Just for a bit of fun, here’s one of the blog posts I’m posting on the 21st of this month on The Romance Studio’s End of Summer Bash…
Hello All! Welcome back!
Here’s another excerpt… with Scotty, horses and sparks flying between Aleksandra and Xavier…
~ ~ ~
‘Oh no, the Furs! And Dzień!‘ she wailed and turned back to face the men.
‘Dinna fash, mo nighean. I kept the buyer here since yeste’day ’cause I knew ye were comin’. He’s paid fer yer pelts ‘n gone.’ Scotty rumpled her hair.
She smiled her thanks, color returning to her cheeks.
‘And that pony, he’s got a heart o’ gold. Ye dinna need to go, yon wee man’s in the stable, munching’ away with me old geldin’.’
Aleksandra’s chest heaved in a deep sigh. ‘What would I do without you, Scotty?’
‘It’s the least I kin do fer you and yer da,’ Scotty remarked, his voice becoming gruff as he spoke, and a tear glistened in his eye.
‘Papa wouldn’t have been pleased to see Dzień abused so, but there was nothing else for it. He never even slowed down.’ She looked at the floor.
‘Aye, but he’s a bonny one.’ Scotty smiled.
‘It would’ve meant the world to Papa, knowing we made it on time and our year’s work wasn’t for naught.’ Scotty was pleased to see a hint of the girl’s normal glow showing in her eyes, beneath the wet lashes.
‘Right ye are, missy.’ He raised his brows at her. ‘Now, d’ye want me to hold some o’ the money fer now so it canna be taken off ye by highwaymen?’
‘Thanks, Scotty, please keep it all here. I don’t need it yet.’
‘Are ye sure ye need t’leave tonight?’ Scotty was unconvinced. ‘It’s getting’ mighty late, we could make you a bed o’sorts.’
Aleksandra’s eyes narrowed at the dark man still standing in the doorway.
‘I’d rather risk the highwaymen and the wild animals for tonight, thanks. I’ve got my shashka and bow.’
There was a choking sound from the entrance, then Xavier mumbled something about checking the horses and disappeared outside. Scotty turned away and coughed to hide his chuckle from the pair.
Xavier was harnessing Dzień to the wagon when Aleksandra came outside.
‘I can do that,’ she snapped, rushing to the side of the pony, her blue eyes icy and cheeks flushed pink. Xavier smiled at her back as she hurried around to the pony’s other side to finish.
‘I’m sure you can, Querida, but I’m happy to help,’ he said, wrapping a breeching strap around the shaft and buckling it snugly.
‘Thanks,’ she gritted out, looking away as her hands slid down Dzień’s rump towards the crupper.
‘Any possibility you might tell me just why you went loco on me back there?’ Xavier watched her brows drop as she stared at a strap she’d just buckled too tightly. Her lips tightened further as she readjusted it.
‘I want nothing to do with people who insult my friends.’
‘Como, what?’ He shook his head and blinked at her.
‘My friends, the Shoshone, the only friends I have left alive, other than Scotty,‘ she said from between clenched teeth, and then slumped, sobbing, against Dzień.
Cautious of her all-too-effective looking sword, Xavier slowly approached her. He slid his arm around her shoulders and pulled her against him, watchful for any fast moves on her part, not caring if her tears soaked his shirt. How long they stayed like this, he neither knew nor cared. Once her sobs quieted, he slipped his fingers under her chin, lifting her face to stare into the watery depths of her blue eyes.
‘Okay now, Querida?’
‘As okay as possible, I guess.’ She dropped her head again. ‘The Shoshone are like family to me, especially since Mama died,’ she murmured into his shirt.
‘Are you sure you won’t stay here? I’ll sleep in the stable, if it would make you happier.’
She closed her eyes and was still.
‘No, it’s okay. I’m sorry, Xavier. I’m upset, but that’s no excuse for my nastiness. Thank you for this.’ She nodded her head at his tearstained chest.
‘De nada. It is nothing.’ He smiled. ‘May I accompany you to your home, at least?’
‘No, really, I’m fine, thank you again. I’d better go farewell Scotty, it’s getting late.’
‘If you’re sure…’ Xavier shook his head and followed Aleksandra back inside.
~ ~ ~
Hope you enjoyed the tale! Want to read more?
Come on by my website to see how you can get your hands on a copy, whether ebook, paperback or hardcover! It’s now also available in LARGE PRINT in paperback and hardcover with dust jacket from bookstores around the world! Just tell your favourite bookstore book buyer they can order it from Ingram!
you can win a free ebook copy if you’re the lucky winner of our giveaway!
To enter into the giveaway, just comment on the blog with what you liked about the excerpt or blog post and one lucky person will be in to win a copy of A Long Trail Rolling, my new Western Historical Romantic Adventure, or… a Horsey Historical Romantic Adventure, complete with plenty of suspense!
Next week, after the party, I’ll pick one winner from those who commented!
Hope you enjoy the excerpt, and I’ll be back tomorrow with some posts about The Long Trail Quadrilogy, still in progress!
Good luck in the competition!
About the Author:
Lizzi grew up riding wild in the Santa Cruz Mountain redwoods, became an equine veterinarian at UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine, practiced in the California Pony Express and Gold Country before emigrating to New Zealand. When not writing, she’s swinging a rapier or shooting a bow in medieval garb, riding, driving a carriage or playing on her farm, singing, or working as an equine veterinarian or science teacher. She is multiply published and awarded in special interest magazines and veterinary periodicals.
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Thanks so much for reading! Hope to see many of you over there or when you come to visit in New Zealand!