Read Online Books/Novels:
Author/Writer of Book/Novel:
Four weeks to find a wife.
Dare Me is a standalone romance with extra steamy bonus content included! Holly and Tara always give you a Happy Ever After, they hate cheating with a passion, and cliffhangers just as much as you do!
|Books by Author:|
Light bounces off the polished steel of the rapier, nearly blinding me, before the scrape of steel against steel rattles in my ear.
Shock waves of pain vibrate up my arm. Behind his mask, my opponent’s teeth flash bright white as he senses my discomfort. In a blindingly quick movement, he slashes with his wrist, the movement slamming the flat side of his weapon into my right wrist. A slightly different angle and my hand and my arm would have parted company forever.
As it is, dumb luck and years of training are the only things that keep my fingers closed around the hilt of my weapon.
My opponent doesn’t back down, not even for a split second. He presses his advantage, moving with cat-like grace as his thrusts and parries his weapon, the tip of it dancing closer to my heart. My arm feels heavy, my fingers too stiff to effectively block him. If I don’t do something, and fast, his next thrust will strike its target.
I grit my teeth.
I should retreat, put some distance between my body and his, dance out of the way of his weapon until sensation returns to my arm and I’m able to use it properly, but I don’t.
I’ve never been the kind of guy to back down, not even when it’s in my best interest – and I’m not going to start now.
So, instead of backing up and giving myself some space, I lunge forward, getting right up into my opponent’s face. We’re too close for either of us to use our weapons effectively, which is bad for him, but gives my arm a couple of seconds to recover.
It won’t take long. I’ve always recovered fast.
The sloppy grin fades from my opponent’s face. I practically hear him gritting his teeth as, too late, he attempts to brace for my charge.
I flex my fingers. They still feel clumsy and numb, so using my weapon isn’t a viable option. So, I turn to the next best thing, my body.
I keep pressing forward, invading my opponent’s personal space, forcing him to scramble back, and pushing him off balance until…
He loses his footing and crashes to the floor, spittle. Without missing a beat, I flourish my own weapon and press it to the middle of his chest.
Now it’s my turn. I can’t help the grin stretches across my face.
My vanquished opponent – who also happens to be my cousin and one of my best friends – looks up at me through his fencing mask and rolls his eyes.
I throw him a smirk.
“I guess I win.”
The words still hang in the air when a flurry of activity at the side of the room catches my eye.
“Damn-it, Lucas.” Carlos Mandolay, my fencing coach yells, storming across the room. I can practically see the storm billowing out of his ears as his face turns an unattractive shade of red.
“How many times do we have to go over the rules before you get them through your skull?”
I flip my mask back and hold up a hand, silencing his tirade. “I know, Carlos,” I say, grinning. “I’m undisciplined, hard-headed, and arrogant. And all of the above are making it impossible for you to do your job.”
I know my flippant tone pisses him off even more, but I can’t help myself. When the adrenaline courses through my veins like it’s doing now,
Carlos upper lip curls, exposing his teeth in a grin that would be perfectly at home in the middle of a horror movie. “And yet, nothing ever changes.”
He points at my fallen cousin, who is slowly pushing himself to his feet. “I’ve never seen anything so atrocious and underhanded. I’m embarrassed to be your coach.”
“I didn’t do anything wrong.” I protest, wiping a bead of sweat from my eyes. “Roderick’s the fool who can’t stay on his feet.”
My words trigger the desired effect. Carlos spins away from me and lights into Roderick.
“You’re just as foolish as he is. When he advanced, why didn’t you retreat? And why the hell didn’t you press your advantage when you had the opportunity instead of playing with him?” Carlos flails his arms, the elaborate gestures driving home his point with a flourish.
Roderick’s lips twitch. Carlos spots the movement and stomps forward until his and Roderick’s faces are just inches apart. Carlos looks more like a sports coach yelling at a referee than an elegant fencing master running one of the best Olympic-level fencing training programs in the world.
“What, exactly, is so funny?” Carlos spits, fury emanating from his body. His arms continue to wave and point.
Now Roderick’s shoulders shake. “It’s hard to take anyone who looks like a drunken swan trying to take flight seriously. Just sayin’.”
If Carlos was mad before, it’s nothing compared to now. His mouth opens and closes several times before he finally manages to force his words out.