The Cost of Revenge
Dorothy A. Bell
Quinn O’Bannon knows it’s time he settled down. He has two likely candidates, both sensible, attractive, young women. However, his fantasies keep straying to Tru McAdam, that thieving, sloe-eyed vixen with the grudge against the whole darn O’Bannon family. Tru McAdam wants to believe the O’Bannons, all of them are rotten, heartless cheats. God help her, most of all she wants to believe the handsome, arrogant flirt Quinn O’Bannon is the worst of the lot. When destiny shuffles the cards, strange pairs show up in the hand. Who can fight destiny, not the handsome, flirtatious Quinn O’Bannon, not the thieving, sloe-eyed vixen, Tru McAdam.
A Laura Creek Novel
Quinn, turning his attention back to the lump of hostility sitting on his step, put his hands on his hips, steeling himself for battle. “All right, Miss McAdam….” Her black eyes glittered and flashed, meeting his challenging grin. Obvious loathing oozed from her every pore.
“Don’t you dare touch me.” she said, her words reminding him of a snake’s hiss of warning before it sank it’s fangs into flesh.
“Oh, I’m going to touch you,” Quinn assured her with a wag of his head. “As a matter of fact, I’m going to pick you up and carry you upstairs to my bed.”
“I’ll bite your nose off. I’ll scratch your eyes out if you try it.”
He leaned down, his face inches from her nose. “I should leave you right where you sit. You can’t walk,” he said, pointing out the obvious, his eyes traveling the length of her, finally settling on the sight of her fat foot and her bandaged ankle. Deliberately, raking every inch of her body with his eyes, his gaze traveled back up to her shoulder. “You’re right-handed, if I’m not mistaken.” Recalling how she’d carried the baby on her left hip, leaving her right arm free, he knew he had it right. “I doubt you can feed yourself, not with that sling on your arm and your wrist all bandaged up. No, Miss McAdam, I don’t think you’ll give me too much trouble. You see, I have what you hold most dear.”
“You have nothing.”
“Oh, but I do,” he said sweetly. “I have your brothers and your sister. Ah, you see, I’ve lured them into my lair with the promise of food and shelter. The way I see it, you have no choice in the matter, and I can and I will carry you inside. Your only alternative is to sit here like a stubborn, broken-down mule. I can’t let you stay out here, I’d have to sweep you off my step in the morning.”
“Go to hell.” she said. When he picked her up, she screeched and cursed him in a language he couldn’t understand, but got the meaning behind every utterance as he carried her around to the back entrance of the mercantile.
* * * *
Tru tried to kick, but couldn’t, at least not without inflicting a great deal of pain upon herself. He had her good arm snugged up against his chest, and her other arm was useless, swelling fast. She had a headache, and she could feel a fever coming on—in more ways than one.
The first time she’d seen him, she’d thought Quinn O’Bannon too pretty. Up close this fact became strikingly disturbing. He even smelled pretty—spicy and clean like soap. He had tan skin, his features almost perfect. Almost, except for that bump on the bridge of his nose. But even that defect enhanced the rakish, dangerous air he projected. To notice his nose, she couldn’t very well avoid looking into his dark, brown eyes. She regretted doing so, instantly. Those laughing eyes mocked her indignation.
One thing they could probably agree on—she was a fool. She had to be, to feel this emotion, cradled here in his arms…heart racing…pulse pounding. She could feel every muscle in his arms, and the warmth of his hands through the fabric of her skirt, pressing against her thigh. His touch sent ripples of aching desire through her veins. They were so close she could feel the heat of his chest against her side. Angry and in pain, it thoroughly disgusted her that she could be so affected by his nearness, by his touch. It wasn’t what she wanted. She wanted to hate Quinn O’Bannon. She wanted his touch to sicken her, not set her on fire with longing.
About the author:
I grew up in southern Iowa, moved to Oregon’s Willamette Valley at the age of eleven. I was in the sixth grade when I started school in Oregon. On my first day of school, I encountered the boy I would eventually marry. He kept pestering me, trying to kiss me. I held out until I turned sixteen, then I kind’a got the hang of the kissing thing. We’ve been married for forty-eight years, he’s still a pest, bless him.
I started out writing Regency Romances to entertain myself. I took writing courses, but I think I learned the most by submitting my work to publishers, editors and agents, and getting feedback. Laid low for nearly twenty-five years with arthritis, forced to use a battery-powered cart, I took up aquatic exercise and became an instructor. After two surgeries to replace my knees, I went to work on myself and lost eighty-five pounds, which I have kept off.
My husband and I live in Central Oregon with two West Highland White terriers, an energetic, longhaired Dachshund and one big, angora tuxedo cat. When I need a break from writing Oregon historical western romances, I work in the yard or my garden.
This year I am proud to announce the release of two Laura Creek romances The Reprobate and The Cost of Revenge
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