King Takes Queen
KING TAKES QUEEN
Legend states when the King Arthur is needed most he will return. What if the legends are wrong?
Maggie Sanders gave six years and two feet of her now scarred and twisted body to the United States Army. She received a thank you note and a discharge in return. Effectively booted to the curb Maggie tries to pick up the pieces of her life until her revival is interrupted by one smoking hot immortal.
Arthur Pendragon, legendary King and military leader, has been trapped on the mythical island of Avalon for 1500 years. When he is thrust from captivity to the modern world he has to fight to stay there. Too bad for him, she has more fight than he anticipates. With the help of Maggie and a teenage Merlin, Arthur sets out to end his torture and free the rest of his comrades from imprisonment.
She stood up and began to stretch her cramped muscles when the scent of apples slammed into her. It fairly choked her—the taste of sweet earth and tart apple.
Maybe I'm having a heart attack. She shook her left arm around, but nothing happened. The Army First Aid Handbook definitely stated something about odd scents and tingling in the left arm. Where was it coming from?
She took a step from behind the counter and a gust of air flattened her in a heartbeat. The sound of an explosion followed, adding more to the assault. Dust coated the entire store; books and shelves toppled over every inch of the floor. The shelves lay together like the folds of an accordion, grotesquely littered with books torn from their homes. Dust and dirt assaulted her senses as she wondered if she still lived. She swallowed the bile clogging her throat as she stared at the ceiling, unable to bring herself to move.
One moment she lay on her bookstore floor, the next her mouth clogged with dust as her heart pulsed behind her eyes. She couldn’t see anything but she was right back there in the sandbox, with the dust, the pain, and explosion that took everything from her.
Her ears began to ring and she touched a tender spot on her forehead to check for blood. Her vision cleared and nothing on her scalp seemed hurt or bruised either; she'd missed the counter by inches. The thought of dying from a blow to the head while in her bookstore seemed preposterous, and if she wasn't already crying she might have laughed.
She sat up on her elbows, taking short breaths to remain calm. Nightmare after nightmare rolled through her mind so fast that all she could do was breathe through the pain invading her body and the tears tracking through the dust on her cheeks. She pushed a long gust of air from her chest, and used the relaxation techniques she learned to deal with her post-traumatic stress. Slowly, breath after breath, her heartbeat resumed a normal cadence and she felt more like herself.
Shame battled for ground amidst the cacophony of emotions swelling to burst insider her. She hadn't worked through the worst of her nightmares; they could follow her to this new life. As feeling returned to her hands, chasing away the tingling of adrenaline, she realized she was happy to be alive, of course—and angry. She pushed stray cardboard and books off her legs and out of the way so she could stand, unsteady on her feet. She straightened her dress and brushed tears from her cheeks. She bent over so she could peek around the corner of the counter, sneaking out farther for a better view of where the explosion came from. On the ground lay a hand, palm facing her.
Maggie started to creep toward the hand, remaining cautious because whoever owned it knocked over two cases, and books flooded the floor in her path. She pushed through, gently sliding them out of her way as she moved closer while looking around for...
Maggie reached down and grabbed a large and scary edition of The Oxford Unabridged English Dictionary and held it up over her shoulder with both hands. She continued to inch toward the body. Her vision broke the edge of the last bookcase hiding him, and all the air rushed out of her lungs. He was huge, large, ginormous, and every other large adjective she could conjure up.
He was also very naked.
She leaned in closer, against her better judgment; the instinct to ensure he was at least alive proved more than she could resist. She scooted books out of the way with the toe of her shoe as she continued toward him. He certainly wasn't dead; she knew what death looked like, so she kept the book up in a throwing position. Finally close enough to check his pulse, she crouched down, much to her hip's dismay, and picked up the strong beat of his heart under her fingertips at the curve of his neck. He was alive, definitely alive, and his skin burned hot to the touch.
Far too much time had passed since she appreciated a naked male body, and his was certainly something to appreciate. He’s injured. You shouldn’t ogle him. She needed to conduct a damage and injury check. Starting at his feet, she progressed upward until she reached his face, cradled by books, and found herself staring into deep ocean eyes.
Their gaze shifted from her face to the book. In a blur of movement, so fast she couldn't react, he held the book in one of his hands, his body pressed over hers, and her wrists clutched in his other fist. A stunned moment of stillness descended. They were both breathing heavily, chests rising and falling, touching where his body held hers to the ground. He recovered first, throwing the book at a nearby pile and reaching to grip a wrist in either hand.
She shot him a nasty look before wrapping her legs around his waist in a grip strong enough to crush ribs, and then neatly smacked her forehead against his. Rearing his head back, he dropped a wrist and tentatively brought his hand to his forehead, checking for blood. In a split second, Maggie grabbed her fallen weapon and hit him square across his cheek.
Loud muttering curses exploded from him in a deep, accented voice. Before she could rear back he wrenched the book from her hand and threw it farther than her reach. It ricocheted off the other books as he regained control of her. Books dug into her back but she barely noticed with her bare legs wrapped around his narrow hips and his chest pressing her body to the ground. Maggie stared him down with a glare so menacing even the most insane of people would have released her, but the look he gave her in return was all heat.
Monica Corwin is an outspoken writer who attempts to make romance accessible to everyone no matter their preferences. As a new Northern Ohioian Monica enjoys snow drifts, three seasons of weather, and disliking Michigan. When not writing Monica spends time with her daughter and her ever growing collection of tomes about King Arthur.