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by Emma Wildes
Category: Erotica/Erotic Romance
Description: To win the woman of his dreams, Parker takes matters into his own hands. And finds out the West is wilder than he ever imagined! Just take her. The advice seems radical, but Parker West is desperate. Try as he might, he cannot convince Celia Evans to marry him in the usual way, even after five years of courtship. Kidnapping her is drastic and rash, but he figures he has little left to lose. Even though Celia is furious at being summarily tied up and carried off to the mountains, she finds she likes the sparks that fly when the normally cool Parker shows his more assertive side. At his secluded cabin, she finds out exactly what it means to be a woman, and that what she fought against all along is true: Under his normally reserved exterior, Parker is the lover of her dreams. And when riled, he can give a girl a very wild, intensely pleasurable ride. But there's a range war simmering, and the threat on the horizon takes the form of one very vindictive, crooked rancher. He wants Celia all to himself--and will stop at nothing to get her? Product Warnings Warning, this title contains the following: explicit sex, graphic language, mild violence
eBook Publisher: Samhain Publishing, Ltd., 2007
eBookwise Release Date: February 2011
2 Reader Ratings:
Available eBook Formats: OEBFF Format (IMP) [191 KB]
Reading time: 119-167 min.
He'd expected her to be spitting mad, and he certainly wasn't disappointed.
After about twenty minutes of her furious protests, Parker finally decided to gag his beautiful prisoner, and if looks could kill, he would be stone cold in a grave somewhere.
Jesus, he certainly hoped he knew what he was doing.
Sitting in front of him, her back stiff with outrage, Celia's gorgeous dark blue eyes flashed pure fire. He'd seen her mad before--considering her somewhat tempestuous disposition, that wasn't new--but he was not sure she'd ever been this mad.
Damn, though, it might all be worth it--even if she ended up hating his guts--for the sensation of holding her in his arms. Her soft bottom bounced against his thighs as he urged Diablo into an easy canter, and he could smell the sweet scent from her hair. Her delicate features were flushed with anger, the smooth skin of her cheeks bright red, a bandana he'd brought for that purpose tied across her tempting mouth. She wore a light blue dress with tiny flowers patterned on the cotton material, and he could feel the voluptuous curves of her body through the thin cloth. Her hair was a lustrous gold touched with platinum glints in the light of the warm sun. It was tied back simply at her nape, and he couldn't wait to slip that piece of ribbon free and watch it spill over the sheets of his bed.
If his wild plan worked, in a few hours he'd find out if she was as spirited in bed as she was in every other way. His cock stiffened from his wayward thoughts and the slight sway of her breasts against his arm. Trying to ignore it before he got a full-blown erection with a long ride still ahead of them, he scanned the horizon periodically from habit.
In less than two hours, rangeland gave way to small hills. Ridges of timber rose in front of them, dwarfed by the majestic peaks in the background. Aspens fluttered leaves in the dying afternoon breeze as they began to climb in elevation, and it was considerably cooler under the shadows of pine and spruce. Parker knew the way well and judged they'd get there just before dark, which was exactly what he'd expected.
So far, so good.
The gag, once she'd tired of making muffled protests, seemed to have the effect of calming Celia a little and he felt slightly guilty about it in the first place. After they splashed through a small stream and he slid off to let Diablo have a short rest and a cool drink, he lifted her from the saddle. "If you promise to not screech at me like an angry bluejay, I'll take this off."
There was a moment of hesitation, her blue eyes defiant, but Celia finally nodded. He loosened the bandana and slipped it back into his pocket.
"You can untie my hands as well," she said in a voice that was only slightly uneven. "It's pretty uncomfortable, Parker."
Tying her hands had been both to make a point and to make sure she didn't scratch his eyes out or try to pull his gun and shoot him during the actual abduction. Celia was more than capable of doing both. Parker lifted a brow sardonically. "I value life and limb. I don't think so. We're getting close to our destination. I'll free you then."
The expression on her lovely face was a mixture of surprise and fury. He'd never denied her anything--few men would. "You don't care my arms are half-numb?"
"Nope." It was a lie, for his first inclination was to untie her at once and abjectly apologize, but being a perfect gentleman around the very tempting, very spoiled Miss Evans hadn't ever gotten him anywhere. She was almost twenty, and he'd been in love with her for years. Hell, he'd known her most of his life, he'd probably fallen for her when he was about five and he saw her right after she was born.
Lush lashes lowered slightly over the dark blue of her midnight eyes. She asked tightly, "What's gotten into you?"
Ignoring the question, he pointed at the bubbling stream. "Are you thirsty? I'll get you some water."
"No thanks," she replied in a scathing, bitter tone.
"Suit yourself." He shrugged and got out a flask from his pocket, uncorking it and taking a theatrical swig.
"You're drinking?" Celia's delicate features registered slight shock.
"Sure am." He stuffed the bottle back in his pocket and gave her a deliberately wicked grin. It wasn't that he didn't ever drink whiskey--he did in moderation--but never in front of her. With her father owning a big ranch, she saw plenty of drunken cowboys, and he'd never wanted her to think of him in that way.
"Maybe you'd better tell me just where we're going and what the purpose of this is. If you want to talk to me, we could do that at home. You don't have to drag me off like some barbarian."
"Talk? It doesn't work. I tried it. You were pretty lukewarm over talking about us. I have a better idea." Parker lifted a brow and deliberately ran his gaze over her slender form in a suggestive inspection, lingering on the full curve of her breasts. "I think you can guess what I have in mind, Celia."
Her lips parted and a small flush crept up her neck and into her face. She half-whispered in outraged protest, "Parker."
Catching her by the waist, he lifted her back on to the horse and swung up behind her. "Don't worry, sweetheart, we'll talk afterwards if that's what you want."
* * * *
The man had gone insane.
That's the only thing that could account for the transformation. Parker West was not a whiskey-drinking, high-handed wild cowboy. She'd met plenty of those in her life. He was a hard-working, sober young man who helped run a very prosperous cattle business, respected his parents, and was kind to children and little old ladies. Around Tijeras and the entire area, he was considered, in short, a paragon. A saint. A gentleman.
Thank goodness Rose had seen him grab her, tie her hands and ride off with her. Otherwise no one would believe it. Celia was pretty sure she still couldn't believe it herself.
The cabin stood in a small clearing, the location away from any semblance to a path. The small structure wasn't recently built by any means but seemed well kept even in the gloom of descending dusk, and there was a neat stack of firewood by the front door. The roof looked solid and next to it there was a small corral and a lean-to big enough for one horse. When they rode up, Parker dismounted and reached for her, lifting her in his arms instead of setting her on her feet. Cradled against his broad chest, Celia felt a small thrill in the pit of her stomach she wasn't sure was alarmed panic or furtive excitement. He was strong--she'd seen him work before and knew it, but he carried her as if she weighed nothing at all. Whatever his intentions might be, she needed to face the fact she was at a pretty severe disadvantage. Normally, Parker would do anything to please her, but in his current unprecedented mood, she just wasn't sure if he hadn't meant exactly what he'd insinuated earlier.
Her face heated as she remembered how he'd looked at her. There had been a dark sensual promise in his eyes she'd never seen before.
Shouldering his way through the door, he effortlessly carried her inside. The interior was dark, but she got an impression of simplicity in the plain small table with two chairs, stone fireplace and of course the bed that took up one corner of the room. That was where he put her, setting her down and saying curtly, "Stay put. After I see to Diablo, I'll come back and untie you." He pointed a finger at where she sat. "If you aren't right there, your hands stay tied, got it, Miss Evans?"
"I've got it," she said sarcastically, giving him a level stare. "And for God's sake, stop calling me Miss Evans. We've only known each other for about twenty years and you've never called me that before."
There was a flicker of something in his light eyes. One ebony brow edged up. "I can do whatever I want," he said pleasantly enough. "You might just keep it in mind."