Ice Princess by Judith B. Glad



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Victim of brutal rape, Flower Jones longs for refuge in England, where she believes she will be safe. But she reckons without William King, an escaped slave, who wants her for his woman. Although he could live free in Cherry Vale, where no one will ever whip him again, William follows her as she travels to a seaport, risking capture as an escaped slave. The raw gold they carry excites the greed of outlaws, who force them to fight for their lives. Face to face with death, will Flower realize how precious life —and William—are to her?

Excerpt:

Half the Injuns in the country could have snuck up on them as they thrashed and battled on the dusty ground. William couldn't stop them rolling down the hill and into their camp, but he didn't worry much over the bruises and bumps he got. He did his best to protect her from the worst of it though, despite her wild struggles that didn't leave him much leeway.

When her fingers stabbed at his eyes, he decided he'd had enough. He wrapped his legs around hers and caught her hands in one of his. With the other, he held her head tight against his chest, careful to give her just enough room to catch her breath. The heat of her against him made his own body surge in response. He adjusted their positions so that her soft breasts didn't lie so sweetly against his chest, so that the warmth of her belly didn't cradle his sex quite so well. He couldn't recall doing a more difficult thing his whole life.

For a long time they lay that way, as her struggles gradually ceased. William didn't fool himself that he'd won. He'd simply wore her out.

"You gonna lay there and listen to what I gots to say?" he said when she hadn't moved for several minutes.

She nodded against his chest.

He rolled off her carefully, not wanting her to feel the way his body still was aware of hers.

The instant he no longer touched her, Flower scrambled to her feet. Her knife was gone, lost somewhere in their struggles, but she still had her teeth—and the conviction that William would never seriously hurt her. "Don't touch me," she snarled. "Don't ever touch me again."

"I didn't mean you no harm," he said in the same gentle tone she'd heard him use with the horses. "All I wanted was for you to listen to what I had to say."

"You have nothing to say to me," she told him, moving carefully away. "Don't move!" she snapped when he took a step toward her. Backing, she found her pack with the edge of her foot. Quickly she swooped down and pulled the skinning knife from its sheath on the side of the pack. "William, I don't want to hurt you," she said, "but I will if you don't walk away and leave me alone."

A wave of desolation washed over her, even as she spoke. If William wasn't there, no one would be. She had never been alone in her life, not until this past winter. And that long, cold season had taught her how empty, how forlorn life could be. But he was, perhaps, a greater danger to her than all the Pyzen Joes in the world, for he tempted her. He promised to love her. He promised her a future.

And the cost was that she stay in this godforsaken land where there was no safety, no refuge from the wicked, no assurance that tomorrow would ever come.

  • Published by: Uncial Press


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