Dayna is a servant girl in the small village of Littleshire. When Lord Griffith takes over governance of the village, Dayna becomes very fond of him. But their love is not meant to be.
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Lord Griffith is the new lord of Littleshire, given the position by the king as reward from service in battle.
Dayna is an innocent servant woman for the castle. She stares at Lord Griffith from the window and fantasizes about life with him, but then he catches her watching.
A wealthy lady that catches Lord Griffith's eye.
Just one little kiss, and she steals all joy from my heart. The warmth I felt from the sun fades, all joy and beauty of the day dulls into the mundane, daily routine. The lord and the lady pull away from each other, nodding and turning their separate ways.
Before returning to his work, Lord Griffith stops in the middle of the courtyard, servant boys with livestock and farmers with carts passing by him.
And he looks back up at me.
Curse myself! I should have walked away. Now he has seen me neglecting my duties a second time. And not just that... he knows I was spying on him. I feel like I will faint with the blood that rushes to my head.
His dark eyebrows lower, but otherwise I can’t read his face. Is he angry with me? Then he nods to me. This is an entirely different nod than he gave to Helenis. This is slow and deliberate, and tells me “The next time I see you, we will deal with this.”
Thankfully, he turns away after this brief message is delivered. I fall in the shadows of the hall and lean on the stone wall, gasping. My parents will hear how their grown daughter, just recently having left the house, already had to be reprimanded by the Lord for neglecting her job. Oh no, what if he tells others I was snooping on him?
I start quickly down the hall, trying to hide from these disturbing thoughts. I just have to stay busy, and stay out of his way, and soon he will forget he ever saw me watching him.
I busy myself straightening the beds in the second story rooms, though they were already fixed this morning. I don’t want to start the fires. It takes too much time to make sure the flame catches on the kindling. I have to keep moving... though it’s foolish of me to imagine I’m running from something.
I go into the next room, but freeze as soon as I step inside. It is Lord Griffith’s chamber.
I have been here many times when this room belonged to Lord Frederick, but only twice since Lord Griffith occupied it. It hadn’t felt so strange to enter his room as it does now. It is decorated the same, with shields, weapons, and maroon, rich cloth. But the energy is of a younger man. I start to leave when I hear someone in the hallway.
My heart races. I don’t know why I feel like I’m trespassing. I step to the middle of the room, trying to find something to make myself look busy. Kindling is already placed by the fireplace. The door to the chamber creaks open, and my skin shivers. I’m so nervous I drop the small chunks of wood as soon as I pick them up.
“What are you doing in here?” A brisk, deep voice demands from the entrance. I don’t have to look to know who it is. Heat rises to my skin. What did he just ask me? Gripping a small piece of kindling in my shaking hand, I force my body to turn to him in order to explain. But when I see him standing in the doorway, arms crossed and his hip leaning against the door frame, the words leave me.
The look on his face only confuses me more. His voice sounded angry, but there is amusement on his lip and in his eyes. So he’s toying with the foolish servant woman again...
“Can you not speak?” His voice is flat and feels like a reprimand.
“Star...starting a fire my lord.”
“Oh were you?” He examines me, then the kindling in my hand. “Then where is your flint?”
I look down, as if I could find some mysteriously in my hand, but I hadn’t brought any in. I try to calm my rapid heart, but I feel my face flush under his scrutiny. Why doesn’t he just yell at me and let me leave?
“I don’t think you came in here to start a fire.” He pushes himself off the wall. The look on his face is accusing and stern, keeping me where I am.
“You don’t?” I choke on the words.
“No.” He reaches back to shut the door. Deliberate, like his final nod to me before I started back to work.
Oh God, he’s going discipline me for watching him, for neglecting my work. He reaches up and locks the door, and the forceful “thud” makes my heart skip a beat. It takes marked effort for me not to cower from him. I will take my punishment.
When he turns back to me, there’s something else on his face. He’s locked the door... A warm tingling runs all over my body. I think he might be after something more...
I’m being foolish again. He’s not interested in me like that, a lowly servant. He has so many elegant women at his disposal he could take a different lady every day of the week. I cast my gaze to the floor as he starts toward me.
“It’s Dayna right?”
I look up in surprise. “How... how do you know my name?”
With a smirk he replies, “You know mine don’t you? Why should I not know yours?”
“I didn’t think you would... be interested my lord.” I have to look away from the intensity of his eyes. Instead, my gaze falls on his chest showing above his open-neck tunic.
“Should I not be interested in knowing the people who tend my room every day, the ones who light fires in my hearth?”
I just nod, not knowing what to say. He has closed half the distance between us. I wish he would just come and get it over with, instead of taking his time dandling with me.
“So what were you really doing in here?” Two steps closer. He’s larger than I realized, viewing him this close. I want to cast my gaze on the floor, but his eyes lock onto mine.
“Have you come to spy on me again?”
My throat clamps shut. “I... uh..” I stammer. He takes the moment to stride closer, his form becoming more intimidating. I have no idea what kind of man he is. Will he really hurt me?
His guarded steps change so quickly that he grabs my arms before I realize what he’s doing. I cringe, expecting a slap on the face, but instead he pushes me against the wall. The impact wasn’t hard but it startles me.
He is inches from my face. I must be going mad... but I see desire in his dark blue eyes. Before I can think, his lips close over mine.
His kiss is forceful and throws me off guard. I try to lift my hands to his face, but he’s pinned my arms against the wall. Not that I want him to stop, but I wasn’t prepared for this. He presses his hips hard against my pelvis. He sucks on my lower lip and then pushes his tongue hard into my mouth. His close cut gotee rubs against my skin. He moves so fast I can barely breathe.
Flutters of pleasure move down my face and neck. I relax, slightly closing my lips on his, but he pulls away. He pushes my face up with his cheek and I feel his hot breath on my neck.