STEAL ME AWAY
Fancy Turner knows it isn’t wise to hunger for the touch of the virile Comanche chief, Bull Elk. She should catch a husband from among the few men who returned to Texas after the Civil War. But tall, bronze Bull Elk, in his feathers and buckskin, is so handsome—and forbidden.
When Bull Elk charges onto the ranch one morning and catches Fancy up in his arms, he knows he risks the anger of his own braves and the fury of the long knives to have her. He’ll risk everything to twist her golden hair in his fist, to caress the pale swell of her breast as no man has before him. He’ll have Fancy as his wife even if he has to fight his own people to make it so.
Thrust into a world she doesn’t understand, Fancy expects Bull Elk to take her. But never in her darkest fantasies does she expect to enjoy it so much. Bull Elk’s touch is possession, his kiss a brand, and to her shock Fancy finds that the only future she wants is the one she imagines in his arms.
Excerpt: All rights reserved, Copyright, Cerise DeLand 2013
Fancy Turner and her sister are outside picking vegetables and flowers one spring morning. They argue about men and the losses during the Civil War. Suddenly, Fancy’s sister points to the hill above them.
“Francine!” Collette screamed. “Don’t go! Look up at the hilltop!”
Fancy whirled to her left, one hand up to shield her vision from the glaring sun—she stood stark still. There on the ridge stood a party of half-naked mounted Comanche braves. A lot of them. Eight, nine, ten in all. By their build, Fancy could see a few were her age, maybe younger. All wore tawny loin cloths of buffalo hides, short boots of the same soft substance, long white and black hawk feathers in their shoulder-length ebony hair and nothing on their broad, bronze chests. Their leader, the tallest man among them, wore red paint across his nose and cheeks. His large, hell-dark eyes, he had ringed in black paint. Despite his fierce markings, Fancy knew who he was, and she smiled and waved at him.
“Nothing to fear from him, Coll. That is Patuwa kum. Chief Bull Elk.” She continued to walk toward the party, refusing to comfort her insolent sister any more than necessary.
“Wait, Fancy. How do you know that savage?”
“He came to a powwow with Ranger MacRae and Herr Mannfried last month in Fredericksburg.” That day, Bull Elk had worn his ceremonial headdress for the meeting and long buckskin trousers. No shirt then either. The better to show off that magnificent muscular chest. She quivered recalling how attractive she had thought him then. How his gaze made her want his large hands around her waist. How she imagined him kissing her lips. Her breasts. And even, oh god, her pussy. She cleared her throat, trying to rid her mind of her forbidden lust for the Comanche. “Ranger MacRae introduced me when I served them all food and lemonade.”
“That doesn’t make him civilized, Fancy. You’d better not go near him.”
“Don’t be a ninny, Coll. He’s fine. He speaks English too. I heard him.” She continued her way up to the ridge and stopped in front of the handsome Comanche who some said would lead his people to white folks’ ways. “Hello, Chief. How are you today?”
Though she smiled at him in greeting, he narrowed those large umber eyes at her as if he were seeing her for the first time. “Fancee. Tur. Ner.”
“Yes.” She nodded. “Nice. You remember my name.”
One of his braves spoke up, gesturing to her and shaking his head as he pointed toward Collette.
“Patuwa kum,” Fancy tried for some polite conversation, “do you…perhaps…go to Fredericksburg today?”
Two other braves murmured to their leader and Fancy could make out that they spoke his name the way she had. From the amused looks on their faces, they were making fun of her pronunciation.
So much for trying to be neighborly. Not eager to be an object of their ridicule, she bid them good day. She turned her back and trod along the stony path toward her family’s ranch house.
“Fancy,” Collette called, “don’t you dare leave me here alone with these beasts.”
Fancy didn’t bother to turn. Her sister didn’t deserve her consideration after the way she had spoken to her today. “Maybe they can teach you some manners, Coll. As for me, I am going home. Come, if you wish, or stay and reconsider your ways.”
“You little bitch!”
At the insult, Fancy halted in her tracks.
At once, the air was filled with war whoops and Fancy felt the earth vibrate with the pounding of horses’ hooves.
“No! Noooo!” Collette cried out.
Fancy whirled to see Bull Elk and his nine braves charging toward her. Her fingers went numb. Her basket of flowers fell.
Bull Elk rode straight at her. Her body frozen, her fears of being trampled by his horse turning her blood to ice, she cringed. Then she hiked up her skirts and ran. She didn’t get but two steps away.
The Comanche chief yelled a heinous cry as he came upon her and scooped her up across his lap, hanging her over his horse’s back, face down. Air slammed from her lungs. Her head spun. She tried to scream and no sound came out.
Bull Elk’s braves galloped beside him, chanting ear-splitting cries. He echoed their sounds as they raced across the hills.
Still Collette’s cries rang in her ears. “Noooo! Oh, god, no. Bring her back! Fancy! Fan-ceeee!”
The chief pinned Fancy down, his massive hand to her spine. Her long platinum waves escaped her bun and cascaded around her face. Her fingers scraped tall grasses as Bull Elk rode like the wind across the rough terrain. She winced, curling her fingers to her palms. His companions rode nearer and nearer to them so that dirt and stones cast up from their horses’ hooves hit her in the face. Clamping her eyes shut, she heard Bull Elk call to them, curt commands she took to mean, Hurry. Others follow. Their wails frightened her so that she feared she die of it. Breathless, her lungs straining for air, her ribs bruised from the galloping of the horse across the barren plain, Fancy feared all hope was lost for rescue when Collette’s shrill demands died in the distance behind her.
She writhed but Bull Elk hooked his arm around her, bent over her to keep her firmly across his saddle and rode on. And on. And on.And she wished he would never stop. For when he did, Fancy understood from tales of so many others who had been captured by the Comanche, that he would strip her, scalp her and maybe even skin her. She fervently prayed before that happened, she would die.