Here's a little teaser from WINTER WIND, the novella I wrote for the LOST IN A KISS boxed set with the Love Historicals authors. (The set is available for a limited time through Kindle Unlimited.)
Although this novella is a sequel to my full-length novel WHERE THE WILD WIND BLOWS, it is its own story with just enough background so that you don't have to read the novel, although I'd love it if you did.
Anywhere, here's a bit of Katie and Black Moon's continuing story:
Black Moon followed the pony tracks to a gully. The wind abated and the snow had stopped coming down. His sharp eyes spotted the place where the snow was kicked up all around, a sign that the pony had bolted. Up ahead, he saw more pony tracks leading out of the gully and was about to follow them when the snow revealed a wolf’s paw prints, almost as large as a grown man’s hand. What would lure a wolf down from the high places? His stomach lurched when he traced the wolf tracks with his eyes to a mound of snow. Jumping from his pony’s bare back, he raced to it and fell to his knees.
“Katie!” His voice cracked with fear and his heart pounded in his chest as he brushed the snow from her face. Her lips were blue and her cheeks were like ice. “Open your eyes,” he pleaded. His fingers dug into her shoulders, pulling her into his embrace. She lay draped across his arms with no breath cloud hovering over her. As he hugged her tightly to his chest, a long, loud wail rose from the depths of his being, splitting the frosty air with all the pain and sorrow that were in him. Tears fell from his eyes to flood his mouth, some falling onto her lashes that were crusted with ice.
Through the veil of tears he did not see the faint flutter of her eyelids. But there came to his ears the sweetest sound he had ever heard. A little moan, scarcely a breath, followed by an almost imperceptible stirring.
At the sign of life he let out a wild whoop, not unlike the war cry he used in battle. He shook her hard and saw her lips move.
“Cold,” she whispered. “So cold.”
Placing his arms beneath her, he lifted her and carried her to his pony and hoisted her onto the bare back. He mounted in a fluid motion behind her, and with a savage kick, they were galloping out of the gully.
He rode to a place he knew, a hollow cut into the side of a hill sheltered from the wind and snow. Securing his pony’s jaw rope to the bare branch of a shrub, he pulled Katie down and carried her inside. Carefully, he placed her on a bed of dried buffalo grass that had been blown inside during the Moon of Falling Leaves.
Her dress and high-top moccasins rattled with stiffness as he stripped them off. With frantic motions he began to briskly rub her body, starting with her shoulders and arms, then running his palms across her belly to her legs in a desperate attempt to bring her color back while blowing warm breath against her pale skin.
Peeling off his shirt, he quickly turned it inside out so that the wetness would not touch her naked flesh and covered her with it. Stripping off his leggings, breechclout and moccasins, he slipped beneath the shirt and pressed himself against her cold nakedness, using his body to warm her as he breathed heat against her neck and throat.
Her breasts were flattened against his chest, the prick of her erect nipples impossible to ignore as he held her tight. He felt for her hand and brought it to his mouth, showering her palm with the heat of his kisses. His mouth lingered on her wrist, searching for, and finding, the beat of her pulse beneath his lips.
His head swam with the familiar female scent of her. He felt himself grow hard with desire and wondered with self-disgust what kind of man he was that he could think of such a thing at a time like this. He thrust a leg between hers and slid on top of her. The tip of his manhood brushed the down that guarded her entrance. It would be so easy to slip inside, but was using the age-old heat to bring her around for her benefit or his? Feeling ashamed, he rolled off of her and settled close beside her.
After a while he felt her flesh beginning to warm. He watched apprehensively for the steady rise and fall of her chest until he knew she was out of danger. Sliding out from beneath the shirt, he brought it up under her chin and tucked it in tight all around her.
He slipped his breechclout into place, leaving his leggings and moccasins on the ground. Gathering some sticks and pieces of dried wood, with the strike-a-light he kept always at his belt, he got a fire going, fanning the flames with his breath until it was heating up the small space.
Then he sat down before the fire to wait.