Coming March 15, 2009!
From Absolute X-Press!
Two cultures, two lives, one path.
Rendered helpless, captured and stripped, Elizabeth Smythe is taken away from her privileged life and everything she knows. Her captor, Spirit Walker, treats her with gentle compassion, winning her trust and love. Elizabeth discovers Spirit Walker is so much more then just a strong man and beautiful Earth Spirit.
When Spirit Walker receives word a woman he admires has been given to a neighboring tribe to dispose of, he rescues her. Despite not knowing who or what he is, she shows neither fear nor weakness toward him or her fate. Her strength earns his respect and more important, his heart. Opposition from both of their cultures tries to separate them. Can their love withstand the heat?
Blood’s Price PG13 Excerpt:
Spirit Walker held her into the night, so very aware of how soft her curves felt against the rigid muscles of his bare thighs. He stroked her back to sooth her, touching the soft pale skin of her neck to work out the tension. She was vulnerable, maybe more so then when he had first encountered her and she reminded him of the kittens he used to play with as a child. They were kindred spirits now, he and Beth. Both having no blood relatives and all because of one man, who had weaseled out of facing them by letting himself be killed.
Withdrawing from his thoughts, he noticed that Beth had grown still. Reclining her back against his bicep, she fell limp against him. Exhaustion had wiped her out. He touched her moonlit features. It was something he was afraid to do before. Now, he had found, through her strength and courage, she was touching a side of him that had remained buried for far too long. For him, admiration and respect is something earned, and this woman had more than earned both. Not once, since he had taken her, had she been anything but honorary. Even when she was terrified of him, she acted out of courage. When she believed her life was on the line, she didn’t even so much as whimper like most of the other women he knew would have. Beth was the kind of woman he dreamed of having, and now she was his. He would see to it that she never had to long for anything ever again. This was turning into more than just a man who possessed a woman, there was an unspoken attraction between them and she was just as he thought she would be. He had seen and felt the heat in her eyes when she looked at him. It aroused him just thinking of the way the color had blushed her skin and yet she didn’t cower away from him. She was truly different than the rest of the women he had ever known, or experienced and he felt a twinge of guilt for how she’d been treated and what she’d gone through. Worse still was the knowledge she would be put through more of the same when they reached his village.
Trailing a finger over her cheek, he swiped away the fine, pale strands of hair dried to her tear stained cheeks. He meant it when he said she was his.
Spirit Walker’s attention slid from watching Beth, to the environment around him. He had let his guard down and something had changed. It was quiet, much too quiet. The frogs and crickets had quieted to a deafening silence and it had grown dark, very dark. Spirit Walker watched the black, angry clouds wisp over the moon’s face and smelled the heavy scent of rain tainting the already muggy night. A jagged streak of lightning stabbed the dark sky and a bolt of thunder shook the ground, tearing Beth from her slumber with a rude jolt. She gasped, crying out and sobbing as she clung to Spirit Walker’s neck.
“It’s okay,” he soothed. “It’s okay. We seem to have a storm coming is all. It’s nothing to worry about.” He continued to stroke her hair. They had no shelter and nowhere else to go, they were stuck out in the open on the vast prairie. Returning to the forest meant entering enemy terrain, and he wasn’t about to place Beth, or himself, in any more peril. Besides it would take too much time.
Another angry streak split the sky with blinding branches of light. Beth’s eyes widened in fright and he could feel her fear, panic and anger balled into a single emotion, matching the storm. When the peel of thunder rolled across the sky, Beth jumped. She shifted quickly in his lap, straddling and clinging to him in a tight body press, her breath coming in terrified gasps. Another jagged streak showed her upturned face a mere inch from his.
“I don’t like storms,” she breathed. “It’s so loud, so big, so-” Her voice was cut off by the roll of thunder overhead.
“Perhaps I could teach you to like them,” Spirit Walker growled before his hands cradled her head, and his lips angled over hers.