Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Virgin's Daughter Snippet

It's Christmas time! And my book is done! And my big boys are coming home in ten days! Christmas is my favorite holiday because I. Love. Giving. Gifts. 

And now I have readers to whom I can give gifts! Yesterday I made public my inspiration board for The Virgin's Daughter on Pinterest. And today I'm offering up one of my favorite scenes from the book. Very early on in the drafting of this story, I knew I had wonderful flirtation between my are-they-or-aren't-they possible lovers. Even before I started drafting, while doing revisions on The Boleyn Reckoning, the two of them were speaking to each other in my head. At one point I believe I tweeted, "Stop flirting at each other! It's not your turn yet." 

In the scene below, Julien has found Lucie in a tavern at a French inn. The lines I bolded are the earliest exchange I ever heard in my head between the two of them. Happy Christmas :)

     She never got the chance. On her next quick peek to the corner, Julien was looking straight at her, horror writ large on his face.
     She at least managed to meet him on her feet, stepping away from the table so hurriedly that she upset her chair. Julien reached her in five strides and gripped her arm above the elbow.
     “Hey, now!” One of the merchants she’d been talking to protested. “Hands off, she was here first.”
     Julien glared down at him and slowly, through the haze of drink, the man recognized the lord of the manor. Julien’s cultured voice didn’t hurt, either. “I think I’ll exercise my droit de seigneur,” he said cuttingly, and pulled Lucette after him out the tavern door.
     “What do you think you’re doing?” She pulled her arm away and turned on him, half-furious and half-humiliated in the inn yard.
     “You’re welcome,” Julien said with elaborate insult. “Those men do not care who your father is, all they saw was a likely wench who was in way over her head.”
     With her arm free, Lucette reached behind her back and, with a practiced move, had her dagger out and in Julien’s face before he could insult her further. “I know what I’m doing,” she said clearly, hating that her head felt so fuzzy. “I was not over my head.”
     He eyed the tip of the dagger, eyes nearly crossed, then smiled that seductive, mocking grin of his youth that she’d hated. “Where, Lucie mine, did you learn to wield a dagger so handily?”
     Without moving it away, she said, “My father does not trust men with his daughters. He required us to be able to defend ourselves.” From somewhere below the fuzziness of her brain and the sinking hollow of her stomach, she realized she’d used the word father.
     “A wise man,” Julien said.
     “A dangerous man.” Finally she let the dagger drop, her hand feeling suddenly too heavy to hold up. “And don’t worry about the tavern, those men didn’t know me, they thought I was . . .” She hesitated over the description.
     He smiled grimly. “You think you can disguise your nature with a little paint and none-too-clean skirts? Not in a thousand lifetimes could you ever pass for a . . .” It was his turn to hesitate, as though unsure how to proceed, which Lucette found amusing considering his Paris reputation.
     “A whore,” she said it for him. “Men will say things around a whore that they won’t around a lady.”
     “Damn right they will, and not a word of it do you want to hear. If my father finds out where you were—”
    “He’d be angry.”
    “He’d be furious! But if your father knew? Your extremely dangerous father that makes his daughters carry daggers? If [he] hears of this he will hunt me the length and breadth of Europe and string me up like a dog!”

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