Princess Michal is used to getting everything she wants, and she has her heart set on the young hero David. But their passionate love affair is destroyed by her father’s murderous rage. Will David’s departing promises be enough?
David the King is no longer the charming harpist she gave her heart to. The most powerful man in Israel, he falls into the arms of the beautiful Bathsheba.
Temptation comes in the form of a dashing Philistine warrior. Michal vows to be the only woman in David’s heart, but does she know her own?
A novel of betrayal, forbidden love, and redemption, Michal’s Window is an imaginative retelling of King David’s story through the eyes of the woman who loved him first.
“I found you.” David appeared at the top of the steps.
“I knew you’d come.” I pursed my lips to hide a smile of delight. This was easier than I thought.
“Are you alone?”
“Why no. You’re here, aren’t you?” I held out my hand. “We haven’t been properly introduced. Michal, daughter of Saul, of Gibeah.”
He clasped my hand. “David, son of Jesse, of Bethlehem.”
His voice as unyielding as his grasp, he swept my palm to his lips. Warm tingles radiated from his kiss. His honey-colored eyes brightened before lowering under gold-tipped lashes.
I leaned toward him. “Have you ever courted a maiden?”
He straightened to release my hand, but I squeezed his fingers and trapped him with my other hand. A fierce blush colored his face. “I’ve never courted a princess.”
“You didn’t answer my question.”
“Would it matter?” He cocked his head and turned up a corner of his mouth.
“How dare you! Of course, it matters.”
“Would it matter that I’m a poor man? A servant of your father?”
I dropped his hand and leaned over the windowsill. The scent of night jasmine wafted from the garden below. “It depends on what you wish for in your heart.”
“My wishes or yours?”
“Yours first. Tell me.”
He gazed at the horizon. He seemed an intelligent man with a masculine face. Not broad, but angular—strong brows over deep set eyes, a distinctive nose, and a crown of copper-brown hair unruly like my goat-hair pillow. When he settled his eyes on me, I hardly dared to breathe.
“Peace for Israel,” he said.
“Is that possible?” I drew closer.
“Yes, if we have peace with God first.”
His profound statement stirred my pulse and kindled a flame, an aching, twisting pang. Unable to sustain his probing gaze, I turned toward the setting sun. Its burnished rays bathed the jagged walls of our palace, dappling the rugged hills with shadows of gold, crimson, and brown.
“So you’re a man of peace. Very good. What about love? Do you wish for love?”
He took my hand and traced my palm with his thumb.
Oh, my soul. A thrill shot straight to my heart. A lone hawk screeched, banked and crested toward the tip of the disappearing light.
“Princess, how old are you?” His voice deepened.
I hovered into the warmth of his chest. “Ancient. As old as these hills.”
“Have you ever been courted?”
I shook my head.
“As old as you say you are and a princess too. Tell me, Michal, have you ever been in love?” He raised my hand to his lips but dropped it without kissing it.
Crickets serenaded the darkening sky with scratchy chirps, accompanied by the throaty croak of a persistent toad. I trembled, and David wrapped his arms around me. His scent pulsed hot with sandalwood, raking me with a newborn sense of longing. And his hands, oh, so firm, tightened around my waist, and his prayer shawl entangled my fingers, and his body, oh, the press of his body… made me want…
“No… I’m just hot. You know, the weather. Can you sing for me?”
I caught my breath as he sang and picked the strings to the cadence of a rippling brook. The earthy timbre of his voice wrapped around the clean tones of his instrument. Wooing, seducing, trapping—he held me with the promise of his song.
When he finished, he handed the harp to me, the frame still vibrating. His fingers toyed with my hair, and his warm breath caressed my face. His mouth drew near, eyes intent, seeking permission.
Hesitant, my lips parted. Curious, my eyes closed. And his lips brushed the corners of my mouth, an invitation to taste, to touch, to hold. I accepted and held my breath as his tongue slipped over mine. A flurry of tingles danced around my waist and trailed down to my toes.
I clutched the harp, unable to move. Everything was possible, and the world was mine, and life was glorious.
And at the center of it all was David.
Copyright© Rachelle Ayala. All rights reserved.