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The Witch and the Warrior

The ground began to rumble beneath her. She ran even faster, but now she could hear branches cracking, heralding the advance of a rider. Despair overwhelmed her. Realizing she had been caught, she stopped and turned.

MacDunn was thundering toward her, an arrow taut against the string of his bow. Rage had hardened his features into a terrible mask. Gwendolyn stared at him in horror, her heart frozen. Instead of lowering his weapon as he drew close, he aimed it straight at her.

In that moment, she realized he was truly mad.

She opened her mouth to scream as he released his arrow, but all that came out was a strangled whimper. A hideous shriek of pain shattered the air.

Confused, Gwendolyn looked behind her.

An enormous wild boar lay upon the ground with an arrow protruding from its side. Blood poured from its wound as the heavy creature struggled to get up. Another arrow sliced the air beside her and plunged cleanly into the poor beast, killing it. Gwendolyn stared at it in shock. The animal would have killed her, she realized numbly.

Slowly, she turned to face MacDunn.

He swung down from his horse and stalked toward her.

"Do you have any idea how close you must came to death?" he demanded softly.

"MacDunn, I--"

He grabbed her by her slim, bare shoulders, needing to touch her, to be sure she was still whole and well.

"You would have been killed," he bit out harshly. "That boar would have knocked you to the ground and trampled you until every bone in your body was crushed."

His grip was punishing, but she dared not complain. She did not want to provoke his rage even more than she already had.

"And I would have been powerless to save you, Gwendolyn," he continued fiercely. "Had I arrived but a moment later, there would have been nothing I could do."

This, perhaps, was what alarmed Alex the most. He had vowed to protect her, yet her own folly had placed her directly in death's path. And now she stood, trembling yet defiant. He wanted to shake her, he wanted to frighten her, he wanted to make her understand that she could not trifle with her life in this way.

And so he lowered his head and captured her lips in his.

Gwendolyn stood paralyzed as MacDunn's mouth slanted over hers. She had never been kissed before, for no one in her clan would have dared dally with the girl marked from childhood as a witch. But even in her innocence she could feel the unleashed fury in the way his lips ground against hers. A flame burst to life in the pit of her stomach, and her blood quickened, making her feel flushed and strange. MacDunn's tongue swept demandingly along the soft crease of her lips, and the sensation was so exquisite Gwendolyn opened her mouth slightly. He instantly plunged inside, hungrily exploring. Gwendolyn leaned into his muscular frame and locked her arms around his neck, clinging to him as she urgently returned his kiss. He growled and wrapped his arms around her, drawing her even closer, kissing her even harder, until there was nothing but the solid wall of MacDunn wrapped around her and the incredible fire that raged between them. Power seemed to emanate from him as his hands roamed down her back, cupping her hips and pulling her firmly into the hardness of his arousal. Pleasure washed through her as she pressed against him, and a soft little cry escaped her throat.

Alex continued to taste Gwendolyn as his hands began to explore the narrow path of her back, the satin skin of her shoulders, the delicate cage of her ribs. And then he laid his palm against the lush swell of her breast and groaned, for he could not remember ever touching anything so soft. It had been four years since he had felt the least flicker of desire, and the lust surging through him in that moment was beyond measure. He wanted to take this witch now, here in the forest, to lay her down on a bed of fragrant pine and bury himself deep inside her, to lose himself to her softness and heat, without even taking the time to remove her gown. His desire was staggering, it stripped him of his ability think, until he was aware of nothing but the blaze devouring him, and the certainty that only this mysterious smoke- and heather-scented woman could slake his need...

© Karyn Monk.
All rights reserved. No unauthorized reproduction is permitted without express consent of the author.

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