Read Savage Hero Online

Authors: Cassie Edwards

Savage Hero

BOOK: Savage Hero
5.77Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads
CASSIE EDWARDS
THE SAVAGE SERIES

Winner of the
Romantic Times
Lifetime Achievement Award for Best Indian Series!

“Cassie Edwards writes action-packed, sexy reads! Romance fans will be more than satisfied!”

—
Romantic Times

MIDNIGHT RENDEZVOUS

He held her close. His lips lowered to hers.

Mary Beth did not turn away from him this time. Their lips met in a sweet, tremulous kiss.

Mary Beth regretted now having ever denied herself the pleasure that came with his kiss and the warm sweetness of his arms. In his kiss and embrace, everything else disappeared from her mind!

There was only the two of them, their love breaking through all the barriers that had kept them apart.

When they stepped away from each other, Brave Wolf gently touched her cheek. “My body aches for more than a kiss,” he said huskily.

“Mine too,” Mary Beth said in a voice that did not sound like her own. “Tonight, Brave Wolf. After the celebration . . . tonight . . . ?”

He swept her into his arms again and kissed her. Their bodies strained hungrily together.

“Ah, yes, tonight . . .” he whispered against her parted lips.

Other Dorchester books by Cassie Edwards:

TOUCH THE WILD WIND

ROSES AFTER RAIN

WHEN PASSION CALLS

EDEN'S PROMISE

ISLAND RAPTURE

SECRETS OF MY HEART

 

The Savage Series:

SAVAGE DESTINY

SAVAGE LOVE

SAVAGE MOON

SAVAGE HONOR

SAVAGE THUNDER

SAVAGE DEVOTION

SAVAGE GRACE

SAVAGE FIRES

SAVAGE JOY

SAVAGE WONDER

SAVAGE HEAT

SAVAGE DANCE

SAVAGE TEARS

SAVAGE LONGINGS

SAVAGE DREAM

SAVAGE BLISS

SAVAGE WHISPERS

SAVAGE SHADOWS

SAVAGE SPLENDOR

SAVAGE EDEN

SAVAGE SURRENDER

SAVAGE PASSIONS

SAVAGE SECRETS

SAVAGE PRIDE

SAVAGE SPIRIT

SAVAGE EMBERS

SAVAGE ILLUSION

SAVAGE SUNRISE

SAVAGE MISTS

SAVAGE PROMISE

SAVAGE PERSUASION

CASSIE
EDWARDS
SAVAGE
HERO

Contents

Chapter One

Chapter Two

Chapter Three

Chapter Four

Chapter Five

Chapter Six

Chapter Seven

Chapter Eight

Chapter Nine

Chapter Ten

Chapter Eleven

Chapter Twelve

Chapter Thirteen

Chapter Fourteen

Chapter Fifteen

Chapter Sixteen

Chapter Seventeen

Chapter Eighteen

Chapter Nineteen

Chapter Twenty

Chapter Twenty-one

Chapter Twenty-two

Chapter Twenty-three

Chapter Twenty-four

Chapter Twenty-five

Chapter Twenty-six

Chapter Twenty-seven

Chapter Twenty-eight

Chapter Twenty-nine

Chapter Thirty

Chapter Thirty-one

Chapter Thirty-two

Chapter Thirty-three

DORCHESTER PUBLISHING

Published by

Dorchester Publishing Co., Inc.
200 Madison Avenue
New York, NY 10016

Copyright © 2003 by Cassie Edwards

Cover art by John Ennis.

All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any electronic or mechanical means, without the written permission of the publisher, except where permitted by law. The scanning, uploading, and distribution of this book via the Internet or via any other means without the permission of the publisher is illegal and punishable by law. Please purchase only authorized electronic editions, and do not participate in or encourage electronic piracy of copyrighted materials. Your support of the author's rights is appreciated.

This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents are either the product of the author's imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, events, or locales is entirely coincidental.

Trade ISBN: 978-1-4285-1851-3
E-book ISBN: 978-1-4285-1840-7

First Dorchester Publishing, Co., Inc. edition: August 2003

The “DP” logo is the property of Dorchester Publishing Co., Inc.

Printed in the United States of America.

Visit us online at
www.dorchesterpub.com.

In appreciation and admiration, I dedicate
Savage Hero
to two special people at Dorchester Publishing:

My editor, Alicia Condon, who has been there for me for so many years with her guidance and her support of my Savage series
.
It means so much to me.

And also to George Sosson, the President and Publisher of Dorchester, whose heart is in all that he does for Dorchester and its authors.

SAVAGE
HERO

The brave sits alert atop his spirited steed,

Both being the very best of their breed.

He sits perfectly silent, no sound at all,

Fearless, prowess, sitting so flawless and tall.

A slight breeze approaches, barely moving his braid.

Cautiously alert, his hand moves to his blade.

Instantly ready, an arrow awaits in his bow;

If accurate, there's little hope for a foe.

His horse remains quiet, trained as a colt.

No matter the danger, he will not bolt.

Suddenly Brave Wolf hears a noise to his right,

So thankful the day has turned into night.

He was taught to use his senses,

Taught many a skill, to use any defenses.

Thanks to his teaching, he knows who is there.

Why would she come, how could she dare?

Out of the shadows, she steps into sight,

Skin white as snow, hair just as bright.

She had to come, to keep her word;

She escaped her prison like a caged bird.

She traveled all day, until night finally came.

She would have searched forever, feeling no shame.

God led her there, so she would know

Brave Wolf was there, her full-blooded Crow.

He smiles at her, calling out “My Sunshine.”

She runs to him, her smile so sweet.

He gently lifts her; she grabs without haste.

He loves feeling her arms encircling his waist.

So very thankful, for here come the rains,

Erasing their tracks, from across the plains.

Soon on the horizon, they're only a dot,

Heading for home at a very fast trot.

Brave Wolf's woman is going home at last,

Dreaming of a future, and forgetting the past.

Living as a Crow is all she's desired,

With Brave Wolf's people, respected and admired.

As they ride, the sun starts to awaken,

Their lives entwined, their futures for the taking.

A doe crosses her path with her fawn,

Watching the lovers disappear along with the dawn.

A song is on the breeze, whispering of their love.

Hear it whispering, “Brave Wolf loves his Sunshine!”

—Darcie L. Wright
Cassie Edwards Fan Club member

Chapter One

She spoke and loosened from her
bosom the embroidered girdle of
many colors into which her
allurement was fashioned.

—Homer,
The Iliad

June 1876

The Battle of the Little Big Horn was now over.

The battlefield was eerily quiet. Bodies lay everywhere.

General George Armstrong Custer lay amid those who had battled alongside him . . . red-skinned and white alike.

Among them lay Night Horse, one of Custer's head scouts. He was pretending to be dead as the victors moved through the bloody field, taking valuables
from some whites, scalping others.

Night Horse, who had chosen the road of the white man instead of traveling that of his Crow brothers, scarcely breathed as his people prepared many travois upon which to carry their fallen warriors back to their families for mourning and burial rites.

Night Horse hoped no one would realize that he was still alive. His life would be gone in an instant if he was spotted, for he was hated now by both the red man and the white eyes. The Crow, who resented his companionship with the white pony soldiers, would relish the pleasure of seeing him dead.

The white pony soldiers might also wish to see him dead. They might feel that Night Horse had betrayed the cavalry and was somehow responsible for the deadly attack.

It would be especially bad for Night Horse now, for among the dead was the revered leader General George Armstrong Custer who was called Yellow Hair by some red men and Long Hair by others.

To the white eyes, Yellow Hair was a hero. To the Indians, he was a cowardly murderer who killed not only warriors, but also their innocent women and children.

With someone else's blood spattered all over his buckskin clothes, yet no mortal wounds on himself, Night Horse breathlessly waited for that moment when he could leave this place of death.

And then finally he heard the horses' hoofbeats
as they were guided from the battlefield, dragging behind them the travois piled with fallen warriors.

Night Horse still lay quiet on his belly until the hoofbeats faded away and he knew that it was finally safe to rise. Slowly he crept up from the ground. He flinched with alarm and cowered as a brown and white spotted eagle descended from the sky, talons out, its hooked beak open, then swept as quickly away.

Night Horse stood and stared at the death all around him. He had known to expect the worst, but nothing could have prepared him for what he was seeing, or just how horrifying it would be to see the outcome of the battle.

Over and over again he vomited until nothing was left inside him.

Wiping his mouth with the sleeve of his shirt, dashing away the tears spilling from his eyes, Night Horse at first stumbled along the bloody ground, wincing when he had to step over one body and then another.

Then he broke into a mad run.

Even when he reached the fresh green grass waving gently in the breeze, he ran. He continued until his legs would hardly carry him any farther, until he found himself safely hidden in a blue-black pine forest of spruce, where sunlight scarcely penetrated the dark tangle of interwoven branches and overgrown needles.

Breathing harshly, his side aching, Night Horse fell to his knees.

He held his face in his hands and cried again.

He had cheated death today, but he now wondered if he was really so fortunate to still be breathing.

He was now a man without a people. As such, was he not, in a sense, dead, himself?

He had lost the right to live among people, either white or Crow. He would now live the life of a lost man who belonged nowhere, a man whose pride was gone.

In his heart he had longed to gain celebrity as a Custer scout, yet that would never be. He was now alone—totally, totally alone.

He could never return to his home, to his mother, or his brother, because when he left to ally himself with Custer, he was told by his Crow people never to return.

Even then, he had been dead to them.

Dispirited, filled with remorse and a deep, gnawing regret and shame, Night Horse rose to his feet and walked onward, his steps listless, his heart heavy.

Feeling empty inside, plagued by recurring visions of the battlefield, he walked awhile, and then he made himself remember that he had been a proud warrior before he had become a scout for the white eyes. His
ahte
, his father, had instilled within him much courage.

He reached deep inside himself now for what remained of that courage.

He had been taught the art of survival, as well, by his
ahte
, and Night Horse vowed he would survive even this . . . the worst day of his life.

BOOK: Savage Hero
5.77Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

Other books

All I Desire is Steven by James L. Craig
Payback by Graham Marks
Ensayo sobre la lucidez by José Saramago
The Price Of Secrecy by Ravenna Tate
The Aloha Quilt by Jennifer Chiaverini
Awakened by Walters, Ednah