The year 1585. The Anglo-Spanish War. England’s greed for Spain’s crops, land, and supplies gives birth to the inertia of intolerance on both sides. Yet, even then, Love surges forth.

MarcoAntonio, a Spanish gentleman and knight, defied all boundaries of color and culture, when setting eyes on the English lady Amaryllis. Although to others, he may be a bit reserved, he dares to lower his defenses solely for her.

Amaryllis is an English lady. One with an open heart, gentle spirit, and shining eloquence. She knew that she should not desire MarcoAntonio. Still, a love feeling so right couldn’t be so horribly wrong!

Travel with MarcoAntonio and Amaryllis as they duel with internal and external forces threatening to tear their powerful love apart. In the midst of troubles the likes of which have no compare, MarcoAntonio and Amaryllis find themselves having to fight the most unexpected of adversaries, just for the right to love each other.

Discover why their LOVE is the result of ALL things conquered!


Chapter 1

Midnight. Still he had yet to take recess from his vigorous stride. He had to make it. He needed to see her! Just a glimpse, as always, would make his day complete. Just a small glance at her smile and her eyes; that was all he needed. All he truly needed to commence the fight all over again tomorrow. His faithful steed, as accustomed, did not give up on him even after an entire day of battle.

His life wasn't easy. His battle was continuous. If he was not battling against others, he was at war with himself. As he rode he thought, and it occurred to him that his internal war could quite possibly be the biggest fight of his life.

“Mush, Altivo, anda!” he called out, as he coaxed his exquisite Caspian horse to move forward. “Anda, Altivo!” He’d learned that he could count unconditionally on his beautiful Altivo. He was after all, the only true friend that MarcoAntonio had. He knew what it was like to have acquaintances come and go through his life. He knew people. Many people. Yet, none was as true a friend as Altivo, his milk chocolaty, muscular, and strong Caspian horse. Altivo knew how to listen when necessary. He also knew how and when to act when necessary. What more could any man ask for from a friend?

His focus returned to her. What cruelty life offered him, that his one true love was unattainable? Yet, obtaining her was his only conviction—his only mission and obsession. She was in fact, the most beautiful woman he'd ever known both inside and out. She'd yet to fully be his, but he was certain that one day, she would be his—totally and completely. He would fight for her until he exhaled his last breath. Even if that were the very cost.

However, for today he'd be content, as he always was, with just looking at her from afar. Contemplate her beauty and know—in the depths of his soul—that this was a battle worth fighting.

“Altivo, stop! Para!” Digging his front hooves into the dirt, Altivo came to a screeching halt. MarcoAntonio had been so preoccupied in his train of thought, that he'd barely realized they'd arrived. His body slightly thrust forward with the abrupt stop. He leaped off his horse, checked his hip for his sword, and took in hand his ebony shield. Even though it was the middle of the night, time and space was never to be trusted. Things lurked everywhere. In his experience, he knew that the most unexpected things could happen at any given moment. It was always best to be prepared.

Unhinging a small sack from Altivo's saddle, he tossed it lightly in his hand. These small jewels were what he used as pebbles to toss at the balcony of her quarters. What use did he have for them anyway? He owned millions. Yet, he wanted none. So why not use a precious stone to tap the window of his precious treasure?

Tossing the first blood ruby, he called—his Spanish accent as natural as the air he breathed. “Psst!” No answer. He tossed another, this time an emerald as green as the forest. “Psst! Amaryllis! I am here.” He called out again in a strong whisper. He listened. He heard some rustling around.

The first thing that he caught a glimpse of was her hair as it came floating over the edge of the balcony wall, and grazed the ledge. Then her head leaned over and she looked down.

There they were. Those eyes. That smile. They were enough to melt even the coldest of hearts. Everything about her made his heart skip a beat. Her long, luscious, silky hair that was the perfect combination of fire and ice and all neatly intertwined into the most vivid shades of red and gold. Her bright, sea blue eyes, which seemed to carry the entirety of the ocean within them. The milky brilliance of her skin. The birthmark that was placed just above her lip, which seemed to be set in exactly the right spot to accent her lips and all of her beauty to perfection. Her body. That alone was enough to make any goddess jealous. She was not too thin. MarcoAntonio appreciated a woman that looked healthy. Amaryllis was just right, in every way… at least in his opinion.

“You are late,” she pointed out.

“Well, that may be true, Ma’ Lady.”

“'Tis!” she said in a teasing tone and then smiled again.

“You cannot stay long. I'm being watched.”

“And?” he replied with mockery lingering in his voice.

Amaryllis giggled a little; covering her mouth she tried her best to keep quiet. His wit always made her laugh. Then she quickly got serious. “MarcoAntonio, 'tis dangerous. You know this to be true. 'Tis always a risk to visit me at these hours, my love.”

“And this is precisely why I love her so!” he stated bravely as if he spoke to an audience. “Amidst everything, my beautiful lady is always concerned for the well-being of her knight. Knight, may I remind, ma' lady!”

“A knight that appears to be looking for trouble, should our foes become aware of his scrambling.”

“Let them become aware!” He raised his voice, still with lightness and taunting sounding in it. “Should they come, I will slay them!” He pulled his sword from his hip and began a little dance. Bouncing around, sword in hand, he swung it in the air as if he were fencing against the strongest of men. “I will give them a little of this. Then a little of that.” He jumped in Altivo's direction. “And my trusted steed shall save me, and whisk me away into the darkness of night.” He turned to look up at her. “Of course, never, before first having valiantly saved Ma’ Lady?” Then tossing his arm into a whirl in front of him, he bowed at her graciously.

Amaryllis giggled some more, covering her mouth with her hand. “You shall never change, will you?”

“Why should I, Ma' Lady? If I change then I shall lose my most precious treasure. Your love.”

“Well, I suppose that is true, noble sir.”

“'Tis, Ma’ Lady.” He smiled at her.