Medieval Monday with Ruth A.Casie

MedMonsmaller

When Lord Arik, a druid knight, finds Rebeka Tyler wandering his lands without protection, he swears to keep her safe. But Rebeka can take care of herself. When Arik sees her clash with a group of attackers using a strange fighting style, he’s intrigued. Rebeka is no ordinary seventeenth-century woman—she’s travelled back from the year 2011, and she desperately wants to return to her own time. She
poses as a scholar sent by the king to find out what’s killing Arik’s land. But as she works to decode the ancient runes that are the key to solving this mystery and sending her home, she finds herself drawn to the charismatic and powerful Arik.As Arik and Rebeka fall in love, someone in Arik’s household schemes to keep them apart, and a dark druid with a grudge prepares his revenge. Soon Rebeka will have to decide whether to return to the future or trust Arik with the secret of her time travel and her heart.

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England ~ May, 1605

I should not have stayed away from the Manor so long. Something stirs. Lord Arik’s

eyes swept the surrounding area as he and his three riders escorted the wagon with the

old tinker and the woman. They sped through the forest as fast as the rain-slicked trail

would allow. Unable to shake the ominous feeling of being watched, Arik remained alert.

At length, the horses winded, he slowed the pace as they neared the Stone River.

“The forest is flooded. I suspect the Stone will be as well. Willem, ride on ahead and

let me know what we face at the crossing.”

Willem did his lord’s bidding and quickly returned with his report. “The river ahead

runs fast, m’lord. The bridge is in disrepair and cannot be crossed.”

Arik raised his hand and brought the group to a halt. “Doward,” he said to the old

tinker. “We must make repairs. There’s no room for the wagon at the river’s edge. You

and the woman stay here and set up camp. Be ready to join us at the bridge when I

send word.”

Logan, Arik’s brother, spoke up. “I’ll keep watch here and help Doward and Rebeka.”

Arik nodded and, with the others, continued the half mile to the bridge.

“I am not pleased with this new delay.”

“It can’t be helped, m’lord. We would make better time without the wagon,” said

“I’ll not leave Doward and the woman unescorted through the forest, not with what

we’ve heard lately. We’ll have to drive hard to make up the lost time.”

The frame of the bridge stood solid, the planks scattered everywhere, clogging the

banks and shallows. Arik leaped from his horse onto the frame to begin the repairs.

“Hand me that planking.” Arik pointed to the nearest board.

Simon grabbed the plank and examined it. “Sir, these boards have been deliberately

Arik took the board and lifted it before him. An arrow whooshed out of the trees, and

slammed into the plank’s edge. Willem pulled his axe from his belt as Arik and Simon

drew their swords. In a fluid, practiced movement, Willem spun and found his mark. He

sent his axe flying. The archer fell into the river and was swept downstream, Willem’s

axe still lodged in his forehead. A dozen or more attackers broke through the stand of

Arik tossed the board into the river and readied his sword. The enemy was poorly

dressed carrying clubs and knives. There was only one sword among them. The leader.

Arik’s target.

“They plan to pin us here at the river’s edge. Come, we’ll take the offensive before

they form up.” They moved forward, driving a wedge through the enemy’s ragged line,

forcing what little formation they had to scatter and fight, each man for himself.

A man, club in hand, rushed at Arik. Before the attacker could bring his weapon into

play, Arik pivoted around him. He raised his sword high, and slammed the hilt’s steel

pommel squarely on the man’s head. Arik moved on before the man’s lifeless body

dropped to the ground.

Willem and Simon, on either side of Arik, advanced through the melee. Their swift

continuous swordplay moved smoothly from one stroke to the next, whipping through

the air. They slashed on the downswing and again on the backswing, sweeping their

weapons back into position to repeat the killing sequence. The knight and his soldiers

steadily advanced, punishing any man who dared to come near them.

“For Honor!” Logan’s war cry carried from the small camp to Arik’s ears.

Arik stiffened. Both camps were now under attack. He pulled his blade from an

attacker’s chest. The body crumpled to the blood-soaked ground. Arik breathed deeply,

the coppery taste of blood in the air. “For Honor!” he bellowed in answer. His men

echoed his call, arms thrown wide, muscles quivering, the berserker’s rage overtaking

The remaining attackers paled and fled headlong into the forest.

Motioning to his men to follow, Arik raced toward the camp. He could hear the shouts,

and cursed himself for not seeing the danger. He crested the hill and came to an abrupt

Logan’s sword ripped through the air as he protected Doward. The tinker drew his

short blade and did as much damage as he could. But it was the woman Arik noticed.

Her skirt hiked up, she twirled her walking stick like a weapon with an expertise that left

him slack-jawed. She dispatched the attackers, one by one, in a deadly well-practiced

dance. A man rushed toward her, knife in hand. The sneer on his face didn’t match the

fear in his eyes. She stepped out of his line of attack, extended her stick to her side, and

holding it with both hands swept the weapon forward, striking the attacker across the

bridge of his nose. Blood exploded from his face in an arc of fine spray as his head

snapped back. Droplets dusted her face creating an illusion of bright red freckles. As he

fell, she reversed her swing and caught him hard behind his knees. He went down on

his back, spread-eagled. She swung her stick over her head and landed a precise and

disabling blow to his forehead that knocked him unconscious.

As she spun to face the next threat her eyes captured Arik’s and held. In the space of

an instant, time slowed to a crawl. Her hair slowly loosened from its pins and swirled out

around her. His breath caught and his heartbeat quickened as a rapturous surge raced

through his body. Something eternal and familiar, with a sense of longing, unsettled

him. In the next heartbeat, she tore her eyes away, leaving him empty. Time resumed

its normal pace. Another attacker lay at her feet.

Arik joined the fight.

3 Comments

  1. Suzie Johnson

    Wowza! This sounds like a book I can get lost in. Will put thi one at the top of my TBR

    Reply
  2. Ruth A. Casie

    Thanks for hosting me today. We’re snowed in here in New Jersey. Stay warm and safe!

    Reply
  3. carmen

    Great excerpt urging me to know more.
    Best of luck, Ruth, with your writing endeavor and touching the hearts of many readers!

    Reply

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