Yes, the rough (very rough!) draft of Sherry’s Wolf is complete. I need to go back and add a few details, plus prune a lot of redundant, rambling internal monogue, and some other changes, including smoothing out the ending. But I’m putting it off until Tuesday. This weekend I’m knitting, spinning, sewing and reading for fun. Yippee!
To celebrate the completion of the first draft, here is anothe snippet for Sherry’s Wolf. (Unedited, of course!)
Stag found Taye in the rec room by the window, sitting in one of the chairs that were grouped around a small table, frowning down at a book in his hand. The Alpha scented him before he came close and got up with a smile.
Taye gave him a one armed hug. “What brings you here?”
Stag settled into one of the hard wooden chairs beneath the window. Taye joined him, still holding his book. “My mate,” Stag answered gloomily. “She wants me to wait until summer to kiss her again.”
Taye’s brows rose. “You kissed her?”
“Last night.” Heat poured through his body when Stag remembered the feel of her tongue playing with his. “I went too far and now she’s running scared.”
Taye ran a thumb over the spine of his battered paperback. “Did she like your kiss?” he asked carefully.
Stag was sure of that. She held onto his wrist in a grip so strong she’d used it to lift her mouth closer to him. And she hadn’t stopped him sooner even though she said she should have. Most telling of all had been her scent. Yeah, she liked kissing him. It was only the memory of a dead husband who had hurt her that made her stop.
“She liked it. I think she liked it too much. She told me to go back to the Clan until Christmas. She’s scared, Taye. She said I scared her.” Stag knew that Taye could smell his anguish at that. Even if he wanted to hide it he couldn’t.
Taye held up his book. “Same thing happened to Dante when he was courting Lady Amber.”
Taye waved the book. “Dante the pirate fell in love with the Governor’s daughter but he couldn’t have her, see, because she was a lady and he was pirate scum. So he kidnapped her and took her on his ship and sailed away. He teased her with kisses every day until she fell so deeply in love that she agreed to marry him. And they lived happily ever after.”
Stag eyed the faded cover of the book. The title scrolled over the top of the page in fancy letters: The Black Dragon’s Woman. A kneeling woman whose strange dress was falling off her shoulders clung to the leg of a bare-chested man. The woman had her head tilted back, staring up at the man in doe-eyed adoration. The man had one fist clenched on the rail of a ship, staring out to sea like he didn’t even notice he had a woman kneeling in front of him. They were apparently caught in a strong wind, since their hair and clothes streamed behind them.
“No offense, Taye, but that picture is disgusting. I don’t ever want to see Sherry kneeling in front of me.”
Taye’s smile was dreamy. “There’s things a woman can do on her knees in front of a man …” He cleared his throat. “The thing is, Dante took his woman away from everyone else. In his cabin they were alone and no one interrupted them. They didn’t have any distractions.”
“Taye,” Stag said carefully. “That’s just a book. It’s not real. And, um, what does a woman do on her knees …? No, don’t answer that!””
Taye’s smile turned wolfish. “You sure you don’t wanna know?”
Actually, Stag thought he had a pretty good idea. On her knees, Sherry’s face would be close to his cock. The thought of her mouth on him as his mouth had been on her breast last night had him shifting in his chair. His breechcloth didn’t hide anything, so Taye had to know why he barked, “Not now!”
Taye had the decency to tone his grin down. “Okay. Back to The Black Dragon’s Woman. Women have been reading these stories for years. They like it. I know it’s not real, but if you treat Sherry right she’ll be like Amber. She’ll fall in love with you.”
“I’m not a pirate! I can’t kidnap her and take her out to sea.”
“No, but you could take her out to the cabin over east of Sheep Head Hill, the one Laura and his Beagle hide out in. Keep her there for a week while you court her. If you have her alone, she’ll have to pay attention to you.”
Alone with Sherry … “No, it would be too dangerous. What if someone came on us? A beautiful woman with only one man to protect her? We’d be attacked and Sherry would be stolen.”
“I’ll send a couple of the boys to run patrol around the cabin,” Taye offered.
That would work. The thought of having Sherry all to himself was tempting. Would a week be enough time to make her forget her husband? He could prove to her that he wouldn’t hurt her. Maybe she would fall in love with him. What could it hurt? Right now she wanted him to leave her. He couldn’t stand that.
Taye could see his inner debate. He held out the book. “Here. Read this. Then come back and tell me if you want us to guard you and Sherry at the cabin.”
Stag took the battered paperback doubtfully. “What am I supposed to find out when I read this?”
“What women like in bed.”
Well, that was probably worth a couple hours of his time. Sherry was no virgin, not with her marriage to LeRoi, but he was. He’d had nothing but years of hot dreams of what he’d do with his mate if he ever found her. He sighed and nodded to Taye. “I’ll be out in the sweat lodge.”
It was nearly supper time when he returned to the rec room. The room was crowded. Rose and the Grandmother were by the window, winding yarn into balls. The skinny blonde, Mrs. Madison was there, in a chair by the fireplace, with her husband Eddie standing at her side. His cousin Dan and his new wife were beside them, Dan carving and Tami braiding a rug. About a dozen members of the Pack were there, too, lolling on furs on the floor, and Taye was sitting on the floor beside his mate, his head tipped back so the Lupa could finger comb his hair. Everyone looked up as Stag burst in. He ignored them to wave the book angrily in Taye’s face.
“He strips her naked and ties her to the bed?” he roared.