Gypsy Passion and Celtic Soul
By J.W. Heart
For disclaimers see Part 1.
Mika strolled back through the market square. A smile plastered on her face, happy and light. Still lost in a passionate haze. 'I kissed her!' The memory of soft yielding lips against her own and of tongues dancing together teased her already blazing libido. She couldn't believe the sweet noblewoman had responded so passionately. 'I Kissed her!' Her mind screamed as the enormity of what she had done washed over her.
'You said that.' The ever-present voice reminded.
'No! I Kissed .Her.'
'I got that.' It said, bored.
'You don't understand. I shouldn't have. I shouldn't have let myself lose control like that. Oh God! What have I done?' She whimpered. 'She's a Lady a real Lady. We could never be together.'
'You're forgetting one thing here Sparky.' The voice laughed.
'She kissed you back.' It told her, still chuckling.
Mika stopped in her tracks. 'She did, didn't she?'
'Yup.' The voice agreed. 'Passionately and quite enthusiastically I might add.'
'But but...' Mika stuttered.
'But what?' The voice asked irately. 'You want her and Lord knows why but she seems to want you too. She told you she wasn't going to back down. So unless you're afraid what is you're problem?' The voice huffed in frustration.
'What do I have to be afraid of?'
'Oh I don't know falling in love with her maybe.' It suggested sarcastically.
'Oh come on. I want to bed her, yes. I even like her. But love?' She snorted.
'Whatever you say Sparky.' The voice quipped.
The idea of falling in love with the raven-haired beauty stuck in her mind as she continued her slow journey back to camp. 'You know? The question really isn't if I might fall in love with her but rather, do you think she's falling in love with me?' Mika challenged.
'You really are dense huh?' The voice responded. 'She's a gentle born Lady, of course to her this is love. She's never felt the things she's feeling before. You've seen the desire in her eyes and you've felt the passion in her kiss. Do you really think someone like that would just experiment unless they thought it was the real thing?'
'Now you're getting it Sparky. So what do you plan to do about it?' The voice said curiously.
Mika heaved a great sigh and pondered the question. 'Okay here's what I need to do. I'll back off and she'll forget all about this love stuff. Yea, that's what I'll do.'
'And what about you?' The voice inquired.
'Yes you! How are you going to forget?' The voice questioned.
'I I'm not in love! So see, I'll be fine.'
'Sure you will Sparky.' It snorted.
'Oh shut up and don't call me Sparky.' She demanded.
The voice just laughed.
It was still early when she reached the camp; most of the clan was still out among the crowds making a living. Something that Mika herself didn't feel up to at the moment. With her Daj still helping grandmother in their booth she entered their wagon alone. Deciding it would be best if she just went to sleep, she hoped this whole situation looked easier in the morning. Her last thoughts as she settled in for the night were of Erin's sweet lips against her own and she drifted off with a slight smile on her face.
Erin had managed to sneak back into the palace unnoticed this time. She slipped quietly up the hall and listened at the door to her rooms for any sign of her Aunt. Hearing nothing but silence she carefully opened the door and entered cautiously. Leaving the room lit only by the moonlight from the window; she made her way through the dark to her sleeping chamber. Finally safe behind the closed door she sagged against it. Her body humming with unspent passion and her knees still so weak she was amazed they carried her this far.
She undressed making herself ready for bed with her mind filled with visions of the little blonde as she absently removed her gown. Raising her arms she allowed the silken nightdress to slide over her naked form, brushing lightly over swollen nipples. The whispered caress of the fabric caused her to whimper. She slid between cool sheets and closed her eyes against the overwhelming sensations coursing through her body. Visions of smoldering green eyes danced in her memory and her body tensed as a wave of heat sprang up from her belly and settle between her loins. She could feel the moisture pooling in her center. She clamped her thighs tight hoping for relief from the throbbing pressure.
Her mind was lost in thoughts of her blonde gypsy as she imagined strong calloused hands moving over her skin and soft lips trailing hot kisses down her neck. Her mind adrift in the sensual fantasy she was unable to stop her fingertips from tracing the same sensual path. Releasing a low moan as she gently brushed over her hard nipple imagining Mika's mouth hot and demanding, sucking on the rigid peak. Needing something more, she continued her erotic journey. Her fingers sought out the source of her need and sliding through her moist, slick folds, lightly glancing over her stiff throbbing clit. She gasped and arched from the bed as she circled the turgid nub with her fingertip. Her breathing became harsh and labored as she stroked herself faster. Wet fingers sliding rhythmically up and down as she soared higher, racing to the edge of someplace she had never been but desperately needed to reach. Finally the world exploded. A million shards of light racing behind her eyes and she arched into her release and cried out. Mika!
Mika was jolted from her dreams as a massive climax ripped through her body. She lay back shaking and covered in a fine sheen of sweat, breathing hard. Erin, she moaned hoarsely before she rolled over and fell back into blissful dreams.
As Erin lay trying to calm herself from the explosive release she was unaware that Shea had slipped into the sitting room. The older woman had entered just as Erin toppled off into oblivion and barely heard the muffled sound of a name being called from the other room. Shea's heart leapt to her throat, her pulse racing madly at the idea Erin was not alone. She placed a calming hand over her heart and dismissed the idea, knowing Erin was far to sensible to bring someone to the palace; at least she hoped she was. Just to assuage her suspicions she tapped lightly at the door but upon receiving no answer she steeled her nerves and peaked into the room. Breathing a quiet sigh of relief when she saw the long form of her niece curled up under the covers and very much alone.
Shea went back into the sitting room and slid into a chair then placing her elbows on the table she dropped her head into her hands. 'At least she was back at a reasonable 'our this time. I'll na even think about what was happening ' ere before I arrived.'
A soft knock at the door brought her out of her musings. She rose to answer and upon seeing Milly and a small boy standing in the threshold she allowed them in, telling them they must be quiet so they didn't wake her niece.
Milly introduced the child as her grandson and bade him to tell the Lady what he had observed over the evening. The boy gave Shea a very detailed description of his adventure, everything from seeing Erin with the gypsies and being chased through the square by the little blonde. His demeanor changed to visible fright when he retold of meeting the huge gypsy and the words he had said to the boy in regards to Erin. When he finished Shea paid him for his services and added extra for the scare he took at the hands of the gypsy. Bidding them goodnight she lead them out, quietly closing the door behind them.
She paced the length of the room her mind racing with the information she had just received. 'Think yer gonna be getting at my little girl do ya? Ya got another think comin ya thieving, no good, rotten bastard. When I'm done with ya there wont be enough left fer the vultures ta feed on. She promised. She only thinks she's smitten with ya, but I'm gonna prove to 'er what a low down dirty piece o' slime ya are. It'll be a cold day in 'ell before yer ever alone with 'er again. Oh Erin, honey. What 'ave ya gotten into?' Shea headed off to bed deciding she best be rested for what she was sure would be a long day. All the while silently plotting the painful demise of one male gypsy
Hey! You going to sleep all day or are you going to help me with this stupid plan your Nano has? Luca yelled through the wagon door. A plan that you willingly agreed to I might add.
Mika rolled over groaning and then rose from the bed and stretched slowly. The memory of waking in the night suddenly filled her head making her blush slightly. 'Damn! That's never happened before.' Her mind filled with the dream that had brought on her all consuming climax. Astonished most by the name she remembered calling. 'Erin '
Are you going to just stand there dreaming or what? Luca questioned impatiently.
I'm getting there keep your breeches on.
Speaking of keeping clothes on. How did it go with Lady Erin? The dark man smirked.
H how did you know? 'Damn! How did he find that out? Did she tell him who she was?' She couldn't remember hearing that conversation and she was sure Luca, being his paranoid self, would have brought it up.
Get dressed little one and I'll meet you in the pens. I have an interesting story to tell you.
Okay he's taking this far to well. Mika dressed quickly as the sensual images of the dream filled her mind and she felt her body respond. 'Going to need to get that under control.'
'Who are you kidding?' The voice echoed.
Mika sighed deeply. She was greatly disturbed by her reaction to the noblewoman and felt that nothing good was going to come of this union. 'I have to end this ...now!' Mentally throwing up her hands. 'It's best to be done with it before one of us gets hurt,' she decided sadly already feeling her heart crack.
After finally making her way to the pens, she saw Luca watching as the other men separated the stock.
Hey little one come over here and talk with me while these guys get the mounts ready.
Did you get them all separated? How many did we decide to take? She said eyeing up the horses.
Ah we're going to take a just a few this time and see how well this goes before we commit more than that, Luca told her.
So what's the story you wanted to tell me? settling herself on a hay bale.
Well, first I'm going to assume you knew that Erin wasn't just another commoner? Mika nodded. I like her. She's not what I've known other nobles to be like and she seems to have a soft spot for you, Luca grinned widely at his nieces reddening complexion. Now whether that soft spot is in her heart or in her head I don't know yet.
Mika threw a water skin at his head, which he managed to duck away from.
Still laughing he took a seat next to his blonde niece. Look, I found that kid you were after last night. I saw him get away from you and managed to catch the little beggar; had a little chat with the boy.
Did you find out who sent him after Erin? Mika's anger rising.
Luca explained what he found about their stalker and about his own anger about the situation. He blushed a bit in shame and suddenly found the ground of great interest.
Mika noticed his change in attitude and knew he'd done something she wasn't going to like.
Oh Luca what did you do? she groaned holding her head in her hands.
Well...I told the boy Erin was sneaking out to meet with me.
Mika groaned louder.
And then I told him, he continued.
There's more? the little blonde was dismayed.
Luca nodded and he started listing off the things he told the boy. With each one Mika groaned louder and louder until she was all but wailing. Luca thought it might have been funny if the pain in his niece's eyes wasn't so heartrending.
Let me get this straight! You told this kid, who we know is going to run right back to Erin's aunt, that she was sneaking out to see you. Not only that, but that you were going to seduce her and you made sure he knew that you were after her for not only her body and virtue but her money as well? She ranted. Is there anything else I'm missing? You didn't tell them you were going to knock off the Lord and take over Ireland did you?
Look I know this doesn't sound good.
Luca has it occurred to you that if Erin's Aunt really wants to she can take Erin the hell out of here and have them on the first ship back to Ireland? What's to stop her from doing just that Luca? Now she thinks her niece is about to fall prey to some gold digging gypsy! Damn! Dragging a hand through her short hair standing it comically on end. She had enough trouble with the bitches in that place. She ran away from there just to get a measure of peace and you may have just condemned her back to that prison. 'And I may never get to see her again.'
Luca sat quietly while his niece paced and ranted. He knew she was going to be mad but he never figured she would be this hostile and as she explained about poor Erin's treatment he started to feel remorse for his actions. On the other hand he had never seen his niece so animated about anything that wasn't a Romany concern. You care for her huh Mikayla?
Mika stopped her pacing and stood staring blindly at him. Yes, she whispered.
Then I think I have a plan that will keep you close to her and if all goes well, will keep her meddling Aunt from knowing just what's going on, he explained.
Oh Luca what's the point? her shoulders slumped in defeat. Even if she is allowed some freedom it shouldn't be with me.
Come on little one, he said jovially. You like the girl she likes you what's the harm here?
Has it escaped your notice that we are nothing alike? She's royalty Luca, Mika barked. Ladies like Erin do not run off with gypsy girls. They get married and settle into nice respectable lives and if this keeps up someone's going to get hurt and Erin's just to innocent and new to all of this to understand that. After we talk to her today and get this fixed with her aunt...it's done, quickly she walked off to help with the horses, but not before Luca caught the glistening of unshed tears in her deep green eyes.
Looks to me like someone's already hurting, he whispered sadly.
Shea was already having her breakfast when Erin emerged from her room. She wrapped her long arms around the seated woman and surprised her with a quick but heartfelt hug. G'mornin', she said brightly and then sat herself down and started eating heartily.
A stunned Shea sat staring at her usually reserved niece. 'Damn! The lass is fairly glowin.' Morning. Unable to hold her tongue, Shea looked up from her meal and stared intently at her dark niece. Ya went out again last night, it was not a question.
Erin dropped her gaze unable to meet her Aunt's accusing blue eyes. I was safe, she tried to assure.
Shea gave and indignant snort. Ya were'na safe lass. Ya'll never be safe out there on yer own. Ya 'ave always been protected Erin and not that yer stupid by any measure; but ya take ta many chances. There are ta many people who would love ta take advantage of a young woman like yerself, she railed.
I was'na alone. I 'ave made a few friends and I assure ya I was safe with 'em, feeling a blush rise to her face as she thought about the reckless abandon she felt when she was with her little gypsy. 'Tis 'er who may na' be safe.'
And who might these friends be lass? 'What kind o' friends cause ya ta blush like that? Yer 'eads filled with the words that man 'as been tryin ta charm ya with lass. I wanted ya to find a real love, not some thieving gypsy who wants ta use ya.' Her anger was almost palpable as she vowed silently that this man would not get to her darling girl.
They Erin hesitated. 'Damn! What do I say without givin away what I'm feelin? Shea would defiantly na like the feelings I'm 'aving fer a certain gypsy, and a woman t' boot.' They're just some merchants I met the other night, she shrugged. 'There .na' a total lie.'
Shea's scowl darkened, she knew Erin was lying and would not stand for it. 'She's never lied t' me before and I'll be damned if I let 'er start now.' Makes na a bit o' difference who they are Erin and ya were'na safe no matter what ya think. Ya'll na be sneakin off like that again. Do I make myself clear? Shea demanded
The thought of not seeing Mika again tore at Erin's heart and fueled a rage she didn't know she possessed. She rose from the table stiffened by her anger. I am na a child Shea and it matters na what ya think. I'm telling ya 'ere and now .I will do what I please. I do'na need yer blessing nor do I care t' 'ear what yer feelings are. I've done everything ever asked o' me and this time, this one time what I do is fer me, Erin spat angrily with her eyes burning bright and clear, she turned on her heel and marched to her room slamming the door behind her.
Shea was flabbergasted by her niece's impassioned ire. 'What's 'appenin' to ya child? 'As it gotten so far already that yer willin ta give up everything fer this one man? It's na goin ta 'appen Erin. I'll kill the bastard myself before I let ya be used. Whether ya see it that way or na.'
The palace gates swung open and six great horses were led into the courtyard; the guards eyed the beasts with appreciation. As with anything else, being Romany meant entertaining the crowd to garner the response needed to make a profit or in this case, to make sure the deal was successful. Both Mika and Luca were more than happy to show off their skills with the great animals in their care. Each one handling the reigns of four of the horses and walked behind them in perfectly executed circles around the courtyard. The first four horses were taken to the center of the courtyard and lined up perfectly. Mika brought her set up right next to them and they too fell in line. Both the Romany handlers dropped the reigns for the animals to the ground, giving the impression that the animal were free to roam, however being trained as they were, not one moved a step.
Any noble wanting a mount gathered to see what would be offered. They had been apprised of the situation but most were skeptical about what a peasant could offer them that they would find acceptable. The crowd seemed slightly awed by the magnificence of the beasts with their coats glistening and powerful rippling muscles, obviously spirited yet behaved. It was apparent to all that these animals were very well cared for.
Erin had entered the courtyard just after the horses had been brought in and she and Shea stood back behind the crowd watching the expert handlers. Erin was delighted to see Luca and Mika with the animals as she watched the little blonde she felt her chest swell with pride. Her gaze lingered on the beautiful face that had filled her dreams and most of her waking thoughts as well.
Shea was impressed with the gypsy's obvious control of the animals but couldn't help noticing her raven-haired niece's attention riveted on the pair of handlers. She looked closer at the team of handlers trying to ascertain what had Erin so enraptured. The sight of a tall, dark male standing next to a young blonde made her heart skip a beat. 'Damn! It's 'im. I'd bet my life on it.' Her attention was drawn to the man in the center of the courtyard. She noted his casual almost cocky stance and dark hair curling below his collar. As well as his dark swarthy complexion and neatly trimmed goatee and moustache, which gave him a rakish appearance. He towered over the other men standing easily 6 and a half feet and Shea felt a slight flutter in her stomach. 'Alright I can see why the lass would be attracted ta 'im. But 'e's still a thieving good fer nothing.' Casting a side ways glance at her niece she could see the almost dreamy look on the young woman's face. 'Oh Lass! Ya are'na goin ta like what I 'ave ta do 'ere.'
The crowd of nobles began to mill about looking over the mounts and Luca took the opportunity to have a word with Mika.
He nudged her gently with an elbow. Hey little one are you doing alright?
I'm fine. I know what I have to do. Do you see Erin over all these people?
Luca looked out over the crowd scanning for a familiar face and finally spotting Erin's dark head among the people brought a smile to his handsome face. His joy was short lived when he caught sight of her companion. A tall redhead was standing at Erin's shoulder with eyes as blue as the sky. He raked over her form with more than casual interest. Where Erin was athletic and slender, the woman beside her was fuller, more feminine in his opinion. Curving in all the right places with a full bust and rounded hips. He felt himself tighten in reaction to the woman's very pleasing form. 'Please don't let that be the Aunt.' He begged silently. A sharp jab to his ribs brought him out of his revelry.
Do you see her?
Umm .yes she's to the left behind this mob. Remember the plan little one.
Got it, she moved away from the crowd until she could finally see Erin. 'Damn she's beautiful.'
'You knew that.' The voice chimed in.
'Yes but I've never seen her in the daylight. She's stunning.' Mika sighed dreamily.
'Are you sure ending this is what you want?' The voice questioned.
'What I want isn't in question here; it's what needs to be done.' She could see Erin plainly now and her red headed companion as well. 'Whoa I'm betting by the eye color, that's her aunt. Not bad.' She thought appreciatively.
'Ya, she doesn't even look half as evil as Luca made her out to be.' The voice added.
Erin watched as Mika made her way around the crowd and making an excuse of needing a closer look at the horses, she rushed to meet her. When they met up out of the way of the crowd all they could do was stare. For a long moment nothing existed but the two of them. Their hearts beating fast as blue eyes locked on green. A tangible connection was obvious between the two women and it was all Mika could do to control the need to touch the raven beauty. She raised a shaking hand, her fingers itching to stroke the soft, creamy flesh of Erin's cheek but before she could act on her impulse, she caught herself and pulled back. 'Damn! I need to control this.' Shaking her head Mika recovered herself and she chastised herself for her own lack of control.
Hi Princess, she managed to choke out.
'Ello rogue, Erin winked.
Mika's heart skipped another beat. 'Damn .why does she have to be so beautiful and so sweet?' Look we found out who was following us last night and why. Now I'm going to fill you in Princess but I need you to do something for me.
Anything, Erin answered in a husky whisper.
The sound of Erin's voice so low and rough it made Mika's body respond and hot rush of blood raced through her. 'Control.' She hissed at herself as she struggled to ignore the reaction.
Okay, while I'm standing here talking to you I want you to look like you're cross with me, Mika explained to the confused woman. Don't question Princess just do it.
Erin crossed her arms and her face took on a look of utter annoyance.
Mika shuddered at the change in demeanor. 'Oh boy! I don't ever want her really mad at me; she looks dangerous.'
'Better get used to that look then, because I'm willing to bet once you break her heart she wont be feeling much like smiling at you.' The voice warned.
Mika's own heart cracked a little more at that thought but she pushed down her own grief and went on to explain to Erin what Luca had found out about their unwelcome stalker the night before. Erin's feigned annoyance turned to genuine outrage upon finding that her Aunt was responsible.
She did what? Erin hissed through clenched teeth.
Before you do anything rash, listen to the rest, Mika continued to fill Erin in on Luca's message to her Aunt and watched as the young woman tried not to break out laughing. Smothering a smile Erin urged Mika to continue but she was still picturing the reaction Shea must have had to Luca's confession. Mika then filled Erin in on the plan they had to hopefully maintain some form of freedom.
Erin listened and understood what was required of her. She also knew she would agree to anything if it meant she would still be able to spend time with her fair gypsy. All she had thought about that morning was the next time she would see Mika. She longed to explore this newly awakened passion she was experiencing. 'And if it got under Shea's skin all the better.' When Mika finished telling her the plan Erin was more then ready to play her part. Mika's quick nod alerted her to Shea's approach.
Still holding her irritated pose she straightened her back and stared down imperiously at the little blonde. Who do ya think ya are ta tell me who I should be seein? If I want ta spend time with 'im, the likes o' ya are'na goin ta stop me, she voiced loud enough for Shea to hear before casting a withering glance at Mika and stomped off in Luca's direction.
Shea watched the scene curiously. 'Seems that I'm na' the only one against this relationship.' She caught the menacing looks the little blonde was throwing at the handsome man as he stood quietly chatting with her niece. 'Hmmm perhaps I'll 'ave an ally in this, only one way to find out.'
Shea walked slowly around the mount Mika was idly brushing down and came to stand behind the smaller women. She's seems to 'ave developed a temper since meetin 'im, I felt o' bit o' that anger myself this morning. But tell me I know my own reasons fer na wantin them together, what would yer objections be? The statuesque redhead asked quietly.
They're about as right as tits on a boar, she threw back over her shoulder and smiled when she heard Shea chuckle.
Well I 'ad'na thought o' it that way but I 'ave ta agree.
Mika turned to face the tall woman with her hands on her hips she took a long sweeping glance over the noblewoman's body finally settling on her eyes. Do you object just because he's not in her class? her intense gaze never leaving Shea's clear blue eyes.
Shea's breath caught in her chest when she finally got a close look at the little blonde and green eyes boring into her own 'By God! I know that face!' Shaking away the shock of her discovery Shea tore her gaze from Mika's achingly familiar features and looked to Erin and Luca. Nay, If I thought 'e could make 'er happy I would'na object in the least. Mika snorted indignantly. 'Tis true, I'm na one ta think less o' people because o' the station they were born ta. I just do'na think 'is intentions are ta make 'er happy, she shook her head sadly.
Oh he'll make her happy, he's made many happy, her words dripping with sarcasm. But that girl isn't looking for a good time and I know my Uncle she's a pretty new plaything and when we move on so will he and she's going to be left broken, her concern for Erin evident in her tone. 'She doesn't need to know it would have been me that left her broken.'
The pretty little blonde's assessment about her own Uncle surprised Shea. 'I would 'ave thought 'er ta defend the man. Young Carl did mention that Erin 'ad spent some time with a young blonde last night. This must be 'er, 'ow many blonde gypsies can there be? I've a suspicion I know 'ow there came ta be even one fair-haired, green-eyed gypsy. Oh Lord...this might 'ave just become even more complicated. I'll need ta get a message ta Aidan. For now Shea felt it best to concentrate on the matter at hand and judging by the look on the young woman's face, she could see she indeed did have an ally. 'Well...well, the little one seems ta actually care what might 'appen ta Erin.'
Just then Erin came towards the brooding pair dragging the tall dark Romany behind her. Shea I want ya ta meet Luca, Erin's eyes danced with delight. Luca this is my Aunt Shea, giggling while she clung to the man's arm.
'Ok now this is a little too real. She doesn't have to touch him like that.' Mika grumbled.
'Jealous?' The voice questioned.
'Shut up!' She demanded.
'You want to give up any right you might have to be jealous so deal with it.' The voice snarled.
Shea plastered a fake smile on her face. 'Tis nice ta meet ya. 'If this simpering, giggling girl is what she's going ta be like when she's in love forget it! Course the man is enough to leave ya speechless.' Again she felt a slight flutter when she looked at the man.
Luca was all charm as he reached out and took Shea's hand in his own. The pleasure is all mine Lady McGorry, he purred kissing her hand.
Mika rolled her eyes at her Nano's antics. Don't slobber on the nobles Luca.
You'll have to excuse my niece ladies, casting a sharp glance at Mika. We don't let her out much so she's not very familiar with polite gestures, the comment causing Erin to snicker.
Mika's eyes lit up with emerald fire. 'He's dead I'm going to kill him.'
Yes...well, Shea hesitantly pulling her hand from Luca's warm grasp. I take it this is why ya've been disappearin' at night?
Erin wrapped her arms tighter around Luca's playing the smitten girl to the hilt. Aye Shea, she gushed and looked up dreamily at the man.
'Oh man, I think I'm going to be sick.'
'It's all an act just relax.' The voice reminded.
'You relax! That's not your your .' She stuttered.
'Your . What?' The voice sneered. 'You don't want her remember.'
'I want her.' Mika thought forlornly. 'I'm never mind.'
The group stood staring at each other uncomfortably with the tension so think you could almost see it. Finally unable to take the silence any longer Erin spoke.
Shea I wanted ya ta know I'm goin riding this afternoon with Luca.
No! Mika and Shea shouted in unison and then they looked at each other bemused.
I really do'na think that would be wise Erin. Ya'll be needin an escort and I do'na think we can find one without notice, Shea explained diplomatically all the while glaring at the tall man who was sporting a smug smile on his face. 'I'm goin to knock that look right off his handsome face.'
Ah Lady McGorry, you need'nt worry about sweet Erin. I'll be right there at her side, no harm will come to her I assure you, He grinned at the irate woman. 'Damn but she's even more fun to rile than Mika is.'
And who's going to protect her from you? If the Lady wants to ride then I'll take her myself, Mika growled.
Ah...well I 'ave ta say it would be unseemly fer Erin ta go ridin off with a man alone; any man, turning to Mika. I would be Shea, She offered her hand to the young gypsy.
A beautiful name little one. I like this girl, she 'as fire, o' course if what I'm thinkin is right, she comes by that fire honestly. And she is'na about ta let this rogue Uncle o' 'ers get away with anything. Still I'm na sure it would be good fer Erin t' be seen with either o' them. She's in enough trouble already. Her silent debate continued.
Mika blushed slightly at the compliment, and now she wasn't so sure that Erin's Aunt was being a wicked snob by sending someone after them or rather that she was just trying to protect her innocent niece. 'Seems we all want to protect Erin and you can't help but like someone with that kind of temper.' She had seen the ire in the woman's eyes and knew Luca was treading on very thin ice with his not so innocent act.
It would'na be prudent ta be wanderin about without 'aving a proper escort Erin, watching closely as the girl still insisted on fawning over the man at her side. No offence ta ya Mika, Shea told the young blonde, purposely leaving Luca out of her apology.
Erin had opened her mouth ready to protest her Aunt's decision when the crowd around the horses suddenly stopped their chattering and bowed.
Princess Fay and her ladies in waiting marched through the crowd not deigning to acknowledge any of the other nobles gathered. She stopped just in front of the crowd looking contemptuously at the mounts the Romany had to offer.
You would dare to offer these mangy beasts as being good enough for your betters?
Mika and Luca looked to each other not exactly sure what they were expected to do. The Princess' comment angered both Romany and yet knowing that if they let their tempers flare there would most likely be trouble.
While all eyes were on the Princess and her court no one noticed the dangerous fire leap to Erin's clear blue eyes; none but Shea that is. 'Damn. That girl is goin to get us all beheaded!' Deciding to take matters in her own hands before her niece's temper got the better of her, Shea stepped forward. She curtsied deeply at the Princess' feet. Princess Fay, I think none 'ere would'na ever believed these mounts fit fer ya my Princess. But fer the rest o' us that wish ta ride, these are the best these people 'ave ta offer I'm sure, she finished demurely.
I'm sure the likes of you would find these acceptable, the Princess sneered. As for the rest of the court we would rather not ride at all then to dare sit one of these beasts or deal with those people. Why the mounts are probably as dirty as their owners, She laughed and her court, following her example like the sheep they were, snickered along with her.
Both Mika and Luca stiffened at the jibe but before they could return the insult Erin stepped forward. Well I fer one am na goin ta sit about and do nothing like ya seem ta be content with and since yer father the King 'as graciously provided us with a way ta ride, then I'll be takin what's offered 'ere and consider myself lucky, her stance and words echoed her defiance.
You would have to take whatever's offered by anyone...be it man or beast, she replied casting serious aspersions on Erin's character. I'm sure your Father would not like you to be running about with these criminals. But then that's what the people of your little island are, aren't they? Daddy's advisor said you're all nothing more than criminals and cutthroats. Why my Father doesn't just give up on the lot of you, I don't know. It seems silly to me to try and tie a good and loyal man to someone like you, the princess finished with a snarl.
Mika took offence at the cruel remarks and started forward but was stopped by Luca's hand. She shot him an irritated glance but he just shook his head. 'Now is not the time little one.'
Several different things struck Shea during the exchange. The first she noted was the Princess had finally offered the proof she'd been searching for. She knew that the King hadn't extended this invitation just to be kind. Now she knew that he did indeed plan to have Erin wed to one of his vassals in hopes of securing Aidan's loyalty. The second and even more surprising revelation was the caustic reaction of young Mika to the harshly spoken words. 'So Erin yells at ya and is bent on spending time with yer Uncle and still ya would risk yerself ta defend her honor. The more I see o' ya little Mika the more I like. I do'na see yer dashing uncle willin ta risk 'is neck fer 'is Lady.' Shea observed. 'Erin could do far worse than a friend like that and perhaps them spending some time together would'na be a bad idea and maybe the young woman can knock some sense into that pretty dark head.'
I believe ya were just about ta take a ride with young Mika o'er there were ya na? Shea stated loud enough for everyone to hear and hoped that getting her niece and the fiery little gypsy away would keep them from being thrown in the dungeons.
Princess Fay marched to the older redhead stopping just in front of her. You choose to ignore the dangers and the impropriety of this this fiasco and still allow her to leave with that gypsy? She spat angrily, not at all liking that her attempt to belittle Erin was failing. It'll be on your head when she is deemed unfit for marriage.
Erin spun to look at Shea in shock. 'Oh my god! She just gave me permission to be alone with Mika. I think I may have to thank Fay for this favor.' Yer right Shea I was just about ta do that. She grinned at her Aunt and pointedly ignored the thinly veiled threat the Princess had made.
Shea smiled softly at her niece, also ignoring the Princess. Well then you have fun and don't be gone ta long, giving her conspiratorial wink. Mika?
The young blond shook herself from her own outrage over the Princess' behavior and her own confusion over the marriage talk and moved to Shea's side. Yes M'Lady?
You are capable of protecting Erin I'm sure but please be aware of the more unseemly elements you may encounter, Shea instructed all the while staring at Luca with an accusing expression on her pretty face.
Mika shot Luca a viscous scowl. Rest assured Lady Shea, nothing will happed to her while I'm around.
Not willing to chance that Shea may change her mind, Erin grabbed Mika's hand and all but dragged her to the horses. They quickly made ready to ride and once Mika had Erin settled safely on her mount they were off. Without so much as a glance back they headed through the palace gates leaving the astonished crowd behind.
Princess Fay stood glowering at the departing figures. I hope you don't live to regret allowing Lady Erin such inappropriate alliances, she snapped at Shea, her eyes burning with rage and turning she stormed back to the palace, her gaggle of followers snipping at her heals.
Shea turned to the now empty gate. 'Me too.'
The two riders took their mounts through the city and out the main gate. They rode in silence, each lost in their own thoughts. Unnoticing of the passing scenery, neither paying attention to the fact that they had moved off the main road however by some unspoken agreement they seemed to know where they were going and let it happen.
Mika took cautious glances at the beautiful profile beside her and felt her heart tighten in her chest. Her body tingled with the memory of her dream and she could still feel those soft lips on hers. She cursed her body's reaction to the woman and with steeled determination she fought down her urges. Her attraction to Erin warred with the confusion the Princess' caustic remarks had wrought. 'If she's to be married then why risk a dalliance with me? It doesn't matter; in either case this needs to end before she gets hurt.'
'She's already going to hurt.' The voice echoed.
'She'll be hurt worse if we continue this. Can you imagine what would happen if they found us together?' Mika sank deeper into her own morose thoughts as the full weight of her conscience battled her raging libido.
Erin felt herself becoming lighter as they moved further away from the castle. 'I'm free and I 'ave Mika ta myself.' Lost in her own thoughts and all the new emotions coursing through her she never noticed the aphotic mood that had settled over Mika.
The lush grasses swaying in the breeze and as they crested over a final hill they found themselves before a beautiful lake.
Yes, Mika responded all the while gazing at Erin's profile.
Erin turned, catching the young gypsy staring and smiled sweetly. Her gaze lingered over the tight firm body of the young blonde and she felt the stirs of passion flare. Stepping closer to Mika she raised a trembling hand and caressed the soft golden locks.
Mika stared up at the exquisite woman and watched with rapt attention as the brilliant blue eyes darkened, taking on a dangerous glint. 'Oh Damn '
Before she could complete the thought Erin pressed her eager lips to Mika's and wrapped her slender arms around the smaller woman. She unconsciously pulled Mika closer while her lips moving feverishly over the soft mouth beneath her own.
Mika was stunned, so shocked by the feel of Erin moving against her she was unable to move. Lost in the taste of her kisses until she felt her own passions ignite. The heat and moisture gathered at her core and she couldn't help the moan that escaped her.
Erin was encouraged by the sound and raked her hands down the solid back under her questing hands, finally coming to rest on Mika's firm bottom. She freed herself to feel the all-consuming fire that raged within her. Her heart pounded in her chest and a now familiar ache radiated from her center. So lost in taste and sensation she barely noticed Mika's struggle in her arms until finally she felt the small woman push her back.
Mika's body pulsed with desire and she drew a ragged breath in an attempt to control her raging hormones. The look on Erin's face was one of pure lust coupled with a fair amount of confusion and pain. 'She thinks I've rejected her.'
'Haven't you?' The voice questioned.
'No Yes Oh gods! What am I going to do?'
'Break her heart isn't that's what you want to do?' The voice challenged.
'I don't know what I want anymore.'
Erin stood staring at the little gypsy completely stunned. She hadn't thought her feelings were one sided but Mika's rejection hit her hard. 'Mayhap those feelin's are just yer own. Who were ya tryin ta fool? She was feelin sorry fer yer situation and ya took it ta mean that she wanted ya.' She felt like a complete fool for her actions.
Mika couldn't stand the heartbreak that was so evident on Erin's face and she threw all good sense to the side when she stepped forward taking the bereft woman in her arms once again. She felt Erin sag against her and tightened her hold. The velvety skin of Erin's exposed throat was the final blow to Mika's already crumbling control. She brushed her lips lightly over the creamy flesh marveling at the softness and became lost in the sensation.
Erin about wept with relief when Mika reached for her but she was still unsure as to what it all meant. Until she felt soft, warm lips move over her skin, leaving a blazing trail wherever they touched. She couldn't help but respond to the tender caress. She wrapped her arms around Mika's strong shoulders and tipped her head back allowing the little gypsy greater access.
Mika took full advantage of the invitation, her mouth moving over Erin's throat, flicking her tongue over the pulse point. Hearing Erin's moan sent a shock of electricity through her body ending at her own center. She raked blunt nails down the long lean back and felt Erin shudder against her. Her hands slipped over slim hips and rested on the tall woman's firm bottom. All thought was gone as she continued her assault; she was lost in her own explorations until she felt Erin's fingers working feverishly to unfasten the buttons on her shirt.
Erin leaned down and once again captured Mika's lips with her own. She plunged deep into the sweet warm recesses of the gypsy's mouth. Mika allowed Erin to explore for a moment until she thought she would go up in flames and then took control of the kiss. She sucked Erin's tongue into her mouth and was rewarded with an impassioned whimper from the dark woman.
Erin managed to slip her hands inside Mika's shirt, her fingers moving lightly over the soft flesh. Wanting more, she pushed lower until she cupped the gypsy's firm breast in her hand, she felt the nipple tighten against her palm and heard Mika draw a sharp breath. Intrigued by the reaction she circled the hardened nub with her fingertip and then lightly rolled it between her fingers.
Oh god, Mika tore her mouth from Erin's and threw her head back.
The world fell away until it was just the two of them, lost in each other as they continued to explore their newly awakened passion.
While the nobles were busy choosing mounts and making small talk, Luca quietly observed the other Lady McGorry. He marveled at the reaction he had to the woman, she stirred his passion, making his heart pound and palms sweat. 'Hmmmm she looks a mite upset.' He grinned at the thought of riling this woman further. 'All that fire, I wonder if she's like that in bed as well?' The image of the redhead spread out before him, under him, rising up to meet him in ecstasy, caused his groin to tighten.
He was pulled from his less than honorable thoughts when she approached, a fire blazing in her dark blue eyes and her jaw set in grim determination. I need ta 'ave a word with ya.
And what can I do for you M'Lady? His voice came out low and rough.
Shea swallowed hard, stunned by the formidable presence of the man. He seemed to exuded virility and a wild sensuality. 'And arrogance, do'na forget that, Shea.' She chided herself. Na 'ere 'tis a private matter.
Then by all means M'Lady, lets find a more intimate setting. Luca knew he was pushing his luck with the woman but couldn't help himself. He bowed as she walked past him, and followed her behind the gatehouse.
Shea turned to the tall man with her hands on her hips looking him directly in the eye. I want ya ta leave my niece alone.
I don't know what you're talking about M'Lady?
Let's na play games sir.
Oh I don't know, games can be kind of fun, he purred, slowly circling the woman. He was close enough to feel the heat from her body and came to stand at her back.
Shea was frozen to the spot, acutely aware of his presence. She had always been able to defend herself, to put off unwanted advances. But the tall, dark gypsy had her off balance her senses reeled and her heart pounded in her chest. He was so close she could have sworn she could feel his body pressed to hers.
You like games don't you Lady McGorry? He whispered in her ear. He leaned in until his chest touched her back and he ran a finger across her nape and down her arm. It was a slow touch meant to seduce.
She closed her eyes against the rush of arousal his moist breath caused. Her flesh burned where he had so lightly touched and she found herself aching and unconsciously leaned back into his chest. 'Snap out o' it Shea!' Her eyes popped open and she turned sharply to face the man only finding herself a breath away from him; she was caught off balance and stumbled.
Luca wasted no time and he reached for the gorgeous red head pulling her tight to his chest to steady her. 'Oh Gods!' His mind screamed when he felt her form pressed so intimately to his own, forcing his arousal to climb higher.
Let me go, she half sobbed in her confusion, never had her body and mind betrayed her in such a way.
I won't hurt you, he whispered.
Oh but ya 'ave no trouble 'urtin Erin! What would she think ta see ya pawin me like this? Shea snapped.
Luca loosened his hold on the woman but did not let her go. He blinked in confusion for a moment before he realized what she was talking about. 'Damn there boy, one minute of her in your arms and you've forgotten all about Mika and Erin and anything else. Why is it I don't like nobles again?'
Ya will stay away from Erin or . her voice trailed off.
Or what Shea? Luca teased her with a smug grin.
The look on his handsome face set her temper off and she threw all manner of decorum out the window. She took a slow step towards the man, getting as close to him as possible. Or I'll tell the family o' little Mika where she is and who kidnapped 'er, she threatened with a hiss.
Luca stood back completely stunned by the ludicrous threat. He would have laughed at her if the look in her beautiful eyes hadn't been so deadly serious. Are you daft woman? Mika was born to my family. I held her red screaming little body myself when she was but hours old.
Oh like anyone would believe that! Yer telling me that a blonde gypsy was born into yer family? Ya know that's na possible and besides, I know that girl, Shea smiled triumphantly.
Oh really? And just how do you know my wicked but charming niece? Luca stood back with his arms crossed waiting for what he was sure would be a good lie. 'I just remembered why I don't like nobles.'
Shea was furious, the man dared to taunt her even when she was sure she had him dead to rights on this. 'I am sure. Well . I may be sure. Damn! What if it's na what I'm thinking it is?' If she was truly born ta yer family, I want to meet with 'er Mother, Shea demanded.
Fine, Luca answered. You meet me tomorrow night over by the Romany stages and I'll take you to Mala.
Shea glared at the man for a moment. 'Damn! I can'na just accuse 'im o' something without proof but then, I'm sure 'e will'na be able ta produce a fair-haired Mother fer Mika.' Fine, she hissed before storming away, leaving him in shock.
Running a weary hand through his dark hair he heaved a huge sigh. 'How the hell did this happen? Damn! I have to find Mika.'
Erin looked up into the dark green eyes above her, somehow they had managed to lie down on the soft grass and Mika was covering Erin's body with her own. The little blonde's shirt was now open to the waist and Erin was kneading the firm breasts while Mika devoured every inch of flesh she could come in contact with. Breathing was labored and hearts pounded as they moved against each other, Mika pressed her thigh between Erin's and the tall Irish woman called out.
Oh God rogue!
Mika took Erin's mouth again in a harsh, demanding assault, swallowing the woman's plea. She felt her own sex throb, pounding in time with her heartbeat. A flood of wetness coated her thighs when Erin started to move against her. They were so lost in each other neither of them noticed a rider approaching.
As Luca rode over the hill he saw the horses tethered to a tree and sough out Mika and Erin. He about fell from his horse when he finally located them 'Oh God! I'm going to have a heart attack yet today with all the shocks it been getting. Of course this one I can handle.' A wicked grin crept across his face as he dismounted and slowly advanced on the two oblivious women.
He watched for just a second and then with a large open hand reached out and smacked Mika's backside. Hate to bother you but
Mika froze, her heart thundering in her chest as a quick panic gripped her. She didn't relax until she heard a familiar chuckle behind her. Damn Luca you jack ass, get the Hell out of here! she growled while trying to cover a mortified Erin with her body.
I'll give ya a chance to umm dress but we need to talk, he left the women struggling to right themselves, still chuckling.
Erin was truly mortified; she blushed deep red and looked as though she was about to cry. Shhh princess, its ok Luca won't say anything. He might be an ass but he's a loyal ass, you'll be spared any torture, it's me that's going to suffer for this, she smiled at the dark woman and then leaned in for one more heart stopping kiss before moving away.
What must 'e think o' me? Erin's blush deepened.
Probably thinks you look as beautiful as I do.
Rogue, ya are'na helpin, Erin chuckled in spite of the situation.
Don't worry just walk past him like nothing happened and let me deal with him.
Erin ran her hand up Mika's chest and leaned down whispering in her ear, Oh but my wild rogue, something did 'appen and I do'na think were finished just yet, she nipped at Mika's ear and then marched past her, leaving the little gypsy weak kneed.
'Damn! That woman's going to be the death of me.'
'Oh but what a way to go.' The voice chimed.
Mika sighed and calmed herself before heading out to see what was so important that Luca rode all the way out here.
After a quick conversation with Luca they were all headed back to the palace. Mika was still unsure of what had upset her usually in control Nano but he seemed so unsettled she complied with his wishes.
The ride was altogether an uncomfortable experience for Mika, her body was still throbbing with unspent passion and she was torn between killing Luca and being relieved for his interruption. 'Damn! I can't believe I lost control like that.'
'But it was fun.' The voice laughed.
'It's not fun right now!'
'Well at least you aren't alone in your frustration.' it quipped.
Mika glanced at Erin who looked as uncomfortable as herself and had to chuckle. 'No I guess I'm not the only one suffering.'
Erin was lost in her own thoughts as they rode also torn between the ideas of killing Luca and thankful he didn't arrive any later than he had. She could still feel the rush of heat spread throughout her body and the flood of moisture between her thighs. Shifting uncomfortably in the saddle she caught Mika's eye and heard the young blonde laugh. 'Ya can go ta Hell rogue! Just wait till I get ya alone again, yer goin ta fix this little problem ya started!' Her mind filled with possibilities for their next meeting and she flashed Mika a wicked grin. She laughed when she heard the little gypsy swallow an audible groan.
Luca rode along in silence, to worried about Shea's threat to concern himself with either of the young women riding with him. No matter what feelings the redheaded Irish woman brought about in him, he was still loyal to his family and her threat about Mika had him very troubled. No one had ever questioned his niece's parentage before, and yet she was. No one really knew the story behind Mika's birth, not even himself. He knew Mala was not going to be happy about this situation, not at all.
Arriving at the palace, Luca offered to take the horses while the young women said their good-byes. Make it quick and don't do anything stupid out here in the open, he flashed them a grin and winked before moving away.
Well princess this day didn't turn out anything like I thought, Mika ran a nervous hand through her hair.
And ya think I meant fer this ta 'appen?
Well no, Mika laughed.
Ya do'na regret Erin's voice quivered slightly at the thought.
No! No princess not at all.
Erin sighed in relief and took Mika's hand, I'll see ya tonight rogue, if I could kiss ya right now I swear ya wouldn't 'ave a breathe left in yer body when I finished, she purred.
Princess just the sight of you leaves me breathless anyway, the little blonde grinned.
Ya are a rogue Mikayla but I'm finding I like that about ya, Erin winked. I'll meet ya.
I'll be waiting, Mika promised as she stood watching Erin's departing back. 'Damn! What am I going to do?'
'Well if she has her way, you'll be ' The voice started.
Images of Erin writhing in passion as Mika pleasured the woman flashed through her mind.
The voice just laughed.
Luca chose that moment to intrude for which she was thankful.
Hey, you going to day dream or help me get these mounts back to the pens?
Yea, I'm on my way, she said turning to the man.
Luca grinned down at his little niece.
I'm just trying to figure the best way to torture you with all this, He told her, still grinning.
You could just forget you saw anything and let it be, she suggested hopefully.
Oh not a chance, the dark man laughed. I figure this is good for at least a few months of fun.
You're a sick man Nano, she growled. 'Bad man Very bad man.'
You don't know the half of it chey, he chuckled.
Harold again caught Erin as she entered the palace. Hold there Lady Erin, he called.
I was na sneakin in Harold, she pouted.
Harold laughed at the petulant woman, I know that, as a matter of fact I'm sure the entire court knows where you were today.
Erin's mind again flashed to her intimate encounter with Mika and again she blushed. 'It was umm . a lovely ride, she choked out.
Harold was a bit confused by her reddening complexion but passed it off as her embarrassment about her confrontation with the Princess. I'm sure it was but that's not the matter I need to discuss with you. I've been informed that you are to join the court for dinner tonight, he told her.
It took a moment for his words to penetrate her still foggy brain, Nay! I can'na Harold, I already 'ave an she stumbled over her words. 'I can'na tell 'im I'll be leavin again tonight.'
I'm sorry Erin, the kindly man offered, But this is a direct order from the King. You can't ignore it, I'm sure whatever your plans were can be changed.
Erin wanted nothing more than to run right back out of the palace and find her golden gypsy. She was in a panic at the thought of leaving Mika to wait for her. 'Oh god! Please let 'er understand I didn't expect this ta 'appen.' She resigned herself to fate and nodded her agreement to Harold.
Very good child and don't worry it wont be as bad as you think, he assured.
'Nay, it'll be worse.' She moaned, quietly mounting the steps to her rooms.
Luca left Mika to settle the horses while he searched out his sister. Mika didn't know what was going on with the man, just that he seemed moody, more so than usual. 'Wonder if it's about finding Erin and I? Nah, he's found me in more precarious situations and it hasn't bothered him. Unless he really does have feelings for Erin,' She frowned at the thought. The idea of Luca and Erin together sparked a tendril of rage that spread through her like a wildfire.
'Jealous?' The irritating voice inquired.
'I have nothing to be jealous of, especially not Luca. He has no interest in Erin, I know that.' She fought down the burning ire.
'Maybe it's the thought of Erin with anyone other than you.' It reasoned.
'We have no commitment, why would I be jealous?'
'Oh I don't know, maybe because you're falling in love with her.' The voice stated.
'Don't be ridiculous; I would know if I were in love, which I'm not.'
'Have you ever really been in love?' It questioned.
'Well, no but '
'Then how do you know?' It laughed.
'I'm not in love! I would know if I were, wouldn't I? Damn!' Mika continued her internal debate admitting that her feelings for the dark Irish woman were not like those she's had for any other. 'I can't believe I just caved in like that today.' Her mind wandered back over the events of the day and tried to determine where exactly she lost control of the situation.
'You never had control of it in the first place.' The ever-present voice quipped.
'I did so! Right up until '
'Until she looked at you with those big blues eyes filled with tears.' It sighed.
'Yea, what happened?'
'You caved; you took one look and your brain stepped aside and let your heart lead and then of course your body followed.' it mused
Mika grinned; she hadn't thought Erin would be so eager or responsive in her passion. Yet she became as lost as Mika herself when they touched, just the thought set the young gypsy on fire once again. It was all very unexplainable, the affect Erin had on her, but Mika decided it wasn't at all a bad thing. 'Maybe I'll just ride it out and see where it leads.'
What are you talking about Luca? Mala questioned her brother. He had come running to her just after his return and she hadn't understood a word her younger sibling was babbling about since.
Listen to me! I was threatened today by this this woman, he hissed. She's saying we kidnapped Mika and she knows who her birth family is. She's demanding to meet with you.
Why? Mala grinned at the flustered man.
How the hell should I know? The woman's daft, beautiful, he mumbled, but quite obviously out of her redheaded mind.
Mala found the whole situation rather amusing. Not the threatening part but she was sure after having a few words with the woman that could be cleared up, it was the affect this noblewoman seemed to have on her baby brother. She had never seem him quite this animated about anyone before and for that reason alone she knew she had to meet with the lady. Alright Luca, I'll meet her tomorrow. Don't worry, I'll straighten this all out.
Watch her Mala, she's an an she's very clever, she appears sweet and kind but she has a nasty, vindictive side, he said seriously.
Oh really and why do you think that little brother?
'I fell for it! I'm still falling for it. Damn!' Just be careful, I'll bring her to you tomorrow evening.
Fine, now let me get back to work. Go play with Mika or something, she laughed shooing him away from her cook-fire. 'Someone sure got under his skin; I can't wait to meet this woman.'
Continued in Part 4
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