Knights Errant (eBook) - Merely Players #1

177 pages | eBook | 6x9"
Date of publication: 11/06/2015
  • ISBN: 978-1-943528-09-7
  • Model: 34826 words

Fireborn Publishing Main Page

Heat Rating: 4 Flames


Widower Paul is ready for a new relationship. Best friends, Becky and Hayley, attractive and very different, make their interest in him perfectly clear. This knight in armour has to defeat his demons and win one without upsetting the other.

Lonely widower Paul knows he's ready to move on and start a new relationship, but doesn't expect to meet two attractive and interesting women at the same time. They want to recruit his jousting display team to feature in a TV show.

Becky and Hayley are best friends, as different as chalk and cheese, and both clearly fancy Paul. A decent guy at heart, he hopes to win one without harming their friendship. But the women don't make it any easier when they turn up the heat and leave him wondering what's going on.

A fantastic prize is within his reach. He just has to overcome his deepest fears, self-doubts, and fragile self-confidence. And be Hayley's leading man in the TV show she hopes will make her name. So no pressure. Just take a deep breath and let these two intriguing women lead him way outside his comfort zone.




The herald's voice carried across the arena. "Our final contest today will be this third and deciding joust between John of Tavistock, wearing black, and Paul of Wadebridge, wearing white. The score is one lance each. With no love lost between these two noble gentlemen, we can expect a fine clash to settle matters."

I held my lance up, signalling readiness. The herald, in his red and gold tunic, acknowledged me. John neglected any courtesy and just galloped down his tilt lane.

I grinned, closed my helm, adjusted the lance under my arm and urged Otto forward. Well, let him take off like a racehorse. He loved jousting.

We met in the middle of the tilt. I felt a strong jolt as John's lance struck my shield, then slid harmlessly up and over my shoulder. The first foot of my lance splintered against the left-hand side of his breastplate, exactly as it was meant to. The warrior in black fell onto the ground a few seconds later, landing flat on his back.

I threw the shattered lance well to one side, drew my sword and cantered around to stop beside the man lying on the ground. Otto was having the time of his life. He snorted loudly, tossed his head, then scraped at the turf with a front hoof.

I lifted my helm and shouted loudly enough for the crowd to hear. "Yield, or fall in fair combat?"

John raised both hands, then let them fall. That wasn't good and I immediately felt concerned. He was my best mate as well as my brother-in-law.

"I yield," he replied, breathlessly but loudly, "but we will meet another day. And that day will be mine."

I saluted the herald, then two of the team rushed over and helped John to his feet. He walked away slowly.

I made a couple of final canters around the edge of the combat arena, just feet from the audience, most of whom shrank back. An armoured knight is an impressive sight, but on the back of a large horse, galloping towards you with a broadsword in his hand... At least we'd get lots of photos and video clips posted on our Facebook page.

The herald's voice again. "Thank you boys and girls, lords, ladies and gentlemen. The Knights Errant hope you enjoyed the show. We'll be performing twice every day of the show. If you're coming back to the Royal Cornwall Show tomorrow, we hope to see you again."

I collected Otto and slowed him down to a trot as we went over to the exit from the arena. I halted and Claire, my squire for that show, took my reins. "Looked good, Paul. The audience really enjoyed it."

I dismounted and took off my helm. "Thanks Claire. How's John? Did he land badly?"

"Just winded. Said something about you owing him at least a pint."

"Fair enough. That new fight he choreographed went down really well."

"You two dump your armour, then go for a wander and relax, we'll tidy up," said Claire. "You've not had a decent break all day. It went well. Go chill."

I made a fuss of Otto, fed him a few mints, then went to help shift our stuff from the arena.

The main show announcer came on the PA system. "Well, we'd like to thank the Knights Errant for that excellent display. It's their first time here at one of Britain's oldest, biggest, and best county agricultural shows, and what a show they put on for us. They're performing twice every day."

Thirty minutes later, John and I sat down at a picnic table in one of the refreshment areas, each with a pint of chilled cider. Still wearing medieval gentleman's clothing and brightly-coloured tabards, we'd been very popular with anyone with a camera. We always had handouts with us for anyone who wanted one.

"Excuse me, are you with the Knights Errant?"

I turned towards the clear, nicely-accented voice and saw two pretty women, both around thirty. One seemed to be, well, a sort of gothic elf in black leggings and a black strappy top. Slender, with a mass of nicely-styled short brown hair, and grey-green eyes. She looked really cute, with a cheeky smile and a small, slightly turned-up nose. The sun had caught her face and shoulders, bringing out some freckles. She had a few tiny silver rings and studs in both ears. My immediate impression was that she was bright, full of fun and mischief. In other words, I wouldn't have said no. And I'd have gone back for more, even if my fingers were likely to get burnt in the process.

The second had intense blue eyes, long, blonde hair tied back in a ponytail, and sunglasses perched on top of her head. Her skin had a lovely glow from the sun, which suited her classic English rose look. She wore faded jeans, a sleeveless blue tee shirt and a loose scarf. She was slim, too, but curvier than her friend. I felt something like a shock when I saw her. I thought she was incredibly attractive and knew I wanted to get to know this woman, even if took a lot of time and effort.

"Yes," I said. "I'm Paul and this is John, my brother-in-law."

"Hope we're not interrupting, but we'd like to talk about stunt work."

John raised his eyebrows. "Please join us, ladies. Would you like a drink?"

"It's okay, I'll get some, thanks," said the gothic elf, who darted off to the bar. The blonde sat down next to me. She seemed to be eight or nine inches shorter than me.

"I'm Hayley, that's Becky, my best friend," she said. "I'm an actress. She's a stylist and does hair and make-up."

I offered Hayley one of our fliers which she scanned, folded neatly, and put in her handbag.

Becky was back almost immediately with two tumblers of wine and sat next to Hayley. From the way the two women behaved and looked at each other, it was immediately obvious they were very close friends.

"We thought your performance was great," said Hayley. "We're developing an early-evening family TV show, an hour-long romantic story with a medieval theme. We need some period stunt performers. We wondered if it'd be okay for the director to meet you and see your show? We came down here with him to scout some locations for filming."

I glanced at John, who was trying not to grin too broadly. He'd dreamed of doing TV stunt work for years.

"Absolutely delighted," I said. "Would you like some guest passes?"


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