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The Vixen Princess

The Vixen Princess by Cornelia Amiri
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In the dark days of the Saxon Wars, an unlikely pair, King Arthur’s champion, Mabon, a hardened warrior, renown for his Roman military skill, who gave up on a family long ago to dedicate his life to serving king and country is thrown together with Nesta. Yes, the spunky young princess from The Fox Prince is back. Nesta has grown into a fiery, voluptuous, widow. Gwydion is dead and Nesta has no children Fifth century society and her relatives say she needs to get a new protector for Taunton and marry well. But Nesta venomously disagrees. She can protect Tauton as well as any warrior; she has nephews for heirs, and she will never find another man like Gwydion. There is none. Suitors come from far across Britannia to woo her but she sends them all away. Nesta decides that instead of settling down what she needs is action. Something meaningful to do with her life. P>So with Gwydion’s sword in hand, Nesta rides oft to war to fight the Saxons under the leadership of the new war leader a 15-year-old lad named Arthur. To Maben’s horror, Gwydion’s ghost is called forth from the grave on a quest to bring the comely, headstrong, fiery, sword wielding widow together with the dark, quiet, brooding warrior, and open their lonely, locked hearts with the magic of love. Will the ghost ever get through to them or will these two warriors continue to battle falling in love as hard as they fight the Saxons? Will love win in the end or has it finally met its match with these two hardened warrior hearts?

Awe-Struck Publishing; February 2006
162 pages; ISBN 9781587495403
Read online, or download in secure PDF format
Title: The Vixen Princess
Author: Cornelia Amiri
Nesta sat up halfway in bed, resting her weigh on her arms. “Let us wed at the end of the next battle.” “Aye.” Mabon smiled broadly. “Will ye wait for me?" “Wait for ye?” A puzzled look crossed her face and she sat up completely. Mabon sat up as well. “Aye. I will go to fight for Arthur, our troops and Hoel's.” “I will not wait for ye. I will ride to that battle as well.” “Nay.” Mabon smiled as if he thought she was joking. He shook his head. “What say ye?" “I swore to fight with Arthur.” Nesta folded her arms across her chest. “We spoke of this afore.” Mabon leaned closer to her. “Aye but now ye have pledged to wed me. Ye would not place yourself in danger after ye vowed to marry me. After ye agreed to build a life, a future with me.” Nesta let out a huff of breath. “Oh, so ye will not be fighting either.” “Aye, I will go off to battle, ‘tis what I do. I must. I am the Tribunus Laticlavius. Ye know this.” “So ye asked me to wed ye, to build a new life, a new future, knowing ye would ride off to war.” Nesta jerked her head. “And I should say naught.” “Aye. 'Tis my duty to fight for my king.” “And ye think my duty is less?” “Nay, but we speak of my duty which before serving my king is to care for and protect my wife. At least it will be so once I am your husband.” “Is that so?” Nesta’s temper flared with the thought that Mabon didn’t care about her feelings. “And I will be your wife. And my place is no less than yours. I assure ye of that. I should be able to take care of ye as much as ye take care of me. Mayhaps more.” She dropped her arms to her side only to yank the cover up to hide her bare breast from Mabon’s eyes. “I have found ye, found love for the first time in my life.” A lump formed in Mabon’s throat. He swallowed. “What if something happened to ye?" “And I have found love for the second time. Which means I had to endure the pain of losing it once. Losing Gwydion. What should happen to me if I have to suffer through that loss again?” “I am second in command of the army under Arthur.” “Fine. Fight if ye must but understand that my duty is no less than yours. I will fight as well.” Nesta swung her feet to the floor as she pulled the bratt with her. She stood, pulling the plaid wool tightly around her. Gwydion poofed into the room. Mabon threw up his hands. Great. ‘Tis all I need. The ghost hovered over Mabon, glowing brighter than ever. “She agreed to marry ye. Do what she says. Quit the army and go back with her to Tauton.” Mabon was about to let the ghost have a piece of his mind when he remembered Nesta would think he was talking to himself. Instead, Mabon leapt from the bed and quickly pulled on his braies and woolen tunic. “Till later, M’lady,” Mabon spun, stomped out of the room, slammed the door, and clamored down the stairs. His footfalls were so loud and heavy, Nesta heard his every move. She threw the cover aside, dressed hastily, and climbed down to the tavern. Mabon was nowhere to be found. Nesta‚s gaze fell on Tryffin who leaned back in a wooden chair and took a swig of golden ale. Sheepishly, he looked up at her. “Mabon has gone to the practice yard. I made a point of asking for I knew ye would want to know.” “I care not where Mabon goes.” Nesta stormed out of the tavern and headed to the field to strengthen her spear and sword arm. Happens she would battle Saxons soon, as would Mabon. At a brisk pace, Nesta headed north down the narrow Roman street. Turning a corner, she spotted Mabon standing in the practice yard. Coming to an abrupt halt, she gazed at his tall, brawn body. He had thrown off his tunic, leaving his chest bare. She stared, couldn’t breathe. Her skin craved his touch. Her heart urged her to rush into his arms. I’ve gone moon mad and at my age. But then what does age have to do with it? She licked her lips as she watched Mabon’s muscles, bugle, bunch, and stretch as he thrust, parried, weaved, and plunged the long, gleaming blade in the air. With broad slices into the wind, right then left then right then left as his booted feet, kicked and swirled, right then left, then right then left, in perfect rhythm. Movements so quick and fluid, he could overtake anyone. And he was just warming up. It must have been years since anyone had bested him. Nesta vowed to change that this day. Stunt Mabon‚s pride so she they would be on equal footing. Win this battle with Mabon in all ways. Upon seeing her, Mabon brought his sword arm to a rest. Nesta held his angry piecing gaze and curled her fingers around the hilt of her sword. Neither blinked. In a tight, fisted grip, she withdrew her blade from its sheath. Nesta stepped toward Mabon until she stood but three feet from him. With one hand gripping the sword hilt, she rested the other hand on her hip. “Do ye want to spar?” “Show me your skill.” Mabon slid his legs apart in a warrior’s stance and held his sword upright before his chest. Cagily, they stalked each other in a circular motion. Like great beast readying to attack. Looking for Mabon’s weakness, Nesta flicked her head back, her long, red mane swung across her back. Sliding her leg out, she moved in, and swung her sharp blade. Mabon parried. The clash of iron rung in the air. Simultaneously, they stepped back and circled again. Mabon flashed a wide grin, and swung his blade hard. Nesta parried, her fisted hand held to the hilt as every fiber of her arm vibrated from the clash of swords. With her blade held steady, she moved in and swung straight. He caught her move with the edge of his gleaming blade. Nesta winced. The aching muscles in her arm throbbed in rhythm with the resounding clang of iron against iron. Mabon stepped back. Hastily, Nesta moved in, but only struck air for Mabon side stepped, warding off the blow. Mabon swiftly moved in and struck Nesta’s knee and then stepped back. Wincing with the pain of her arm and knee, Nesta caught her breath, pivoted, and lunged. Mabon met the attack. Blades crossed in an ear-piercing grind. Their feet were as swift as their hands as they flew back. Nesta was panting, sweating, she couldn’t hold out much longer. Her grip was slipping. As Mabon lunged she dropped to the ground. Mabon tripped over her. Nesta leapt up, pushed her foot down on his chest, and held the sword point at his neck. “I won.” Nesta panted. “With trickery.” Mabon couldn‚t keep the corner of his mouth from turning up in a smile. Nesta took her foot off Mabon and sheathed her sword. “As cunning as ye are beautiful.” Mabon rose to his feet. “I am no longer angry.” Nesta gazed into Mabon‚s bright blue eyes. “Neither am I." Mabon’s face shone with the warmth of his grin. Ever so slowly they leaned closer and closer together. Nesta wrapped her arms around his firm body and crushed her lips against his in a blazing kiss. Mabon lifted her into his arms and carried her down the streets of Londinium, all the way back to the tavern.
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