New Excerpt from Historical Romance Red Bird's Song
I’d rate this sample PG13. Red Bird’s Song, an adventure romance novel with a The Last of the Mohican’s flavor, falls between PG 13 and a tasteful R rating.
Excerpt From Chapter Two:
A smothering sensation enveloped Charity, emphasized ten-fold by the inky blackness. Bears and mounds of rattlesnakes were known to den up in caves. Worse, she shared this confined space with an unseen human enemy.
Heart racing, she bolted upright. “Get me out of here!”
Men stirred on every side of her. Sleepy voices grunted.
“Hush. You will wake all.” Grasping her shoulders, Wicomechee pushed her down onto the woolen blanket.
She struggled to rise, choking back the scream begging her throat for release. “Please. I beseech you.”
He forced her to remain where she was. “Calm down.”
“I can’t. If I don’t get out—”
“Shhhh…” He bent over her and spoke in her ear. “Hear me, Charity. I will take you from here if I must.”
Her panic eased slightly. “You will? You promise?”
“Have I not said? You see the way, just there.”
He pointed to the ghostly opening then wrapped the edges of the blanket around her. “You shake like a leaf in the wind.”
It whistled beyond the cave and the cold air blew inside. Despite the chill, she’d far rather bolt out into the teeth of the bluster and lie beneath the stars than remain in here. “It’s so dark, Mechee,” she said in a small voice.
He lay down beside her so that his shoulder pressed against hers. “You fear the dark?”
Denial was pointless. “And those it holds.”
“None seek to harm you.”
She was acutely aware of men slumbering all around her. “Chaka could kill me before I even knew.”
“No. I will keep you safe,” Wicomechee reassured her.
She relaxed a little more. “How long have we been here? I don’t remember coming.”
“Night is far gone. I brought you.”
Memory returned of him forcing her to trudge on and on through the dark woods until she’d slumped onto the ground weeping uncontrollably. She must have fallen asleep the instant he’d lifted her. A sharp twinge of resentment ran through her. “You were cruel—”
“For bringing you?”
“For making me go on.”
“That was cruel? You do not know the meaning of this word,” he said gruffly.
“I fear you will teach me.”
He turned onto his side facing her. Even in the blackness she felt the force of his personality. “Because I made you walk? Has no one made you walk, made you work?”
“Not like you did,” she said through chattering teeth.
“I tended your knee, fed you, carried you. Was I to leave you along the trail?”
“Someone would have found me.”
“Or another war party. If hunger and cold did not kill you first. You would perish out here.”
“Maybe so,” she argued. “But you were still harsh.”
He made an impatient sound under his breath. “If I warm you, will you say I am harsh?”
A startled gasp escaped her as he pulled her against his chest, molding her to him. She had the sense of his hard thighs and long legs pressed along hers. His scent enveloped her, a blend of earth, trees, and wind mingled with his own unique essence. “Do you suffer now?” he whispered.
All protest died on her lips. She was too stunned to speak. The heat from his solid warmth penetrated the cloth between them, easing her chill. Yet this new awareness of his strong body lying next to hers was stirring in a way she’d never experienced. Only her father and brother had ever held her, and never like this. Nor had their embrace evoked any of the odd quivers fluttering inside her now.~