Beloved in His Eyes (Angel's Assassin Book 3)

By: Laurel O Donnell

Chapter 1

Gawyn leaned against the stone wall in the solar of Castle Acquitaine, his arms crossed over his chest. He couldn’t keep the grin from his lips as he watched his brother pace before the chair where his brother’s wife, Lady Aurora of Acquitaine, sat. It amused him to see Damien fight such a losing battle.

Damien was tall and imposing. He had an intense aura that frightened most people. Everyone except Aurora. His brows furrowed in concern and determination, his jaw clenched. He shook his head, his dark hair swaying over his strong shoulders. “I don’t think you should go into town,” Damien said to his wife. “Not today. The Hungars are angry with your decision to impose sanctions on trade with them.”

Aurora watched Damien calmly. She allowed her husband to voice his concern patiently. She was a vision of loveliness, her long blonde hair immaculately braided behind her back, her small form just curvy enough to attract the attention of every man. She leaned forward, her small hands clenched before her as if in prayer. “Then they should not have imposed ridiculous road taxes on the merchants.”

Damien paused before her. “I don’t care about taxes or sanctions. I care about your safety.”

Aurora grinned at Damien, her blue eyes sparkling.

Gawyn shook his head slightly. Damien was doomed to lose this argument. He would never convince Aurora not to go into town to visit her people. But he also knew that Damien was right. It was dangerous.

“I know. And I know you will do everything in your power to keep me safe,” Aurora said gently.

Damien clenched his teeth and closed his eyes.

Aurora stood and moved to him. She placed her hands on his shoulders. “I have to go in to town.”

“Just to visit your people. Your safety should be more important.”

She ran her fingers along Damien’s cheek. “If I don’t, it will tell the Hungars that I am frightened by their threats. It will be admitting that I am afraid. My people, all of Acquitaine, all of the Hungars, must know that I am not afraid.”

Gawyn had to admire her, after all she was a kind and wise ruler. She protected her people with conviction, and under her intelligent and just rule, her city flourished. In this instance, he agreed with her. She could not show fear to the barbarians that neighbored Acquitaine.

Damien inhaled slowly. He nodded his head once, in agreement.

Aurora leaned forward and pressed her lips to his in a long kiss. Then, she leaned her forehead against his. “I am sorry to have to make your job more difficult.”

Damien shook his head again, his brows furrowing in anguish. “I would do anything for you,” he whispered. “Except lose you. I can’t do that.”

Aurora hugged him fiercely. “You won’t ever have to do that.”

Damien lowered his lips to claim hers. His powerful arms wrapped around her small frame to pull her close.

Gawyn looked away. He knew how much they loved each other. He knew Damien would do everything he could to keep Aurora safe. Yet, he had known the outcome of this argument before Damien had spoken a word of objection.

When they separated, Aurora stepped back from Damien. “Don’t forget, my cousin Megan will be arriving in two days.”

Damien kissed her hand before releasing it. “I remember.”

Aurora moved to the door and exited. Damien followed. He paused long enough to grumble to Gawyn, “Double the guard.”

Gawyn smiled. “I already have.”

Damien tore his gaze from Aurora to glance at Gawyn. “You think this is funny?”

“Only because it’s you, brother.

Damien huffed. “One day, you’ll find your own wife. And I’ll be the one laughing.” He moved out of the judgement room.

Gawyn watched after his brother. Aurora had saved Damien in so many ways. He was a different man, now. As was Gawyn. Gawyn knew that Aurora had saved them both. He would be lucky to find a woman like her. Until then, his job was to see her safe, and to remain loyally at his brother’s side.

“Are you sure she comes this way?” the boy asked in excitement, straining on his toes to see above the head of the two men in front of them, looking toward the dirt street.

Justina Auber looked down at her younger brother, Adam. At a mere ten summers, he was thin and wiry, but very energetic. He hopped up and down impatiently, shifting from foot to foot, struggling to get a good view of the street through the gathered crowd. His dirty blonde hair was tangled and unkempt and he swiped it from his eyes. She grinned at his excitement. He had worked hard for an entire month at home, on her uncle’s farm, to get this opportunity. After she and Uncle Bruce had told him they would be going into town to see Lady Aurora, Adam had spoken of nothing else. Justina began calling her Adam’s princess. She shrugged slightly at Adam’s question. “That’s what uncle said.” And by the looks of the gathering crowd, he had been told correctly.