The Tunsey Men #3
by Wendy Stone
Safford Tunsey is a man who is cynical and sarcastic. Until the day he runs into the violet eyed beauty, Giselle, who sticks her nose up in the air and won't give him the time of day. Can she show him how to love while he shows her how to be a woman?
Release Date: April 10, 2011
Genre: Historical | Fairy Tale Retelling
Outside the newlyweds’ closed door, a host of wedding guests stood, drunkenly shooshing each other and giggling madly. In their hands, they held pots and pans, wooden spoons and bells, anything they’d been able to find that would make noise and interrupt the festivities happening inside the room.
At the back of this group, Safford stood. He’d had little to drink, spending his night pouting and nursing his cheek where a bright red handprint had been for at least a half an hour before disappearing. He’d barely approached Giselle when she’d gasped, her hand flashing out, striking him hard before she turned and flounced away, her companion hot on her trail.
Now she stood barely in front of him, her face flushed with drink, her giggles hidden behind her raised hand. Her companion was nowhere in sight and Saff planned on taking advantage of it. The other guests moved forward as he snuck closer behind her, waiting until the first of the revelers started banging on their pots before he slid his hand around her waist, lifting her, and taking her into the room behind them. The door closed as the noise level grew, camouflaging the breathless squeal she gave as she realized she had been taken. He dropped her to the floor, turning to lock the door behind them before facing her again.
“What are you doing?” she hissed, trying drunkenly to get up from the floor. “You can’t do this.”
“I’ve done it.” He stepped forward, reaching down to help her up, only to have the bowl of a spoon rapped against his hand. “Ouch!” he growled. “What’d you do that for?”
“Don’t touch me!” she snapped, trying once more to get her feet under her. Instead they slipped out, exposing a goodly amount of curvy legs encased in thin stockings. “Oh!”
He reached for her again, this time managing to wrest the spoon from her lax grip, then lifted her around the waist and stood her on her feet. She took a stumbling step forward, burped and then giggled, lifting her hand to her mouth. Safford couldn’t help grinning. She was adorable like this, her hair straggling from its pins, her eyes heavy and half closed, a tittering little giggle escaping her. He reached for her again, this time drawing her up against him, his mouth coming down upon hers.
Her lips were soft and moist and had opened in shocked exclamation that allowed his tongue to slip past and explore her mouth. He moaned at her taste, a bit of the wine she’d consumed, a bit of the dinner and something heady and ripe, the flavor of her passion.
She fought him at first, though in her state, she wasn’t very effectual. Her hands pushed at his chest, sliding up and over his shoulders to tug at his hair. Then she was twining her fingers through his hair, holding him to her, her lips responding to his own.
Giselle gasped as he lifted his mouth, her lavender eyes staring up at him. “Why do you make me feel like this?” she moaned. “You are a nobody.”
“A nobody?” he growled, furious that she thought as she did. “I am the man you’ll be marrying.”
He watched with stunned eyes as she began to giggle, her laughter growing wilder with each second that passed. “I...I’d n-never m-marry you,” she stammered around bouts of chuckles. “Y-you’re n-nothing.”
Safford dropped his arms from around her, watching as she stumbled then fell to the ground, tears on her cheeks from her laughter. Fury burned through him, hot and intense, and in that moment, he made a decision that would change his life forever
Reaching into the wardrobe, he yanked out a cloak, pulling it over his wedding finery. He tore the comforter from the bed, laying it upon the floor and pushing Giselle on top of it. He rolled her up in it, her voice muffled to the point of barely being hearable in the material. Then he lifted her over his shoulder, stepping out to see that the noisemakers had continued on down the hall, heading back towards the party and the drinks. Turning the other way, he headed towards the kitchen, slipping out through the now deserted room and out to the stables. He dropped Giselle in a mound of hay, happy when she didn’t move, and saddled his horse, throwing her blanket draped form across the front of it.
Within minutes, he was mounted and galloping out the front gates, waving at the guard who smiled and called a greeting. He rode down the village road until he was out of sight of the castle then took to the woods, determined to make his destination before anyone noticed they were both missing.