"Thanks to you. I am again in your debt, my lady Helen." The sun threw its shaft from behind him, casting a softening aura about his formidable build, but also shading his expression from her. She could not tell whether he was teasing her or not when he added, "I had not realized you were so adept in your knowledge of poisons. Healing, yes--"
"Well for you that one is required to recognize the noxious so as not to mistake it for the benevolent." She spoke coldly, in case he was mocking her. The shocking way the evening had ended had shaken her somewhat from her anger, but she had not forgiven his humiliating treatment of her at the table, still less his unpardonable behavior in her chamber.
"No doubt," was all he said. "What was it then, this 'cowbane' from which you saved me?"
"'Tis a wild herb that grows near streams and in the swales of pastures. It looks very much like angelica, a harmless medicinal herb, but the rootstock of cowbane is deadly. The juice of a young plant's root, such as might be found in the spring, can kill a man in less than thirty minutes...."
She trailed off and caught the tilt of Gunthar's head, which threw his gaze briefly upon the roses. Knotted and wild they might be, but they were also large and brilliant, their glory testifying of the vernal season.
"I see." His voice hardened. "Then I am in your debt, indeed."
Next week I'll share an excerpt from Book 2 in my medieval romance series, Illuminations of the Heart.
Now click here to find some more Sweet Saturday Samples.