Thought I’d deviate a little on this Tuesday in May and give a little bit of my year so far in picture form. Not that there are a great amount of pictures, but at least a little something different.
And then an excerpt from the book, RED HAWK’S WOMAN, and free give-away of an e-book. Remember to claim your prize you must check back tomorrow (Wednesday eve or Thursday).
To the left here is my husband with our dog as we made our way to Montana in January of this year. I believe that this photo was snapped after a rather harrowing night spent in a South Dakota snowstorm.
And of course off to the right here is me with our dog, and the shadow of my husband who is taking the picture. And here to the left, another picture of me with dog — plus the shadow of my husband, taking the picture.
Here’s my husband with grandson making a tiny snowman. And off to the right is granddaughter making a rather bigger snowman.
And below and off to the left is myself and daughter at an Easter Egg hunt.
Well, hope you enjoyed the very few pictures I have of this year so far. And now for the excerpt from the book, RED HAWK’S WOMAN. One of the particulars that I liked about this story is that the environment is a character — and that character acts to pull the hero and heroine together.
Anyway, here is the excerpt
RED HAWK’S WOMAN
by Karen Kay
He wanted to laugh at her, for she looked so stubborn and yet so forlorn. Indeed, at this moment, he thought she resembled a rabbit, staring up into the eyes of a wolf. Unfortunately for him, he was that wolf.
“You are frightened,” he told her, “especially after what happened a few nights ago. And because you do not understand why I am here, asking you these questions, you fear for your safety, even with me. I only hope you will give me a chance to prove myself to you.”
“I hope so too.” She rose to her knees. “Now if you will excuse me, I must get back to my hotel. The others will wonder about me.”
When she made to get to her feet, he did not stop her. Instead, he gave her one quick nod, which appeared to keep her from leaving, at least for the moment.
“Thank you for combing my hair.” She smiled as if to ease the tension between them. “I could all too easily become accustomed to such things.”
That smile was his undoing. Was she some sort of enchantress that she could ensnare him with an action so simple?
He wanted to get lost in that grin, to bask in it. Moreover he longed to spend more time with her, wanted the rest of the world to go away when he was with her. He swallowed hard. “You are most beautiful when you smile.”
She opened her mouth to speak, but even she seemed at a loss for words, and her lips, now parted, looked inviting.
He cleared his throat, started to say something, but had second thoughts.
She mumbled, “I never forgot you.”
“Nor I, you. I waited for you that day.”
“And I came back to that pool day after day,” she confessed. “You never returned.”
“I was gone from that country by then.”
“Gone? But I thought you lived there.”
What could he say that she might understand? Certainly not the truth.
Not knowing what to tell her and what not to, he simply gazed at her. At length, however, he uttered, “I, too, have my secrets. Perhaps tomorrow evening we will unburden ourselves.”
“I would touch you, if you would let me.”
Shyly, her gaze locked on to his. “Would you? How?”
What was she suggesting? He closed his eyes briefly. Swamped by a craving to know every little thing about her, he tried to speak. Nothing happened.
For lack of knowing what else to do, he brought his hand to her cheek, smoothing the backs of his fingers down toward her neck. With the action, desire, hot and urgent, raced through him. Her skin was soft, delicate, fragrant with femininity. He swallowed. “It’s not enough.”
“I thought a simple touch would be plenty—that it would last me…several days. I was wrong. It’s not enough.”
She shut her eyes then slowly drew in toward him. Her lips parted, she swallowed and she whispered, “Then how else would you touch me? That is, if you could?”
Did she, too, want more? The thought sent him quietly out of his mind. “Perhaps I might stroke you like this.” Bending, he brought his cheek to hers. “Or maybe like this,” he mumbled, as he wrapped his arm around her and drew her closer. Haiya, he needed to feel her flesh against his.
But it was not to be. It could never be.
He should let her go. He would let her go.
And then from out of nowhere came her words. “Do you kiss?”
“Of course I kiss.” Hardly able to believe he was having this conversation with her, he tried to gulp down the lump that had formed in his throat. “Are you going to let me kiss you?”
She murmured, “You might try it and see.”
He lowered his head; she lifted hers. Gently, his lips sought the silky texture of her mouth, and he thought that pleasure might surely burst within him.
Everything about her was right—the way her lips fit against his, the clean taste of her breath. He hungered to know more of her.
She groaned. The sound excited him, and in reaction to it, he thought he might explode.
He nipped at her lips once, again, his tongue darting in and out of her mouth, teasing her, testing her. How much of this could he take before he demanded more?
She leaned in toward him, and he caught her, pulling her closer yet. But he didn’t continue his foray of her. Instead he brought her body in as near as he possibly could—given the fullness of her swimming attire—and hugged her. “I have dreamed of doing this from the moment I first saw you.”
It was her turn to gasp, as though she couldn’t quite breathe in sufficient oxygen. “Now or back then?”
“Both. But neither has been a good time for us. Back then we were too young, and now we have secrets from one another.”
He set her away from him, but he couldn’t let her go completely, and the backs of his fingers came up to smooth over her cheek. Downward he caressed, toward her neck.
He knew what he should do, what he should suggest. He only hoped he had the courage to do it, to say it.
Do not be lured by matters of the flesh.
White Claw’s words echoed in Red Hawk’s mind. But was this a simple matter of the flesh? Red Hawk argued with himself. Or was this more?
Deep within himself, he knew the answer, as surely as he knew his heart. After a few moments, he gulped down air and summoned his nerve. “We should marry.”