As promised, the following is an excerpt from my forthcoming novella, BOUND. That’s so fun to say–forthcoming. Anyway. Here you are, my hearts!
Chapter One Excerpt
Ingram checked her over quickly. “She’s alive,” he said, glancing up. He rolled the woman carefully onto her side. There was a gash over her left temple that was still bleeding. She hadn’t been lying there for long. She grimaced when Ingram pulled her out of the water.
Lothar clambered over the rocks to his friend, then helped Ingram get the woman into a sitting position. Ingram yanked off his cloak and wrapped it around her shoulders.
“Where did she come from?” Lothar wondered aloud. She was beautiful, with a delicate nose and heart-shaped face. Her eyes fluttered. She murmured something he couldn’t quite make out.
Ingram examined her for further injuries, but found none. He discovered a tattoo of two bearded axes crossing each other on her left forearm. He wracked his brain trying to think of the chieftain to whom the sigil may belong. He glanced around. The woman had nothing with her aside from the clothes she wore, no weapons, no pack–nothing to spare. He couldn’t see anything floating in the water, either. If she had carried something, it was gone now.
Ingram pressed one of her hands between his own. “She’s freezing. We need to get her to the village.” Lothar nodded. As he shifted to lift the woman, her eyes snapped open.
“No!” she shouted, kicking out. Her foot connected with Ingram’s chest and sent him tumbling into the water. Lothar clamped his arms around her shoulders to subdue her. Fafnir came running to their aid.
“I won’t go back,” she cried, thrashing and clawing at Lothar’s wrists. The big man let her have her tantrum, nodding Fafnir toward Ingram. Fafnir hesitated, his face going white. Lothar gave another pointed glance at Ingram. Fafnir extended a hand and helped the prince back onto the rocks. Ingram crouched beside the woman, prying her fingers from Lothar’s arms, and gripped her hands.
“You’re not going anywhere,” he said calmly. “We want to help.” The woman kicked at him again, but the move was weak. She panted, trying to twist her hands out of Ingram’s grip.
“She’s half mad,” Fafnir said, eyeing the woman dubiously, his color returning. Ingram and Lothar shot him identical scowls.