Merry Christmas! A Deleted Scene from Eddie’s Prize
My Tuesday Teaser this week is from Eddie’s Prize, but since it didn’t move Eddie and Lisa’s story forward, it has been removed from the manuscript. That made it the perfect Christmas present for my readers. Let me give you a little set up here. It is early November and Lisa is at the den to visit Carla. Eddie dropped her off there on his way north to visit a friend. The two women are sitting in the room that connects to Carla and Taye’s bedroom. Taye set it aside for Carla’s sole use. As they are sitting and talking about what their married lives are like, Sky comes to the den with Rose, whom he rescued from Two Bears.
Carla cocked her head to listen to a distant howl. “Is that Taye? Already?” She glanced at her watch. “It’s only half past four. Maybe he finished hunting early.”
But it wasn’t Taye. Agitated voices sounded in the hall, getting closer to the listening women, and a peremptory knock sounded before the door was flung open to admit a tangle of bodies. They poured in like cats dumped out of a sack, all bristling fur, claws and yowls.
Lisa felt bombarded by the invasion, staring at the people flooding into the room without comprehension at first glance of who they were or even how many there were. To settle herself, Lisa counted them. There was a man a little older than she was, tall and muscular, and barely dressed in cut offs, with black hair loose to his waist. He stood to one side of the door with arms folded over his chest and a grim scowl on his face. Snake hovered beside him, but he looked wide-eyed and anxious rather than grim. A third man wore leather clothes like an Indian in a cowboy movie and his black hair was in two braids. His nose might have had a proud Roman arch at one time, but was grossly bruised and swollen now. He seemed to be under the angry guard of two men who must be wolves who’d recently changed back to man form, because they were naked. Lisa would have liked to examine their fine physiques at her leisure, but, remembering Eddie’s little lecture, she forced her eyes to the couple who seemed to be the center of this ruckus.
The man of the pair wasn’t actually a man, but a teen-aged boy dressed only in a dark blue wool breechcloth and leather moccasins. His nicely developed body said he was full grown, but his handsome face held a soft boyishness that said high school. His arm was around a young woman, his body leaning toward her as if to shelter her. In contrast to the long black hair that streamed over the young man’s brown-skinned back, the woman’s hair was short and blond, and her skin was the pale sort that probably burned lobster-red after only minutes in the sun. He was tall and slimly muscular, and moved with protective grace. She was of middle height, and her long limbs reminded Lisa of Alexander the colt’s gawky stick legs. Lisa guessed neither of them was over eighteen. The boy pulled the girl further into the room, toward the couch where she and Carla sat.