Encircled by Gold, 4
Sometimes the water is so deep you can’t see what waits just beneath the surface…
Riikka still can’t seem to avoid getting into trouble. A journey across the sea takes a bad turn when she loses it with Leif and nearly kills him. Now the tides have turned and Riikka finds she must make a sacrifice to save Thorstein and the people of the settlement. When she ends up back in her old life, she’s happy to see Lucy but surprised to find someone else waiting for her. Riikka’s inner Viking woman emerges and she’s ready to fight to the death for any chance to be with Thorstein again. This time she’ll battle for their love, until she has restitution.
The annoying sound of someone clearing their throat roused Riikka from her slumber. She blinked against the light, trying to make sense out of what was going on.
“Good morning, Jarl and Lady.” Inge stood just outside of their door. She smiled, but it was a tight smile—the kind Riikka had come to read as Inge being pissed about something.
“Morning.” Riikka smiled back. Thorstein lay with one hand over his eyes as though the new day was too much to take in.
“Is this not an important day?” Inge’s tone rang loud with agitation. When she was met only with their silence, she continued with a raised voice. “Are you not sailing off to Birka tomorrow, Jarl?”
Riikka fought to keep from laughing. She could only imagine how many times Inge had woken Thorstein from a drunken slumber, trying to pry him out of bed and onto whatever Jarl-duty waited in his day.
She kicked at Thorstein underneath the covers.
“I’m getting up,” he growled. Her warrior was none too happy after the night they’d had. Fighting with his wife, being left without sexual satisfaction—and now being woken by a former slave barking out at him.
“Shall I cook?” Riikka asked brightly.
“No!” they both snapped in unison.
Well, that got her off the hook. No point in dragging this out any longer. She’d slept with one hand outside the blankets and it was ice-cold. Riikka slipped her freezing hand underneath the covers, grabbing her husband’s genitals. A resounding howl ensued and he shot out of bed.
Inge didn’t move, but stared at him, completely unshaken by his nudity. “Her hand must have been really cold, you’re…”
“Breakfast!” he bellowed, turning away to search for his pants.
The day was off to a good start.