GENRE: Historical Romance
Amber sensed the tension as soon as she stepped into the Charter room. The air was stifled with the macabre gloom of ancient weapons that lined the walls, some stained red where blood had seeped deep into the wood. The window slits allowed precious little light, making this chamber that much darker and colder than any other in Castle Spedlin.
Her uncle had his back to her. William Jardin was a beast of a man, standing at least two heads above her. His plaid hung on a wide girth and looped around the thick mat of ginger hair covering his otherwise naked back.
She frowned when she saw Mary huddled in a shadowed corner, bony fingers clasped over her heart.
"Go," Amber mouthed urgently, but the older woman seemed to be struck immobile, her eyes wide and glassy with the fear that was a constant presence since they'd crossed into the Scottish borderland.
Amber turned a hard stare on her uncle's formidable back, watching as he traced a finger almost lovingly along the edge of a wooden spear. William's coarse threats and raving had withered Mary into a fragile, timid ghost. Her former nursemaid was more like a mother to her. Amber's heart fumed at the man responsible.
Lord, what I'd do for a whisper of the evil William Jardin accuses me of! I'd strike him down with a fire bolt from hell and flick his ashes with my toe. Inserting herself firmly between Mary and her uncle, Amber said boldly, "You summoned me?"