Tuesday Teaser 4/22/14: Wolf’s Lady Part 16
I can’t believe I’ve been putting this serial out for almost 4 months now! After this there will be more action than emotions. I feel like we’ve gotten to know Amanda and Sand a bit more now, so we can get to the “good stuff”. What would make Amanda be willing to accept Sand? Does Sand love Amanda. or only want a mate? I need to bring them both to the point where they know their feelings are real and deep.
As always, this is rough and unedited. Hope you enjoy it!
Sand watched Askup and the Guardsman until they were out of sight and hearing. When he was sure they were away, he pulled Amanda back to the bench to sit. “That fat slug asked you to marry him?”
Her beautiful smile, the one that showed only amusement, curved her mouth. “Yes, he did. He’s rich, he’s close friends with the mayor, and he has a large mansion, so his wife would have a life of ease.”
He didn’t like that. “So why did you refuse him?”
She leaned close to speak in a voice hardly louder than a whisper. Her scent overwhelmed him. He breathed deeply of that precious scent. “He’s also petty, controlling, and mean in bed. Did you hear his threat? I won’t marry a man who won’t accept defeat gracefully.”
The threat didn’t bother him. The image of Askup in bed with Amanda lifted his lip in a snarl. When Amanda dropped his arm and stepped back he realized his mistake. He sniffed. Her scent had changed. “You’re nervous?”
“Of course not.”
Her scent said different, but her face lifted to his with a calm expression. Amanda was not only beautiful beyond his dreams, she was also strong and self-controlled. His wolf had chosen a superb woman for his mate.
“Sand, does my career bother you?”
“We already talked about this.” It took a little effort, but he kept his voice mild. “What you did before we even met is none of my business.”
“Hmmm,” she murmured in a doubting tone.
He clenched his teeth. “I’m jealous of the men who have been in your life before me,” he admitted. “I can’t help that, but I know I have no right to expect you to deny loving other men in your life.”
“They were in my bed, not my life!” she clarified, with a bit of a snap. “The only men in my life that I care about are my dad and Sky. I love Sky like my brother. And I’ve never brought Sky here.” She waved an arm around the clearing with the dead fountain. “Only you.”
Only him. Relief, and something close to wonder, melted his heart within him. “Will you accept my mate claim?”
She smiled and lifted one shoulder in a slight shrug. “I don’t know yet.”
Relief dissolved in disappointment. “Oh.”
Her smile grew to a laugh. “Don’t give up, Sand. It took me two seconds to refuse Terry. It’s been twelve hours and you’re still in the running.” She took his arm. “Let’s go back to Sky’s.”
She hadn’t denied him yet, at least. He just needed to figure out what would make her accept him. As they strolled through the gardens he noticed her pleasure in the flowers. “If you accept my mate claim I’ll plant all the flowers you like around our house. I’ll make you a garden, with a fountain, and a bench and anything else you like.”
She flashed him a quick glance. “That would be nice. But if I marry you, it won’t be for a house, or flowers or anything like that.”
He stopped and looked down at her, forcing desperation back. “Then for what? What can I give you to convince you to accept me?”
She stopped too, staring up at him with an unusually sober face. “What I want from my husband can’t be touched or put into a gift bag, and the price could be very high. But I won’t marry without it.”
“Name it.” Determination rose in him. “I’ll give you whatever you want.”
Amanda’s smile this time was misty, as if she were holding back tears. “It’s not that easy, Sand. I’ll be cheating if I tell you. You have to figure it out for yourself.”
A challenge! There was nothing a wolf liked better. His smiled fiercely at her, savoring the lovely lines of her face. “I will figure it out. Give me a hint.”
She bit her lower lip. “It’s only what most women want.”
If the Lupa were here he could ask her. Maybe he could write her a letter. “I’ll find out and I will give it to you.”
Her hand was soft and gentle when she touched his cheek. “I hope so,” she murmured. “Let’s go home.”