An excerpt from the winter novella, Twelvetide, Twelve Nights of Highland Magic. Free for Kindle - January 12th, 2017 through January 16th, 2017 at Amazon...
...they crossed a great snowy meadow. Before reaching the protection of the forest, they caught the first glimpse of their pursuers. Five mounted men, approaching fast.
“Shite.” Cael spurred the horse to greater speed.
They entered the forest trail and galloped out of sight. She kept glancing back, around Cael’s bulk. As they rounded a bend, he leaned forward, his mouth close to her ear.
“They want me. Not you. When I drop you to the ground, run for that distant copse of firs and hide. I will lead them away.” Cael’s brusque words sliced her heart. He would forfeit himself for her.
“No. We should stay together.”
“Listen to me, Ashley. Hide in the trees. Wait for some time to pass. If I have not returned, follow this trail west. The same direction we are riding. Stay out of sight at the edge of the trail. When you reach Castle Lachlan, beg hospitality in my name—Caelan Innes. Once within the castle walls, ask to speak to the steward and request of him an audience with Lachlan Og, the clan chief. Tell Lachlan Og you are my wife. Tell him we were ambushed, and I led the miscreants north. I have been of service to him. He will see to your care.”
Before she’d a chance to argue with the damn man, he lifted her with his one strong arm, and dropped her into a ditch at the side of the trail. Breathless, gasping, she rolled to her knees and gulped air. Fear gnawed at her belly. The thunder of several horses pounding the trail, sent her into action. She leapt to her feet and darted into the trees Cael had indicated.
She crouched behind a wide trunk. Just in time. Placing a palm against the rough bark, she leaned to the side and peeked through the thick, evergreen foliage. Four riders passed in earnest pursuit of Cael somehow without seeing her footprints in the snow.
Shit! Where was the fifth? Birds had stopped chirping when she entered the copse. Silence grated on tense nerves. Twigs snapped nearby. The billowing breath of a horse sounded overly loud, close. Another twig cracked.
“I ken you are in there. Come out.”
Free for Kindle 1/12/17 - 1/16/17
Hope you enjoyed this wee excerpt from Twelvetide, Twelve Nights of Highland Magic.