Authors: Karen Mercury
Going for the Gold 6
The Obedient Servant
It’s time for revolution in California, and pioneer Milo Stephens is the man to lead the republic into a new dawn.
Tallulah Crabtree knew she could hide in this remote frontier. She has no intention of repeating a marriage to an abusive philanderer. But when rebel leader Milo bumps into her at her Blue Wing Inn, her passion for him opens up old wounds.
Milo has only consorted with men since the death of his wife and child. He thinks he’s just toying idly with Corporal Reynaldo Vargas to pass the time. But Tallulah and Reynaldo have plans for the dangerously hot Milo. The man they both love is about to set a torch to the old rule. But to love again requires trust and submission, and the domineering Milo stubbornly refuses to play the role of the obedient servant.
BDSM, Ménage a Trois/Quatre, Western/Cowboys
Going for the Gold 6
Siren Publishing, Inc.
ABOUT THE E-BOOK YOU HAVE PURCHASED:
Your non-refundable purchase of this e-book allows you to only ONE LEGAL copy for your own personal reading on your own personal computer or device.
You do not have resell or distribution rights without the prior written permission of both the publisher and the copyright owner of this book.
This book cannot be copied in any format, sold, or otherwise transferred from your computer to another through upload to a file sharing peer to peer program, for free or for a fee, or as a prize in any contest. Such action is illegal and in violation of the U.S. Copyright Law. Distribution of this e-book, in whole or in part, online, offline, in print or in any way or any other method currently known or yet to be invented, is forbidden. If you do not want this book anymore, you must delete it from your computer.
WARNING: The unauthorized reproduction or distribution of this copyrighted work is illegal. Criminal copyright infringement, including infringement without monetary gain, is investigated by the FBI and is punishable by up to 5 years in federal prison and a fine of $250,000.
If you find a Siren-BookStrand e-book being sold or shared illegally, please let us know at
IMPRINT: Ménage Everlasting
THE OBEDIENT SERVANT
Copyright © 2012 by Karen Mercury
E-book ISBN: 978-1-62242-924-1
First E-book Publication: November 2012
Cover design by Les Byerley
All art and logo copyright © 2012 by Siren Publishing, Inc.
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED:
This literary work may not be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, including electronic or photographic reproduction, in whole or in part, without express written permission.
All characters and events in this book are fictitious. Any resemblance to actual persons living or dead is strictly coincidental.
Siren Publishing, Inc.
Letter to Readers
If you have purchased this copy of
The Obedient Servant
by Karen Mercury from BookStrand.com or its official distributors, thank you. Also, thank you for not sharing your copy of this book.
Regarding E-book Piracy
This book is copyrighted intellectual property. No other individual or group has resale rights, auction rights, membership rights, sharing rights, or any kind of rights to sell or to give away a copy of this book.
The author and the publisher work very hard to bring our paying readers high-quality reading entertainment.
This is Karen Mercury’s livelihood. It’s fair and simple. Please respect Ms. Mercury’s right to earn a living from her work.
Amanda Hilton, Publisher
THE OBEDIENT SERVANT
Going for the Gold 6
Copyright © 2012
To speak of California was like mentioning the end of the world.
—The World Rushed In: The California Gold Rush Experience
, J.S. Holliday
Near Sutter’s Fort
When Milo returned down the hill from pissing behind a rock, Stuttering Zeke was talking to a stunningly handsome soldier.
Every nerve in Milo’s skin became alert—tense, tingly, on fire. He went to stand next to the luscious soldier. He put his hands on his hips and cocked his head, just vaguely listening to their palaver. But really, he was studying the craggy face and bowed lips of this reprobate corporal.
Milo knew Corporal Vargas was a reprobate mainly because he was from Spain. They were all deviant buggers in Spain. But this deviant bugger’s demeanor was entirely sensual. His lush lips curled up arrogantly at the corners, and his thick tousled head of hair was hidden under the ratty cloth turban he’d fashioned. Some tendrils that escaped at his neck gave him an erotic, almost girlish look.
The lashes fringing his malachite-green eyes were also girlishly long. Those were the only feminine features of this devilishly delicious soldier. He was obviously powerfully muscular under his fringed leggings and the navy shirt with stars on the collar. The naval supplies issued to Frémont’s California Battalion, however, hadn’t lasted long. Most battalion men wore a mishmash of clothing, handmade or stolen, and this fine specimen of manhood was no exception, with his Digger moccasins. A brace of pistols in his gun belt, the requisite bowie knife, a sword, and a rifle slung across his back, and Corporal Vargas was bristling like a porcupine with armament.
“I’m telling you, Zeke. Is it Zeke?” asked Corporal Vargas. His tone wasn’t Spanish at all. He’d obviously been born in the States. Milo wondered what conflict ran through this beautiful soldier’s emotions, to be sympathetic to a rebellion that promised to take away the entirety of Alta California from Spanish rule. Vargas was of Spanish extraction, yet he’d obviously never set foot on Spanish soil.
“Stuttering Zeke Merritt,” Milo clarified, just to draw attention to himself. “Leader of us Osos.” The men had decided to use the Spanish word for
as their emblem. It was suggested by the many bear hunters in their midst, fresh from the blood and fat of the bruin.
Frémont had dubbed Zeke lieutenant of their irregular battalion. Milo didn’t think that was a good choice. Zeke was constantly roostered on some colorless Dutch liquor called
, and his temper was quite fiery. Not that Milo thought Frémont should’ve chosen him, either. He was nearly as bitter and roostered as Zeke. No, someone like the ungainly, rational Semple, or his friend and former neighbor Grigsby, should have been chosen.
Vargas considered Milo, as though he hadn’t noticed him before. The pupils of his dazzling green eyes dilated in appreciation. “Stuttering Zeke,” Vargas repeated obediently, dazedly, as though mesmerized with Milo. Slowly he returned to his train of thought, clearing his throat. “Yes. Well. I was just telling, ah, Stuttering Zeke here that a Lieutenant Gillespie just came from President Polk with messages for Frémont. And I don’t mean to sound skeptical of my own commander, but I think Frémont may be fomenting your rebellion.”
“What was Polk’s message?” Milo asked eagerly.
“That’s the thing,” said Vargas. “Gillespie went through Mexico to get here, so of course he destroyed the written dispatches and just verbally told Frémont the gist. Gillespie seems to be Frémont’s confidential advisor, his adjutant. They’ve known each other a long time. Anyway, Frémont hasn’t given us any orders yet, but lots of guys are speculating he has orders from Polk to wage war against Mexico.”
,” muttered Milo in Polish.
Louder, he declared, “We must be allowed to defend ourselves and our companions-in-arms who were invited to this country by a promise of land for our families.” Mexico wasn’t responsible for the deaths of his wife and daughter, but their proclamation that they would extradite “foreigners” sent Milo over the edge, forcing him to leave his farm behind and joining up with the other irate Osos. They had as much right to farm in California as the Spanish “Californios.” The rumor that the Spanish government in Mexico City wanted to drive foreigners from the settlements had everyone up in arms—leaving their families and farms to find Frémont and see what could be done.
For some reason Milo’s outburst made Corporal Vargas smile, charmingly. He was really quite boyish but probably at least the same age as Milo’s thirty and five years. “You are so eloquent.”
Milo snarled, “I get fired up. When we arrived in California, we were denied even the privilege of buying or renting the lands of our friends. General Castro is threatening us with extermination if we don’t depart without our arms, our beasts of burden. Driven through deserts inhabited by hostile Indians to certain destruction! With Frémont on our side, our rebellion will surely prevail.”
Vargas’s face hardened. “Those are flowery words, Mister…”
“Milo Stephens.” He rarely told anyone his birth name was Milosz Stefanski. If he was to fight for Americans’ rights, he had better sound like an American. He had sailed from Poland right after the November Uprising fifteen years ago, so he considered himself an American. “They are flowery words because they are righteous words! Right, Zeke? A prosperous government must originate with its friendly and happy people—not these spooks in Mexico City who have already seized the mission’s properties and oppressed the laboring people of California!”
Vargas looked around as though afraid someone might overhear them. “Those are fine words, Mr. Stephens.”
“Milo. You’re a very magnetic and fearsome speaker. I can see you have righteous reasons to dislike the Mexican government.”
Milo tried to exhale his anger. “I have a farm a hundred miles up the Sacramento River. When I heard two hundred Spaniards were coming to burn my wheat and drive off my cattle, I knew I couldn’t just sit there waiting for them, yanking on my bone.” His fervor for his cause was such that he nearly risked alienating this stolid solider, who, after all, seemed skeptical of his own commander.
Zeke added, “Spaniards did send some Digger Indians to burn down my house.”
Corporal Vargas said, “I sympathize with you. I really do. I’m just worried that Frémont, with the goading of all you hotheads, will search for any excuse to justify starting a war.”
“But you’re a soldier,” Milo said, as gently as he could muster. “Don’t you
a war? What else do you do all day but tramp around from place to place, shooting elk and cougars?”
Vargas insisted, “Don’t you see? Frémont can’t tear around like a renegade, starting premature wars, acting on his own prejudices. He’s been angry with Castro since we were driven out of Monterey, and I fear he’ll use any slight justification to begin aggression. He’s not supposed to do anything without the sanction of the United States.”