En Garde

Fencing FoilsFrom The Dracove, Book I of the Prophecy series

Grant stood next to his desk, looking over some paperwork, when he suddenly felt a very fine point poking his posterior. He arched a brow, gradually turned his head to the side, and found Kylie grinning at him with an epee in her hand. She poked him again and giggled.

“You’d best be careful with that. There isn’t a button on the tip.” He carefully turned around. “Do ye even know how to use it?”

Kylie grinned, whipped the foil around, and lightly tapped the inside of his left thigh. “En Garde.” She tossed a dueling sword to him.

He caught it. “Be serious.”

“I am. En Garde!”

“You’re challengin’ me, my lady?”

“What do I have to do, slap your face with a glove?”

He grinned and said, “Of course not.”

“Well then?”

“What’re we duelin’ for?”

She stepped back and thought about it as she twirled her hair around her finger. “What do you want to duel for?”

“Got any tattoos in well hidden places?”

“Maybe, how about you?”

He shook his head. “No, but if ye win, I’ll bow to your every whim.”

“My very own slave? This could be interesting, but I don’t believe you.”

He opened his mouth to speak, but all that came forth was his laughter.

“That’s what I thought,” she said. “Now, if I win, you get to dance for me.”

“I can’t dance.”

“Liar.”

“Not very well.”

“That’s okay, you don’t need to dance well so long as those clothes come off.” She placed the tip of the epee on the opening of his shirt.

With a quick moulinet on her part, he felt his shirt open a bit more than it was before. He looked down, his eyes growing wide, and arched a brow when he discovered a missing button. His eyes blinked rapidly.

“You are serious.”

She nodded slowly, the grin spreading across her lips.

“You’re on,” he said. “But only if you’ll do the same for me.”

She nodded again.

He stepped away from the desk, assumed his position, and saluted her with his weapon. “Ye don’t want protection?”

She shook her head. “I’m good.”

“Quite confident, aren’t ye? That can be dangerous.”

“It’s okay, Grant, don’t be scared,” she replied with a smirk.

“Just thinkin’ of your safety, is all.”

“I thank you, sir.” She bowed to him. “May we begin?”

The assault began as Grant advanced, and the conversation took place as she countered his every attack. He feinted and she ducked and turned. He quickly stepped back and smiled.

“Very nice. I’m impressed,” he said.

“Thank you,” she replied, bowing her head.

“That was a bit too easy, though.”

“I’m game.”

They began again, and this time he mixed up the phrases and threw in a few new ones he’d learned over the years. It backfired on him as she somehow very quickly performed a one-handed cartwheel around him and slapped his bottom with the end of the epee. He jumped forward and turned around. She flipped backward, placed the tip of her sword on the floor and stood, as though leaning on it, while her left hand rested on her hip.

“Where’d ye learn that?” It surprised him because he didn’t think her to be so limber and quick.

“My father. He was great with a sword. He taught me everything he knew.”

“Wonderful. For the first time in my life, I’ll be beaten by a woman.”

She grinned. “And for all womankind, I’ll be happy to be that woman.”

As they engaged again, he watched her closely, studying her every move. Damn, she’s good.

She nodded briefly as she held her hand up and beckoned him to her.

He grinned and shook his head. “Your turn.”

Her brow arched and she began with a forward jump known as a balestra, then she followed the move with a fleche, and whipped the sword through the air as she passed him.

He jumped up onto the chair beside him and flipped sideways, turning a couple of times in the air. Her jaw dropped wide when he landed behind the chair.

He chuckled. “Close your mouth, love.”

Kylie quickly did so and ran after him.

He laughed and ran around the room. “Now, now, Ky! This isn’t part of fencin’.”

She answered with a ‘Ha’.

“Ky, stop, someone’s going to get hurt.” He jumped to his left, tucked his sword behind him, and caught her as she flew by. He was much quicker than she was. Her foot became entangled with his and they both fell to the floor. Her sword landed at her side. When he landed on top of her, all the air in her lungs expelled. He scurried to his hands and knees.

“Kylie, are ye all right?”

She laughed.

He dropped his head. “Ye scared the ever-living hell out o’ me, woman. Don’t do that.”

“Does this mean I win?”

“I don’t think so.” He jumped to his feet and ran for his sword while she scrambled for hers. When he turned around and saw he was the quicker one to his feet, since she was only beginning to stand up, he grinned.

“Where’re ye going?” He placed the tip against her chest. She dropped back to the floor, smiled, and shrugged her shoulders. “I win.”

“Look again, darlin’,” she replied.

He looked down and shook his head. She had strategically placed her sword between his legs and he chuckled as the epee lightly tapped his inner right thigh.

“Tie?”

She agreed and brought the epee down before holding up her other hand.

He pulled her up and brought her hand behind her back as he pressed her body against his. “I’m very impressed. I didn’t know ye could fence.”

“You didn’t ask,” she replied with a grin.

“Clever,” he said and kissed her on the cheek. “Same stakes later on?”

She nodded. “I’m hungry, got anything to eat around here?”

He grimaced. “We’ll have to go to town. I haven’t had the chance yet.”

“Okay, let’s go.” She placed the sword on the desk, took his hand, and she pulled him out of the study. “I’m starving.”

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