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The Magic of Lammas -- August 7, 2009

"The Magic of Lammas"

A free short story set in the world of The King's Tale. King Christopher and Dafydd reaffirm the vows they made at Beltane during the Lammas festivities.

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Dreamspinner Press

Read an excerpt:

THE Kingdom of Lysnowydh basked in the mid-summer's heat. Situated along the Cornish coast the heat was not as oppressive as it was further inland, yet it settled over the countryside and made even the simplest tasks feel difficult.

King Christopher was not cut from the same cloth as the other Cornish kings. He defied tradition, and some said reason, because he followed his heart. When the Kingdom had fallen to him upon the passing of his father he had flown in the face of his council and declared he would only marry for love. After seeking shelter in the cottage of the Kingdom's woodsman during a raging winter storm, he had found that love with the woodsman Dafydd. While there were still detractors most of the members of the King's castle had accepted the unlikely relationship when they saw the honest love that flowed between the two men. After a year passed Christopher handfasted with Dafydd on Beltane. Now Lammas approached, and the bond between the King and his consort was unbroken. Eventually provisions would be made to ensure Christopher had an heir to follow in his footsteps, but those days seemed far in the future. There was also the problem of the King of Strasnedh, Warin, who eyed toward Lysnowydh with the thought of increasing his kingdom.

On this balmy summer day, all thoughts and worries of the future were set aside, and the keep bustled with activity as preparations began in earnest for the feasting that evening. King Christopher found himself with time on his hands as the council all had duties that did not require his involvement. Dafydd, woodsman no more as he now served as King's Marshal, also found himself idle as all the squires were set to menial tasks this day. They met in the main hall; the air inside the castle was stifling, yet they both found it preferable to the teeming bailey.

"'Tis hot," Christopher said as he flung himself into his chair.

Dafydd drew the back of his hand over his brow and wiped away the sweat. "Aye, and yet the people lay a bonfire e'en now for the Lammas festivities this night."

Christopher pulled irritably at his jerkin, loosened his belt and let whatever cool air stirred within the keep touch his damp shirt. "'Tis custom," he said, and then he smiled, "Much as 'tis custom at Beltane." He sat forward in his chair, rested his forearms against the table before him. "This night several will handfast," his voice was low and husky, "Mayhaps we shall say the vows to one another again."

Dafydd bent down, so that his cheek brushed against the king's, "'Tis not the vows I would repeat my king," his lips traced over Christopher's ear, "'Tis what came after."

Laughter bubbled up, "Art wicked cariad," Christopher said. He reached up to tuck a hand around Dafydd's back, and pull him closer, "'Tis lucky for you we are in the hall, or I should beg that you show me which part that came after you wanted to repeat."

"Always my king," Dafydd said, his voice a low moan as Christopher's hand stole down to tease over his ass, "You accuse me of being wicked when 'tis you who torments the more." He turned his head slightly to let Christopher's soft hair tickle his nose, and when he opened his eyes he found the kitchen maid Bridget approached.

"Oh," she said with a gasp of surprise, "Begging your pardon majesty," she dipped into a curtsey and bowed her head, "Agnes bade me find you that I might ask if you preferred boar or sole for the Lammas feast."

Christopher slowly slid his hand down Dafydd's backside then sat back in his chair, not bothering to hide how the encounter had affected him. "Ask Agnes if she has oysters," he said with a wink for Dafydd, "I would eat oysters for my Lammas feast."

Dafydd chuckled as he stood, and wondered if the implication would be lost on poor Bridget. When she rose upright, her cheeks were stained red, and he saw that she had understood the king's intention. "Tell Agnes the king would eat sole, and if she has oysters he would wish to eat them as well."

"And you Dafydd," Christopher said as he waggled his brows, "She must serve oysters for you as well."

Stifling a laugh, Dafydd said smoothly, "I believe the king wishes we would all eat oysters for our Lammas feast."

"As you wish," Bridget said, and she turned and hastened away.

"Ah my king," Dafydd said, hands on his hips, "'Tis not kind to tease Bridget thus."

Christopher rose from his chair lifted his chin that he might meet Dafydd's eyes, "She has you to protect her, a little teasing is good for the soul betimes." He stepped back. "I would bathe before the feasting." And he turned and sauntered away toward the stairs.

Dafydd chuckled under his breath, and wondered what had gotten into Christopher.


( 4 comments — Leave a comment )
Jan. 6th, 2012 04:03 pm (UTC)
Oh lovely. Brought a smile to my face.
Jan. 6th, 2012 08:50 pm (UTC)
Aww...thank you! I do love this story ^^
Jan. 7th, 2012 11:53 am (UTC)
can't wait to read this :) thank you Rowena!
Jan. 7th, 2012 12:53 pm (UTC)
Oh thank you :) It's available for free from DSP....and you can also get it from Good Reads and Manic Readers....and AllRomance *hugs*
( 4 comments — Leave a comment )