Outside Liane’s bedroom window, the castle grounds were dark. No streetlights pearled the night. No city window or doorway gleamed through the dark. It couldn’t be later than but they’d rolled up the sidewalks already.
A long, gurgling growl broke the silence. She’d missed lunch and skipped dinner. If she didn’t eat soon, her stomach was going to wake everyone in the castle.
She didn’t want that, didn’t want to face him.
She couldn’t shake the feeling that she’d been wrong.
But cowering in her bedroom wasn’t going to get her fed. She tightened the robe’s belt, then opened the bedroom door a crack. Light, no brighter than moon glow, flowed from a fixture over the sink. Enough, she decided, to raid the refrigerator without waking Devyn. She slipped into the kitchen.
The refrigerator opened with a soft shirp. As she’d discovered last night Devyn didn’t keep much food, but the food he had was high quality. And the covered plate had to be leftovers from his dinner. She pulled it out, tilting one corner of the milky waxed paper covering the thin sliced beef, boiled potatoes and carrots. As hungry as she was, she didn’t care if it was cold. Her fingers settled on a round potato.
Some disturbance, some primal hormonal instinct, sizzled over her skin. She knew, without turning, Devyn stood behind her. Her breath quickened and grew shallow at the same time and she ordered herself to stop it. Not that it did any good.
“I should move the cooler into your room, aye? For these late night feedings.” Devyn, in his long blue robe, joined her. He flicked a switch and the kitchen brightened. “The drapes are drawn so it’s safe to have a wee bit of light.”
She didn’t know what to say. Didn’t know if she should berate him or apologize. Instead, she bit into the cold potato.
“Ach.” Devyn wrestled the plate from her and put it into the counter-top oven. “Nae need to eat it cold, lass.”
He pressed the controls. The oven hummed loudly.
He slanted a brief look at her while he filled the teapot. “Ye’re in luck, ya ken. Morag cooked for us. She doesna do that so offen any more.”
Liane popped the rest of the potato in her mouth while Devyn fussed with the teapot, then pulled silverware from a drawer. She shifted as he reached into an overhead cupboard and retrieved two cups. “She’s been like a mother to me.”
Liane realized suddenly that his brogue deepened when he spoke to her or Morag, as if he felt comfortable in their presence. And why not? Morag doted on him while Liane was just a gowky woman he didn’t want and probably planned to get rid of as soon as possible. After all, he and Earvin were competing for the same woman, weren’t they? Men were such idiots.
“Fetch the cream, if ya will.”
She debated it but, as an act of rebellion, it didn’t hit the mark. Setting the bottle on the counter, she studied him. His green eyes darted toward her and his jaw twitched as if he was going to speak. Instead, he sighed, turned to open a drawer and pulled out a cloth napkin that he put next to the silverware on the counter.
“Morag’s an opinionated woman.” He leaned back against the counter, folded his arms over his broad chest and studied his toes. “And fierce as a dragon protecting its nest.”
Liane had to agree with that assessment.
“You’re a good bit like her.” He thought, then added, “Ye’re bonnier, though.”
There was something intimate about being in a kitchen with a bare-footed man. His feet were long and angular, the toes dusted with red-gold hair. When he crossed one ankle over the other, his robe parted for a second to reveal a muscular calf with slightly darker auburn hair. Deep brackets on either side of his sensuous mouth could be lines of fatigue. Weariness.
She broke her silence. “Don’t flirt.”
“Who said I was flirtin’?”
Altered Destiny is available at
Other books by Lynda K. Scott
Heartstone, Mundania Press http://www.mundania.com/book.php?title=Heartstone
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About Lynda: In her family of
'ridge runners', oral tales were a tradition that even the children participated in. She spent many nights with her brother, cousins and friends telling tall tales to excite the imagination. Now she creates award winning science fantasy romance filled with despair, hope, love and courage. Kentucky