Excerpt: Running Wild

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Difficult to catch. . .impossible to tame

“Supper in half an hour,” Melinda said, as they entered the house.  Nick returned her interest with a scowl, turning to lean his rifle against the wall. “How did the lesson go?”

“Apparently I’m not naturally talented at shooting, ” Star answered.  Miz Montgomery, Nick reminded himself sternlyIt was Miss Montgomery, always would be.  It had to be, now, tomorrow, more ‘n likely forever.  “For which the tin cans up must surely be grateful,” she added.   In spite of her attempt at humor her voice was low and hoarse.  Soft, like a woman shortly after—

“Star not naturally talented?” Ward Montgomery asked from the top of the stairs.  “It’s not possible.”

Sonuvabitch, Nick thought, jaw clenching as he dropped the bag of bullets on the sideboard.  All he needed to make this the most uncomfortable situation of his life—or at least the last few months—was to see Ward.  Guilt mixed with the desire galloping through his veins creating a thick sludge in his belly.

“Perhaps she just needs practice,” Melinda offered, as Ward descended the stairs.

Practice—he remembered her hands on him. The last thing in the world Miz Montgomery needed was practice.

It was the first thing his body wanted.

“I’m—I’m not certain that would make much of a difference,” Miz Montgomery answered.  Her voice was raspy still.

He turned her way as he pulled at the buttons of her coat.

The lines of her face, still pink from the cold, were tight.  She met his gaze with a defiant lift of her chin and bright, sparkling eyes.  Not with her usual merriment, but with unshed tears.

He sucked in his breath. Damn it, he hadn’t meant to hurt her.  What the hell kind of cad would do that to her?

“It has been my experience that few activities do not improve with practice,” Ward said.

The kind who could not betray a friend, a father.  If Ward knew the thoughts he had about his daughter—

What kind of woman would ask that of him?

The kind who thought shotguns and rabid cougars were exciting.  The wild kind.

He’s spent 20 years taming the West, but he hadn’t the smallest notion of how to tame a Boston Aristocrat.