Untamed Heart

Untamed Heart

Status: Finished

Genre: Romance

Details

Status: Finished

Genre: Romance

Summary

Fearing for her virtue, if not her life, Ashley Clayton awakens in a dilapidated cabin clad only in a threadbare blanket, secured in the arms of a rugged, powerful stranger. Instead of attempting to flee, she is transfixed by the hypnotic eyes of the savagely handsome Shane Cordell, who has no intention of letting the copper haired beauty out of his sight. Little does she know that the real risk she faces is losing her heart. UNTAMED HEART is a Historical Romance set in the west after the Civil War. It's a love story between a rugged loner, Shane Cordell and an independent beauty, Ashley Clayton. She loves him even if he can't or simply won't be tamed. He has demons from his past, including a murder charge hanging over his head, so he believes love and family will never be in his future. The reader travels with these lovers' through intense desire and dreadful despair and everything in between.

Summary

Fearing for her virtue, if not her life, Ashley Clayton awakens in a dilapidated cabin clad only in a threadbare blanket, secured in the arms of a rugged, powerful stranger. Instead of attempting to flee, she is transfixed by the hypnotic eyes of the savagely handsome Shane Cordell, who has no intention of letting the copper haired beauty out of his sight. Little does she know that the real risk she faces is losing her heart.

UNTAMED HEART is a Historical Romance set in the west after the Civil War. It's a love story between a rugged loner, Shane Cordell and an independent beauty, Ashley Clayton. She loves him even if he can't or simply won't be tamed. He has demons from his past, including a murder charge hanging over his head, so he believes love and family will never be in his future. The reader travels with these lovers' through intense desire and dreadful despair and everything in between.

Chapter1 (v.1) - Untamed Heart

Author Chapter Note

Fearing for her virtue, if not her life, Ashley Clayton awakens in a dilapidated cabin clad only in a threadbare blanket, secured in the arms of a rugged, powerful stranger. Instead of attempting to flee, she is transfixed by the hypnotic eyes of the savagely handsome Shane Cordell, who has no intention of letting the copper haired beauty out of his sight. Little does she know that the real risk she faces is losing her heart. UNTAMED HEART is a Historical Romance set in the west after the Civil War. It's a love story between a rugged loner, Shane Cordell and an independent beauty, Ashley Clayton. She loves him even if he can't or simply won't be tamed. He has demons from his past, including a murder charge hanging over his head, so he believes love and family will never be in his future. The reader travels with these lovers' through intense desire and dreadful despair and everything in between.

Chapter Content - ver.1

Submitted: October 23, 2013

Reads: 1283

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Chapter Content - ver.1

Submitted: October 23, 2013

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 Chapter 4

 

Ashley prepared supper while Shane finished up in the barn. He

was in a better mood when he returned to the cabin. There was even a

shadow of a smile on his handsome face.

 

Shane was getting increasingly disgusted with himself, however.

All afternoon he had been bombarded with memories of Ashley,

covered only by a blanket with her hair in a wild disarray of burnt

copper, blushing as he teased her. He had always been in control of

his emotions before. Life with the Cheyenne had taught him how

important control was, and that knowledge had saved his life many

times over. Now, after knowing this girl for only a couple of days,

thinking of nothing but her, and becoming very aroused by those

thoughts was just the kind of mental mistake that could get them

killed. This country was wild and beautiful, but it could be deadly as

well. It reminded him of the story of the siren’s song…so beautiful

and so deadly. He decided right then and there he would find this

stallion and ride hell bent into town for some whiskey, poker, and a

woman, not necessarily in that order. But dammit! Every time he

thought of a woman, he thought of blazing auburn hair and haunting

green eyes.

 

They ate in silence until Ashley finally got up enough

courage to ask the question that had been on her mind since they had

arrived at the cabin. “Shane, did I do something to make you angry? If

I did, I’m sorry.”

 

He felt like such a bastard! He had no idea that she could read him

so well. “No, of course not,” he lied. “I’m not angry. I’m just

concentrating on finding that stallion of yours.” The smile that he

graced her with almost took her breath away. After they finished their

meal, Shane leaned back in his chair and as he made himself

comfortable with his hands behind his head, chewing on a piece of

straw from the barn, he looked at Ashley intently. “Now, I’ve told you

the story of my life, it’s your turn.”

 

Ashley laughed. “My life seems rather boring, especially after

hearing how exciting yours has been.” Shane was hard pressed to

think of her as boring.

 

“I hardly think boring would be a word to describe you and I’ve

never thought my life was exciting, but boring or not, it’s your turn.”

He leaned back again, and waited for her to begin.

 

“Well,” she started and then stopped abruptly. She wanted to tell him

everything, but she knew she couldn’t. She had promised her

father that she would stick to the story and stick to it she would. Well,

she would tell him everything except for that. What difference did that

small detail make anyway?

 

“Yes?” He was still waiting.

 

“Well,” she started again. “I’m from South Carolina where scores

of Claytons have lived and died for generations. My father and I

raised horses there, along with a few crops. Unfortunately my mother

died when I was born, so our family was just the two of us. Daddy

loved my mother very much and never remarried, but always went out

of his way to make sure I never felt responsible for her death. I had a

wonderful childhood growing up with the two things I loved most,

beautiful horses and my wonderful father. It was an amazing

combination of magnificent Arabians, sweet blue grass and Daddy.

Our house was built on a remarkable site, beautiful, fertile land

stretching out as far as the eye could see in all directions. It was my

home, my world, all that I had ever known, and I loved it!” She

appeared to be reliving a time from the past. She paused. “I’m sorry.

“Then of course the war came, and what wasn’t confiscated or

eaten by the Southern Army, the Yanks burned. Without going into all

the gory details, most of which I don’t understand anyway, we lost

most everything. After the war, because of taxes and reparations, not

to mention Reconstruction, we couldn’t make a go of it anymore in

South Carolina, so we salvaged what we could and came out west to

start over like thousands of other people in the same situation. Before

moving, with what little was left, we arranged to buy some of the

brood mares I have now, and after arriving out here we acquired

Dante just before Daddy was taken ill. After a long illness, I lost

him.” Tears filled her eyes, but she was determined not to let the grief

crush her again.

 

Shane looked confused. “Your father died?”

 

She nodded as she fought to control her emotions.

 

“Your father died? And your husband?”

 

“Well…uh, you see…” She was stammering hopelessly. “Yes, my

father…I mean, husband…both.”

 

Shane was trying to get the facts straight, but sensing that

something was not quite right, tried to put his finger on what was

bothering him, but it danced just out of his reach.

“So your father and husband both died?”

 

“Yes, both dead.” She wanted to leave it at that. She couldn’t

stand all the lies, but judging from Shane’s confused expression, some

sort of explanation seemed necessary. “It’s all rather distressing. My

father fell ill after moving out here, but I’m not exactly sure how my

husband died. He fought in the war, Confederacy, and was taken

prisoner and sent to Camp Douglas near Chicago the last I heard.” At

least that part was true. “He was supposed to join us here after the

war, but when such a long time went by without so much as a single

word from him, and my father so ill, well, I just didn’t have the

strength or resources to do anything but wait. I’ve heard accounts of

the conditions in that awful prison, so many boys dying from the cold,

starvation, and disease. I guess he died there as well, at least that’s

what I was told.”

 

Shane jumped up. “Christ, you guess! You were told! You mean

you don’t know?” He couldn’t believe what he was hearing. “That’s

preposterous!” He stopped. “But, hold on just a damn minute. If he

died in Chicago, then that would mean he never came out here to join

you? I was under the impression he died here, leaving you alone with

the ranch.”

 

“Well, Shane, you just assumed he was here when he died. I never

really explained all the details, if you remember.”

He could have sworn she had. He seemed to calm down as he

tried to put it all together. “My mistake,” was all he muttered under

his breath. He was still unsure why he felt so strange about all this. What

difference did it make, anyway? He just couldn’t shake the feeling

that it did make a difference.

 

She knew she simply must change the subject or she would botch

this for sure. “If you don’t mind, it’s very hard for me to talk about.”

“I can see that,” Shane said somewhat curiously. “What was your

husband’s name?”

 

“Uh…Terrence…my husband’s name was Terrence.”

“How odd.”

 

“Odd? Why?” Did he know Terrence? Was she tripping herself up

again with all these lies?

 

“Well, odd that your husband’s last name is the same as your

maiden name! I’m assuming your maiden name was Clayton as well.

You did say that generations of Claytons were in South Carolina,

didn’t you, or am I mistaken about that as well?”

 

She sighed with relief. “Oh, no, no, Terrence’s last name was Ashford.

Clayton is my maiden name. I uh, was married so briefly

that I still think of myself as a Clayton. Besides, Ashley Ashford kind

of becomes mush in your mouth! Don’t you see?”

 

“Not really,” Shane muttered to himself, but said aloud, “Of

course. Didn’t mean to pry.”

 

“I certainly wouldn’t call it prying especially after everything you

told me this afternoon! No harm done! But let’s talk about something

else, please?” Ashley was more than ready to end this conversation!

She was a dreadful liar, and it was just a lucky break that Shane didn’t

know her well enough to see that.

 

“Whatever you say. What would you like to talk about?”

“Tell me how you were able to track Dante when there are no

tracks?”

 

Shane thought back to his father and uncle teaching him the

subtleties of tracking. Those were pleasant memories. His father could

track a rabbit on a sheer rock cliff. “It’s not something that can be

explained, it has to be part of you. Even though I don’t actually have

Cheyenne blood flowing through my veins, my soul, what we call the

mâhta’sóoma, is Cheyenne. Do you understand what I mean?”

 

“No,” she laughed. “Not at all!”

 

He laughed with her as he reached out to wipe an errant wisp of

hair off her forehead. All that she had gone through, all that she had

suffered in her young life. He wanted to wipe it all away and protect

her from the harshness of the world that she had already seen too

much of.

His touch was so gentle, she went completely still. It was gentle

and electric at the same time. She felt a current flow through her all

the way to the tips of her toes. She was tingling and somehow longing

for something, what exactly, she didn’t know.

Shane knew as he began that he should not be doing this, but try

as he might, he, who could control his own heartbeat, could not stop

himself from what he was about to do. Ever so slowly, he tipped her

chin up and touched his lips to hers. Just a taste and then he would

stop. He was always in control and this was no different…just another

diversion.

 

His warmth sent her reeling! She had been kissed before, but it

had never felt like this!

 

His tongue reached her lips and gently opened them to give him

access to the nectar inside. She tasted so sweet. He hadn’t intended to

do this…shouldn’t be doing this…must stop doing this!

But just at that moment, he felt her tongue reach out for his, and

even with all his experiences with women, he was shocked at the

feelings this small gesture evoked. What was wrong with a little kiss,

after all? It wasn’t as if she were inexperienced. She had been

married! He would make sure that it went no further. He knew he

could control himself, he had always been able to, he told himself

again and again that this was no different, that she was no different!

 

While these thoughts flooded his mind, Ashley was not thinking at all.

She was just feeling, and what feelings! They were bursting all

around her. The world was swirling and all she could feel was him,

and she wanted more of him. She was aching for…for what, she

didn’t know, but the ache was demanding.

 

He kissed her more urgently, as if time were running out, even

though he knew the night was still young.

 

She returned the urgency of his kiss in every way. This was virgin

territory for her, in more ways than one. The most experience she had

ever had with a man was a stolen kiss in a garden at a cotillion, before

the world went crazy, when the natural course of the courting ritual

was interrupted by the insanity of war and the brutality of men. And

here she was, in great need of some knowledge of what she was

getting herself into, but sorely lacking. She should probably be

pushing him away, but all she knew at that moment was what her

feelings were telling her. Right or wrong, her ideas of what were

proper and improper seemed like obtuse stories in a book of fiction

read in another lifetime, while her body was telling her in no

uncertain terms that what was right and proper was in the here and

now, and was kissing her at this very minute.

 

He was beside her now with his powerful frame pressing

intimately into her soft, welcoming flesh. He couldn’t seem to stop

himself as he pushed the heavy fabric of her shirt away and untied the

laces of her chemise.

She felt his callused hands cupping her soft breasts and it took her

breath away as he gently rubbed his finger along the rosy crest of her

nipple. His breathing was ragged and she could hardly catch hers. All

she knew was that she was dying, finally living, somewhere in

between. She had never known that the world encompassed so many

brilliant colors. She had been waiting all her life for this and never

knew it until this moment. She felt the warmth of the fire on her bare

skin, or was the warmth leaping directly from his flesh to hers, like a

flame reaching for the sky? She didn’t know or care.

 

He kissed her forehead and her eyes and ran his tongue across her

lips. He wanted to taste every part of her once, then start over and do

it again. He kissed the pounding pulse in her throat, throbbing to the

rhythm of her heart and continued down to the pink crests that had

hardened with his touch, firm and enticing. He gently caught her

nipple between his teeth and tongue and laved it with tender care. He

roughly jerked the shirt off his back and brought her to his chest,

reveling in the feel of her soft breasts rubbing across his bare skin.

 

She couldn’t believe how wonderful it felt to push against his

naked, muscular body and grab the thick hair at the nape of his neck.

She had wondered how it would feel in her fingers and the reality of it

was beyond anything she could have imagined. Warmth rushed into

every part of her as she felt his tentative exploration of the area

underneath her breeches with gentle fingers, tenderly touching that

most intimate of places in the triangle of auburn curls.

 

As she moaned, he pushed the baggy breeches down to reveal her

loveliness highlighted by the firelight.

Shane had to pause a moment to take in her flawless beauty, but a

moment was all he could manage.

 

She felt vulnerable to his searching gaze, but before she could do

anything further, his fingers were touching her, entering her, probing

cautiously, bringing forth a tempestuous surge of emotions and an

unbelievable spark that could not be contained. An explosion of

sensations…an almost painful ache of wanting something…she

didn’t…couldn’t possibly know what. He stopped for just a moment

to rid himself of his breeches and then he was completely with her,

every sculpted, powerful, masculine part of him, touching her,

demanding everything from her, and she wanted more.

 

He was crazy with desire, but continued slowly, methodically, he

knew it might have been some time since she had accepted a man

inside her body. She was literally bucking underneath him and he

gritted his teeth but when she opened herself wide and grabbed his

buttocks, trying to pull him inside he couldn’t wait another second, he

thought he might explode, so he pushed himself into her just a little,

surprised that she felt so tight. He was right to have taken his time, it

must have been a long time for her. She was writhing and pulling him

in deeper and deeper.

 

She knew there was something just out of her reach, something

she must possess. He was slowly entering her more fully when her

eyes flew open. She looked surprised, as tears started unbidden from

those emerald orbs. She felt a brief, stabbing pain like nothing she had

ever felt before and…

 

Shane couldn’t believe it! Her maidenhead! He swore under his

breath. How could this be? Taking a virgin…he would never! He

stopped completely and looked at her, but it was too late now.

Swearing at her or himself would do no good. It certainly wouldn’t

bring back her virginity. He had just ripped that beyond repair! The

best thing he could do now was to try his best to cause her no further

pain.

 

She was adjusting to the feel of him inside of her and the pain was

receding.

 

He started to withdraw slowly, but she stopped him with her eyes,

as well as her hands. There were no other words spoken, but for one

quiet question, “Are you sure?” She didn’t utter a word, but nodded

her head and her eyes implored him to continue.

 

He simply did not have the will power to stop. He started moving

slowly and gently inside of her until she was expanding to take all of

him. He was not a small man, and she was so tight, but when she

initiated the rhythmic thrusts herself, that was his undoing. He

couldn’t stop now if they were being attacked by wild boars. All

thoughts were gone and the dance of the ages began. It would not stop

until it was finished, come what may.

 

The pain was completely gone now, replaced by feelings of such

ecstasy, there were no words to describe it. There was a goal now, she

didn’t quite know what, but she was searching for it and knew it could

be found only in his body. His thrusts were matched by hers, the give

and take of the rhythm as old as time. She felt that the goal could be

obtained, it was within her reach. Her body tensed and… there must

be no other feeling on earth to match it… a burst of tiny pulses jerked

her body and her soul. She was soaring higher and higher, then the

fireworks erupted as she reached the peak! Small aftershocks

continued to throb inside her for some time, and just as she thought

that nothing would ever feel quite so wonderful, Shane’s face

tightened, his eyes closed, he looked as if he were in pain. She could

feel his muscular frame freeze with a tension that she felt with her

heart, as well as her body, and then she felt a warmth explode inside

and her heart felt like it might explode as well. All she wanted to do

was hold him within her. He was inside her in more ways than one.

Amazingly, at that moment, she remembered the wedding vows she

had heard so many times, they were running through her head

unmercifully.  She had never fully understood them until now, and

two become one... Oh God, how she understood!

 

He tenderly pulled away from her just long enough to roll to his side,

keeping her next to him.

Her back was flush against his chest and his sex pushed against the

softness of her derrierethat derriere he had thought about and

dreamed about since the first time he had laid eyes on her. It seemed

like an eternity. He could hardly believe it had been mere days. He

had never, with all his experiences with women, had anything that

even glimpsed this. Shane was amazed but hated himself all the more

for it. He, who had never taken a virgin, had not only taken her

virginity, but had taken advantage of her, as well. She was a widow

for God’s sake, vulnerable because she had lost her husband and

father and was still mourning that loss. Husband. How the hell could

any red blooded man have been married to her and not taken her,

buried himself inside her time and again, but that was a whole other

subject, and this was definitely not the moment to ask. He wanted to

say a hundred things, but instead he just held her and stroked her hair

gently. He wanted her to know how meaningful this experience was

for him. Oh God, how silly did that sound? He had to let her know

this wasn’t just another notch on his belt. How crass did that sound?

He didn’t know how, but he would say all the things he needed to

tomorrow. For tonight, he would just hold her while she slept.

 

 

 

 

Chapter 5

 

Ashley could tell from Shane’s even breathing that he was still

asleep. She hated to think of separating herself from him but decided

to get up, stoke the fire, and put on some coffee.

Gingerly moving his arm that was carelessly thrown over her hip,

she carefully scooted out of the bedroll, washed up as thoroughly as

possible with the water that had been brought in the night before and

quickly retrieved her clothing that she had so easily been separated

from last night. The feelings that were still swirling around her were

more than physical feelings. They were so much more. She knew a

man didn’t need deeper feelings to be intimate with a woman, or

many women, for that matter. She should have controlled herself,

shouldn’t she? But how? She had no more control over those feelings

than a river rushing downhill. No! She would not feel guilty! She

didn’t regret one moment of it. She was past the age when most

women lost their virginity…most women her age had children. Yes,

but they had lost their virginity within the marriage bed to a man who

had promised to love, honor and cherish them in front of a priest and witnesses.

She was taken quite unawares as she noticed the dried blood on

her thighs. She couldn’t exactly explain why. It certainly wasn’t

unexpected, after all, she knew the way of things. It must be seeing

the actual proof of her lost virginity that surprised her. The emotion of

it all and the feelings that welled up within her at the sight of him

were overwhelming as well.

 

His face in sleep looked like an innocent boy, but as her eyes

traveled over the length of him, a child was the last thing that came to

mind. He had magnificent muscles over the entire length of his body,

and the male part of him was imposing, like a stallion. That

comparison made her blush, as she stared unblinking. Looking at him

now, she was surprised that she was able to take him inside of her

with no more pain than was experienced. She hated to admit it, but

that was probably due to his skill in the art of making love. Well of

course he is experienced. What did she expect, a bumbling

schoolboy? Just look at him! She was sure, now more than ever, that

he would have no trouble convincing many women to abandon

everything for him. Smiling, she stoked the fire until it was blazing

again. The aroma of the coffee was making her stomach growl and

she hummed a tune as she worked.

 

Shane slowly awakened to his surroundings when he smelled

coffee and heard a light tune sung by a voice as sweet as a canary. He

had a smile on his face until all the thoughts of the previous night

came flooding back. Oh, it had been wonderful all right, but at what

price? For her, the price had been enormous!

 

Ashley became aware of Shane looking at her and rewarded him

with a radiant smile.

 

That smile was indeed his undoing.

 

She said happily, “Good morning, sleepy head.”

 

He looked at her and couldn’t think of anything to say that would

come close to what he was feeling. He muttered softly, “I’m sorry,

Ashley.”

 

She thought she would burst! Of all the words in the English

language, he couldn’t have come up with two worse ones! The smile

fled her face and she couldn’t hold back the bite of sarcasm. “You

couldn’t have thought of two…wronger…I mean more wrong…Oh!

Two words that could be more wrong!” she spat out. “Let me assure

you, Mr. Cordell, that you have nothing whatsoever to be sorry about.

As I’m sure you know, your performance was splendid. You have

been told that before, many times, yes?”

 

“Ashley…”

 

“No no, let me finish!” The words were spilling out. “I may not be

as experienced as you obviously are. However, I do know that, with

the exception of rape, it takes two to accomplish what we

accomplished last night and I can’t imagine anyone would be stupid

enough or blind enough to mistake what happened last night for

rape!”

 

“But,” he interrupted, “I took advantage—”

 

She didn’t let him finish. “Do I look like a simpleton to you?”

 

“No, of course not.” He tried to keep his tone even.

 

“Then don’t for a minute think that I did not know what was

transpiring between us. And don’t for another minute think you are

obligated to me for anything other than to find Dante, which you have

already agreed to do!”

 

“I can’t help but feel guilty, I have never taken a virgin—”

 

She interrupted again furiously. “Taken! You took nothing! It was

mine to give. And I knew exactly what I was doing.” She couldn’t

help the tears that welled up and started to slip down her cheeks.

 

“I’m sorry…” He tried to go on, but she turned her back to him.

 

“If I hear those two words coming from your lips ever again, I

will slap them right off your face, do you hear me?”

 

“Loud and clear.” He said nothing else. He rose and put his

breeches on without a shade of modesty, as if being completely naked

in front of a woman happened every day of the week.

She thought, “Well, it probably does!”

She wanted to slap him and take him in her arms all at the same

time. Oh it was all so infuriating! Instead, she turned away and busied

herself preparing breakfast. Well, what did she expect after all, a vow

of everlasting love, a marriage proposal perhaps? How absurd! She

just wanted those warm feelings from last night to return and these

tense feelings to be gone. She turned around with a completely

different expression on her face, determined. “It’s my turn to propose

a truce. sit down and enjoy it, if you don’t mind.” Hard as she tried, she

couldn’t erase all the bite from her words.

 

“I agree wholeheartedly. I never could enjoy a meal while fending

off lances being thrown my way.” There was a hint of a smile on his

face.

 

The tension was broken somewhat and she hoped they could turn

the morning around to be a little more of what she had hoped for

when she awoke, so sated from the night before and so hopeful for the

day to come.

 

Shane couldn’t help but stare at her throughout the meal. She was

so beautiful, innocent and fiery all at the same time. The thought of

how she had responded to him the night before was making him

exceedingly uncomfortable again. He had never been so out of control

before…at least not since he was a boy.

 

She did notice that he was looking at her somewhat curiously. She

hadn’t forgotten her virginity had been lost last night and she had told

him she was a widow. Those facts didn’t add up. It was almost as if

he could read her mind.

 

“Ashley, how…why were you still…uh…”

 

“Virgin? Is that the word you’re having such trouble with?”

 

“I know it’s none of my business, but I can’t imagine a man

having you as his wife and being able to stay away from you.”

 

“I’ll take that as a compliment, even if it wasn’t meant as one,”

she stated firmly.

 

“Yes, it is a compliment and it was meant as one.”

 

She couldn’t stop the blush that flooded her cheeks. She was

remembering her wild abandon the previous night. “Well,” she

continued, “we were married in somewhat of a rush while he was

passing through from one battle to another and by the time I saw him

again…well, the war, you know what can happen.” She paused

meaningfully. She saw that Shane was getting the gist of her

explanation, and for some reason, she felt guiltier about maligning

Terrence’s manhood than lying about her marital status to him. She

subtly looked away and thought to herself, Please forgive me, Terry.

Shane looked a bit stricken and started to speak, but Ashley

stopped him by saying, “If you were going to say, I’m sorry, I would

rethink those words if I were you.”

She couldn’t help but smile just a little.

 

He also cracked a smile and said, “Yes, I remember something

about getting slapped, if memory serves.”

 

“Your memory serves you well, indeed.”

 

They both laughed lightly at the same time, finally breaking the

tension. They continued their meal, somewhat comfortable with one

another, at least for the time being.

 

Shane wanted to say something a

hundred times over, but didn’t speak, as it seemed there was too much

to say and nothing at all.

He finished his meal and started the packing ritual that signaled he

was ready to leave, with no further comment. His face was stoic and

expressionless.

 

She felt that perhaps to him, the whole matter was forgotten.

Maybe it should be, maybe she should try to act as if nothing

happened here. It would take a good deal of acting on her part, of that

she had no doubt.

 

His stoic expression outside belied the clashing of emotions

inside. If he did the right thing, he would…marry her? The fear of the

word somehow seemed worse than the actual idea of it. He had

always spurned any ideas of marriage and family, for himself anyway.

It had always seemed so impossible! Every time he looked at her,

guilt ate away at him. Was guilt the only feeling? At this point, he

didn’t know a damn thing. He decided, at least for the time being, that

he would concentrate on the task at hand, and only the task at hand!

Finding that stallion seemed even more important now. What the hell

kind of thoughts were rolling around in his fool head anyway? He

needed to finish this job and get the hell out of here. He couldn’t

afford to get involved with a woman, knowing what was waiting for

him, from his past, in his future.


© Copyright 2017 Catherine Sharp. All rights reserved.

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