Last week I posted the second portion of a scene of from my new release, Vain, and here is the rest of it. Lily, the abandoned daughter of a tailor, has just sworn to Theophilus, Lord of Ribeauville, that she indeed knows how to sew. As she made her promise she placed her hand on some beautiful cloth he has brought. Theo found this amusing, so the excerpt starts with a laugh.
BEGINNING OF EXCERPT
Her lord threw his head back. In Willis the weaver’s tiny abode, unexpected masculine laughter rang off the walls. Lily smiled, surprised the skin on her face remembered how to accommodate the action. “I am satisfied, Lily,” he chuckled. “Do you need my measurements?”
“Has anything changed?” she asked, recklessly playful after his mirth, and nearly drunk at having conversation and joy in the home that had become more like a jail. “Did you indulge in too many rich meals over the winter?”
His hand went to his flat stomach, then he laughed again. “Nothing has changed.”
“We will use what we already have then. Would you mind if I just drape the fabric on you for a moment to help me finish the tunic in my mind’s eye?”
“Not at all.” He held his arms out to his sides.
She unwound three more rounds of the wool, handed him the bolt, and lifted the end over his shoulder. Even doubled as it was, the material cascaded weightless down his chest. “You always bring such wonderful things to work with,” she repeated with honest pleasure. She adjusted the wool around his neckline below the heavy gold clasp holding his cloak. “Squarish, you said,” she confirmed as she backed away.
“I do not think a true square will be right for you. Might I angle it a bit for your inspection when the top is pieced together?” she asked, warming to the welcome task. “I can always change the cut to square.”
“As long as you do nothing permanent, I will agree,” he replied.
“The color is very good for you,” she added, returning to him to move the fabric again. She placed her hands on the outsides of his shoulders, testing their shape and reminding herself of his proportions. “Gold embroidery, I think, at the neck and wrists, but only enough to set off the burgundy. The cloth itself is what should impress about the tunic.” She looked up to test his reaction. His brow furrowed. She could not tell what he thought of her ideas and feared her creative rambling might be bad for business. She backed away cautiously.
Her lord pulled the Blood of Christ from his shoulders to wind back on the bolt. She retrieved the burgundy mass and clutched it to her, afraid he might change his mind.
He untied a small leather bag from his belt and tossed it on the table with the blessed clink of silver. “We are of one mind on this tunic. In the sack you will find gold thread for the embroidery, burgundy thread for the sewing, and my usual deposit.”
“Thank you, my lord,” she gushed in giddy gratitude. “I will inform you when enough is done for you to inspect.”
“You will also inform me when Willis returns from Strazburg,” he ordered, giving her a stern look as he pulled his cloak back over his shoulders.
Reality crashed down on Lily. The Lord of Ribeauville would be watching more than her sewing this spring.
END OF EXCERPT
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