The Winds of the Heavens

The Winds of the Heavens by Anna Markland

The Winds of The Heavens

Book III Sons of Rhodri

They are twin patriot warriors who have always shared everything. But can they share a woman?

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Sometimes love makes men do crazy things!

Rhun watched Glain as she gathered herbs in the woods near the cottage. She startled when she caught sight of him leaning against a tree, half hidden by its shade. She probably thought he was still at his sleeping brother’s bedside, but he had followed her.

She bowed her head and blushed. Blood rushed to his tarse.

Yr Arglwydd, you surprised me.”

He clasped his hands behind his back, resisting the urge to touch her. “You needn’t be formal. My name is Rhun. I’m enjoying watching you.”

He couldn’t describe the exact colour of the long eyelashes she fluttered, but he recognized their effect on him. He hastily unclasped his hands and grabbed her basket to hold in front of his arousal. “Tell me about the herbs.”

She smiled, poking through the pile, apparently unaware of his discomfort as the woven pannier brushed against his shaft. She rhymed off the names as she touched each one—betony, winter savory, sage, coriander—

Rhun heard nothing except her voice, and was aware of nothing other than the swell of her shapely breasts and the curve of her hips. The aroma of her hair mingled with the scents of the freshly picked herbs. He wanted to wrap the long strands around his body, rub the silkiness between the pads of his fingertips. He closed his eyes and imagined her lying naked beneath him.

Her voice broke into his reverie. “Lord Rhun? Are you listening? You asked me about the herbs.”

His eyes flew open. Something lodged in his throat. “Yes—er—I’m very interested in the properties of herbs. My mother was a renowned healer.”

Drivel! I’m spouting drivel!

She gave him a strange look. “I know of your mother, as I told you when we first met.”

A hint of mockery? “Er—yes, you did tell me.” He took a deep breath, hoping his face was not as red as his hair. “I—I’m so taken with you I forget my own name.”

She smiled and sighed deeply. “Your name is Rhun. It’s an exciting name, a name to be proud of, a name that conjures images of a brave warrior, passionate about Wales and its people.”

Her seductive voice singing his praises, uttering words like exciting and passionate, overwhelmed him. He dropped the basket and bent to kiss her, pulling her to him. “This Welsh warrior is particularly passionate about one certain Welshwoman.” He hoped the hard need he pressed to her body would not alarm her.

To his surprise, she did not resist, but ran her fingers through his hair. Her mouth opened slowly to welcome his probing tongue.

Her response thrilled him and he murmured her name.

“Rhun,” she whispered in return, “I love your hair.”

Many women had expressed their admiration for his hair, but now it was as if he was hearing it for the first time. “I inherited it from my great grandfather, Dafydd. I love everything about you. You fill my senses.”

She eased away from his arousal and averted her eyes. “Rhun, you’re here for a few days. I’m a maid. I live in this village. I cannot—”

He pressed his lips to her forehead, the word maid playing havoc with his senses. “I would never dishonour you. I’m a man of honour, a son of Rhodri ap Owain.”

The arrival of Rhydderch interrupted their conversation. Rhun took his hands off Glain’s waist and pulled away, somehow feeling unreasonably guilty. Rhydderch scowled at him. “Rhun, I’ve been looking for you. Baudoin is awake and wishes to speak to us.”

“Go!” Glain murmured to Rhun. “You’re summoned by the Earl.”

His hackles rose. He hated Normans and only tolerated Baudoin because he was married to their sister. As long as he lived he would never understand why his father had agreed to the marriage. He made a clipped bow and strode off with his brother.

Once out of Glain’s sight, Rhydderch grasped his elbow and pulled him up short. “Rhun, you and I have shared everything all our lives, but I’ll be hard pressed to share Glain with you.”

Rhun stared into his brother’s eyes. His heart fell. For the first time in his life his twin was his rival. “Rhydderch—brother—”

He couldn’t find the right words and fled to Glain’s cottage to await Baudoin’s pleasure and to attend to Rhys.

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