I'm pleased to announce the release of a new short story from Lime Time Press. This originally appeared on my blog as part of Story Orgy Mondays. The story has been professionally edited and revised since then.
I hope you enjoy Ian and Brodick's story!
Can the love of a lifetime be forged in the aftermath of bloody battle?
A Sweet Exchange Erotic Short
Available at All Romance E-books
Ian Kerr dreams of the blue-eyed gaze that met his in a strange, still moment on the field of battle. Brodick MacFarland, young and inexperienced, yet old enough to fight for his clansmen, saves a wounded man left for dead by his kin. Now, five years later, Brodick is a trained physician and an adult who knows his own mind. Fortunately for Ian, the clash between the clans still rages on, leaving Brodick fair game. Will Brodick come with Ian of his own accord or will this educated warrior continue to evade capture?
Thunder awoke Ian Kerr from a restless sleep haunted by troubled blue eyes. He wanted to reach out to the owner of those eyes, tell the man that it would be all right. "All right," he mumbled, forcing heavy lids up. His head felt thick and his vision blurred.
Lying still, he forced himself to assimilate his surroundings as his head and vision slowly cleared. The floor beneath him was earth, the wall he lay against as well. A fire crackled nearby, providing warmth and a dim flickering light. His belly rumbled loudly, echoing the thunder.
Last he'd known, his brother Andrew, and Agnes MacFarland had left him to cover their retreat. How had he come to lie in an abandoned shepherd's bothy? Still, it was out of the storm that raged outside, and for that he was grateful. A savory scent lingered in the air, and Ian shifted upright to find the source of that enticing odor.
"Ahh…" Agony seared his chest, and he clutched at it, marveling as his fingers found a neat row of stitches. The pain jolted his muddled brain and memories fought slowly to the surface. "The battle…" The damned MacFarlands had left him to die on the roadside when one of their untrained whelps landed a lucky blow with sword he'd been scarce able to lift.
"Aye, easy there." The soft burr drew his gaze to a thin man in a MacFarland tartan kneeling near the small fire. The youth filled a bowl with pottage and crossed the small space between them. The voice was familiar, the figure strange.
"Where am I?"
"Boden's old place. I couldna get ye any further from the road. Wasna safe to take ye to the farm." When the youth knelt and offered him the bowl, Ian was struck by deep blue eyes, the steely blue of the sky before sunset, set in a fine boned face, beardless, thin, fragile nearly, and very familiar.
"Ye're a MacFarland." He reached automatically for his blade, though the stripling was hardly threatening in his appearance. Memories stirred of the recently fought battle. Those were the eyes from his dream… "I remember ye from the fight. Ye were in Andrew's bride's guard."
Laughter lurked in the blue eyes before the youth ducked his head. "I'm Brodick MacFarland. Agnes is my sister." His cheeks flushed slightly, though it could have been a trick of the flickering fire.
Brodick returned to the fire and filled another bowl of pottage for himself. Ian surveyed him cautiously. His instinct said the other man was no threat…but their families were at war. "Ye fetched the doctor for me?" Silently, he ate a few bites of pottage, studying the slim figure, the thin chest and wiry arms. This was no warrior, though he could plainly see the man wasn't as young as he'd first thought.
Brodick met his gaze again. "I sewed ye up meself. I'm a student at
. I'm sorry if 'tis no' perfectly
done. But I didna dare let anyone know you lived." Aberdeen
Ian nodded. "Why?" This youth hadn't participated in the mild battle; Ian's injury had been caused by a startled looking stripling who'd vomited into the heather and thistle at the roadside immediately afterward. Ian's clansmen had left him, their need to escort Andrew's bride to safety most urgent. He caught a sidelong glance from Brodick, and something in the darkening gaze sent a flicker of heat to his groin. Clan MacFarland was known for beauty in a land where brawn was prized, Ian wouldn’t have been so smitten with the sainted Agnes, but this one was different…special. Where the other MacFarlands shared his creamy pale skin and plump rosy lips, instead of the deep auburn hair the rest of the MacFarlands sported, this one had been graced with a wild mane of black curls, cropped at the shoulder. Ian's fingers itched to bury themselves in those curls, to test their silky appearance with his fingertips.