Story for the Day: The Thief
Here is a moment from book 8, as requested by readers over Twitter:
Mureadh had been safely installed at the Haven as Rithea’s new companion and Tiulaine’s keeper, and now that Teague had completed his task of infiltration with great success, it was time for him to leave his intimate friend to the Head Cleric and to the auspices of the tranquil Barellynn. He was pleased that Mureadh had remarked the small village to be most similar to him home of Karnwyl to the south and was even more gratified to find him taking an interest in his object. He surmised that a little encouragement from Rithea, a few months spent away from all others in his acquaintance, and his need to extend his gallantry and faith to one who was in need of it would do well for Mureadh. Teague could now have no doubt of his friend finding a home at the Haven and he believed it would be one that would produce more than a mere royal captaincy should Mureadh allow for it.
It was time for Teague to return to the capital with his first report. He quitted the Haven and regarded the skies, judging the low clouds and rising run with conscientious calculation. He reckoned that if he could find a horse or even a trade caravan to convey him thither, he could be home by late evening. He would be in Diras half a day before the projected time and therefore be able to spend his night in the comfort of his own bed nestling his most adored woman tucked into the bend of his arm, for coiling his long limbs around her while inhaling the fragrance of her dark hair to support his slumber was all his desire at present. The thought of Qwynlin hastened his want to find a means of quicker travel: a horse was borrowed from the local stable, rations were forgone, and Teague rode east along the roads with all the alacrity his need to see her could command.
The skies turned their various hues and the stars appeared as Teague reached the main gates of Diras. He had hoped that Connors or Nerri would be on patrol along the outer wall, or that even the commander and the Den Asaan would be taking their evening walk to Diras Delights, but he was told from the Royal Guard at the gate that Connors and Nerri were in the keep managing affairs and the commander and Den Asaan were gone to Lucentia on royal business. He wondered at what could be so pressing as to send his commanding officers to the north upon so short a notice, but for now nothing would signify: he would learn the reason in the morning when he should arrive at the castle keep to give his report and for now, he was content to return to his home. He gave the horse to the stables with the direction of having it returned to Barellynn and leapt through the quieted streets of Diras with the principle object of seeing Qwynlin.
Judging by the time of night, Teague supposed that Sheamas’ shoppe was closed for the evening, and went he passed it on his way home, his suspicions were confirmed, giving rise to the idea that Fionnora and Ennan might already be sleep. Here would be his opportunity to fulfill the promise he made to his woman before he had left the capital, and as he climbed the ivy-laden lattice to the window of their bedchamber, he hoped that no one would mistake his entrance for that of an actual thief and alert the guards on patrol. He came to the sill and peered into the window to find the lights in the apartments dimmed and Qwynlin lying asleep in their bed. Her complexion was rendered aglow by moonlight, the satin of her evening dress clung to her slender frame, and to Teague, she was an image of faultlessness. He sat at the window for a moment remarking his exquisite creature, and when he could merely look no longer, he slipped into the window and crept mutely over to their bed.
He removed his leather armour in silence and prowled over her supine body. He sat over her hips with straddled legs and pondered in which position he would have her first. Her arms were high, her hands near her face and resting over her cascading hair, her lips slightly parted, and he deemed that holding her down by the wrist while forcing his weight down on be the most effective method of trapping her at present. He leaned forward and gripped her wrists to wake her. He was met with astonished features and instantly pressed down to hold her in place.
Qwynlin’s heart leapt first in terror then in exalted surprise to see her assailant smiling at her. Her initial struggles gave way to the overpowering desire to kiss him. She craned her neck from her pinned position and was given the most eager of osculations.
“Aye, I’m a thief, girly,” Teague whispered in a contrived Westren accent. “And I come to take yer little gem.” He eyed the region directly beneath his hips and then winked at her. She pursed her lips to keep from giggling, but Teague now having professed himself a thief must play the role well. He shook her against the bed to silence her and leaned forward to drape his tongue across her cheek. “Yer a fine one, girly,” he growled. “I ain’t got one like you at home. I’m gonna take yer little gem, and if ye struggle, won’t I damage you somethin’ fierce?”
Qwynlin took Teague’s address as a hint to being resisting and fought against his clasp with all the might her slender arms could afford. She pushed and kicked and writhed but could not free herself, and when her efforts had almost had an effect, she was thrown onto her stomach and her arms and legs were held together behind her back while his knee forced her down against the bed.