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Tuesday Teaser 11/18/14- Daughter of the Wolf Clan

First, a quick writing update: I am mostly done with edits on Wolf’s Lady, which will be a free read released on December 5. And I’m plugging along with Wolf’s Princess. I estimate Sky and Rose’s book will be around 85,000 words long, and I’m at 58,000 words now, so I’m 2/3 done. I’m working hard, I promise, but there is a lot of story left to write. I suspect it will be over 85,000. We’ll see.

 

The next Tuesday Teaser will be Daughter of the Wolf Clan, which is a story about Tami and Tracker’s daughter and the odd stranger who steals her to be his bride. Hint: he is distantly related to Eddie Madison.  Here we go. As always, this hasn’t been edited, so there will be typos and weirdness.

 

Daughter of the Wolf Clan (working title)

By Maddy Barone

 

Rocking C Ranch, Colorado

October, 2088

 

 

Chapter One

 

Olivia Stensrud rubbed her sore rear end while she watched her spooked horse flee, taking her rifle and canteen with him. Stupid animal, leaving her stranded here alone, miles from the ranch. What had scared him? Olivia looked around the mountain trail but saw nothing. It was silent, no noise that might have scared him, only the sound of the wind in the aspens and the burbling water in the ice cold stream cutting through the meadow below. She sniffed the air, trying to catch the scent of an animal that might have spooked her horse, but she didn’t have her father’s sense of smell.

Her brothers would never let her hear the end of this. She hadn’t been bucked off her horse in years. They loved nothing more than teasing their baby sister, except, possibly, scaring off any boy brave enough to smile at her. They were still teasing her about being sweet on Rob Russell down in Kearney. If they knew just how far she and Rob had gone in the stall in his father’s smithy her brothers wouldn’t have teased her about it; they would have beaten Rob to a pulp.

But that was months ago and what they didn’t know wouldn’t hurt them. Right? She was almost twenty years old, practically an old maid, and Rob was one of the few men brave enough to court her. He was tall, and strong, and handsome. And he was a really nice guy, with a good job in his father’s blacksmithing business. Rob said he loved her, and he would speak to her father about marriage, but dad had packed them up and got back to the ranch for the winter earlier than usual this year, so Rob never got the chance to ask. When she got back home she would write Rob a letter.

Olivia shrugged her shoulders to loosen the tight muscles and looked down the trail, hoping her horse would stop so she could catch him. She whistled for him, but he didn’t come. He was probably a mile away by now, heading for his stall back at the ranch. She was going to have to hoof it home. Unless her brothers saw her riderless horse? They might tease her to death about it, but they would come find her. Overprotective idiots. If she were very lucky, they wouldn’t mention it to dad. She knew the rules about riding too far from the house alone, and she was well past his one mile limit. Her father was a reasonable man, but he was also a wolf, and wolves tended to go overboard in protecting their families.

Olivia brushed herself off one more time, touched a hand to the hilt of the knife in her belt for reassurance, and headed down the trail after her horse. It was a pretty day for a walk, a perfect October day in Colorado, with the aspens gold against the deep blue of the sky, contrasting with the green of the scrubby pines. Yes, a lovely day for a walk, and she would stress that to her brothers when— if they found her before she got back to the ranch.

The path was rocky, so she walked carefully in her high-heeled cowboy boots. There was a sheer rock wall soaring toward the sky a yard to her left, and a grassy slope started about ten yards away on her right, spreading out into a grassy mountain meadow cut in half by a stream. In the meadow, tumbled rock lined the edges of the stream. This is one of her favorite places to come to be alone and think. Her mom had shown it to her when she was little.

As she had been taught, Olivia kept her eyes moving to and fro to find any trouble before it found her. She hadn’t forgotten that something had scared her horse. Everything might look serene and calm, but a horse didn’t shy and buck for no reason at all.

All her caution didn’t keep her from being surprised by the thing that dropped from the rock wall twenty feet above.

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