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“Touch her, and I will geld you before you take your next breath.” Rage filling her vision, Willow stepped in front of the young priestess at her side and blocked the advances of the man before them.
His thin lips peeled away from his teeth in a poor facsimile of a smile. “Mayhap, I will touch you instead.”
As he reached for her breast, she drew her dagger from the sheath attached to her kirtle and pressed the blade against the man’s groin. Unprepared for her bold move, he gasped and froze in place. She did not bother hiding her smile as she pushed the blade upwards bringing him to his toes.
Hooves clattered over the courtyard’s stones and a rider dismounted, but she refused to look away from the man in front of her.
The rider moved beside her and locked a warm hand around her wrist.
She turned to glare at the second man. “Have you come to protect your brother in arms from my blade?”
Recognition hit her low in the gut as familiar eyes, blue as a bright autumn day, crinkled with poorly concealed amusement. Gareth.
A crooked smile quirked his lips as he ignored her question as well as her barb. “While I am tempted to allow you to make good on your threat, I do not think the King would appreciate you spilling the blood of one of his knights.” He paused and eyed the man at the end of her dagger. “No matter how much he likely deserves it.”
“Release me,” she demanded. She refused to allow either man to think she was a helpless child.
In response, Gareth grabbed the other man’s tunic and gently, but firmly, pulled her weapon from its intended target. “The priestess is none of your concern, Maleagant. You will give her a wide berth or Arthur will hear of this.”
The other man narrowed his eyes, rage bright in the icy depths. “They are pagan whores.” Yanking free of Gareth’s grasp, he stumbled backwards. “God does not care for them. Why should Arthur?”
Willow shook with anger as he disappeared from view. She turned her scowl on the man who still held her wrist, caressing the underside with a callused thumb. A shiver worked down her spine as he continued to stroke the sensitive skin.