The Princess and the Wolf

the Princess and the WolfThe Princess and the Wolf

by Karen Kay
Warriors and trailblazers, the scouts of the great tribes were revered men of courage and honor—members of a noble society: The Clan of the Wolf

Two Worlds, One Heart

Married by proxy to a European prince she doesn’t love, the princess Sierra will not believe her husband died in far-off America—and crosses an ocean to discover the truth. But the determined royal lady will need a scout in this wild new land, and she must put her mission and her life in the hands of High Wolf, the proud Cheyenne brave she once loved with all her heart…and should rightly have wed.

Years earlier High Wolf learned much as guest in a European court—until a woman’s treachery sent him home with his spirit sore but unbroken. Now the regal beauty who deceived him has come to ask his help and his desire is enflamed anew. Honor demands that he lead the princess on her journey. But every moment in her company is rekindling a passion that must not be. And surrendering to a forbidden love could be the gravest peril that lies before them.

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Excerpt from The Princess and the Wolf

The Princess and the Wolf
Clans Of The Wolf
Avon
April 2004
ISBN: 0380820684 

Staring at him, at his complacency, she decided to change her tactic, and taking a deeper plunge, she came directly to the point, saying “Why did you kiss me?”

She watched him carefully, noting that he visibly stiffened, that his fingers faltered over what he was doing, and that he cut himself.  Furthermore, the very air around them became suddenly stifling.

But he otherwise remained quiet.

However, she knew him well enough to know that she had at least captured his attention.  And she waited…

At some length, without looking up, he said, “I kissed you to keep you quiet and to calm you.  You were about to scream, and there were enemies all around us.  Do not worry.  I realize it was a mistake.  It will not happen again.”

“I see,” she acknowledged, keeping her eyes trained on him.  “And you thought that by sweeping your tongue into my mouth, I would become calmer?”

He paused; he coughed, as though startled that she might say such a thing.  However, after a slight pause, he began, “Perhaps I did believe it might,” he said, as a gleam came into his eye.  “Although maybe I wanted you to notice what you have missed all these years without me.”

All these years without him.  The thought made her eyes sting.  Also, she realized on a note of some reluctance, he might very well have accomplished exactly that.

But Sierra was in no mood to give him quarter, and she said, “I beg to know, Mr. High Wolf, do you think the lesson is complete?”

The question earned her a hard look, although all he said was, “The lesson?”

“Yes, the lesson I’m supposed to learn – the one that makes me realize all I’ve missed these past ten years.”

He shook his head.  “Hardly learned, I should say.”

“Is that so?  Then I suppose that is why later, when we were in the tree trunk, you held me in your arms and kissed me again.”

To this he gave her an incredulous, although a rigid look.  Only this time, when he gazed at her, he placed the wood he was whittling to the side.  Turning toward her and leaning forward, he brought up a hand to brush aside a strand of her hair, as he said, “There is another reason I kissed you, I think.  Perhaps you should know it, too, although this one will not make you happy.”

“Oh?”

Haa’he.”  He nodded

“And that is?…”

“I fear that I have been away from my true love for too long, and you were…”  he pulled a face, “…there.”

Ouch!  With a start, Sierra drew back away from him.

But if he noticed her reaction, it was hard to say, for he turned his face away from her to pick up that darned wood once more.  Over his shoulder, he said, “But do not worry.  I have my wits about me now, and it will not happen again.”

“Oh?”  Sierra sat up straighter.  “Really?”  Her chin shot forward and up.  “And you can, I assume, be certain of that?”

“As certain as I am that the sun comes with the day.”

“Really?”  Seeing red, she gave him a wide-eyed stare, wondering what it would take to break through this man’s nonchalance.  She said, “How can you be so certain that we will never again kiss?”

“How?”  He asked, all without looking at her.  “Because I can control my baser impulses.”

“Ah, now I understand,” she said.  “Then if I am to comprehend you completely, I am to believe that I am a baser impulse?”

He looked up to her at last, turning slightly so that he was facing her before he gave her a considering glance.  “I did not say that.  You put words in my mouth.  I was referring to the urge to kiss.”

“Hmmm.”  She raised an eyebrow at him.  “Then you admit you felt…ah…urged to kiss me?”

He raised an eyebrow in return.  “I suppose I did.  Now, to what end do all these questions tend?”

“To nothing, I suppose,” she said, looking away from him.  “I am attempting, however, to understand, after these somewhat diverting incidents, if my life and my…feminine person is secure with you.  That is all.”

He grunted.  “You are safe with me.  Let me assure you that I will keep my hands – and my lips – away from you from this day forward.”

“Will you?” she asked, glancing toward him and smiling.  “Even when we are in the water?”

He sat up straighter.  “You know that I must hold you close to me then because you don’t know how to swim.”

Looking as innocent as possible, she said, “Then you should teach me.”

He gazed up, giving her his full attention, and he said, “Perhaps I will.  But until then, I will hold you as I need to ensure your safety when we are in the water.”

“I see,” she said.  “And what other excuse do you have?”

He frowned.  “It is not an excuse.”

“Is it not?”

He ground his teeth.  “I give up.  Tell me, what is it you want from me?  A letter stating my unlecherous intentions?  I am sorry but I am fresh out of parchment.”

“I don’t wish a letter.”

“Then what?  An apology?”

Facing him fully, she leaned in toward him and grinned before saying, “Mr. High Wolf, I ask a simple thing.”  She paused.  “I merely want you to do it again…”

The Princess And The Wolf

By Karen Kay

On Sale April 27, 2004 at bookstores everywhere

$5.99 U.S.

Copyright © 2004 by Karen Kay Elstner