Dark Order of the Dragon Book 2
Bayou Brew Publishing
May 27, 2014
Christian Lancelot Du Lac was never one to take a situation seriously. Growing up he had always been the comedic relief to Jared Bonatelli’s brooding nature. Now, just as The Dark Order welcomes Jared as its new Prince, Du Lac is informed that he must become a first in command the future King can truly rely on. When he repeatedly fails in his attempts to prove himself, Lance is thrown back in time to where his life began, Camelot. What he finds there is more than he could have bargained for.
Drawn to the forest surrounding Camelot, Lady Elizabeth Payne searches for something that seems just out of her reach. Tormented by a pair glowing eyes in the mist she steals away in the middle of the night to find their owner. Thieves, a wolf and the most infuriating savior she has ever met turn her simple world upside down. But it’s the attraction she feels to the newcomer that truly takes her by surprise. Learning that he is Christian Du Lac, the long lost son of the First Knight himself peaks her curiosity even more.
Now on the cusp of meeting her betrothed for the first time, Elizabeth’s heart has been claimed by another. But even a betrothal written in blood is no match for fate.
For Lance and Elizabeth, the odds are stacked against them. Their worlds are destined to remain forever apart. Can time heal all wounds or will the fates change their course and let the star crossed lovers find each other once again?
Camelot ~ 530 AD
She sat on the edge of the stone window ledge. Her feet curled underneath her, Elizabeth stared out past the great moat and green fields below. Her soft leather shoes had been discarded long ago and sat forgotten on the cold stone floor beneath her. The open window offered hardly any protection from the moist air blowing outside. The wind whipped the strawberry blonde strands which escaped from the braid around her face. Absently, she brushed it back tucking it behind her ear. Her eyes never turned away from the muted grey horizon.
The early-morning dew collected on the fields, giving them an eerie glow. The land below looked like the home of the Fae. The same Fae who called to her each night. They enticed her with visions of eyes from another place and time. Those visions brought her to this abandoned tower room in the early hours before the rest of the castle awoke to go about their day. In these stolen minutes she found her solace. At this hour, there was no one questioning where she had been. No one berating her for her unladylike behavior. Here ,she was completely alone.
Elizabeth hugged her knees. The hem of her sleeping tunic inched up, baring her toes to the cool air. Gooseflesh erupted over the length of her arm. She pulled the blanket draped across her shoulders a little tighter, unwilling to leave her perch. The moisture in the air collected on her lashes, making them heavy. A yawn threatened, but she fought it off, not wanting to break the spell. Only a few moments more...
Nay! Not yet. They can’t have found me. I only need another moment or two.
A soft knock on the door made her jump. “M’lady, please. The King found your solar empty and has ordered his men to scour the castle for you.”
Lady Elizabeth blinked and the magic of the morn was lost. It didn’t surprise her. Every day she searched the horizon for something, but it remained beyond her reach. Her shoulders sagged and a sigh escaped her lips. She climbed down from the ledge. When her feet met the floor she shivered and slipped them inside the cold leather shoes. She made haste toward the door. Pulling it open, she glanced in either direction before dragging her startled maid inside and closing it silently. She held her finger to her lips, urging the girl into silence. Footsteps sounded in the passageway.
Elizabeth stood with her ear against the wooden door, listening to the deep voice on the other side. “She has to be here somewhere. Find her and return her to Arthur. I shall take the battlements whilst the rest of you search indoors.”
Sir Bors de Ganis was the first to speak. “Aye Galahad, we’ll have her safe and sound in no time.” The rest of the men chimed in with their approval. Their voices dissipated, each heading off to search their own area.
Leaning against the door, she closed her eyes and let out the breath she held. Why did having a moment to oneself entail so much havoc? After a few seconds, she lifted her gaze to meet her maid’s. Elizabeth cringed at the frown Beatrix gave her. Not only was she in trouble, she dragged the poor girl down with her. “Beatrix, I’m sorry. I never meant. . . .” Her words died on her lips. There was no way she could make this right. Their only option was to return to her solar and await punishment for disobeying the King’s order to stay within its walls.
“M’lady, if I may?” Bea’s frown softened. Elizabeth nodded slowly, waiting for her friend to chastise her. “The King is simply concerned for your welfare. He wouldn’t want any harm to befall his foster child. Mayhap if you just explain-”
“Nay, I cannot tell him or anyone else why I sneak away. They would consider me mad.” She began to pace. “No one would understand. The Fae or some other being within the forest calls to me. I hear it in my dreams, yet when I try to search for it from here, whatever it may be eludes me.”
“I think you need more rest, M’lady.” Bea moved closer and laid a gentle hand on her arm. “Let us get you back to your chamber. It would be better if we arrived there first, don’t you think?”
Again, she nodded and allowed her maid to lead her into the passageway. They hadn’t made it more than a few steps before they met Sir Galahad. He leaned casually against the wall, arms folded across his chest. Elizabeth inclined her chin, a silent challenge, and waited. His piercing blue eyes assessed her in the dim light.
When she thought he would scold her for leading them on a wild goose chase, he offered her his arm. “Lady Elizabeth, I do believe you are late to break your fast. Allow me to escort you back to your chamber so you may dress appropriately before we attend the King in his solar.”He gave no sign of anger or annoyance as she took his arm. Surprisingly, he leaned down to whisper in her ear, “I’ll not impart your secret. We all deserve a little adventure in our lives. No harm was done.” Galahad straightened and gifted her with a wink. He led their small party from the sanctuary she found in the abandoned tower room to her chamber. Her maid followed silently behind them, smiling.
About the Author
Sandi Bischoff lives in the historic town of Cornwall, NY with her husband, son and a menagerie of Dragons all of whom have their own distinct personalities. She is a Pharmacist by profession but finally found her true calling in a simple twist of fate. A friend approached her to write for a character in a forum on a popular networking website and over the next five years her passion had found its niche. She then went on to compose a few poems and short stories which she would post on her homepage at the same networking site. Recently one of those poems was chosen to be published in a compilation called Collected Whispers.
Her first manuscript entitled Beyond the Sun was another short story gone wild. It has recently been picked up by Bayou Brew Publishing and was released on April 1st.
Bayou Brew Publishing- http://www.bayoubrewpublishing.com/