WolfeBlade – Kathryn Le Veque

HE SAW HİM coming. William de Wolfe, the greatest English knight on the Scottish border, was all-seeing and all-knowing when it came to matters of northern England. He had the pulse of the politics and the players but, unfortunately, he had missed something occurring within his very own family. He was still kicking himself because of it. The truth was that his sons were becoming young men. Young men with the natural needs of young men. His twins, Scott and Troy, had just turned twenty-one years of age and their brother, Patrick, was fourteen months younger and a full-fledged knight. All of them were back with their father at his seat of Castle Questing after having spent years training at Kenilworth Castle, Norham Castle, and then Bamburgh Castle when the lord of Bamburgh lost several men to an illness. It was only temporary, but it had been good experience. Now, they were some of the most highly trained knights in all of England, a tribute to their magnificent father. The rest of his sons – James, Edward, and Thomas were in various stages of training. All of them growing up, all of them turning an eye to young women. And one son in particular, he had just found out, had done more than simply turn an eye. Now, there was trouble. “Papa!” Patrick de Wolfe was in the doorway of his solar.


The tallest man in the family at several inches over six feet, he’d reached that height at an early age and was still growing. “Uncle Paris is here!” William was calm, watching his oldest and dearest friend, Paris de Norville, ride in William de Wolfe, the greatest English knight on the Scottish border, was all-seeing and all-knowing when it came to matters of northern England. He had the pulse of the politics and the players but, unfortunately, he had missed something occurring within his very His twins, Scott and Troy, had just turned twenty-one years of age and their brother, Patrick, was fourteen months younger and a full-fledged knight. All of them were back with their father at his seat of Castle Questing after having spent years training at Kenilworth Castle, Norham Castle, and then Bamburgh Castle when the lord of Bamburgh lost several men to an illness. It was only temporary, but it had been good experience. Now, they were some of the most highly trained knights in all of England, a tribute to The rest of his sons – James, Edward, and Thomas were in various stages of training. All “Papa!” Patrick de Wolfe was in the doorway of his solar. The tallest man in the family at several inches over six feet, he’d reached that height at an early age and was still William was calm, watching his oldest and dearest friend, Paris de Norville, ride in through the massive Castle Questing interior gatehouse astride a fat, gray war horse. A few of Paris’ soldiers followed, but they remained back by the gatehouse in an uncertain bunch. They didn’t follow their liege towards the keep. There was a reason for that. “I know,” William said steadily. Scott, the first-born twin, was suddenly in the doorway next to Patrick. “Papa?” he said, sounding anxious. “Did Atty tell you?” Atty was what the family called Patrick, a childhood nickname for the little boy who couldn’t pronounce his name correctly.

William nodded. “He did,” he said. “I can see him from here.” Patrick and Scott looked at each other, trying not to appear too panic-stricken. “Papa,” Scott hissed. “He’s here. You know why!” William turned to his sons. “You will keep your apprehension under control,” he commanded quietly. “Seasoned men do not let their emotions show. You know this.” Scott was trying not to, but he was an emotional man to begin with. “I do not think you understand the seriousness of the situation,” he said. “We have tried to explain it to you. Troy has explained it to you. You know why Uncle Paris is here and yet, you stand there calmly? I do not understand.

” “What would you have me do?” William asked, looking between them. “Run out there and beg for mercy? Better still, draw my sword against him? He has every right to come here and you both know it. I understand the seriousness of the situation fully. But we will discuss this calmly, like men. There will be no bloodshed this day and most especially not between Paris and Troy.” He meant what he said even if Scott and Patrick didn’t look convinced. He returned his attention to the bailey, completely calm until he caught movement. His son, Troy, was making his way out into the bailey, dressed for battle. The man was armed to the teeth, everything dark and deadly reflecting the light as he walked. So much for composure. through the massive Castle Questing interior gatehouse astride a fat, gray war horse. A few of Paris’ soldiers followed, but they remained back by the gatehouse in an uncertain Scott, the first-born twin, was suddenly in the doorway next to Patrick. “Papa?” he said, Atty was what the family called Patrick, a childhood nickname for the little boy who William turned to his sons. “You will keep your apprehension under control,” he Scott was trying not to, but he was an emotional man to begin with. “I do not think you understand the seriousness of the situation,” he said.

“We have tried to explain it to you. Troy has explained it to you. You know why Uncle Paris is here and yet, you stand there “What would you have me do?” William asked, looking between them. “Run out there and beg for mercy? Better still, draw my sword against him? He has every right to come here and you both know it. I understand the seriousness of the situation fully. But we will discuss this calmly, like men. There will be no bloodshed this day and most especially not He meant what he said even if Scott and Patrick didn’t look convinced. He returned his attention to the bailey, completely calm until he caught movement. His son, Troy, was making his way out into the bailey, dressed for battle. The man was armed to the teeth, William bolted. He pushed in between Patrick and Scott, charging towards the entry of Castle Questing’s massive keep. He’d nearly reached the door when his second in command, and another old and dear friend, came off the stairwell. “Paris is here,” Kieran Hage said grimly. “He just came through the gatehouse.” William threw open the door.

“I know,” he said. “Worse still, Troy knows. Come, Kieran. I will need your help.” Kieran didn’t hesitate. A massive man with dark blond hair and dark brown eyes, he was William’s right hand at Castle Questing. Kieran and William and Paris had known each other since they had been squires and they’d bonded over adventures, misadventures, and everything in between. There were no bonds stronger in England, so much so that William, Kieran, and Paris had married three women who were cousins. Now, they were family and those family bonds were unbreakable. But those bonds were about to be tested. William knew that. God help him, he did. Kieran knew it, too. Unfortunately, they’d been so focused on Paris and Troy that they didn’t notice they’d lost Scott and Patrick. The brothers had run off to collect their own armor and weapons, determined to protect Troy against what would surely be a battle to the death.

For certain, Paris was mad enough to kill. No one really blamed him. Troy was standing at the base of the steps leading from Castle Questing’s keep. It was a temperate day in late May, still moderate and lovely, before the warmer days of summer would come. There wasn’t a cloud in the sky overhead, the deep blue expanse alluding to the fact that it could have been a glorious day. Could have been. But at the moment, it was a very uncertain one. William barked at his son. “Troy,” he snapped quietly. “Back away. Go and stand by the entry door.” Troy turned to his father. Dark and handsome, he wasn’t as tall as William was, but he He pushed in between Patrick and Scott, charging towards the entry of Castle Questing’s massive keep. He’d nearly reached the door when his second in command, and another ,” he said. “Worse still, Troy knows.

Come, Kieran. I Kieran didn’t hesitate. A massive man with dark blond hair and dark brown eyes, he was William’s right hand at Castle Questing. Kieran and William and Paris had known each other since they had been squires and they’d bonded over adventures, misadventures, and everything in between. There were no bonds stronger in England, so much so that William, Kieran, and Paris had married three women who were cousins. Now, they were William knew that. God help him, he did. Kieran knew it, too. Unfortunately, they’d been so focused on Paris and Troy that they didn’t notice they’d lost Scott and Patrick. The brothers had run off to collect their own armor and weapons, determined to protect Troy Troy was standing at the base of the steps leading from Castle Questing’s keep. It was a temperate day in late May, still moderate and lovely, before the warmer days of summer would come. There wasn’t a cloud in the sky overhead, the deep blue expanse alluding to Troy turned to his father. Dark and handsome, he wasn’t as tall as William was, but he was powerfully built. Even at his young age, he showed skill well beyond his years. He’d also inherited an innate Scots rage from his mother’s side of the family, a woman born and bred in Scotland, because he was faster to temper than almost anyone William knew.

He wasn’t afraid to act on that rage. And that was William’s fear. “I will not,” Troy said. “This is my battle, Papa. Kindly stay out of it.” William shook his head. “I cannot and you know it,” he said quietly. “Let me speak with your Uncle Paris first before this gets out of hand.” “It is already out of hand.” “Please, Troy,” William begged softly. “Stay here with Kieran. Just… humor me. Please.” Troy wasn’t pleased. “Papa, you are not involved in this,” he said.

“I did what I did and I shall face it. Alone.” William cocked an eyebrow at his stubborn son. “You involved me when you came home and confessed everything to me,” he said. “You pulled me into this, so do not tell me I am not involved. You are my son. I will always be involved in anything that affects your well-being.” Troy stiffened, preparing for a fight with his father now, but Kieran put himself between William and Troy in an attempt to defuse the situation. Big, gentle Kieran was dearly loved by all of the de Wolfe and Hage and de Norville children, a man who was supremely patient and supremely wise. William could hear Kieran’s soft, deep voice speaking steadily to Troy as he headed off in Paris’ direction. Paris, too, had come dressed for battle. He was wearing all of his mail and plate protection, with weapons strapped all over his body. Paris was a big man, muscular and agile, and he had been at William’s side in many a battle. William trusted him with his life and he had, too many times to count. William knew very well what the man was capable of.

As Paris dismounted his war horse, William went to meet him. “Paris,” he greeted. “I will not pretend to be ignorant as to why you are here, but I want to hear it from you.” Paris met William’s gaze a moment before looking around him, seeing Troy with Kieran. “Get out of my way, William,” he said. “This is between me and your son.” was powerfully built. Even at his young age, he showed skill well beyond his years. He’d also inherited an innate Scots rage from his mother’s side of the family, a woman born and bred in Scotland, because he was faster to temper than almost anyone William knew. William shook his head. “I cannot and you know it,” he said quietly. “Let me speak with Troy wasn’t pleased. “Papa, you are not involved in this,” he said. “I did what I did and I William cocked an eyebrow at his stubborn son. “You involved me when you came home and confessed everything to me,” he said.

“You pulled me into this, so do not tell me I am not involved. You are my son. I will always be involved in anything that affects your Troy stiffened, preparing for a fight with his father now, but Kieran put himself between William and Troy in an attempt to defuse the situation. Big, gentle Kieran was dearly loved by all of the de Wolfe and Hage and de Norville children, a man who was supremely patient and supremely wise. William could hear Kieran’s soft, deep voice speaking Paris, too, had come dressed for battle. He was wearing all of his mail and plate protection, with weapons strapped all over his body. Paris was a big man, muscular and agile, and he had been at William’s side in many a battle. William trusted him with his life and he had, too many times to count. William knew very well what the man was capable “Paris,” he greeted. “I will not pretend to be ignorant as to why you are here, but I want William wouldn’t budge. “Tell me why you have come or I will not move.” “You said you already know why.” “I also said I want to hear it from you,” William said. “Do you think so little of me that you would not give me that courtesy?” Paris looked at him. “This is not about you,” he said.

“This is about your son. He thinks he is a man, so let him handle this like a man.” “I am waiting.” Paris took a step back, his jaw working angrily. “Very well,” he said. “If that is what you wish, then I shall tell you why I am here. You have raised a scoundrel for a son, William.” “Why?” Paris snorted, his cheeks beneath his three-point helm turning pink. “Did he tell you that Helene is pregnant?” “He did.” William said it so emotionlessly that Paris ripped off his helm, throwing it down in a rage. “My daughter is fifteen years old, William,” he snarled. “Fifteen years old and seduced by… by that feral cat you call a son. He seduced her!” “He loves her.” Paris’ jaw was ticking so furiously that he was close to snapping teeth. “I told him that he could court her,” he said.

“I did not tell him that he could fuck her. That’s what he did, like a dog after a bitch in heat.” William was struggling to keep his cool. He didn’t like to hear Paris calling his son names. “It is my understanding that she was a willing participant,” he said, trying to slow down Paris’ building fury. “She loves him, too, Paris. You know this.” “I also told him that she was too young to marry!” “My mother married at thirteen.” Paris began to stomp around, kicking at anything that came near his foot. “I told you that this is not about you,” he said. “Your son has defiled my daughter and I shall have my satisfaction!” “I also said I want to hear it from you,” William said. “Do you think so little of me that Paris looked at him. “This is not about you,” he said. “This is about your son. He thinks he Paris took a step back, his jaw working angrily.

“Very well,” he said. “If that is what you wish, then I shall tell you why I am here. You have raised a scoundrel for a son, William.” Paris snorted, his cheeks beneath his three-point helm turning pink. “Did he tell you that William said it so emotionlessly that Paris ripped off his helm, throwing it down in a rage. “My daughter is fifteen years old, William,” he snarled. “Fifteen years old and seduced Paris’ jaw was ticking so furiously that he was close to snapping teeth. “I told him that he could court her,” he said. “I did not tell him that he could fuck her. That’s what he did, William was struggling to keep his cool. He didn’t like to hear Paris calling his son names. “It is my understanding that she was a willing participant,” he said, trying to slow down Paris began to stomp around, kicking at anything that came near his foot. “I told you that this is not about you,” he said. “Your son has defiled my daughter and I shall have my William just stood there and shook his head. “What satisfaction?” he said.

“Killing my son? And just how do you think I will respond to that? Did you ever think about that?” Paris came to a halt, facing William with wide eyes. “I have every right to seek satisfaction.” “If you do, then I have every right to seek revenge.” That brought Paris great pause. He stood there, staring at the man he loved best in the world, a man who was closer to him than any brother. But at the moment, he was flabbergasted that William didn’t see his point. Paris, as usual, only saw what he wished to see, in this case, the man who had impregnated his fifteen-year-old daughter. It didn’t matter to him that they were in love. It didn’t matter to him that Troy wanted to marry Helene. All that mattered was that his daughter was pregnant out of wedlock. He simply wasn’t being rational. “You would do that?” Paris hissed. “You would punish me for something that is my right?” William was starting to harden. He was no longer the understanding friend, but the father put in a position of defending his son. The situation was turning dark.

“It is not your right to kill my son,” he said, lowering his voice. “Stop being so ridiculous and understand the situation for what it is – there is no slander against your daughter. She loves Troy and he loves her. They demonstrated that love. May I remind you that you demonstrated your love to your children’s mother, many times, that resulted in your eldest child’s conception before you were married, only Caladora didn’t have an enraged father to defend her honor.” Cracks were appearing in Paris’ stance. “That is completely different.” “It is not.” “Caladora was not fifteen years old!” “Even so, you were the feral cat that you accuse my son of being, as you’ve been a feral cat your entire life,” William snapped back. “They say that it takes one to know one, and having known you since you were a child, I have seen your collection of deflowered women, so your anger against Troy is not only ridiculous, it is offensive. You were exactly William just stood there and shook his head. “What satisfaction?” he said. “Killing my Paris came to a halt, facing William with wide eyes. “I have every right to seek That brought Paris great pause. He stood there, staring at the man he loved best in the world, a man who was closer to him than any brother.

But at the moment, he was Paris, as usual, only saw what he wished to see, in this case, the man who had impregnated his fifteen-year-old daughter. It didn’t matter to him that they were in love. It didn’t matter to him that Troy wanted to marry Helene. All that mattered was that his “You would do that?” Paris hissed. “You would punish me for something that is my right?” William was starting to harden. He was no longer the understanding friend, but the father “It is not your right to kill my son,” he said, lowering his voice. “Stop being so ridiculous and understand the situation for what it is – there is no slander against your daughter. She loves Troy and he loves her. They demonstrated that love. May I remind you that you demonstrated your love to your children’s mother, many times, that resulted in your eldest child’s conception before you were married, only Caladora didn’t have an enraged “Even so, you were the feral cat that you accuse my son of being, as you’ve been a feral cat your entire life,” William snapped back. “They say that it takes one to know one, and having known you since you were a child, I have seen your collection of deflowered women, so your anger against Troy is not only ridiculous, it is offensive. You were exactly what you accuse him of being, Paris.” Paris stiffened. “That may be,” he said. “But those days are gone.

I have daughters to protect – three of them. Your son violated my trust when he bedded my daughter.” William could see that Paris wasn’t going to relent so easily. The man was angry, and incensed, and his argument kept moving from one reason to the next. William just looked at his friend, realizing that no matter what he said, Paris was going to find an excuse to punish Troy. He felt the de Norville family honor was at stake somehow. Perhaps that was really what this was all about. William finally looked away. “You want to punish my son?” he said. “Then punish him. Do what you will. But whoever draws the first blood is the winner and when you leave, in whatever condition you happen to leave in, you will never return here. Ever.” Paris’ brow furrowed. “What do you mean?” William looked at him, angrily.

“You are forcing me to take sides,” he said. “Very well; I shall take a side. I shall take Troy’s side and anyone who tries to harm my son is my enemy. Even you, Paris. So, if this foolish surge of manly honor is worth the risk, then go ahead and fight my son. But if you do, it will be the last time I ever speak to you.” With that, he turned away, heading back to where Troy and Kieran were standing. But as William drew near, he saw two more heavily armed knights emerging from the keep. It took him a moment to realize he was looking at Scott and Patrick, armed to the teeth as they prepared to defend their brother. William was so angry at Paris that he was going to let them. “First blood drawn is the winner,” he told Troy and Kieran as he walked past them. “Troy, if Paris de Norville lifts his sword to you, you have my permission to defend yourself. But if he insists on fighting you, then he is dead to me. I think you should know that.” As William continued towards the keep, Troy and Kieran passed concerned glances.

Troy looked positively shocked. Kieran finally held up a hand to Troy, silently asking him to remain where he was as he went to speak to Paris. Paris was in the process of picking his helm off the ground, grunting unhappily when he realized he had scratched it up by throwing it into the dirt. When the man saw Kieran coming, he looked away quickly, trying to ignore him as he put on the helm. Paris stiffened. “That may be,” he said. “But those days are gone. I have daughters to William could see that Paris wasn’t going to relent so easily. The man was angry, and incensed, and his argument kept moving from one reason to the next. William just looked at his friend, realizing that no matter what he said, Paris was going to find an excuse to “You want to punish my son?” he said. “Then punish him. Do what you will. But whoever draws the first blood is the winner and when you leave, in whatever condition you happen William looked at him, angrily. “You are forcing me to take sides,” he said. “Very well; I shall take a side.

I shall take Troy’s side and anyone who tries to harm my son is my enemy. Even you, Paris. So, if this foolish surge of manly honor is worth the risk, then go With that, he turned away, heading back to where Troy and Kieran were standing. But as William drew near, he saw two more heavily armed knights emerging from the keep. It took him a moment to realize he was looking at Scott and Patrick, armed to the teeth as “First blood drawn is the winner,” he told Troy and Kieran as he walked past them. “Troy, if Paris de Norville lifts his sword to you, you have my permission to defend yourself. But As William continued towards the keep, Troy and Kieran passed concerned glances. Troy looked positively shocked. Kieran finally held up a hand to Troy, silently asking him to Paris was in the process of picking his helm off the ground, grunting unhappily when he realized he had scratched it up by throwing it into the dirt. When the man saw Kieran “Save your breath,” he told Kieran. “I have nothing more to say.” Kieran came to a halt. “Maybe you do not, but I do,” he said. “I was told about the situation with Troy and Helene. I take it you have come to avenge your daughter?” “I would be a poor father if I did not.

” Kieran watched Paris, his jerky movements, and knew this situation was close to exploding. But he wondered if Paris really did. “William says you are dead to him if you lift a sword to his son,” he said. “Knowing that Troy loves your daughter and wants to marry her, and knowing your daughter loves Troy and wants to marry him, are you still prepared to go through this ridiculous farce?” Paris’ head snapped up, his blue eyes narrowing. “And just what would you do if one of your daughters became pregnant without the benefit of a marriage bed?” Kieran shrugged. “I would not try to kill the son of my best friend,” he said. “Paris, you are angry for the wrong reasons. And given your past, I would think you would have some understanding when it comes to unrestrained young men.” More cracks were appearing in Paris’ determination. “I know this cannot go unanswered, Kieran,” he said. “Troy bedded my fragile flower, my Helene. What in the hell would you suggest I do about it?” “No daughter of Caladora Scott is a fragile flower,” Kieran said. “Did she come to you crying and carrying on that her virtue had been stolen?” Paris frowned. “Of course not.” “Did she beg you to avenge her?” “She begged me not to.

” Kieran’s eyebrows lifted. “And still, you are here?” he said, incredulous. “Do you know what I think? I think you are doing what you think you should do. I think you are doing what all of those angry fathers did when you compromised their daughters. You know nothing else, so that is how you are behaving. Because it happened to you. The difference is that you ran from these fathers – do not deny it for I know it to be true. William and I helped you fight your way out of at least two instances that I can recall. And still, you want to kill Troy? Of course you don’t. I do not truly believe that. If you try, it is going to ruin your relationship with William.” Kieran came to a halt. “Maybe you do not, but I do,” he said. “I was told about the Kieran watched Paris, his jerky movements, and knew this situation was close to “William says you are dead to him if you lift a sword to his son,” he said. “Knowing that Troy loves your daughter and wants to marry her, and knowing your daughter loves Troy Paris’ head snapped up, his blue eyes narrowing.

“And just what would you do if one of Kieran shrugged. “I would not try to kill the son of my best friend,” he said. “Paris, you are angry for the wrong reasons. And given your past, I would think you would have some More cracks were appearing in Paris’ determination. “I know this cannot go unanswered, Kieran,” he said. “Troy bedded my fragile flower, my Helene. What in the hell would you “No daughter of Caladora Scott is a fragile flower,” Kieran said. “Did she come to you Kieran’s eyebrows lifted. “And still, you are here?” he said, incredulous. “Do you know what I think? I think you are doing what you think you should do. I think you are doing what all of those angry fathers did when you compromised their daughters. You know nothing else, so that is how you are behaving. Because it happened to you. The difference is that you ran from these fathers – do not deny it for I know it to be true. William and I helped you fight your way out of at least two instances that I can recall.

And still, you want to kill Troy? Of course you don’t. I do not truly believe that. If you try, “Then he should have raised his son better.”

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Updated: 21 April 2021 — 21:55

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