Tuesday Teaser July 29: Wolf’s Lady Part 28

Woo-hoo! This is one of the last tidbits in Sand and Amanda’s story. If you recall, last week Amanda said goodbye to her father and her cousin in her childhood home, and then she and Sand left to walk back to Sky’s house.  As always, please excuse the typos and rough-draft-itis.


Amanda made it almost two blocks before she broke down in tears. Sand came to a stop and enfolded her in his arms. The hard body that sparked her passion to amazing heights was now a warm comfort holding her in a tender embrace.

“I’m sorry,” she sniffled, gripping handfuls of his silk shirt at his shoulders. The Henderson brothers in the house across the street probably had their noses to the front window, watching at them. At least she had stopped in front of the empty lot so no one there could gape at them and it was too dark for anyone to see much. “I hate it when women bawl like babies, especially in public. I’ll stop in a minute, I promise.”

Her husband stroked her hair with a gentle hand. “No, don’t be sorry, and take all the time you need. I’m taking you away from everything you know and love. That deserves to be mourned.”

He rocked her for a long minute, murmuring loving words into her ear over her sobbing breaths. Maybe that was why he didn’t hear the men coming through the empty lot. He must have caught their scent at the last moment, though, because he lifted his head and began to turn while pushing her so she would be behind him. She felt him jerk against her. Breath hissed between his teeth. Then he stumbled and went down.

She simply stared for a moment, uncomprehending, at her strong feral husband sprawled on his side at her feet. “Sand?”

Dark shapes rushed toward her. She fumbled for her whistle and tried to blow. It came out in a thin, trembling whisper of a whistle. She gulped in air to try again, but hands clamped onto her arm, dragging the whistle from her lips.

“Stop!” she croaked, and then managed a real scream. “Let me go!”

A luck blow from her flailing fist landed in a crunch that was both horrifying and satisfying.

“Ow!” a man grunted. “Fucking bitch broke my nose!”

She struggled with renewed hope, but before long she was subdued by two men who stuffed a smelly cloth in her mouth and tied her wrists in front of her.

“Check the man,” one of them ordered. “Be sure he’s dead.”

Her attempt to scream NO! was stifled by the gag. One of the men holding her squeezed his arms over her rib cage with painful force. The pain drove the breath out of her. There was a buzzing sound in her ears that almost drowned out the man holding her. His voice was calm and business-like, even soothing.

“Don’t be scared, lady. We were paid to bring you somewhere, not to hurt you. We’re just trying to earn a living, see? We ain’t Sunday school teachers, but none of us likes hurting women. So as long as you behave, we got no reason to hurt you. So just—”

His voice broke off abruptly and soared into a scream. A heavy weight thudded into him, knocking Amanda off her feet. Her eyes blinked wide at the sight of the wolf. She rolled over the sidewalk to get out of the way as he tore into a man with bloody rage. That hadn’t been buzzing in her ears, it was Sand, growling in his wolf form. Dear God, he was frightening. She pulled and tugged until the gag fell out of her mouth.

“Sand!” she shouted. Or tried to shout. It was more of a wheeze. “Sand!”

She wasn’t sure how long it was before the animal left his prey and trotted over to her, whining and pushing his warm wet nose into her cold face. The beast laid down beside her with a heavy sigh, put his head on his paws and shimmered into Sand.

“Sand!” She crept forward and reached her bound hands to touch his shoulder. His shirt was ripped and wet with a warm thick substance. In the dark she couldn’t see well, but it had to be blood. “Where are you hurt? What happened?” She looked wildly around for help, but there were only three lumps on the sidewalk. Their attackers looked like spilled laundry piled on the concrete. “Sand? Please, talk to me!”

“I’m okay.” His voice was a groan, but hearing it was better than listening to her favorite music. He was alive. “Shot. In the side. I’ll be better soon. You. Okay?”

“Fine.” The worst she had was bruises. “Oh, God.”

She had to get him help. This time when she raised the whistle to her lips she blew a clear, shrill blast. She did it over and over until Sand’s hand caught her wrist.

“Stop. I hear horses coming. Wipe the blood. Off my mouth.” He seemed to struggle for every word, stopping to gasp for breath. “Don’t wanna advertize how I killed. Those men.”

By the time two Guardsmen on horseback arrived she had cleaned his face with the tail of his tattered shirt and settled his pants, torn and twisted from his shift to wolf and back to man, into place. She held her bound hands up as the first of the Guardsmen hurried to her. Thank goodness it was Dean Moynihan, one of the men who had patrolled this area since she was a girl.

“Mr. Moynihan!” she cried. “Thank God you’re here! My husband and I were attacked. He’s shot. We need to get him to the hospital.”

The two Guardsmen worked quickly to examine Sand and wrap cotton around his chest. They took another two agonizingly long minutes to record scene in their notebooks, then snapped open a sling that they suspended between their horses. Amanda hovered while they lifted Sand and laid him into the sling. She clenched her hands under her chin when she saw his head, face slack, loll limply to his shoulder. He couldn’t be hurt badly. He had just spoken to her. Was he faking? Oh, please God, let him be faking!

The younger Guardsman lifted her to sit behind Dean, who patted her knee where it rested behind his on the horse.  “Don’t worry, ma’am,” he said bracingly. “We’ll get him to a doctor right away.”

Amanda was worried more than ever. If Sand were awake, he would have growled at seeing another man touching her.

“Hurry,” she ordered.

Writing Update! News! Read All About It!

It’s probably not as exciting as the subject line sounds, but I thought I’d post to let you know what I have going at the moment. Summer is here in North Dakota USA, so I’m sweating and moaning about the heat and humidity. In five months I’ll be shivering and moaning and the cold and the windchill. lol  But I should get to the point.




I will be part of a blog hop beginning Friday August 1 and ending Sunday August 3. That’s next weekend! I love these bloghops because they are so well run, and there are tons of great prizes. Not just gift cards and free books, but the grand prize is a Kindle Fire. I will be offering a download of any of my ebooks or audiobooks, plus I’ll be running another contest on my blog. If you are a cat lover, you might like to sign up.  One winner will have the right to name and design Rose’s cat. This cat will be Sky’s mortal enemy, but even Sky has to love him when he helps to save Rose.  You can signup for an email reminder at www.JustRomance.Me  So, be sure to swing by next weekend.

The other thing is that on Wednesday October 29 2014 I’ll be having a Facebook Party. We’ll chat and you can ask me any question, and I’ll be having games  and prizes. The main prize will be a (very raw and unedited) ARC of Wolf’s Princess. I’ll be sending out more info on that in a couple of months.



We are coming to the end of Wolf’s Lady, the serial short story I’ve been posting on Tuesdays on my blog. I haven’t posted all of it, and I think it will be about 35,000 words long. I plan to have it released for free on December 5, 2014. It will be on my website, and Smashwords. I’ll upload it on Amazon also, but they don’t allow a book to be started at FREE. It must be at least $0.99, and then people can report it as free in other online stores and Amazon will match the price. So you might want to download it from Smashwords if you prefer a format for kindle. More about that to come.


I feel like I’m doing well with Wolf’s Princess. I love, love LOVE this story. Sky is half Alpha jerk and half tender lover.  Rose is snarky, pragmatic, and brave. Once she figures out what she wants, she goes for it.  Poor Sky doesn’t have a chance. Not that he complains after the first few chapters. I hope to have it ready to go out to the Beta readers by mid-October and hopefully will have it submitted to Liquid Silver by mid-November. I can’t tell you for sure when it will be released, because it depends on the publisher’s schedule, how long edits take, etc, but my educated guess is late February to mid March.


Well, I better sign off and get Rose and Sky going on their first kiss. Fireworks are about to erupt in the form of a jealous, mean feline who despises Sky. :)


Tuesday Teaser July 22: Wolf’s Lady Part 27

We’re coming to the end of this story, but it’s not quite done yet. :)  NOTE:  This tidbit has a mild spoiler for Wolf’s Vengeance. I think that book’s been out long enough for the spoiler to be okay, but I wanted to give fair warning in case anyone has strong feelings about having a book spoiled.  So, with no further ado, I give you the very raw and unedited Wolf’s Lady.


Amanda held her husband’s hand as they strolled through the streets of Omaha to her father’s house. He looked handsome in his charcoal grey trousers and brick red raw silk shirt open at the throat. She had combed his hair and fastened it into a sleek tail that hung between his shoulder blades to the skinny black belt around his narrow waist. She decided every man with a high tight ass should have a pair of well tailored dress pants to show off his assets. Any woman would be proud to walk hand in hand with Sand, but no one else would ever have the chance, because he was hers.

It was a beautiful afternoon for a walk, sunny and warm, but not hot, with a light breeze. She had her mother’s hand knit shawl tucked into her bag, since the walk home could be chilly. It was a lengthy walk from Sky’s House in what was called the Gold Coast to her childhood home in the poor part of Omaha. They arrived and she tugged him to a halt at the edge of the bare yard to look at the small house.

“I’m going to miss it,” she said. “I know it’s not a big place, or even very nice, but it was home.”

Sand lifted their joined hands to his lips and kissed her fingers. “If I could, I would bring it with us to the den.”

“I know you would. But then where would my father live?”

“He’d always be welcome to live with us at the den.”

Amanda shook her head slowly. “Since my cousin has been named his legal ward, they couldn’t leave Omaha without paying a huge fee. Well, he could, but she couldn’t, and of course he’d never leave her behind.”

He stared at her for a moment, a strange look on his face that morphed into disgust. “Of course the greedy city fathers of Omaha wouldn’t let a woman out of their grasp without being paid for it.”

Oh, God, she thought, looking around to see if anyone could overhear them. The City Guard didn’t patrol this neighborhood the way they did the more prosperous sections of the city, but anyone could inform on them. When she made frantic shushing motions at him he lowered his voice. “If she wants to leave, there are ways to smuggle her out of Omaha.”

She tugged his hand to get him moving to the house. “No, that would be too dangerous.”

He moved obediently toward the house. “How much is the fee?”

“I think it’s one hundred gold strips. I have a little money left, but not enough to pay that.”

Sand muttered something in Lakota and walked with her up the wooden steps to the front door. She knocked. He asked, “Why are you knocking? This is your home.”

“Not anymore. My home is with you from now on.”

Her father opened the door in the middle of her comment. “Now, that’s not quite true, little girl. Your home is with your husband, for sure, but this will always be your home. And Sand’s too.”

Sand shook her father’s hand and they all walked into the small living room. “Smells good,” Sand said.

Her cousin came in from the kitchen, wearing a smile and her novice uniform. Sand went to her and gave her a kiss on the cheek. “Supper smells delicious, cousin. Did you make some of your famous bread?”

Sara grinned. “No, but I made dinner rolls.”

Amanda went and gave her cousin a hug. “What can I do to help with supper.?”

“Supper’s ready, but you could help carry food into the dining room.”

An hour later, Amanda leaned back in her chair, feeling pleasantly full. Her husband and her father were deep in a discussion about rat control. Amanda made a face at Sara, and the girl smothered a giggle behind her hand.

“Let’s leave them to it,” she suggested. “I can help you with dishes.”

Sara accepted the offer. Amanda stood in the familiar kitchen, on the rug her mother had made laid over the section of worn out linoleum  in front of the sink, and dried the supper dishes while Sara washed them.

“This is the last time I’ll do this,” she said quietly. “At least, for a very long time.”

Sara smiled at her as she set the last pan into the drying rack. “I remember how hard it was for me when my dad died. I haven’t seen our place in Kansas since.”

That was a reminder to Amanda to be thankful. Her father was still alive, and she hadn’t been sold to be a prize in a Bride Fight. “I’m sorry. That must have been so hard.”

Sara was quiet for a few minutes, her face furrowed with sorrow. “It was. But at least I’m safe here for the time being.” Her face brightened. “And I got a letter from my husband. It was only a few lines long, but it means he’s thinking of me. He hasn’t forgotten me.”

From the entry to the kitchen, Sand spoke. “He hasn’t forgotten you. No wolf would ever forget his mate.”

“Even if he wanted to?” Sara’s smile twisted. “Never mind. When you get back home be sure to tell Spot hi from me, and tell him I’m waiting for him.”

“I’ll tell him.” His voice softened when he turned to Amanda. “Darling, we need to leave.”

Amanda hung up the dish towel and sent a lingering glance around the kitchen. It was time for her to leave. She forced a spring into her step as she walked to the front door of the house. She would be on tomorrow’s train to go to her new home in Kearney. She was looking forward to that, but …

“Daddy,” she whispered, feeling the tears start. ”Daddy, I’m going to miss you.”

Her father’s arms closed around her, not quite as strong as they had been when she was a girl, but just as warm and loving. “I’ll miss you too, little girl. But I’m glad to know you’ll be away from Omaha with a fine man for a husband. Now, don’t cry. You’ll get me started.”

“You’ll come live with us someday,” she said fiercely. “In only a couple of years, you’ll be free to come west. There will be room in our house. Right, Sand?”

“Yes.” Sand put a hand on her father’s arm. “You’ll always be welcome in the Pack.”

Sara’s eyes were streaming, but she tried to stop. “I know you have to go, but I wish you didn’t. It’s a long walk back to Sky’s House and it’s dark. Will you be safe?”

“Sand is with me.” She hugged her cousin one more time. “Of course I will.”

But she was wrong.

Tuesday Teaser July 15, 2014 Wolf’s Lady Part 26

This week’s tidbit is really is just a tidbit. The point I want to get across here is that Sand and Amanda are enjoying their honeymoon. They are becoming comfortable telling each other how they feel, and they love one another. Not a lot of action here, but I felt it was necessary before having them go have dinner with her father and cousin.



Sand woke, exquisitely aware of his mate pressed against him. She was on her side, her back against his chest and her ass snuggled into his groin, and desire, fresh and hot, rose in him again. He listened to her soft breathing and something Quill had told him a long time ago came back. Quill told him the first time he made love with his mate, he’d wept. At the time Sand thought Quill was pretty stupid to cry at a time like that, but now, feeling Amanda lying so close to him, showing such utter acceptance and trust, Sand understood. Tears of joy, awe, and overwhelming tenderness were gathering in his eyes now. After years of silently yearning to have a woman to love, his mate was lying next to him. He burrowed his nose into Amanda’s soft hair and breathed in her scent.

“I love you,” he whispered into her hair.

She didn’t wake, so he lay beside her and enjoyed her scent in his nose and her warmth beside him. She was his mate. No matter how many times he thought it, the joy of it remained fresh and new. He would never be alone again, now that he had her.

Over the next three days, early morning became one of Sand’s favorite times. Amanda always slept long past sunup, so he had plenty of time to revel in her presence at his side. Of course, that was only one of his favorite times. The nights when they shared passion were even better. Amanda told him what to do to please her, and he eagerly followed her instructions, and even embellished them with his own imagination. He delighted in making her scream his name. Later mornings were wonderful too, after she woke up and he made love to her again. Night time was for hot passion; mornings were for tenderness. He loved all of it.

On the fourth morning after their wedding, Amanda stretched languorously after she had gotten her breath back. She looked up at him from the rumpled bedclothes and giggled.  “You look pretty smug, there, husband. You practically ooze satisfaction.”

“You satisfy me,” he told her solemnly. “Making love with you satisfies me, and so does lying here like this, just talking. I’m so lucky. A lot of wolves never choose a mate, and even those who do aren’t always accepted.”

“I love you, Sand.”

He would never get tired of hearing that. Her hair was scattered over the pillow, a beautiful frame for her beautiful face. I love you, Amanda.”

“Come on!” She tossed the sheet back and got out of bed to stretch. “
Tonight we’re going home for supper, remember? You looked fabulous in Sky’s suit. Let’ s go buy you one.”

He tried to stifle his horror. “A suit? I need to wear a suit to eat with your dad?”

“Well, no.” She smoothed her face out, but he could smell her disappointment. “Not if you don’t want to.”

She was naked, pale and lovely and soft. He pulled her against him and kissed her hair. “I will if you want me to.”

She leaned back to look into his face. “I can tell you hate the idea.”

Already she knew him well enough to read him. “I don’t, no. But if it will make you happy…”

Her finger was unbearably gently on his lower lip. “How about a pair of slacks and a dress shirt?”

“No tie?”

“No tie,” she confirmed.

He kissed her deeply. “No wonder I love you. You can buy me a shirt and pants and I’ll wear them. For you.”

“Thank you. We can go shopping now and if there are any alterations that need to be made…” She paused when he pressed her against his erection. “Again?”

Her voice held a little surprise, but no complaint. “If you don’t mind,” he said, straight-faced.

He loved her laugh, and adored her stroking fingers. “No, I don’t mind. We can go shopping a little later.”

How To Make Win Win Magnets

All done

I have some old business cards left over, and I’m too darned stingy to just throw them away. My sister and my niece made me some fridge magnets, and while I was admiring them, a thought popped into my head. Hey! I could make some cute magnets out of my business cards! It took me almost no time to make a dozen of them, and didn’t cost very much, and now I’ve gotten rid of some old business cards that were just taking up space. That’s what I call a Win Win! And then I thought: Wow! What a great thing to do with lots of the swag that I’ve gotten. I mean, I hardly read paperbacks anymore, so I could recycle all those great bookmarks I’ve picked up at conventions that are too nice to throw away. Oh, and maybe my mom would like some magnets with the grandkids’ pictures!  Or those Christmas cards I keep saving but never do anything with could be great seasonal magnets!  And the more I thought, the more hooked I became on this quick and easy craft. And, being a nice, generous person, I thought I’d share how I did it.



Gather  supplies.  I used the following:


Glass bubbles.

     I don’t actually know what these are called, but they are glass round things flat on one side and rounded on the other. You can get them in the floral section in the craft store, or in the mosaic making section. Mine are about 1 inch in diameter and about a quarter of an inch tall. Mine cost $2.99 for a 2 pound bag. You can get something like them for a buck at the dollar store. Or you can buy square glass tiles for a bit more.


A clear adhesive to glue the picture onto the bubble.

     I looked at my glue supplies at home, and considered the Mod Podge, but it was pretty thick and old. I picked up some “Glossy Accents” at the craft store for $5.99.  I couldn’t find Diamond Glaze, which is what others have used.



     I bought a 48 count pack of 3/4 inch round magnets for $7.99.



     A good, strong glue is what you want here. I already had some E6000, but Goop would be fine, or whatever you like.



     Anything you want. Scan and print photographs. Cut out pieces of pretty wrapping paper, old Christmas cards,  Valentine’s cards, paper swag from Romance Conventions like bookmarks, trading cards, and postcards, or whatever you want.


Hole Punch

     This actually optional. I already had a 1 inch round hole punch from my scrap booking days. A pair of scissors would work just fine. If you decide to buy one it would cost under $10.00.





1. Clean the glass bubbles to be sure there’s no lint or dust on them.


cut out image

2. Cut out your paper. Should be a hair smaller than the flat side of the glass bubble. Doesn’t have to be exact. The glass isn’t always a perfect circle.





smear glue on bubble


3. Smear a small amount of adhesive to the flat side of the bubble.





put photo on glass bubble

4. Place the paper on flat side of bubble, picture side to glass, and gently move it around to be sure the adhesive coats all parts of the paper. Smooth it flat to get any air bubble out. Let dry an hour or so, until it is completely dry.





glue on magnet

5. Squirt a pea sized dollop of the strong glue to back of picture. Press magnet firmly into the glue. Set aside to dry.






Done! See how easy that is? Unique and fun gifts that take very little time and very little money. Even if you have to buy every item needed, including the hole punch, and pay to have old photos printed out, I think the magnets come out to about $0.49 each. But watch for sales and clip coupons, and it’s more like $0.28 each. A set of 6 would be a great stocking stuffer gift and could be tailored to the recipient.  Know a quilter? Know a cat lover? This is a perfect, easy gift with a quirky, personal touch that won’t take weeks to make or break your budget. That’s why I call these Win Win Magnets.

Tuesday Teaser July 8, 2014: Wolf’s Lady Part 25

          At last the end is in sight. After this there is just one more big scene, and then the wrap up. But I shouldn’t get ahead of myself! I have finished writing the wedding night scene. I hope you will like it. I finished it literally just now, and haven’t even looked at it again, so it is probably littered with typos and all kinds of other boo boos. Please disregard them.


          For those of you who are just finding this now, I have been writing a serial short story called Wolf’s Lady, about Sand, one of the wolf warriors of the Lakota Wolf Clan, and Miss Amanda, a business woman employed in Sky’s house in Omaha. This story takes place a few months after Wolf’s Vengeance ends, and approx a year and a half before Wolf’s Princess begins. To read it from the beginning, click Wolf’s Lady in the list of categories on the right.


          I am picking back up a little before the end of last week’s tidbit, so the first few paragraphs are repeats. I am once again giving you a link to the pages, because these are explicit love scenes not meant for anyone under 18.  If you are not an adult in your country, please do not click the link below. For everyone else, enjoy!


Wolf’s Lady Wedding Night

Happy Fourth of July!


Here in the States, we’re celebrating our Independence Day.  For most of us that means, picnics, parades, and Fireworks.

Well, I have some fireworks to set off too.  Rose and Sky will be pretty explosive.  Click Here to read the first two chapters UNEDITED of Wolf’s Princess.


Happy Fourth and Happy Reading!

Tuesday Teaser July 1, 2014 Wolf’s Lady Part 24

Okay, you’ll all going to want to kill me. I promised the wedding night scene for this week’s teaser, but I didn’t finish it.  I’m leaving you hanging here but I have a really good reason. I got so busy with Sky and Rose’s story, that I ran out of time. I promise I will finish it in a few days. Meanwhile, I am attaching the first 5 pages as a word docx. The first four pages could be posted here, but the last page is a teeny bit steamy. I don’t want young people to stumble over it on accident. If you are 18 years old (or the age of adulthood in your country)  click below to read the next tidbit in Sand and Amanda’s story. It will take you to the download page. Thank you for your patience!


 Wolf’s Lady Wedding Night Part 1

Sleeping With the Wolf FREE!!

I am so excited! My first book is FREE!


          iTunes is running a First In Series world-wide promotion this summer, and my After the Crash series was selected for it. That means Sleeping With  the Wolf is FREE at iTunes for the next few weeks. I don’t know how to link to iTunes, but you can go there and search for Sleeping With the Wolf.

          My publisher, LSBooks, has set the book to Free at some other online bookstores too. If you don’t have a copy yet, you can click the links below. Tell your friends too. This is only a for a few weeks, so grab it now!

At Amazon

At Barnes & Noble


Tuesday Teaser 6/24/14: Wolf’s Lady Part 23

Hello! We’re heading down the home stretch of this little short story about Sand and Amanda. I think I’ll have this rough draft wrapped up by the end of July. But we’ll see. You recall we left Amanda telling Terry Askup he wasn’t man enough to handle a woman like her, and the only man who would handle her from now on was Sand? We pick up now from Sand’s point of view. Enjoy!

Delight and elation soared in Sand. My mate, he thought. My mate is magnificent. He said, “I love you too,” but the people in the room were shouting and laughing, and she was glaring challengingly at Askup, so maybe she didn’t hear him. That was okay. He’d tell her again later. He would tell her every day for the rest of their lives.

The judge stood at his desk, face red while he banged his hammer and shouted for silence. Since his desk was at the top of a few steps, he was taller than anyone else. Sand forced himself to look away from his mate and focus on the judge.

“Order! Silence! Order! If you clowns in the gallery don’t shut up and sit down, I’ll empty the courtroom!”

The judge’s threat was effective. The room quieted. The judge cleared his throat and pointed his wooden hammer at Amanda. “You may sit down, ma’am.”

Sand heard her settle herself back into her chair. The judge remained standing at his desk.

“It is clear to this court that the discord between Mr. Askup and Mr. Wolfe stems from their ardent desire to win the affections of the same woman. She has stated before this court that her affections belong to Mr. Wolfe. Based on the evidence and testimony heard today, I find that both the plaintiff and the defendant are at fault. They will each be fined two gold strips or one hundred hours of community service.”

Two gold? Sand’s heart sank. He didn’t have any money at all. One hundred hours of labor he could do, but he wanted to take Amanda home as soon as possible. He couldn’t wait to introduce her to the Pack by Kearney, and then take her out to the Clan on the plains to meet his father and brothers.

“That ridiculous!” protested Askup. He shook off his lawyer’s hand. “I am not at fault here!”

“I say you are, and since I am the appointed judge of the court, I think my word carries a little more weight than yours.”

Askup turned his head to look behind Sand, obviously at Amanda. “Amanda, I know you’re being coerced. You can’t want to marry that filthy, longhaired—”

“Oh, but I do,” Amanda spat.

“That’s enough,” the judge said with authority.

Askup gave the man a hostile stare. “This part has nothing to do with your court, so stay out of it. Amanda, if you actually marry this Indian, I will kill him and bring you home with me.”

Sand bared his teeth at the threat. He heard Sky’s voice urging him to calm down. There was only so much he could take. Counting each breath that hissed through his clenched teeth helped. So did the expression on the judge’s face. He didn’t know the judge, but any fool could see Askup had said the wrong thing.

“This is my courtroom,” Judge Case said coolly, “and I’m raising your fine another two strips of gold, for contempt of court! And one more, for threatening the life of a man within the hearing of the court.”

Could a man’s face get so dark without harming his heart? Sand was amazed and even a little worried. If Askup dropped dead it might upset Amanda. But his worry was swallowed by anger when Askup spoke next.

“I forbid you to marry him. Do you understand me, Amanda? I forbid it! A whore should be good at taking orders; why can’t you just listen to me?”

“That’s enough!”

The judge’s roar cut through Sand’s growl. He could almost taste Sky’s suppressed rage behind him. Sand subsided, holding to a sliver of his temper with great effort. The judge waved a hand at Amanda behind him.

“Stand up, my dear, stand up and approach the bench. Bring your fiancé with you, please.”

Amanda’s soft hand slipped into his. Just the scent of her calmed him. They walked the few yards to stand in front of the judge’s raised desk. The judge leaned forward to look at both of them and spoke quietly.

“Do you have enough to pay the marriage fee?”

“Yes,” Amanda answered quickly. “And enough to pay his fine.”

“Good.” The judge straightened and raised his voice to a boom. “It is the pleasure of this court to unite Miss Amanda and Mr. Wolfe in the bonds of Holy Matrimony immediately. Mr. Wolfe, please take your bride by the ha— Good God. Bailiff! Unlock the shackles on this man.”

Amanda waved a shaky hand at the judge. “Johnny, I mean, Your Honor, right now?”

Sand’s heart plummeted to his stomach. “Have you changed your mind?”

“No!” Her hand, which had released him so the handcuffs could be removed, clutched his hand again. Her eyes looked into his with a smile, and he was ready to do anything so she would keep smiling at him like that. “I will marry you this second. But  I want my dad to give me away.” She looked back up at the judge. “Please, I want my father here.”

“Very well.” The judge beckoned at one of the uniformed guardsmen. “Go fetch Mr. Nelson. Waste no time. We’re starting in a half hour whether he’s here or not.”

“And my cousin, if you see her!” Amanda called at the departing man.

Askup’s face was livid right down to his jowls. “Do I have the court’s permission to withdraw?” he asked, sarcasm dripping from his voice.

“No, you do not.” The judge’s smile was anything but friendly. “You will stay and witness this marriage. That way, I and all of Omaha, will know that you cannot be ignorant of the union. And you do recall, don’t you, that the punishment for interfering with a marriage can be anything up to death?”

Terry Askup subsided, his color now sickeningly pale. But Sand couldn’t care less about that. Amanda stood at his side, holding his arm with that brilliant smile on her face. In only a few minutes she would be his wife, and nothing else mattered to him.

 There you go! Next week I’ll have to post a link to follow so you can read their wedding night scene.  That will be for the over 18 crowd ;)

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