his men could find a way to invade the fortress. Gytha looked out the window and saw the light of the fire in the camp of Thayer. I wanted to be with him, hug him and end this torment. A noise at the door interrupted her thoughts.

No interest, she saw Henry leave the food on a table while John stood at the door. When the two stared at her, she sighed and went to sit stool in front of the table. He was hungry. It was unfair when you think about eating her husband's life was on the line, but had to think about the child inside her. - You need to eat, my lady - Henry manifested. - Why? - The baby in her womb ... - Ah, yes. I fatten him up to be killed, is not it? Knew that struck with such comments. - No, milady. Should give the child a chance to survive. She chuckled, but broke off a piece of bread and another of cheese, eating them without haste. - Do not lie! You know as well as I do that Pickney will not allow me to follow and the baby alive. Even let me have the baby, you just kill him so to be born. I bring an heir to the womb where we are now. Know how to deal with Pickney heirs, do not you? - Maybe a girl. - And you think that will change the fate of baby Henry? Do not be silly! If the king finds out that one of his knights died leaving a daughter alive, he will take under his protection. And right and duty of a sovereign to do so. He will deliver all the goods Thayer to any rider, a guy who feels the need reward for one reason or another. Pickney will not want to take that risk. Well, we have no part in it - John announced. - Oh, no? Who brought me here? - We did not know the whole plan Pickney. - Declare themselves innocent. Understand. Well, now they can no longer claim ignorance. Know the real intentions of Charles Pickney, but refuse to help me. - Do not want to die - Henry protested angrily. - We watched. Pickney not trust anyone. - And so, there will be still while he engages in a bloody string of murders. Failure to wield the sword not keep their hands clean of blood. Omission is not synonymous with innocence, gentlemen. - And contrary Pickney will only lead us to death, because we can not contain it. - Henry picked up the empty tray. - I do not want to die, much less a futile and foolish attempt to prevent something that is inevitable.

- You can not blame us for it - John shouted. - Ah, but I do not blame them! I know how hunger can induce a man to do anything for a handful of coins. I also know that many do not consider wrong the intention of Pickney, take what does not belong to him and take lives to find this path, stealing the wife of a man to put her in bed for another ... Unfortunately, these things happen often enough to be accepted. And do not blame them for wanting to go on living. This is also my biggest wish. Being thus, they can go ... and ensure their safety. Do not condemn you for it. A furious beat the door was not surprised. Had offered forgiveness with one hand, but had used the other to slap them. Really understand what had got that confusion and that could not get out. But her life and the baby were also at risk, and it was impossible not to resent against those who refused help. He did not ask any sacrifice. I just wanted to help. Unfortunately, they believed that helping her was tantamount to sign their own death sentence, and nothing would change your mind. - In short, I'm alone - she muttered as he walked back to the window with a cup of wine. Looking to light the campfire Thayer, she tried to think of something. No plan to survive further analysis. Everyone needed at least one more person, and could not count on anyone. The sound of someone entering his prison thinking that perhaps the destination could be sending that person. When he turned and saw Robert, she decided that fate had a cruel sense of humor. - What do you want here, Robert? - Asked, feeling a strange mixture of pity and hatred. - I just wanted to make sure it is not being abused. - Mistreated? No! The prison is very comfortable! - The tower is one more way to keep her safe. - And so? Strange ... With the lock on the outside, I deduced that the aim was to prevent me from going out, not keep out others. Know what I mean? You came in, but I still can not get out. Robert ran a hand through his hair blond. Gytha was still beautiful, despite the resentment. And so wanted, could not sleep at night thinking about it. But Thayer had. Big, red and awkward, it was he who went to bed every night with Gytha. An injustice.

- Do not want to be caught in the middle of the battle - he explained, trying to sound calm. - Battle? What battle? His uncle did not have the courage to face Thayer. He uses me to attract my husband to death. The discomfort and embarrassment reflected in the expression of Robert not moved. He who drowned in shame. It would be a nemesis for someone so weak. - Do not wanna talk about it - Robert grumbled. - No, and I also do not want to think about it. But know that feign ignorance will not save your soul. - I'll be a good husband to you, Gytha. - Do you really think that is going to allow anything to me, even after participating in the murder of my husband? - You'll have to marry me! This is the plan of my uncle. - Ah, yes, it is likely that he may force me to marry you. Combining forces, are also able to put me in your bed. But nothing will make me to like you. Whereas his uncle want to kill my son ... - No! This is not true! He never said that. - Said. You have heard and understood. But clearly convinced otherwise. But it will not be able to ignore reality when at the tomb of that innocent. It will be too late to act, then. Suddenly she realized that the door was unlocked. Nervous, Robert walked through the room, leaving the way clear for her. Could leave. The question was thewould do after that? Remain within the walls of Saitun Manor, but could hide somewhere, maybe even escape through a gap whatsoever. Were minimal chances, she recognized, but it was better than nothing. She ran to the door. - No, Gytha! Wait! A male body blocked the exit and destroy his hopes. The furious fingers gripped the arms, pushing her back into the room. Before even looking up, Gytha knew had been intercepted by furious Pickney. Thomas Bertrand and followed him. - What are you doing, Robert? - Pickney said. - Almost makes us lose our strength! After throwing it on the bed, he slapped his nephew so hard that the boy staggered.

Gytha sat in bed watching the scene. Robert did not try to dodge the blow. And not trying to defend themselves with words or actions. It was hard to understand as an adult man would accept this type of treatment. The rebellion arose only in the glare of his eyes and resentful. - She just had rushed to the door - Robert muttered. - And I came to try to calm her. - Approaching it, you mean. - Pickney laughed, looking Gytha. - Do not bother with it. Soon have what both want, my boy. The young Gytha be his wife. And if she wants to or not this fate ... No matter. - And the opinion of my family also does not matter? - Gytha manifested. - Or forgotten them? - No way. They did not attack me the same reason that contains her husband. I'm captive. - They can not wait to make him pay for his crimes. How men can also expect my husband. The life plans to take will be very poor, sir, with so many swords eternally pointed in his direction. All are waiting for the moment to send him to hell. - For a time, perhaps, but we all get tired of the game. - Lord, there are men whose thirst for justice and fairness do not cool down with time. - And you, my lady, overestimates its value. And now, let's address the issue that brings me here. My intention, as you know, is to kill her husband. But I think now that there is another way to eliminate it, to increase the torment that will tax your soul on a journey to meet the Creator. - What are you saying? - He knows that his wife met another man. - Pickney laughed as she tried to flee, but was restrained by Thomas and Bertrand. - Yes, and it will be delicious hobby while I wait. Let's see if all this beauty also has flaming, fire and passion. - Uncle, do not - Robert protested afflicted. - You promised that she would be mine. - And you will. Do not be selfish, my boy. - She's pregnant! Can make this woman losing her baby! - Even better. The child is useless to us. In fact, is not only useless, but it is a big problem. Gytha was torn between Thomas and Bertrand, but it was useless. They immobilized on the bed. All she could do was squirm, too vain, which

seemed to amuse them. She looked at Robert, pale and trembling, and knew he could not count on your help. Even tried to rebel and fight Pickney, not have physical strength to beat him. When Pickney reached for the tapes that closed the bodice of her dress, Robert pulled back. - No! Leave her alone. I will not allow such a thing. - You will not allow? - Pickney mocked. - I can not let the attack this way. The ensuing fight was brief, furious and terrible to see. When Thomas moved to go help Pickney, Gytha tried to escape but was prevented by Bertrand. It was with surprise that she saw, moments later, a dazed and bloodied Robert be dragged to the bedroom door. Pickney smiled at her. Thomas and Bertrand also smiled. She knew she had no means to prevent the violence that they planned an attack likely would endanger the baby's life, but he would fight to the end. Would not submit without a fight. Robert sat on the floor in the hallway, staring at the bedroom door. Wiping the blood from his lips on the sleeve of his coat, he heard a muffled cry and tried arise. - So finally plucked up the courage to fight, boy. Startled, Robert looked at the two strangers standing beside her. - Who are you? - I'm Henry - said he had spoken earlier, extending a hand to help him stand. - And this is John. We're both idiots who brought the woman to forth. - We need to stop them! - Robert took a step toward the door, but was restrained by Henry. - If it comes, it will take another beating and will again be thrown out. - You can help me. 'll Be three. Three against three. - Do not know how to use a sword. John did not. - Not I - Robert said, covering her face with her hands. - They will hurt Gytha. How can I allow such horror? - Staying there crying will not help the lady. - So what should I do? Should I stay here and listen to the animals they abuse it?

- What would you do if you could get her out of the clutches of those beasts? Would still be captive within these walls. - No! I would take here. I know how to get out. Gytha lead back to Thayer - Robert whispered, giving up the dream of having his side the woman he loved and wanted. - She does not want me. - Are you saying you know a way out of here? - Henry asked euphoric holding Robert's arm and shaking him. - Yes, a hole in a very secluded property. William output I showed a long time. - His uncle know? - No. I kept the secret. - So, maybe there is a way to repararmos our mistakes. - Henry looked at John. - Want to try? - Of course it is - John replied, upset over a cry of Gytha. - But you said we can not fight those three - Robert commented. - So, here we bring someone who can. - Who? - The Red Devil - Henry replied. - Let's go by this hole and back with him. - Is it too late to Gytha. Everyone will raping then. - No, I'll defer violence - Henry announced. - Can I get their attention without arousing suspicion. Will be one hour at the most. The fewer the better. - It will be enough. I'm afraid to find problems when we pass through the dungeons, because there are two men on guard there. John smiled. - I'm not good with the sword, but I'm good to hit the enemy's head. - Perfect. Robert, you will attract the attention of the two guards in the dungeons. John will put behind them. Do not forget to tie and the two unfortunates after you hit them in the head. Then run to the camp of the Red Devil and bring him here as soon as possible. Once John and Robert moved away, Henry knocked on the bedroom door. The curse on the other hand was proof that there was discontinued Pickney. - Go away - he shouted angrily. - It is important, sir. Otherwise, I never would have bothered. - Whatever it is, send my idiot nephew handle it.

- I do not want to disrespect the man, sir, but I believe that this question requires more than he can offer. - Damn! Damn them all fools - Pickney shouted, turning away from Gytha and wearing the pants. - Honey, will have to wait to know the pleasure a real man can provide. She did not answer. Did not feel able to speak. Thomas Bertrand and released her, and she straightened her clothes with trembling hands, covering up quickly. The three men went to the door and she cringed against the wall across the room. It was no surprise to see Henry Gytha before the door opened. Never believed he was a member of the Pickney. - I hope it is really important as you say - Pickney shot furious. - It is important, sir. - What is it? - I believe I have found a weakness on their defense. And a hole large enough to allow the passage of a certain red-haired devil. - So someone is facilitating the entry of the enemy, because they cover all points. I'm sure. - I thought so, sir. So I came to you immediately. I knew you'd want to see the failure personally and take care of the punishment necessary. And always best leader take care of these more serious matters. You are right. Come with me - Pickney said Thomas and Bertrand. - It seems that I will need help. - He looked back to Gytha. - Do not be disappointed, honey. I'll be back to take care of you. Robert saw John tie the two guards unconscious. Was facing uncle. The finding terrified and filled with joy. He almost laughed. Expected Gytha that gave him the strength to break free from the dominion of uncle, and she had just done just that, but not as he had imagined. - Finished - John announced. - What is the problem? Are you sorry? - No, I ... I just realized that I'm free. - What are you saying? - Nothing. Do not bother me. Let's move on. My uncle goes back to Gytha soon as you can. We must hurry. One detainee was manifested.

- Go leave us here? - He asked. Robert recognized the man who had just spoken. Wee Tom was a huge man who clung to the grid cell. - For now - he replied. - We fight Pickney. - No swords, Wee Tom? No. Be patient. Soon we will be back. - He walked into a small room to the right. - Wait ... - John grabbed the keys and opened the cell door. - One of you. Only one - he decided when all approached the door. - What are you doing? - Asked Robert. - Why will leave one of them out? While pulling out the huge Wee Tom and turned to lock the door, John replied: - It can ensure that anyone who appears to be still here. We do not need a warning. John handed over the keys to the big guy. - You know what I mean? - Perfectly. If someone comes here, I mute it. - That's right. And if you can not silence the subject, release the men. The commotion will give us the time we need. - Time for what? - Wondered Wee Tom - To go get the Red Devil - Robert said, grabbing John's arm and leading him into the room to the right of the cell. - Help me away from these chests, John - he ordered already been dedicated to the task. Under the chests had a small door. Robert opened it and crawled through tiny tunnel beyond. John followed him. Moist and dark tunnel was not high enoughto allow them to stay standing, but was wide to accommodate two adult men. Gritting his teeth to endure the sound and feel of a multitude of small creatures, Robert was groping through the dark tunnel. It was a relief to finally get the curve that was beginning to rise. Metal rings embedded in the stone wall served as support and ladder. John had to squeeze alongside Robert to help him with the trap door stuck. The breath of fresh air that invaded the tunnel also brought a rain of leaves, twigs and pebbles. Robert was the first to come out of the tunnel. John followed him. The interior the hollow tree trunk was too small for two, so Robert left the hideout, allowing John to do the same. He looked into the open and the walls of Saitun Manor. Hoped the plan Henry was working.

- Quickly - John muttered wiping clothes. - We can protect the trees until we close Camp Red Devil. Thus, nobody will see us and think we are enemies. Robert and John had traveled ten yards when a bunch of men jumped on them and grabbed them before they could fight. Her smile filled Merlion with fear and trembling the poor Robert. - I want to talk with Thayer - Robert said, hating the tone of his voice terrified. - Oh, yes, you will talk to him - Merlion replied wryly. - After all, every man has the right to express his last wish before him that the run. CHAPTER VIII When Merlion burst into the tent, Thayer stood. There was an urgency in tense visitor who aroused his hope. -Did you find anything? - He asked, quietly proud of. - Yes - Merlion pointed behind, and two men were thrown into the tent. - I do not know what kind of game they plan, but we found the two idiots wandering the woods. Thayer acknowledged the cousin and was invaded by the fury a blind rage that drove him to attack Robert. And he would have attacked and killed if not for the interference must Roger and Merlion. - Can I drop - he told friends and supporters. - I will not kill the coward. Not for a while. Before he'll have to talk. And who is this other? - My name is John, Sir Robert and I are here to offer help. We want to change sides. - Oh yeah? Feel. - Thayer saw John sitting on the wooden bench, pulling the frightened Robert to sit beside her. - Why should I believe what says? - Lord, why else would bring us here unarmed? - I do not know. And have not told me who you are. What makes Robert? - I am one man who gave his wife Pickney. - He cringed when Thayer took a step toward her. - My friend and I were told only that we stole a bride. We were led to believe that everything was just one of those games played among the nobles. You are always killing and stealing land and women each other.

- We are not all equal. What made you change your mind? - We found out that we were mistaken. It was not just a game. You may not believe it, but my friend Henry and I have some sense of what is right. - Maybe you can convince me of that. Continue. - Well, Pickney goes too far. He has not bothered to harm women and babies. Henry and I do not accept that. Never participate in this type ofatrocity, and we will not start now. We found that it does not intend to leave his wife and baby live long. - And you bother with this, Robert? - Yes - He finally faced his cousin. - It was a mistake to let him attack William, and now you. - He killed William? - I can not say for sure, but when you talk about it, it does not refer to what happened as an accident. Anyway, that's not important now. I'm here for Gytha. He wants ... He wants ... - Spit it out, boy! - John fidgeted. - Henry will not be able to hold these men for ever! - He wants. And you want to take it. And Thomas and Bertrand are with him ... with the same intention. - Robert did not contain the tears. - And you left there? - Thayer shouted uncontrolled. - No! The Henry away from her. We have some time. - Little - John said. - Henry will not be able to retain them forever. We have to go back there. - We spent half the night looking for a gap through which we could enter - Merlion said. There are none. - And how do you think we do? - There is a passage. We left her and came here to get them. - To be killed there? - Roger asked suspiciously. Robert shook his head and replied: - Why do I bother with this? Pickney just have to wait until tomorrow to get everything he wants. Thayer simply deliver. Please trust in me. By Gytha! My uncle intends to rape her and then hand it over to Thomas and Bertrand! Think I might be quiet on this atrocity? Thayer took the sword. - Let - said.

- Better to leave some men here - John suggested as he stood up. - True - Robert agreed. - They can not see very well from the walls, but not identifying either shadow moving through the camp from time to time, may be suspicious. It is best not to alert them. - Pickney know about this breach? - No, Thayer. I never told him anything. Oh, and his men are in the dungeon. And there it is the passage through which we enter. They will need weapons. Wee Tom left guarding to prevent a men Pickney come down and that the alarm. Thayer left the tent followed by others. He left Roger with Robert and John while giving orders and taking care of the preparations. Robert felt he was sincere in its intention to help, but doubted his strength to persevere. Anyway, wanted to take advantage of this rare moment of courage cousin. - We are ready to go - finally announced. - You go on ahead to show the way. And if all this is a trap, know that they will die with us. When penetrated the woods toward the tree trunk where to enter the fortress, Roger Thayer asked: - What will you do with Robert and John when all this is over? - Many of the men enforcariam. - Yes, but I know that this will not be your decision. - How can I punish Robert for being dominated by his uncle for life? And this John ... He looked at me, Roger. It was honest. He really believes women and stealing land is common among the nobles. Still, can distinguish far they can go with their mistakes. It will not do harm to women and babies. Owe he life of Gytha. How could punish him? He's right, let them. I imagine they will think twice before engaging again in wrongdoing, even if the payment is tempting. - It is true. - Robert and John stopped beside a tree. - And here? - Yes, here - Robert confirmed. All followed. Thayer was holding a flashlight and attentive, went through the trapdoor. Wee Tom was waiting on the other side. - Finally! - He exclaimed afflicted. - My lord ... - Brought weapons to men.

- Great! They are eager to get into action. - Any news of Gytha? - Robert asked. - That man ... Henry ... He was here. Almost hurt him with the sword before realizing it was him. - It's true - Henry confirmed. - Gytha - Robert murmured, holding his arm. - How is she? - Pickney restrained as much as I could. It is true that a man was whipped for it, but ... Well, now they have returned to the tower. If you want to free the lady, is better run. - Colin Wee Tom - Thayer called. - Free the men who are here to arm themselves and us. I'll take Roger, Merlion and others. Where is Gytha? I saw in the window the west tower. And that? - Yes - confirmed Henry. - But be careful when you're up there. - I know. They have a hostage. - Yet - Henry yelled, running after them. - His wife found a way to keep them at bay for a while longer. - How? - She is in the window, my lord, and threatening to play if one dares to touch her. I left there a moment, and they tried to convince her to move away from the window. - By God! - Thayer shuddered. - Come on, let's hurry! She can not be serious! Gytha clung to the railing and tried not to lose balance. I was terrified, but feared even more men in the room. It was hateful thoughts of throwing the void in death and fly to commit the unpardonable sin of suicide, but what Pickney and his henchmen planned was also horrible. A. way or another, depressed she thought the baby would not survive. - Leave this window woman - Pickney demanded angrily. - No. I'll stay here until you leave. - Will macular his soul for all eternity to jump to his death. - Are you worried about my soul? But know that I prefer the hell they plan to me! - If you jump, will also kill the child waiting. - What you want and these filthy men will also mean the death of the baby. It gives me no choice.

- Okay, okay. - Pickney raised both hands in a conciliatory gesture. - Get down from there, and I promise that none of us will touch you. You have my word to be left in peace. - His word? Aha! It is worth nothing. Only a fool would accept his word. - Think about what I'm saying, woman. You are not useful to me dead. I do not want to die. - Yet! - She replied, not realizing that men not heard more. Only when the room was invaded she realized she had been forgotten. Thayer commanded the invasion noisy and violent. - Thayer! - She cried incredulously. - Get down from there before you hurt yourself, crazy woman! - He shouted, pointing his sword to Pickney. - Yes, husband. As you wish. Gytha down the window with great caution, but before he could savor the feeling of being safe again, her legs began to tremble under his body. Dizzy, she slid to the floor without understanding what was happening, and was crawling to a safe corner against the wall outside the area where unfoldedthe fight. It was impossible to stop shaking. Thayer focused on Pickney. The torn clothes and bruises she had seen on the arms of the woman confirmed the account of Robert. His desire was to kill Pickney slowly, causing great pain and endless suffering. It was with surprise that he saw Charles wield the sword, and even armed, pushing Thomas on his front. His cowardice was revolting. - Stop hiding behind their accomplices and face me like a man - Thayer provoked. - I'm giving you a chance I would not have given. - Kill him! - Pickney shouted, cringing behind Bertrand and Thomas. - Kill that motherfucker, you idiots! Roger stepped forward. Merlion also gave some went ahead, ready to act, if necessary. Gytha closed his eyes for a moment, not knowing what wait, but he opened them when he felt someone approaching. Startled, she saw Robert, John and Henry meet his back forming a shield. - What are you doing? - We want to prevent my uncle try to use it as a shield - Robert explained. - I thank you, but I need at least a space to see what is happening.

- A lady should not witness this kind of thing. - Do not be stupid, Robert! Henry and John laughed. Violence horrified, but she felt a strange and unexpected excitement seeing her husband brandishing his sword with such mastery. He closed his eyes for a moment when injured Thomas Thayer. Did not like the followers of Pickney, but no desire to see them bleed to death. Knowing that now face Pickney Thayer, she opened her eyes, and also witnessed the last moments of the fight between Bertrand and Roger. Pickney lost another man. Roger placed next to Thayer. - No - he said. - I personally experience this worm, Roger. - The blame is Robert - Pickney cried desperate to find himself helpless. - It was his idea. Confess, Robert! Reveal how I was only a mere soldier forced making your game! Robert's response was so cruel, vulgar, hateful, Gytha who stared open-mouthed. The sound of swords clash attracted his attention back to the fight. Despite the apparent cowardice, Pickney was a good fighter. Gytha trembled again. Trust in the ability of Thayer and knew he could defeat in a fight Pickney fair but not Pickney believed that he intended to fight fairly and honestly. After a few moments she realized that her husband was playing with the opponent, causing minor injuries, but painful, postponing the fatal blow. Considered Pickney who was deserving of the harshest punishment, but could not bear to watch the slow death. Pickney suddenly shouted, and she knew it was over. Thayer was crouching beside her, supporting her. - Are you hurt? - No. .. - Answered weakly dominated by strong vertigo. - My clothes were torn, have some bruising ... But that's it. And Bek ...? - Okay. Suffered a cut on his head, but it was nothing serious. Now I met the two men who attacked the inn, I come to believe that they did not use excessive force when attacked, or my son would be dead. She closed her eyes and smiled with relief. - About Henry and John ...

- After you, my dear. Before want women to examine to make sure that it is really good. Then it will be bathed and dressed in appropriate attire and clean. Then we can talk. The room was clean quickly. All signs of death disappeared. Two women came to help her. Gytha was examined, bathed and anointed with ointments that eased the pain of bruises and small wounds. Then she was put to bed on many pillows and received a tray with an assortment of goodies. While eating, managed to capture some details on Thayer was able to rescue her, but it was a great relief to see him return to the room, after inspecting the castle, and expel all that threatened their privacy. - I began to feel like an invalid - she muttered. Thayer laughed and poured herself a piece of cheese in the dish pan. - Logo to take you to our quarters - he said. - Pickney settled in our room, so I gave orders that everything was cleaned before returning there. I thought you'd prefer that. - Yes, thank you. She looked better, but was still a little pale. Thayer snickered to imagine what she would say if she knew how her husband spent the last hour of knees in the chapel thanking God for still having the woman and the baby beside her. Part of it claimed by the revelation of their deepest feelings, but remained silent. Had just saved her life, avoided a terrible and traumatic sexual violence, and any declaration of love would be gratefully received effusive. And that was the last feeling that wished to rouse her. - I've already sent to inform his family that danger is overcome. News also sent to those who wait in Riverfall - he said. - I am sorry for all this trouble, Thayer. If I had not gone to meet Elizabeth ... - You do not have to apologize. I never told anyone that she was my enemy, which could be dangerous. When I left the court was determined to speak on this subject, but then forgot all about Elizabeth. - What did you do with it? That woman left free to commit other evils? - No. She is trapped in the dungeon in Riverfall. When I return, I will call her family to pick her up and take her into custody. But before they left, will be informed about some truths about Elizabeth. Even speak about her son who had.

- Poor Bek! Now you know that the mother does not even matter to him. - If it hurts you, it hides and what it feels. Actually, I think Bek always known that. What really bothers me is that, once more, Elizabeth participated a plan to harm you. This is something he can not understand and do not know if I helped much in this regard. I had no time. Anyway, I have to inform him that his mother did not know that a murder was part of that plan. - Are you sure? - Yes, she knew of a plan of kidnapping for ransom, and saw this scheme a way to put a few coins in your purse always empty. Gytha leaned back against the pillows and drank the wine without hassle on your mug, seeing Thayer devour what was still in the tray. She reached for touching the hair of her husband, who smiled. Except for that first embrace emotion after the death of Pickney, had taken over the previous state of the relationship. Next, but not much, and comfortable. The situation saddened her, but she felt even more sorry for your participation in it. Yet revealed his true feelings, It is cowardly silent each time he tried to speak. - Thayer, really think should inform the family about Elizabeth Bek? - Why not? - He rose from the bed to remove the empty tray. - And if they also reject the boy? - When the husband came and sat down beside her, she rested her head on his shoulder and felt comforted by the embrace. - Bek know they have families, but they also do not want. - There is that possibility, I know. But I have to tell them. I should have spoken. Perhaps the solution is not to talk about it with Bek to make sure of what will be the reaction of the family of Elizabeth. I do not want him to suffer even more. - When he is older, maybe you can talk to him about all this. If the family recognize, of course. If not ... - If not, he'll never know. Yes, maybe you're right, Gytha. Decide everything when the time comes. Now we have another issue to deal with. I wanted to talk to me about Henry, John and Robert? - Yes What do you plan to do with them? - Do not think about anything. Why? What do you think I should do? It was you who suffered most at their hands. - No, Thayer. In the hands of Pickney. I know that Henry and John brought me here for him, but these men are just followers, led small. The real

Pickney was bad. Even after they hit me in the head, they treated me well. And when it became aware of the true plans Pickney, they were shocked. Unfortunately, Henry and John are not models of courage. - I'm not so sure. John stared at me when admitted to being one of the men who brought you here. And was unarmed when he made this confession. - Now this is a surprise. He and Henry showed you feel very afraid. - From me? - Thayer feigned innocence. - What I mean is that there is in them a seed of good. - And she germinate if they are kept well fed, sheltered and with a few coins to meet their own needs - Thayer deduced. Gytha laughed. - You had already decided to spare them. - Yes, but wanted to make sure of your opinion. And Robert? - Poor Robert. Pickney made him what he is. Who knows what kind of man he might be, had it not been manipulated and harmed by the bad influence Uncle? But, for a moment, faced Uncle Robert. Unfortunately, he did not have the strength and skill, and Pickney realized and used this lack. - Yes, I know that. In the end, when it was really important, Robert did what was right. Do not have the stomach to kill someone who has the same blood I veins. Moreover, Robert does not know that William was murdered. He suspects, but not sure. - But he knew that you would be killed. - Yes, and ignored this information for a reason that many men consider good. He wanted you. Now, I believe that Robert gave up that dream entirely. You know, I begin to think that John Henry and took him under his protection. Perhaps the best thing to do is think of something they can do together and provides a profit and keep them out of trouble. Gytha put her hand to her mouth to stifle a yawn. - What about the men Pickney? - They are dead. - All of them? - Yes, all. Men who liberated the dungeon suffered a blow against his honor. It was impossible to stop them in their quest for revenge. - Thayer rose

and covered it, accommodating it to sleep. - Now get some rest. Went through difficult times and need to recover. - Thayer, I know you will find me a bit silly, but could you stay with me? At least until I fall asleep? - Yes, and do not think you're stupid. Is traumatized, scared ... All this is normal. The real danger has passed, but the memory will still bothering her for a while. She smiled gratefully before the comprehensive response. Nestled in the arms of her husband, Gytha closed his eyes and began to relax. Finally I felt I was really alive, that plan failed Pickney. - Gytha? - Hmm ..? - I was just about to jump out that window? Sleepy as I was, it was difficult to answer clearly, but she tried: - I do not know. Part of me saw no reason not to jump, but he rejected this idea elsewhere. If Pickney had approached, perhaps ... Longer afraid of him than death or punishment from God. Gytha had fallen asleep, but Thayer was still beside her, holding her hand. Been very close to losing it and losing the child she hoped. After it would be hard not to hide it from the world, from any possible danger. Maybe he was sentenced to spend the rest of life in fear for life the beloved woman. Thayer grunted and hit the hand that touched his shoulder. Do not want to wake up. I was still a little drunk after a wedding celebration for Roger and Margaret the night before. - If I were an enemy, I would have slit her throat. There was something familiar in his voice deep and rich, but Thayer tried to ignore it and continue sleeping. - Jesus! - Fulke cried. Great! The attacker had agreed Gytha's brother. The three Raouille slept on mats in his quarters, and then they would put out who dared disturb him. - But ... heard you were dead! John murmured. - How can you be here? - Because I'm not dead, maybe? - The answer sounded mocking. - Wake up, goofy redhead! Thayer was sure he was still drunk, or would not have thought so absurd.

Gytha not know whether to scream or faint from fright. Wanted to rip her husband that torpor, but hesitated to wake him for what could only be a strange sight and unreal. William Saitun was dead! I could not be standing beside his bed Riverfall, smiling quietly. - For the amount of drunks who found sleeping corridors, I suppose that happened a great party last night. - Roger married my cousin Margaret - she replied, trying to understand how he could be talking to a vision. - Ah, so it was about it that Robert spoke. - Spoke with Robert? - He mumbled a few words before falling faint. His uncle is dead? Is this true? - Yes Thayer killed in Saitun Manor. - Too bad ... Hoped to have the pleasure. Of course, many things happened during the months spent outside. - William Thayer cleared again. - Wake up, her big ass. We need to talk. Where is your education? There will host and receive someone back from the dead? Deciding that William should be alive, since his image did not disappear, Gytha also shook her husband. His brothers were already standing, washing and dressing while exchanging opinions varied as to how to tell their parents everything that had happened there. - Thayer, I think you should wake up and talk to this man. - Seeing that he opened his eyes, Gytha insisted: - Try to overcome drowsiness, Thayer. Look to your right. Reluctantly, he turned ... and not gasped amazed. Thayer rubbed his eyes, but he saw not disappeared. Looking Gytha and her brothers, knew all there waiting for some reaction. When William laughed, hugged him and slapped his back, he recovered at least enough to repay the embrace. Then, when William fell, he began to think about the consequences of the return of cousin. - Is it really you, William ... - Thayer sat up in bed. - Why were told he was dead? Sitting on the edge of the bed, William Fulke thanked the wine served. - I almost died for real. The fall of the horse caused me serious injury. Cortland, my squire, thought it would be better if everyone judged me dead. He knew that the fall was not an accident, and he knew that I was not able to fight against another possible attack. Furthermore, we could not have

sure of the origin of the attack. I have some enemies. - We all have. Where have you been? - Not far, to tell the truth. Was at an inn. At first I did not realize what he had done Cortland. When I recovered enough to think clearly, try to find out who had attacked me. When we learned that he had been Pickney, thought to warn him, but Cortland assured that you already knew. - I knew. He was pronounced dead also. It did not take long to deduce everything. Suffered some unusual accidents, although not hurt me as much as you. It seems fine now, William. - Yes, but I have new scars, and my right leg stiffens considerably in a few moments. And a miracle it has not been lame. My only regret for one thing. - He smiled. - What? - I am afraid that my return represent for you loss all you got. That alone is enough to make me almost wish I was dead. For a brief moment, at least. Thayer also smiled. The loss of all he got. The words echoed in his mind, causing unbearable agony with its true meaning. Nothing that had was really it. And that included his wife. The contract decreed that Gytha should marry the heir to Saitun Manor. As William was not dead, he was not the heir and had no legal right to be married Gytha. William had that right. - Well - He looked at William. - Never had anything. It will not be as difficult to return to what it was before. - And never told a lie so big. Certainly Gytha lose too. - Nothing? - She was surprised. - I know Riverfall is not as big or as successful when Saitun Manor, but it is more than nothing. - Yes, but Riverfall is her dowry. - Yes, and so now you are the lord of these lands. When we got married, moved to Riverfall your hands. - Gytha, we got married because William was pronounced dead. - So what? - He had a feeling he would not like the end of that conversation. - Pursuant to the agreement, you should marry the heir to Saitun Manor. I am no longer that heir. Now everything belongs to William.

- So what? - You never had a slow-witted. The contract states that you should marry the heir. William is the heir. And he is alive. You'll have to be returned to him. William choked on the wine. Thayer had to beat back the cousin to save him from choking. Gytha felt as puzzled as her brothers seemed. Where Thayer took this argument absurd? Had been married for months! The marriage was been consummated hundreds of times and has produced fruit. He could not be thinking of simply undo the union and delivers it to William, just because, suddenly, man appeared alive. Suddenly she felt angry. Spared no effort to show that Thayer liked to be with her and wanted to continue with it. Now discovered that had failed. He still believed he could simply swap your bed by William. It was insulting! In the opinion of Thayer, was no more than part of an inheritance, almost like a stone Saitun Manor. William returned to claim ownership; so William would also engaged. She hit him with a punch. When Thayer swore and looked surprised, she hit him with another punch. Then he got up from the bed, without giving importance to the lack of way caused by distended belly. William was studying surprised and astounded. His condition had not noticed before. Gytha could not stop thinking about the poor attitude of Thayer. He was forgotten pregnancy, or also intended to deliver the baby to William? - Want to throw me away like I was an old rag? And that? - She shot. - Will offer me a tray for the heir who returns? Oh, hello, William! Since it owns the castle and the title, why not also take the woman? - You misunderstood - Thayer protested, regretting not being dressed. It was horrible to discover naked in bed while trying to conduct a conversation so serious with a furious wife. - The marriage contract ... - To hell with the contract! I am not an object to be negotiated with the property and other assets! And the baby? Is, or will also be disposed of with the mother? - I'm not ruling you! Why distort my words? - Distortion? They have distorted out of your mouth! What will you do? Annul the marriage? Pregnancy can hinder your plans, if you have not thought

that. Anyone can see that our marriage was consummated. Think you can make a decision to become a virgin again? - Now you're being silly - he decided angry, got up to go to wear long johns. - William understands the reasons for everything that happened. - William has not been questioned as to what to think - William himself said, noting that his presence was ignored. A sharp pain appeared and then disappeared. Gytha frowned. Suddenly understood what was happening. He knew why he had slept so poorly last night. She looked at her husband and decided to ignore the signs of imminent labor. Attacking him was more important than anything right now. - And great to know that William is so understanding, but fear not having the same quality. How can you give up on me so quickly, without even thinking about my feelings? What I want? You're always giving orders, deciding for everyone! - Calm down and listen. I only mention the contract. And cool, valid and sanctioned by the king. Her parents married me because I was the heir at that time. They were deceived, although no one has had this intention. This will have to be discussed. You are a lady of noble birth who should have been married to a title and possessions. And I do not have anything. - Strange. I thought you were married to a man. - You're being difficult on purpose. - I'm making things difficult? - Gytha looked at the brothers. - Do not have anything to say about it? Fulke replied hesitantly: - I'm sorry, but I can not think straight since William rose from the dead. And as crazy as it sounds, there may be some truth in the words Thayer. The insult that she intended to go to his brother and his confusion just sounded like a moan of pain. Clung to the bedside, held her belly with the other hand and folded in half, assailed by a violent contraction. All the men looked understanding with horror. - And then? - She shot. - They'll be standing there by the poor fall to the ground? Thayer took a step toward the wife. - Gytha ... It's the baby?

- What do you think? Go get Janet and call my mom! - She ordered. Were her brothers who withdrew to obey the order. Another contraction punished when, noticing the hand of Thayer extended toward her, she responded: - What are you doing? - I'll put it on the bed - he replied as he took her in his arms and lay down again. - And there you must stay. - I would not have gotten up if you were not a fool who is the idiot! Thayer has ignored the insult and looked at William. - Help me find my clothes before women reach. - Where is Bek? - William asked curious as he helped his cousin to compose herself. - It is no longer his page? - It is, but is recovering from difficulties created by his own mother. Thayer summed up everything that had happened recently, noting the horror in the eyes of William. Fortunately, Bek was accepted with great joy by the maternal family, recognized as the descending even while threatened to disinherit Elizabeth. But the explanations were brief, choppy because Thayer remained intent on Gytha. Dress, he ran to the bed and held his wife's hand, noting with relief that she had not repudiated. But the anger had not cooled. - Well, then it will not delegate this task to William, too? Before she could answer Thayer, William grabbed the other hand Gytha, ignoring the look ruivoso cousin. - Gytha, not as severe. A marriage contract is a bond of honor, and if there is a man in a world that respects the honor and word, this man is my Thayer cousin. It may sound absurd and even offensive, but that marriage is now a legal matter. Gytha wanted to answer, but was dominated by the pain of another contraction. William shook her hand. - You are strong. More than it seems - he said. - It feels a lot of pain? - Thayer asked afflicted. - I see you woke up today ready to make stupid questions - she replied irritably, trying to breathe before the next wave of pain. - The dilemma we are facing here ... - William stepped forward, feeling that the couple could start a discussion that, in those circumstances,

would be convenient. - The only dilemma exists - Gytha cut - for some people who want to get rid of their wives. - I never said I want to get rid of you. - Enough! - William said firmly. - I say what I think, and you must hear me. Gytha, when I left after our last meeting, I left more than satisfied with the arrangement. However, things have changed, and I do not just mean the baby will be born at any time. No. I know you better stay with her husband. Do not intend to claim it for me. Gytha stared between each contraction. William solved the conflict even before it arises. He was still furious with Thayer for his apparent availability to deliver it to his cousin, but no longer needed to fear that any law to snatch their arms. However, the ease with which William opened her hand was not exactly flattering. - It's strange - she murmured. - Whereas no desire to switch husband, but I feel offended. Thayer contained a laugh. At no time had thought of giving her up. It was a relief to see that William did not intend to create problems. However, also felt insulted by the attitude of disinterested cousin. Heart felt torn at the thought that he might have to separate your Gytha, because law could force him to it, but William did not even bother to acknowledge with gratitude their intention to sacrifice. William laughed and kissed the face of Gytha. - I confess that at first I was disappointed to have lost a bride so lovely. And to my cousin! But, being free, just gave my heart to other hands. I got married three months ago. Gytha wanted to make dozens of questions, but before he could begin, she saw her mother Janet and approaching the bed. Thayer and William were expelled from room. It was frustrating not being able to satisfy curiosity, but the birth of his first son called everyone's attention. Especially her. Thayer waited in the hall in the company of cousins, William and Robert, and their younger friends, John and Henry. The delay worried. William spoke about his intent to bring Robert back Saitun Manor, but Thayer protested. - He does not want to go. Prefer to stay here because there all remember him as commanded of Pickney. Robert plans to manage an inn, and has promised to help him

this endeavor. I know that the work is not appropriate for a man of his origin, but he is excited. The business is promising. Robert takes care of the accounts, and the two, John and Henry, do the work itself. I believe until Robert has been interested in someone, a young delicate and interesting enough to make him forget his devotion to my wife. This is very good, because when you have to go away and leave you here alone, I ask Robert to take care of it without any fear. - Why think of being absent? The king summoned him again? - No, but I am now deprived of land and title. I'll have to sell my labor. - Riverfall is a beautiful property. - Yes, but it's dowry Gytha. What she brought to our wedding. I did not bring anything. Must work to contribute my part. Gytha should have married a man of title and possessions, and have a duty to compensate it for the loss they suffered from all this mess. - Primo, always admired his intelligence, but you seem to be unable to use reasoning when it comes to his wife. Before she could answer Thayer, Lady Bertha entered the hall. The woman looked tired but happy. Still, Thayer refused to hope, to believe Gytha who escaped unharmed from the difficult and risky childbirth. - You are the father of a boy, Thayer - she said, going to sit beside her husband. He nodded absently and accepted the good wishes and congratulations. I wanted everything to end quickly, because I had a question to ask a lady Bertha. She had not yet revealed what, for him, was more important than anything. - And Gytha? - Finally muttered after a moment. - Okay. Tired, but well. She will have many other children, judging by how faced the first delivery. Why do not you see it? His wife waiting. Thayer went up the stairs, but stopped at the bedroom door. Could not help but remember the last time she was at the bedside of a woman with whom he had a son. Telling yourself that Gytha was not as cold and immoral Elizabeth, he came and approached the bed of his wife. Janet left immediately. Gytha looked tired but radiant. She held the baby with a tenderness exciting. - How do you feel? - Thayer asked in a choked voice. - Well Come meet your child. - Bek will be happy - he murmured, smiling stunned.

Gytha saw a child playing with his large, calloused hand. While he made sure the boy was strong and healthy, she is thrilled with the scene. Not need to ask if her husband was happy. He could see the answer in his face. But she still felt the remnants of the old mixture of anger and pain. Had talked to her mother about the discussion that preceded the birth. Lady Bertha had been one little shocked, but tried to make her daughter understand that there were good reasons for the reaction of Thayer. The argument served to calm her. He wanted some indication husband that he would at least have been reluctant to hand it to William. But he had proved painfully complacent. - The baby is strong, Gytha. And it is beautiful, too - Thayer said before kissing her, hoping to find a more eloquent way to express your feelings. - Let's call it Everard, as we agreed? Still want to give the child the name of my father? - Of course it does. Not changed my mind. It's a good name. However, I confess that I was afraid to leave that choice to also care for William. Thayer sat on the stool next to the bed and took a deep breath. Come to forget the confrontation, but it was clear that she still had sharp memory. Would to give good explanations, though neither knew or where to start. - Gytha, need to understand how these contracts - he began. - This has already been explained. Still think it's all a big crazy, but understand that these documents and these laws never take into consideration the people who are affected by them. - So, if you know, why are you still so angry? When William returned, it was my obligation to offer back all he should have inherited all got in consequence of his supposed death. Saitun Manor, the title, you ... She almost swore. Again, it was listed as an asset, any object. This infuriated her. Anger kept her from giving in to exhaustion claimed her body. - I understand. But what if, on the occasion of the return of William, I turned to you and said: "Well, Thayer, my husband came true, and now I have to leave it? "It would have been acceptable to you? He winked. Suddenly noticed everything. She claimed to understand the marriage contract and the issue raised by the return of William, but the truth was that Gytha was not thinking. Was feeling. He understood that he was willing to give it to William, but did not know what pain and emotional turmoil caused the decision

in his soul. Vira coolness instead of obedience, honor and loyalty. And with his iron grip and his apparent calm, he caused suffering and even offended. - Gytha, dear, if I wanted to believe that handing it to William, forgive me. - This was precisely the impression I got. - Yes, I know. I see now, dear. You're right. Sometimes I'm an idiot. All I can say is that the shock of the return of William made me even more foolish. - I understand. See it also left me stunned. - When I remembered that I should return everything he had inherited, naturally included in the list. I found myself torn between what honor demanded of me and what I wanted to do. Saitun Manor and the title had little importance. If you including in this package, I did feel a little important as well, all I can say is that I never had that intention. I always knew I could not give her to another man. And the baby ... Have not managed to demonstrate the joy it gave me to this pregnancy? So thought I would give it all up? - No. I knew ... I know ... Yes, I'm sure you are happy with the child. - You can not imagine the relief I experienced when William revealed that he had married another. At that moment I realized I would have to put me against it. - And have done that? - Yes I would have done anything to keep her by my side. The contract was no longer important. You are my wife. Baby is our son. Could return the rest to William, but you two ... Never! And there's one more thing. - What? - Did you have a chance to choose. How had the alternative of going live with William, did not want to feel obligated to get where they wanted being. It was like Gytha had suspected. It also felt very discouraged. Nothing he had done or said had touched as intended. How could I say to this man that she loved him? He would never believe. You could not think that would be able to leave him for another man, by a title and lands. Thayer did not believe in the power of that marriage. Part of him still doubted that she would like her husband forever. And Gytha not know how to solve this problem. - Thayer, at some point I was dishonest with you?

- No. Never. In a few moments came to be painfully honest. - Well, if I wanted to go live with William, would not have gone? Would not have simply expressed my will? I myself have used this argument of the contract wedding. - How, if considered crazy, if not understand what we were saying? Let me put Everard in the crib - he suggested, reaching out to catch the baby. View strong hands so well taking care of his son awakened Gytha intense weakness. Thayer would be a good father. Had already noticed the kindness with which he treated Bek. Hoped that sure helped to demonstrate that she was all he could ever want. - If you believe that a role idiotic and stupid I could be useful, I would have mentioned it. Sitting on the edge of the bed, he held the hands of his wife and smiled. Gytha was right. Whenever dealing with a matter of importance or necessity, or while defending a personal desire, she showed intelligence and have more fiber than all the women he knew. The truth was that she had not thought to exchange it for William. In no time. Firmly held their vows, vows he had made to him, not William. He kissed her hands, touched by the glow that in his eyes. - I am forgiven, then wife? - For your stupidity? - I should not call her stupid husband. And very disrespectful. - Yes, I know. - I am forgiven, then? - Yes, I forgive you for being so foolish. He laughed and kissed her lips. - Rest. I'll send Janet take our son to the next room. So, who wants to know it will not disturb your rest. You need to sleep. - It was not as difficult as I imagined it would be. - No need to make me believe that it was easy. - I did not say it was easy. Only it was not so difficult. I guess I was so angry with you that forgot the fear. Just wondered what he meant when found again. Please remember to leave me furious when I am having a son. - Always? Not expected to have other children to think now, soon after delivery.

- I do not want another pregnancy so soon, it's true. But I'm not scared enough not to think about having more children. Not pretend to have so many that I see aged before the hour, but I hope to have at least one more. And that, my husband, that I intend to stand by you. So stop thinking that I will leave it to any moment. - Nothing could make me happy, except, perhaps, give him back all that was lost, all you have by right. Something in the words struck her as an omen. Gytha had no chance to press it, ask questions, because he kissed her and walked away with the baby. Gytha promised herself she would tear Thayer explanation so see him again. Instinct warned that her husband had in mind one of those stupid ideas man, something that she certainly would not. Thayer left the room thinking that her son had just been born. Gytha had given him the most precious gift of all, and he had nothing to offer in retribution. Hours before delivery, had been returned to the condition of man stripped of land and title. And this state was no longer tolerable. Gytha deserved more, his children deserved more ... And how could plan to have more children, if not even accumulated enough for the family that has had to sustain and maintain? Recently, King had commented something about a good reward for their loyal service. He decided it was time to bow grateful for these suggestions and charge what had been promised. CHAPTER IX ? Will leave. Do not try to deny it again. Gytha looked at her husband while breastfeeding the baby. Noticed the preparations, despite the obvious attempt to hide them and keep it confined to his quarters. Thayer sighed and sat on the edge of the bed. It was cowardice, knew but had even tried to hide it plans to time to leave. Hated lying, but something told him not to reveal the exact reason for his journey. When he returned victorious to his reward, then could be completely honest and frank. - Hoped to spare her the worry as long as possible. - You think I do not see any drive? And you think I care less for not knowing the truth? - Actually, yes ... hoped that would not notice. - All realized soon after the departure of William and my family. Any idea of the noise made by so many men getting ready for a battle? And that they do, is not it? Logo will fight somewhere far from here.

- Yes, we go to Scotland. North. The Scots cause problems on the border once more. - But you already gave the king his forty days of service. Less than a year! - You can not refuse the summons of the king. - Especially when the call was requested by the called. - It is not easy, I know, but I also know what has been done before. A rider who has provided so many services and has always been loyal can request license. - I can not, Gytha. The king needs the strength of many warriors. The Scots do not respect our sovereign and our territory. Someone has to stop them. - No one could restrain those barbarians today. It was true, but Thayer did not intend to agree with her. Invoking a call from the king and the need for immediate action for the good of the country was the only way to do Gytha accept his departure, even if reluctantly. Was a subterfuge obnoxious, but necessary. - Serves not only cause death by the sword or by the arrows. The Scots steal food, also killing hunger. The North can no longer be submitted this kind of terror. - I know. - She sighed. - The baby has finished feeding. You can put it in the crib, please? Edna will not come back while you are here. Thayer the request and sat back down on the bed. Gytha knew I could no longer try to keep him at home. Insist would undermine his honor and his sense of duty. That was something he could do. When he held her hands and looked into her eyes, Gytha studied him. There was no sign of reluctance on it, what disappointed, but not surprised. There was married a warrior, a man who spent much of his life wielding a sword. Given the chance to fight a fair battle, he could not retreat. It was his duty to wife hide fear and apprehension and release him without tears or condemnation. - You want to show the fury of the Scots Red Devil, is not it? - She smiled sadly. - As Roger says, already facing dozens of red-haired Scottish warriors. It's time to show that England also has some of them. - When are you leaving? - In two days. - Two days? So early? Can not wait a little longer? A week, maybe? - The Scots will not wait for us, my dear. - Damn Scots! - I will not be coming back.

- How can you be sure? - We are talking about looting, not a war. They just want to steal. Do not want to fight. Of course not flee from confrontation, but this is not the objective of Scots. His main concern is to return home carrying the product of looting. Ours is all we can recover. These things are not time consuming. Gytha not agree, but there was a certain comfort in arguing Thayer. If the Scots just wanted to loot and steal, the danger would be less. They would more interested in escape than fight. Stay home praying that the Scots found by Thayer were the most cowardly that they had never lived. - The wind is cold. The baby should be indoors. And you too. Gytha not even bother to respond to the board of Edna. It stayed until her husband left, and would not think this could be the last time I saw with life. He would return. I needed to believe that. When Bek approached to kiss her brother and stepmother and say goodbye, Gytha forced a smile. Wanted to stop him from going. So young yet ... Only a boy! But had not expressed this desire. Bek was pageboy Thayer. It was part of his training knight join him in battle. Only if trying mortificaria retain it in Riverfall. And one day he would have the same emotional control because Everard and all other children who had also would leave. Expected to have the same force to bid farewell to Thayer, because he walked toward her. - You should not be out here, my dear. - We bundled up. His son and I came to wish you good journey and pray that God protect him. And also say that we came to see you back soon. Safe and sound. - This is also my desire, Gytha. We will startle those Scots take back everything they stole, and then return. Will not have time even to miss us. - Impossible! Miss you already, and you're still here. I'll have to provide hot stones to warm our bed at night. - Since it does not use any other feature ... - He teased her, kissing her forehead. - And I'll have to find very large stones to fill the empty space. - She put her face in his chest. - Will take care, will not you?

- You can be sure of that, Gytha. And you will also. I hope to see her healthy and strong when I get back. Gytha effort smiled and stepped back. Thayer mounted. She saw him through the gates of Riverfall and waited until all the men leave. He continued there when the gates were closed. Margaret turned and ran to his room. Expected her to overcome the sadness as soon as possible, because it would need very Help each other to wait for the return of his men. - Where is Margaret? - Gytha asked Edna when the maid came to her room to take care of Everard. - In the walls again. - This has gone too far. Where is my cloak? Trying to help her mistress to protect against the cold night air, Edna argued: - She got married recently ... - Me too. And do not intend to censor it. I mean, do not mean to be too harsh. But Margaret married a knight, and must learn to accept these periods of absence. Otherwise exposed to the risk of illness and even shames her husband with his weakness. - Yes, you're right. I only ask you do not get much time out there. The air is cold and damp. Gytha nodded and left the room. Thayer and Roger had left a week earlier. Margaret was behaving so strangely, she began to wonder the absence of Roger was the only thing that bothered her. In the last two or three days, now has the impression that the press was angry with her, avoiding the deliberately. Try as he might get rid of that feeling, she remained. Margaret was standing on one of the walls, looking at the horizon in the direction followed Thayer, Roger and everyone else. She touched his arm the press with the intention of offering comfort, but Margaret turned away. - I know you miss Roger. I also feel lack of Thayer and ... - Are you? Wondering at the question and furious tone, Gytha said: - And of course I did. How can you ask such a thing? - I find it strange that affirms missing the man you sent it to the battlefield. - I sent?

- I never expected this from you, Gytha. I never imagined that cared so much about titles and lands. It seemed so pleased with Riverfall! I did not think that would difference whether her husband was a simple knight or a lord. I think these things should be missed for those who always had, is not it? However, should have thought me before making such request to Thayer. Should know that Roger will always be beside her husband. One thing is to send her husband against the danger to get a title and property. But also have the man I love? Never thought it was so cruel. So insensitive. - Margaret, what are you talking about? I do not understand ... Thayer said that the king summoned him to go fight the Scots. - Yes, but only after Thayer had told the king he needed to accomplish a certain feat. - A done ...? I mean that my husband asked to fight? - Exactly. The king has long suggested that her husband deserves a reward concrete rather than praise and honors. Thayer asked to fight in exchange for this reward. Title and land. And he did it for you, to offer you everything you had to return to William. - And he said that I ordered it? - No, no one said that. Not exactly. - Margaret sighed, sorry I misjudged the press that he knew so well. - It was the way Roger said ... I could not believe Thayer leave for battle, which would endanger his life and all that follow, just to get a reward you do not need. Elect has sought land before. So, I figured you had said something ... That request was somehow or implied ... Gytha, if I was wrong ... - Of course he cheated, Margaret. You know my feelings for Thayer. Do you think I would put at risk by any reward? - No, but it was the only viable explanation. And if asked for nothing, for he was then? - I do not know. But you can be sure I'll ask the dumb, if not end his life before that. - It must have been proud. He may feel that to do such a thing, or it will seem like you married for profit. - This is why they are arranged almost all marriages. But you're right. Pride has good participation in all this. But there is another reason. One reason that I know well. Fight it for months with no chance of victory, and I am beginning to lose hope. - What are you talking about? - I can not make Thayer believe he is the man I want.

- He must have realized his interest when you do not want to follow William. And now told him that she loves him ... - I did not. - Do not say? Gytha, but ... - Please do not criticize me. I said nothing because I think he will not believe me. I tried everything to make him understand that I'm happy at his side, but he still seems to believe that I am sacrificed with this marriage. I do not know what else to do. - Love you, Gytha. That's it. He can not ignore his love forever. And pray he comes home soon. Whole. - I have not done anything else, Margaret. - Neither do I. - Continue praying. If God meets our prayers and they return integers, swear strangle that idiot I married. Thayer had his hand on the horse's muzzle to silence him. Felt that the Scots were there. Could feel them. Normally, would go away and leave away, because they had already recovered almost all the product serve, but the king wanted blood. Wanted the Scots to pay dearly for his boldness. Many were already dead, but had received orders to kill all that were found on English soil, eliminate them until there was left none. So I stood there, surrounded by moisture and darkness, trying to locate the enemy could not see. And fortunately was aware, or would have been struck the blow that he could only hold his sword at the last moment. Unbalanced by the impact of the blow, he recovered and fought back. The fight caused great fanfare, announcing his position to anyone who would find it. In an area full of enemies, this was an idea that was bothering him. Kill the opponent did not give him any feeling of victory. Indeed, Thayer had no time to feel victorious. A noise announced a second threat, he turned and rushed. But before he could react, a sharp pain in his left leg down the horse. Fallen, he tried to hold back the enemy with skill and dexterity, but had no strength to lift his sword. The only alternative was to face the attack of the opponent's dagger with his left hand. The blade reached his fingers, causing a second wave of pain. Even so, he managed to move the arm and chest bury the sword of the Scots, killing him. Remove the body that was pinning the hardest. He knew he lost what little strength he had left. He tried to stand and found that the left leg

was discarded. Could try to crawl, but it would be impossible to mount, and the horse was agitated, a clear indication that there was any danger there. Gytha was the only image that went through your head before diving in darkness. Roger insisted on riding in the area. - I'm telling you what I heard sounds of battle - he repeated to Merlion and Torr. - And how do you know where they lived? - Asked the latter. - This darkness ... - Quiet - Merlion interrupted partner. - Did you hear that? - A horse - Roger whispered. - Ali in front. They moved on. Two or three minutes, and Roger jumped from his mount to kneel beside the friend lying on the ground. - It is Thayer! - Is he alive? - Merlion asked as he dismounted. - Yes, but it will not be for long if you do not receive some care. - Roger was beginning to take care of injuries. - He lost some fingers - say, involving his bloody hand in bandages improvised with pieces of fabric that would Torr ripping of his shirt. - We take you to the city for a sangria - opined Merlion, joining Torr in the effort to stop the bleeding leg Thayer. - He has lost a lot of blood. No need to bleed - Roger protested. - The lady who took care of our wounded last night would be better. The three raised Thayer floor and put them on your horse, leading the animal with great care. The journey was long and slow, and Roger feared that the delay could cost the life of a great friend. When they reached the hut that used as headquarters, Roger no longer believed that Thayer could survive for Riverfall review. Long, Thayer only became aware of the pain. Then he heard a muffled noise. A snoring, maybe. Eyes closed, moved his hand in a blind exploitation the environment around him. He was in a bed. Someone found. Confused memories took the assault. Roger's voice, cold compresses over your skin, a priest mumbling and ... King. Without knowing how much was dream and the reality was, he opened his eyes. There was light in the environment. Roger slept on a mat beside your bed. - Roger ... Roger ...

The knight leapt up brandishing the sword, looking around confused and frightened air. - Roger, I am. You are too scared to a soldier. Identifying dry hoarseness in the voice of his friend, Roger went to get a little broth. Wrapping an arm around the shoulders of Thayer, he raised just enough to help him drink. The weakness in the body punished by numerous injuries was evident and frightening. The fever had weakened too. - Thank you, friend. I feel weak. So how am I here? Roger sat down on a stool beside the bed. - There are almost a week. He was bleeding profusely when found. One lady was here to take care of injuries. - Yes, yes, I remember her. How bad is it? - Well .. Two of his fingers are smaller. Were cut almost in half. - And my leg? - Still have it, but the injury is serious. The man tried to cripple him. - And did it. - We do not know. We can not know until you try to walk. Will feel difficult at first, of course, but we can not predict if the weather will bring relief or return their walking ability. But as I said, still have his leg. That alone is reason to feel grateful. - Any other injuries? - Some new scars, but none that could not have acquired in earlier battles. - And you, my friend, got the thankless duty to take care of me? Is present in all fragments of memories I have these past few days. - There was a thankless duty. You've done the same for me. I have not forgotten that time in France. - One time I did not forget. And the king? He was here, or was it a hallucination? - Yes, the king was here. For a moment, I actually thought you had overcome the delirium of fever, because clearly spoke with our sovereign, but so he left, you returned delirious. In fact, when he spoke he was still delirious, remembering another king's visit to our camp three years ago. You talked to a memory. But no matter. The king saw nothing. Given the reward you both wanted, and you responded as expected. - I got what I wanted?

- Yes, you are now Baron Riverfall, my lord. - Roger smiled and bowed. - And also owns a small area three days south of Riverfall. Tell you more when you feel stronger. Need to rest to recover completely. The battle ended, you got what you wanted, and now only need back to Riverfall and Gytha. - Ah, Gytha ... There was a handsome knight before, but at least had all the body parts. Now I'm a cripple. Perhaps it would be better if ... - Thayer, if you say you might be better away from her, I swear I cause you some injuries over his head that lasts. Please! All along where were unconscious you called her. Gytha is part of you, my friend. He could not forget it even when he was suffering with the possibility of death. You really think you can leave it, rip it to your life? And right now, when you have everything you think she wanted? - Yes, now I have a noble origin requires, but look at me! My mother was mutilated and is very likely to have to limp through life. The only thing that had to offer before uni was strong and healthy body. Now I've got this health and that force. And beauty like never ... - You're an idiot. Is always pointing out their lack of physical attractiveness, without stopping to think about how other people see you. Believes that if Gytha bothered by not being beautiful, but stopped to try to find some evidence that it? Not, or would have discovered his mistake. - Are you trying to tell me that a beauty like Gytha could love a big, red, ugly and scarred? - I do not know how deep the feelings of his wife .. What I know is that she did not see how you believe. No disappointment or disgust when she looks at you, and she never tried to hide her husband's world. No. The woman was always by his side and without any show of reluctance. - Yes, it's true. You are right. I never stopped to examine ... You're right, Roger, never noticed her disgust that I saw in so many other women. - Not his wife. - No, never in Gytha. - He smiled. - But that was before I suffer these injuries. Now ... - Enough, Thayer. You've come to the wedding scarred, and she accepted it as is. Do not beat yourself up over, my friend. Accept with gratitude that life gave him. Thayer considered the words of Roger for a moment, then smiled. As always, his great friend was right. The revelation filled him with joy. Had been

unfair to Gytha, even offensive in a way. For more than revirasse his own thoughts, he could not find a single occasion on which she had demonstrated revulsion, disgust or disappointment by their appearance. Simply did not matter. He recalled the praise he had heard from his wife in various situations and made sure that Roger was right. - No, she will not repel me - said. - But when I came to find out why the battlefield, why did it all ... Gytha will be furious with me. - For the first time since they know you, my friend, I have to agree with you and recognize that their judgment is set. - They're back! The men returned! Gytha barely looked at Edna when young maid invaded his room shouting the news. It was something she already knew. Turn the approach of Thayer and his men the top of one of the walls of Riverfall. Not surprised that her husband had not sent anyone to announce their arrival. He must think that the short message sent almost a month before it was enough, although it had not determined the date of your return. He suspected that the fault was the main cause of this return silent. Thayer was thinking she was already aware of the reasons which led to fight the Scots. Pondered concerned the need to talk to her, to reveal the whole truth. Whatever the situation, he hoped to ease it taking advantage of tactical surprise. Because he would be the big surprise. Edna went to where Gytha brushed her hair with apparent calm. - Milady, I came to inform you that your husband is back. - I heard. - You will not receive it? - Yes, I will. Soon. Send preparing baths for men. Can arrange Thayer with Roger, Roger's quarters. No, wait! Margaret will be there. Prepare the bath Thayer right here. I will prepare for the feast of welcome in the ladies room. - But soon they will be coming ... - Yes, I know. Try to hurry. Need help with preparations for the bath Thayer and take my stuff to the ladies room. Gytha was devoted to the choice of attire that would use the banquet of welcome. The servants already ran to the kitchen in a visible and noisy euphoria. Not going to receive

Thayer on the patio or in the lounge serve to clearly demonstrate the extent of his fury. Even Margaret said nothing, he would guessing what caused it. The big surprise was in when and how she would confront. And waited cause great embarrassment. Thayer sighed deeply to see the embrace of Margaret and Roger. Unfortunately, he still had empty arms. Gytha was not there. Yes, she could be furious, but ... It was invaded by the early warning signs. She could not be Riverfall. - Margaret, where Gytha? - The look of nervous and reluctant young not soothed. - Inside - she said. - You're still here? - Of course it does. - And not sick? - No. - And my son? - It is also very healthy. - So ... She is angry with me. Should have discovered the truth. I even wanted to inform you all. - I understand. Well, this will serve to calm her. The lack of conviction in his voice almost made Margaret laugh. Gytha also was not in his room, which did not surprise him. There was a hot bath waiting for him. It was difficult to calculate the extent of his wrath. In silence, Bek helped to undress for the bath, while Thayer was considering using their authority to require the presence of husband and wife immediately. The idea was quickly dismissed. He did not know what was the best way to deal with it in these moments of anger, but knew not impose its will was the best one. - You hated Gytha again?-Bek asked as her father entered the bath. - Yes, I'm afraid so. - As if it was fight for rewards for it? - I forgot to ask if she wanted these rewards. You can rub my back, son? Bek the request and frowned. - A wife must not be satisfied with everything that makes the husband?

It was not easy, but Thayer swallowed laughter. - Bek, I will tell you two things about women. And listen carefully, because it is better not forget who will listen Now. The first advice, my son, is that you never do what I do. I fear that your poor father know very little about women. If manejasse sword as read with women, have been killed in my first battle. The second thing I have to say, Bek, is that few men are truly masters in these matters involving women. And few are truly masters in their homes. Frankly, I would look suspicious to any woman who behaves as if it were truth. Or her mind, or is devoid of intelligence, or is weak of mind, which will make it a tedious company. - So do not bother by Gytha be angry with you. - I never said that. It depends on how she is angry and how can I soothe her. Thayer was still thinking about it when he entered the hall. Here also there was no sign of Gytha. The situation was becoming embarrassing. No need to look for those who gathered there to know who watched discreetly, trying to understand what happened. When he sat at table in the place that it was the chief home, he still thought about go find her and drag her here. Gytha could be angry, angry, angry or depressed, but did not have the right to ridicule him before his people. Elect started to get up to go look for her when he saw her enter the room. He was grateful to still be sitting. Gytha walked to the table with slow steps and eyes fixed on her husband. There was something strange in his stance, something different ... He rose to going to receive it, as required by his role as husband and lord of the place, and it was then that the trouble with Gytha realized why he moved his left leg. Thayer had suffered serious injury. Concerned, she looked quickly, but with great attention, and realized partially sheared fingers of his left hand. It was a relief to see that nothing more serious had occurred, but the relief did not lessen the anger. Not been informed. Yes, I knew he had been wounded in battle, but was never informed of the severity of these injuries. Now he discovered that his concern was justified after all. - So ... Got everything you wanted for going to face the bloody Scots troublemakers? She shot. - Yes I am now a baron, lord of Riverfall.

- Indeed? And the land? - Yes, I own a small property to three days here, to the South - That's great. You will not need to go far to play the big landowner. - Gytha, did it for you. - Why me? I never asked for these things. There it was suggested to the northern border and offered to be chopped up as a sacrificial lamb. - No, not really asked me anything. I went because I wanted to. Because that was my choice. Because I know that a woman of her high origin should not marry removed with a rider. So I strive to be graced by a title. - Ah, yes. You have been fought and won his precious title. And now? What happens when you decide that the received is not enough? Gave the finger and movements to become Baron. What will take to be a ... Earl? The arm? Yes, perhaps that goal in mind can conquer an extensive collection of titles, how many men have done and still do. And I'll have to carry it around in one of those carts with wheels, but I can display their pieces and proudly announce I am married to the Lord that, what Baron and Count what's-in-it. There will be a comfort to me, anyway. Gytha was angry. Very angry. Thayer was not surprised to be the target of shocked looks from his men. Also would be flabbergasted, it was not the fear exposing yourself to an even greater embarrassment. He wanted to reassure her, restrain her, but did not know how that was possible. Could not even determine what was the true extent Rage Gytha. She felt torn. Torn in half. I wanted to cry about injuries and husband yelling for him to have a body as beautiful punished by rewards foolishand useless. Wanted to offend him for being so stupid, but also wanted to run away, run away, go take refuge somewhere where he could examine and understand tormented her feelings. - Why do these things to me? - She asked quietly. - What did I do to convince you that I care about such trivial things? Titles, lands ... Why do you think I value the possessions of your life? Everything I did and said should have proven otherwise, but you're blind to anything contrary that his eternal self-deprecation. I do not care if you are a baron or a blacksmith. I do not care if you own the best property in England or if you live in a cave. And I want you. I'm not looking for wealth, comfort or luxury.

Thayer was flabbergasted. And realize that there are many also reacted astonished face of emotional confession made him realize that the conversation was becoming too personal to be conducted in public. She felt very embarrassed. - It is very good to know, Gytha. - Very good? - It was amazing how he could get words so touching and sincere attitude with that distant, disinterested. - Very good ... I think I'll talking to the moon. She will understand me better. I must be losing my mind to try ... Yes, I lost my mind. Only this can explain my love for a man so stupid. The most stupid of England! Silence. Gytha turned and left the room. She was confused, shaken, almost in tears. The last thing I wanted was to start crying in front of Thayer and all others. Needed to take refuge in her room, where she could cry, scream and break some things to try to calm down. Thayer was still standing in the same place, still awestruck. Muffled voices plucked from the shock. All discussed what they had just witnessed. His lovely wife confessed love him before all the inhabitants of Riverfall! He, the great, ugly and red Saitun Thayer, known to all as Red Devil, won the hearts of the rich and noble beauty. It was impossible not to feel proud. - And then what will you do? - Roger asked his side. - I? What will I do? Margaret blinked to overcome the shock. - Do not go after her? Thayer shook his head and looked at the table. - I can not eat first? - Thayer! - Margaret reacted angrily. - Well, I guess I should go blame her for calling her husband so stupid as disrespectful. And with so many people! - Ah, yes, this is important - Roger agreed. - If you do not hurry, some men may begin to think that she's right. As Margaret seemed very close to leaving for physical aggression, Thayer withdrew rushed.

When he opened the door, he heard her cry. The desperate sound broke his heart and almost made him cry too. He closed the door and limped up near the bed, where she was lying on her stomach with her face buried in the pillow. Sitting on the edge, he took her hand and put his fingers tensed a scarf pulled pocket. He wanted to take her in his arms, but after so many months of deprivation, fear not being able to offer only consolation. - Gytha ... - He stroked her hair. - Please do not cry anymore. I can not stand ... Best yell at me or treat me with indifference, as I did before. Pain is less than I concerned with such tears. She turned to face him, wiping his face with his handkerchief. Thayer also stroked her hair. - Gytha, I said I was after rewards for you, but I went because I wanted it all. Wanted those things for you. Not told the truth before because knew he would try to stop me from going. - I certainly would have tried. And it was not tried for thinking that the issue involved honor and loyalty. - It was pride. Little more than that. Wanted to conquer all that I had to return to William. I, my heart. I knew you did not care about material possessions, but I cared. Not want to live thinking you lost everything to stay married to me. That was more important than I wanted to admit, but only faced this harsh reality when I was forced to stay in bed me healing of injuries. - Of which did not even talk to me. Should have sent for me. - No, my dear. A trip to the northern border is long and dangerous. That region is very dangerous. There was an old woman in the city who cared very skilled from me. Roger was also the time with me. He and I take care of injuries each other for years. We have some knowledge. - What is the real extent of his injuries, Thayer? He could have died, and I just knew it was too late? - Oh, no, it was not so serious! - Do not lie to me. - First call me stupid, liar now ... - He leaned over to kiss her on the lips. - Ah, Gytha, how I missed you! She sighed, feeling his whole being responding to the desire in his voice. - I know - he said. Consoled that part of her that he thought he was giving too quickly with a plausible justification. Thayer had explained his motives and

have gone to fight the Scots. Taken by necessity, although he still had touched neither, Gytha sat up and smiled. - How much time do you need to undress, husband? - I'll be ready when you are - he replied, laughing. About an hour later, when he rose from the arms of Thayer to pull the blanket over their naked bodies and satiated, Gytha noticed the huge scar on his leg and could not contain an exclamation terrified. - It's horrible, is not it? - Well, it's not pretty, but what amazes me is that ... God, he could have cut his leg at the knee! - No. It was a deep cut, I admit, but not enough to make me lose my leg, unless it was a result of an infection. Fortunately, this risk is overcome. I had a fever for a while, but she gave thanks to the herbs used by old who took care of my injuries. Only took me back because I'm stubborn. I wanted to completely recover without their help, without worry her. - Now is recovered. - Not entirely. Not like I would. I'm limping, Gytha. - Yes, but this may improve with time. And I feel guilty for not being at his side to take care of your health. - No, Gytha. One would be tortured and ill with worry. Now I know how much you care about me ... - Believe me, then? - Yes, I should not believe? - In fact, do not expect to earn your trust. What made you change your mind? I mean, why do you believe me now? Please, I need to know. I have done something right to convince him of my feelings with a single statement, after all the fruitless efforts of recent months. - You yelled at me. - I did not scream! But she knew she had uncontrolled. - I was furious. The words were out of her mouth she could not elaborate them, think too much about what to say. A confession made in this manner, without any

stimulus, sounds more real. And I know that is not the type of woman who would lie about what he feels. Do not say those words before for fear that I doubted them? - Confess that would not have believed in a statement. - No. - He laughed. - Maybe not. - I knew. I had tried everything without success. - He had confidence in me, Gytha. Why could not trust anyone. Feared committing an error of judgment, hear only what interested me ... Accepted just what could not be questioned, what I did not have to consider. As the passion between us. It was so clear, I could never doubt her. - I understand. You learned to distrust. - Yes, and I was unfair to you because of this widespread distrust. - Maybe. But showed wisdom, because it ignored a lesson he learned with great sorrow. - Yes .. A lesson that I can now leave behind in the past. Thanks to you, my sweet Gytha. - Me? No. I'm just a woman! - And yet I could have hurt more deeply than the sword of a bloodthirsty warrior. - So ... you love me? - She risked hesitant but hopeful. - Of course I love you! - It shook in his arms when his wife threw herself on his chest. Gytha, please do not cry! - I'm not crying - she lied, hugging him the whole body. - Finally reached his heart. I felt defeated because I could not imagine a way to touch him deeply, to make way for his soul. - You have found this path long ago, my dear. - Oh, Thayer, I love him like I never thought I could love someone! - And I love you, my sweet Gytha. Even Thayer was not kissing, Gytha could not speak, so the intensity of the emotion experienced. That single moment made up for by all the moments of doubt, fear and disappointment that will suffer along the way. Huddled in his arms, her head resting on his broad chest and strong, she heard the firm beats the heart of the mighty warrior and knew he had found his place in the world, in life. - When he was sure? - She asked. - The moment I saw her for the first time.

- No, Thayer. When he was sure of his love for me? - I think ... Yes, when Pickney was made hostage. Went mad with fear and pain. I could not even do what I always did well, fight the enemy. Never felt dread so great. He knew that his presence was vital to my happiness before that, but I refused to understand why. After that, left me just say how and when to declare my love for you. When you gave me Everard ... By the way, where is he? - With women in the ladies room. You'll soon see, This moment is ours alone, Thayer. Everard has all my time. - I know. And since this moment is ours alone, tell me ... - What? - When did you know? - From the beginning I knew that our marriage was right. - Right? - Yeah, right. When you were introduced as Saitun who I should marry. Experienced a feeling of adequacy, as fulfilled my destiny ... - And do not feel that with William or Robert? - No! William accepted with resignation, because he was nice and friendly, but Robert ... Poor Robert! I just wanted to master it, as everyone seemed to do. With you was different. And I was sure of my love when you were injured on our journey here. Since then, I spent every moment of the day and night trying to find a way to make him believe in my sincerity in my intention to be his wife forever and make you a happy man. - I am a happy man. Thank you. - You mean you will not fight anymore? - I do not need more stimulus battle to feel alive. You gave me back my life, Gytha. When faced the Scots, I found that I no longer feel pleasure in the confrontation. Ended. I just wanted to come Riverfall, for you and Everard. And Bek wanted to bring to a safe place, too. - So, being a man of title and property calmed the Red Devil! - No. The Red Devil was tamed by a little angel big blue eyes. The Red Devil no longer exists. - I do not want it to disappear. And also do not want him to be tamed ... other.

- Oh, no? And where you want to perpetuate the existence of the Red Devil? - Here. In our bed. Beside me, loving me with passion. - I think I can bring it whenever you want to call him. Not even a devil may get tired of loving and being loved by a beautiful angel and delicate. - Even if it's forever? Because this is my only condition. - Forever, my heart will still not be enough. End.