With a heavy heart, Degare turned on his heel and strode from the solar. He marched along the passageway and slipped down the spiral staircase leading to the cloisters. A light breeze brushed against his cheek. A flash of sunlight piercing through the ornate columns brought a memory long buried and his heart twisted with the pain of lost love.
That day had dawned like this one, brilliant and fresh. He smiled. The memory of the first time he laid eyes on Alano, filled his mind in absolute clarity. As he strode onto the practice field on that long ago morning, the sun had shined with the exact brilliance. The soft, gentle wind had carried the same sweet scent of honeysuckle from the bushes on the perimeter of the forest.
Knights from across the sea had journeyed to England to train in order to compete in Vespers. King William’s knights upheld the reputation of the Norman king’s prowess in combat, and many knights came to do battle from England and lands far away.
On that fine morning, he had omitted his armor, favoring the comfort of leggings during training. He had pushed on his helmet and then with sword in hand strolled onto the field with his young squire…and time stood still.
He remembered vividly gaping in awe at the battle taking place in the middle of the arena. As he gazed from the window across the empty field, his mind conjured the memory in brilliant clarity. A magnificent Spanish knight, naked to the waist, advanced on his opponent. The knight swung a heavy sword and crashed the sharp blade down without mercy upon a faltering challenger. The dark knight stepped and twirled in a deadly dance with muscles bulging in thigh and arm. Degare’s groin had heated with each of the man’s graceful but lethal moves.
He had bitten his bottom lip hard enough to draw blood at the sight of the knight’s hair, black as a starless night, clinging to the thick sheen of sweat across his muscular, bronze-skinned shoulders. His gaze had drifted to the man’s black leggings molded to a rock-hard ass and long, muscular legs.
In awe of the handsome knight, he watched transfixed. The delicious man had turned and raised his sword to deliver the deathblow, stopping short of decapitating his opponent. The black knight called for the man to yield, and with the correct reply given had dropped his sword. Then the man had lifted his dark eyes to Degare and winked. Dear God, his face was sinful. A dark angel, with lips so full and lush Degare’s cock had raised in a salute.
The dark knight’s deep-sienna gaze had traveled down Degare’s body in a blatant appraisal and come to rest on his straining shaft. Heat crept up Degare’s neck and into his cheeks, but he held the handsome man’s sinful gaze. The knight’s full lips turned up at the corners as he regarded him with a long fathomless stare. Degare’s heart had pounded with fear. He did not have the strength or where with all to survive a challenge from such a man. He had turned away in a dismissive gesture and addressed his squire in an attempt to flee the field without causing alarm.
“I have decided not to train today.” He handed his sword belt and helmet to the boy and avoiding the knight’s stare, headed for the stables.