Welcome back! This week I've decided to revisit my historical romance about the adventures of a former samurai soldier during the late 1870s. Here we meet Hiromasa's friend, Ginjiro, who has come to work on Hanako's farm:
Just outside the doorway, Ginjiro froze in place, listening intently. He had come to ask for instructions about crops in the west end of the field, but the voice he heard from inside was not Hanako’s. Caution had him stopping to assess a possible threat to his mistress, but the words spoken in the cultured, melodious voice were not threatening, and he decided Hanako was not in danger. He allowed himself to listen to the mystery woman’s voice and let himself be drawn in by the soothing tones. During his years as a warrior, he had been in the presence of noblewomen, but the shrill voices of the pampered, empty-headed ladies had held no appeal for him. Certainly none had held his attention simply with the sound of her voice.
He had to see the owner of the voice. Carefully, he bent his upper body toward the doorway, not wanting to give himself away. Hopefully her attention would be focused on Hanako, who customarily knelt at the table with her back to the door. That meant the guest would be facing the doorway.
His upper body was nearly level with the ground, but he couldn’t quite see far enough into the room to get a glimpse of the voice’s owner. Perhaps if he just took one more step…
Carefully, he lifted his left foot and moved it toward the doorway. Unfortunately, his right foot was in the way, and his eyes widened in horror as he realized that he was falling into the house. He landed face down, his limbs arranged in an inelegant heap on the floor. Thank goodness he and Hiro had installed the tatami flooring, or his face would be covered with dirt.
Perhaps his tumble had gone unnoticed. Perhaps he could just back out, and the women wouldn’t know …
“Ginjiro!” Hanako’s footsteps scurried toward him. “Are you all right?”
Ginjiro nodded, wincing when the motion scraped his face on the dry reeds in the flooring. Despite the discomfort, he kept his face to the floor, scooting backward, hoping to leave before she-
“It seems the samurai has injured his head in the fall,”
Ginjiro groaned, mortified to be caught in such an embarrassing position. How on earth could he explain his clumsiness?
His groan of frustration was interpreted as a sign of pain. “Oh, Ginjiro,” Hanako cried, “Forgive me, Ginjiro. You must have tripped in that trench I dug for the plants outside the door. And now you are hurt!”
“Perhaps we should move him inside so that we can tend to his wound.” The warm contralto voice that had mesmerized him before floated into his mind from his other side. He turned his head toward the voice, and nearly yelped from the pain of the movement.
Thanks for stopping by! Be sure to visit Sweet Saturday Samples, where you'll find links to blogs from other authors who are offering excerpts of their work!