I love it when I’m writing and a scene makes me laugh. Humor in characters is so important. It makes them relatable. In Einar: Breaking the Sea, my heroine is a Scottish warrior and has a tough exterior. I needed to show a softer side, make her likable. What came next cracked me up. Of course, she was alone, or so she thought, when she had this vulnerable moment. lol
The scene below takes place in Chapter five, right after Maeve had celebrated some good news. I hope you enjoy it.
God was kind to women, fools, and drunks, which made Maeve blessed. Only by the grace of God had she found her way to her bedchamber. She did have something to celebrate, and it wasn’t the Northmen.
She opened the door and stumbled in. The light from the full moon flooded through the only window and illuminated the chamber.
Abraham, one of her many cats, jumped down from the window ledge and ran to her. He rubbed against her legs like he hadn’t seen her in years.
“Bram.” She bent to pick up the fat, orange cat. “Ye must take it easy on the mice. Ye’re getting fat.”
He meowed and bumped her chin with his head.
“Aye, laddie.” Maeve laughed and made her way to her bed. As she sat down to take her slippers off, another cat crawled out from her hiding place and jumped onto the bed. She smiled and scratched her behind the ears. “Och, ’tis nice to see ye too, Bonny.”
She could always count on her cats to bring her happiness. However, her chambermaid wasn’t fond of cleaning up after five cats. It frightened the wee maid when she found the occasional dead mouse lying on the floor.
Maeve bent to roll her stockings down. Her head spun, and everything went blurry. Aye, she’d never drunk to the point of blacking out before. However, tonight, the mead had gone down smooth. She stood and fumbled with the ties on her dress. Patience was fleeting, so she disregarded the laces and tugged the dress over her head. She got lost in the garment and couldn’t find her way out. “Bram, I dinnae know how women do it.” She struggled to free herself. “This bloody dress… ’Tis too tight.”
The dress ripped, and Maeve lost her balance. She fell to the floor but was finally free. She roared with laughter. It was a good thing her warriors couldn’t see her this way.
Bram, who sat on the edge of the bed, looked down at her, his tail swooshing behind him.
“Shhh, dinnae tell anyone what ye have seen here tonight.”
“I will not tell if you don’t.”
Maeve sobered and peered at the cat, as if it had grown two heads. Had she gone mad? Did her cat speak?
She shook her head. She obviously needed to sleep off the mead.
“You are cute when drunk.”
She sat up.
Someone was in her chamber.
Maeve reached for her dagger on her thigh. It wasn’t there.
“Looking for this?”
Slowly, she stood and glanced toward her bed, where the voice had come from. She prayed she wasn’t hearing that now-familiar accent.
It had to be the mead.
Maeve wasn’t so lucky.
Einar lay on her bed. His long legs were crossed at the ankles, and one arm was resting behind his head. He tossed her dagger up and caught it by the handle like he had no cares in the world. “You should be more careful where you leave your weapons. They could end up in the wrong hands.”
She pulled her shift down and crossed her arms over her chest, covering her breasts.
“Who let the swine dog in my chamber?” Anger replaced her frazzled nerves; she was instantly sober. No mead left in her blood.
She could smell his sexual intentions—he wasn’t here to kill her.
“Your king told us to make ourselves comfortable.” Einar looked around the chamber like it was his home. “I’m comfortable here.”
“This my bedchamber, so ye’ll have to find another.”
“Oh, princess, I’m not leaving.” He patted the bed next to him, and Maeve rolled her eyes. “There is enough room for two.”
By the saints, the cocky bastard annoyed her. “Why are ye here?”
The Northman sat up, scooting to the edge of the bed.
She took a step back from his lustful gaze roaming her body. Heathens took what they wanted just because they could.
“I’m not here to take you to bed.” Einar smirked. “I’m flattered by the thought.”
“Then why are ye here?”
He stood. “I can help you get your brother back.”
Maeve shook her head. “No. I dinnae need yer help, nor do I want it. The quicker ye leave Stonehaven, the better.”
“Dinnae call me that!” Her cheeks heated again, hotter with her rising anger. “There is nothing ye can offer that will change my mind.”
“I think ye’ll change yer mind if you give me a chance to explain. We want the same thing.”
“How is that?”
“You love your brother and want him returned home. I love Orkneyjar and want to go home.”
Despite the drunkenness at the edge of her conscious, his words sunk in. Even if they had something in common, Maeve would never admit it. “Heathen, if ye love yer islands so much, then go home. Like I said before, I dinnae need yer help.”
Einar shoved his hands through his hair, obviously frustrated. “So, the rumors are true. Scots women are stubborn as mules.”
She squared her shoulders and approached the heathen. “And we carry big swords, and we’re no’ afraid to use them.”
“You are impossible to talk to.”
“No. I’m drunk. And in the morning, I’ll be sober, but ye’ll still be a heathen.”
They stared at each other. If their glares were daggers, they would both be dead.
He moved forward, keeping her locked onto his stern gaze.
She felt his breath against her cheek, he was so close.
“If you want to save your brother, I suggest you meet me tomorrow after the morning meal, before I change my mind.”
Maeve narrowed her eyes. She’d show no fear. “Ye dinnae scare me.”
“Good. ’Tis not my intention, princess.” Einar took a step back. “Meet me at the dock.” He left her chamber, taking all the heated tension with him.
She exhaled as the door shut behind him. She made her way to the bed and fell into it. Maeve took in another breath to calm her nerves, and a wave of spicy male scent washed over.
No matter what she did, she couldn’t escape Einar. Now even her bed smelled like him, and she liked it. Mayhap it was the influence of the mead still stirring in her gut, causing her to find comfort and a wee bit of excitement in his smell. She recalled the heavy look in his eyes when he met her gaze. There was a wildness in those dark depths that intrigued her and made her heart race.
She quickly stomped those ideas straight into the ground. Einar was the enemy—a heathen.
She would never trust the Northmen.