In this scene, they've spent the night hiding out in a whorehouse, but now, before dawn breaks, they need to move on, to stay one step ahead of the men out to kill Arden.
The blurb is below, followed by the excerpt. I hope you enjoy!
All Raz Colt wants is land, a quiet peaceable existence and to put his life as a hired gun in the past. When the chance to earn a sizable fortune by rescuing a kidnapped heiress comes his way, he seizes the opportunity. Trouble is, the heiress doesn’t want to be rescued. Offsetting Arden O’Hara’s beauty is a rattlesnake personality and shrewish temper. Despite her claim that she faked the kidnapping so her fiancé would ride to her rescue, Raz knows someone is out to kill her. And if anyone gets the pleasure of wringing her lovely neck, it’s going to be him.
Arden O’Hara is desperate to go home. Her fiancé was supposed to ride to her rescue, proving it’s her–and not her father’s money– he loves. Instead an arrogant stranger, with weapons strapped gun-fighter low and a decided lack of sympathy for her situation, shows up spouting a ridiculous tale about someone trying to kill her. It’s infuriating when Raz Colt’s claims prove true after not one but several attempts are made on her life. She has no idea who this fast gun with the deadly aim is, or why he makes her feel as wild and untamed as the Texas wind. But like it or not, if anyone is capable of getting her home alive, it’s Raz Colt.
The predawn air was warm, and though darkness still cloaked the sky, a sprinkling of white stars overhead and the soft glow from the east made it necessary to stick to the shadows cast by the buildings between Raegene’s and the livery.
Not that Colt gave her much time to look around. He’d barely given her time for a sip of coffee in Raegene’s kitchen before urging her out the door. She suspected he’d done so to avoid an emotional goodbye, instead he had merely assured the woman he’d be back “soon.” From the way he and Sugar had been flirting earlier,
supposed he would blaze a trail getting back. Arden
But the look in the madam’s misty eyes had nearly torn her heart in two when she reminded her adopted son that she’d just mended his shirt, and asked him to be careful not to get “any holes in it or anything.”
didn’t know if Raz had understood what the woman was saying, but she certainly had. Arden
Colt grabbed her hand and yanked her behind him.
“What the hell are—” Male voices drifted toward them on the still morning air, silencing her.
“His horse is there, he couldn’t have gone far.”
As the voices drew closer, Colt flattened her against the building with his body. Warmth surrounded her. A spicy clean scent, mingled with the faint aroma of smoke teased her nose where it met the middle of his chest.
“I’d like to know what he’s done with that girl,” came the second voice.
“I know what I’d do,” snickered the first man. “Her daddy’d get her back all right, but not ’til I was good and done.”
Their bawdy chuckles echoed in the empty street. Revulsion soured
’s stomach. She felt Colt’s hand move, knew he was reaching for his gun. She shook her head to indicate she didn’t want to see any more bloodshed and laid a hand to his chest. Solid heat met her fingertips, and she was reminded again of the sight of his naked chest this morning. Her pinky twitched, then slid over a fraction of an inch to where his shirt lay open, until it touched hot, bare skin. Arden
“So that’s the plan?” asked the first man as they drew nearer. “Take the breed by surprise and grab the girl?”
Dread settled over her. Between the man who wanted her dead and Daddy’s offer of a reward, she’d be lucky if they got to
alive. San Antonio
“We just gotta find the sneaky bastard.”
The tension in Colt’s body increased as he pressed her even tighter to the wall, flattening his body against hers protectively. She wanted to protest, but it wasn’t so terrible being crushed by him. Not so terrible at all.
He glanced down at her as the men strolled right past them. She couldn’t see his expression well enough to read it, couldn’t see his eyes. But she felt the shallow breaths he took, felt his breath, tinged with coffee, fan the top of her head. Beneath her palm his heart pounded rapidly.
“You sure he didn’t sneak into Raegene’s place?”
“Nah, not with the girl, Raegene wouldn’t stand for that. B’sides, I heard the sheriff was in there lookin’ for him last night. She said she ain’t seen no breed.”
As the men moved out of earshot and rounded a corner, Colt didn’t move. She didn’t want him to. Her nipples swelled and became sensitive where they brushed his chest. Each breath brought exquisite torture as her breasts crushed against him. Her body willingly absorbed, even savored, the feel of his; hard against all the places she was soft. Something wild and hot moved through her, making her feel wanton and alarmed all at once.
Hearing strangers speak of harming her had been spine-chilling. And yet she hadn’t been frightened, had known Colt would protect her.
Gratitude and fierce, hot need mingled to rush through her veins. Her lips parted. She rested her head against the wall of the livery and tried to meet his eyes, hoping for some sign the same thing was happening to him.
He took a step back, his hand moving to cup her elbow. “You all right?”
She frowned at the familiar ring to those words. What was it he’d said yesterday? I got ten grand riding on your well being.
Oh, he would protect her all right. Protect his own interest was more like it. She shoved against his chest, sending him stumbling back a few steps. How foolish to think he was concerned about anything other than money. “Get away from me.”
He muttered a vile curse, took hold of her hand, and yanked. She fell along after him, glaring daggers at his broad back with every step.
Like it or not, if there was anyone who could get her home alive, it was Raz Colt.
Wild Texas Wind – released June, 2010
Publisher: The Wild Rose Press