The Atonement, Knights of the Imperial Elite (Book 2)
Degraded and abased beyond redemption, Colin the Loyal trades his sanity, his brother, and his dignity for a shameful vendetta, demeaning his character until he is emptiness revered.
Ryrie McCabe of the clan McLeod, a woman of Colin’s past he never thought to see again, looks beyond his meaningless life. She gives him a reason to believe in redemption.
When the Gray Legion tips the scale of treachery, Colin is ready to martyr his soul for her and never—ever regret it.
“She is a pretty one, James. My compliments on snatching a fine piece of tail.”
Ryrie gasped, pulling roughly against the arms of a large man with long stringy brown hair. He smelled of horses, sweat, and rotten eggs. She pummeled his chest, but her attempts were ineffective as he captured her wrists.
“Let me go!” She continued to push at his biting grip, his clasp burning against her skin as he twisted his filthy hands hard to hold her in place.
The other man leaned forward, blowing his putrid breath down into her face. “Aye, Sven. Let’s take her somewhere.” His eyes searched his surroundings, and then back to her. “Come on, pretty, you will like us,” said the one called James.
The other knight pulled Ryrie, but she struggled and he caught her up by the waist, ignoring her attempt at escape. “Let me go, you cur! My brother will kill you!” The two men only laughed harder.
“Sven, do see anyone?” James asked, looking around. “You are out of luck, pretty. And besides, we are skillful enough to take on anyone,” he boasted.
“Let her go.”
Ryrie and the two men whipped around to see a tall knight with long blond hair, glaring at them. He stared them down with his cool blue eyes, his sword drawn, as if ready to give death.
It took Ryrie all of one second to recognize her savior. Colin. She hadn’t seen him in years, but she would know him anywhere. He was… unforgettable. Though her young girl infatuation had muddled her brain seven years ago, she could never forget him. He looked so different than she remembered. He was taller, leaner with long blond hair past his shoulders, his face clean-shaven. Colin wore sleeveless leather armor, exposing his muscular arms with metal gauntlets at his wrist and leather pants. He carried one sword, but two more were strapped at his back, their hilts evident at either side of his shoulder blades.
“Who are you?” James sneered hotly, apparently unimpressed by the newcomer.
“Go find your own wench. She is ours!” Sven piped up.
Colin snorted. “Wench? Your definition is astounding. I am someone that knows how to protect the honor of a lady, and if I were you, I would not manhandle the sister of Lord Darrius. I am sure he would not be so—forgiving should irreparable harm come to her,” he said, his gaze swept over Ryrie. He watched her with unflinching eyes as he inched forward. “Release her.”
–Copyright Beth Mikell 2015
Story Tags: Medieval Romance
*Subject to change prior to publishing. Still undergoing final editing.