By request, an excerpt of TORTURED:
set-up: Sierra and Dryston barely escaping the clutches of the Saxon guard, are now forced to help each other to get back to the rebel camp before they are found-niether trusts the other at this point, but seething beneath the surface is the tension of what happened between them back in the dungeon...
"You are sure you know the way?" she called over her shoulder to him. To make matters worse, it had rained off and on for the past hour. The ground was sodden, as were Sierra's clothes. Rain trickled in her eyes as she trudged through the dense woods.
“Are you still angry about what I said?” Dryston asked.
Sierra stopped and faced him, grasping the long stick she was using for walking that she’d found lying at the base of an old oak. Her mother had told her that oak trees had great power.Certainly, it couldn’t hurt to have it along if she needed it. Like now, she mused as she entertained thoughts of using it over Dryston’s head. “Get this through that thick head, Roman—”
“The name is Dryston,” he stated quietly.
She ignored him. “I do not care what you think of me,only that you keep your promise. Are we clear?” She resumed walking.
“You think I have a thick head? Your head is as thick as the tree you got that from,” he called to her.
She sighed. If he was looking for a fight, she was in no mood to give him one.
“Is there anything…anything at all you care about?”
His remark smacked her between the shoulders with the impact of a well-thrown knife. She shut her eyes to the pain of it. Had she expected him to see any more in her than the obvious? The women he was used to were soft, demure and able to inflate a man’s ego with their charms. Up to now, she had not had to deal with the part of her that was emotional, and suddenly here she was facing a rush of emotions so foreign to her. She was certain that if she took the time to sort through them all, she could pinpoint very specific things she cared about—but now wasn’t the time. She continued to walk, refusing to answer him. The storm above began to subside, but the turbulence inside her continued to rumble.
“You have no reason to fear me, you know.”
Sierra glanced over her shoulder, brushing away the rain dripping into her eyes. “I do not fear you.”
“Then talk to me. Let me help you.”
She fought the image of running into his arms and being held in his safe embrace. Sierra shook her head. “It is better, Dryston, if we do not become close. You and I are from vastly
different worlds. I have lived a lifetime of guarding against the things that most people take for granted about themselves.” She waited as he caught up to her. He did not touch her, though he stood close enough that the heat from his body warmed her chilled flesh. “Stop trying to see something in me, Roman. There is nothing to see.”
His hair lay plastered against his unshaven cheeks as he studied her. Carefully, he raised his hand to touch her face and Sierra flinched, turning away. “Don’t pity me,” she said,backing away a step. He reached for her arm and held her in place as he brushed the rain from her cheek.
“I do not pity you, Sierra. I only want to show you that I want to be your friend. I want to help you.”
She stared at the ground, unable to look at the compassion in his eyes. She did not want to rely on someone else. She did not want to let her emotions run free for fear they would consume her and she might never be in control again.
“I do not want, nor do I need your friendship.” She glared at him, hoping he would not see the truth that she hid. “We need to go.” Sierra tore from his grasp but was immediately jerked back against him.
“I don’t believe that you’ve forgotten everything that has
happened between us, Sierra.”
He gave her no time to respond as his mouth came crushing down on hers, seeking—demanding—a response. Sierra’s moan was stifled by his persistence. Her head spun with the intensity of emotion that invaded her. She fisted his tunic in her hands, holding it tightly as she selfishly took all that he offered. “We don’t have time for this,” he uttered breathlessly as he held her close and scanned the area around them.
“’Twas not my doing,” she remarked, looking up at him. Her lips still felt the pressure of his on them.
“Had we the time, Sierra, I would silence that mouth of yours, except for the pleasure of hearing you call out my name.” His pale green eyes, ignited with lust, bore down on her.
She smiled. “And what makes you think it is your name I would call?”
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