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Desert Heat
by Micah Sheehan

Category: Erotica/Erotic Romance/Romance
Description: Delilah is an independent woman whose home lies between two bitter enemies - the Philistines and the Israelite tribe of Dan. Belonging to neither people, she struggles to keep possession of her land in a world dominated by men. She discovers that her sexuality allows her to influence those with power, which helps keep her land but compromises her passion. Samson is a man without an equal, either in battle or in the bedroom. He seeks a woman who can satisfy him, and travels to a nearby Philistine town to find a mate. When he is rejected, Samson seeks vengeance and stands alone in war against a nation. Thrown together in a violent world, Samson and Delilah wonder if they have finally found the love they have each been seeking. Caught between danger and their passion for each other, they realize they might have found love too late.
eBook Publisher: Ravenous Romance/Ravenous Romance, 2011 2011
eBookwise Release Date: September 2011


1 Reader Ratings:
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Available eBook Formats: OEBFF Format (IMP) [219 KB]
Words: 52443
Reading time: 149-209 min.

Chapter One

Across the Valley of Sorek, near Nahal Sorek, only a few miles from Zorah, a young woman lived alone. Her father had died four years earlier, when she was just fourteen. Of the five brothers she had been raised with, only three had survived to adulthood.

As a child, she had mourned with her father and brothers when the youngest brother succumbed to his fever. Her middle brother died during an attack by the Bedouin. Horses trampled the tents, swords slashed through the air, and the men rode away with the camels and water. During the attack, a horse kicked her brother in the head, and he fell to the ground. Delilah ran to him and pulled him from under the horses and dragged him away. She knew he was dead, but she could not bear to see him kicked again. Her father scolded her for putting herself in danger, and together they cried. They buried her brother that evening.

Of the three brothers who lived to adulthood, one died in battle and one was killed by a lion. The third helped her bury her father. Soon after her eighteenth birthday, her only remaining brother developed a cough. His cough became fierce, and he spat blood and winced. Delilah cared for him the best she could. She felt helpless watching him suffer. Too many of her loved ones had been taken from her. She sat at the foot of her brother's bed, listening to him cough. Finally his cough grew weaker, replaced by raspy breathing. One night, she had fallen asleep, and knew immediately when she awoke that he was gone. She buried him that morning, next to her mother and father and the four brothers he had outlived.

In a world ruled by men, she was without a man. She had no father, no brothers, and no husband. Men recognized and approved of other men as landowners; a woman never owned land. Custom dictated she find a husband and let the title transfer to him. Her family land, her homestead, would pass from her family to her husband, and only then would she be allowed to remain on her land.

Tradition required she follow custom and relinquish her land--and her body--to a man.

Delilah was anything but traditional.

She stood over the grave of her brother, leaning on the shovel. From the top of the hill she could see deep into the land of the Philistines, and into the land of the Israelites--two peoples living nearby, neither to which she belonged. Her father had chosen the location of their home. When they were children, and their father was building their home, they carried stone after stone from the bottom of the hill to the top. They asked their father why he did not build their home at the bottom of the hill, where all the stones were.

"The view," he said.

"If you want to admire the view," young Delilah had said, "you can climb the hill whenever you wish. But the effort to transfer the stones to the top of the hill seems unnecessary."

He hugged his daughter. "One day you will understand," her father said. "We will see anyone coming up the hill long before they arrive."

That had been many years ago. Now, as she stood at the top of the hill, she again thought of the Bedouin, how they rushed in and swarmed the tents, brandishing their swords and kicking with their horses. Her father had been wise to build the family house on top of a steep slope. The hill would protect her from Bedouin. Most raiders depended on speed. The hill would slow them down, make them less effective.

It seemed her father knew she would one day be alone, living in this house, and he had built the house not for the family, but for her. For the day when she would live alone, without the protection of her father and brothers.

Near midday, a man approached her home. She watched as he trudged up the steep slope. She saw a knife in his hand, and a wild look in his eyes: the sex-crazed expression of a lonely and desperate man, a man who had lost control of his body and whose mind had become secondary to his physical needs. She had seen that look before.

A few years ago, she met a young man named Tamir. He was her age and lived in the nearby Philistine town of Nahal Sorek. She had gone into town several times under the guise of purchasing grain or salt. She and Tamir would sneak away together and kiss. One day he reached up and grabbed her breasts, under her robe. She smiled coyly and opened her robe for him. His eyes widened, and he launched his head forward and kissed and sucked on her breasts. He opened his pants and asked her to touch him. She stroked him gently, and he spilled his seed. The next time she met with him, she opened her robe again, this time exposing her sex. His eyes grew wide again. He seemed like an animal more than a man. He threw himself at her. She struck him across the face and kicked him in the stomach, and he fell to the ground. That was the last time she went to visit Tamir.

Delilah would not forget Tamir's reaction, nor would she forget the look in his eyes. The man coming up the hill had the same look.

She ran out the back of the house, down the steep slope to the river. She nestled into a pile of leaves and waited until nightfall before returning to her home.

The next day, the same man climbed up the hill. She panicked. She wanted to run out the back of the house and hide in the leaves, but he was too close. He would see her. She felt completely alone without the protection of her father or brothers. She climbed up the stairs to the roof. She covered herself with blankets and listened as the man stomped through the house, breaking dishes and smashing furniture. She felt helpless, as helpless as the day her young brother was kicked by the horse. She pinched the edge of the blanket to hold it down, hoping she would remain unseen. She could not spend the rest of her life hiding under leaves and blankets, but she wasn't worried about the rest of her life. She only wanted to survive that day.

The house became quiet. Delilah listened carefully. She heard the man whistle as he walked down the hill. She waited for hours, until she was certain he had gone. She lifted the blanket and peered out. She saw no one. She stood up and looked over the edge of the roof on all sides. She was alone. He would return the next day, most likely, but now he was gone.

She climbed down the ladder and surveyed the damage. Of the six chairs at the table, two remained. The pieces of the other four, no more than splinters, were scattered across the floor. She found the handle to her mother's teapot under the table. The rest of the teapot had been ground into dust under the heel of the man. She picked up the handle and cried. It was the last belonging of her mother's that Delilah had.

She looked at her reflection in a plate of polished silver. She had long, thick black hair like that of the Persians. Her eyes were vibrant blue like those of the Greeks. Her hips and breasts were large, like those of the Philistines. Her striking features, and full body, had brought many suitors to her door. But things had changed. Before, her father, weak in his old age, and her brother, dying from his cough, still represented enough of a presence that the men in the surrounding area would respect the men in her family, and treat her properly. Now, as far as these same men were concerned, she was alone, unprotected, and helpless.

She was stronger than her elderly father or her dying brother had been before they passed. The men in the area did not respect her father and brother because of their strength or capability, but for fear of what might happen. Men expected other men to fight to protect their family and property. Men expected a woman, however, to succumb. Delilah grew angry with herself for hiding in the leaves, for dirtying herself out of fear. She had acted helpless.

She was not helpless. She was strong and resourceful, and she would never let another man take anything from her again.

She heard a man's voice yelling outside. He was coming back.

She watched as he reached the crest of the hill. She stepped outside to greet him. He wore thick leather boots, strapped around his legs past his knees. He wore a short sword in his belt, and held a knife.

"Greetings, stranger," she said.

He smiled at her. "You're alone, aren't you, Delilah?" he asked.

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