To Tame a Wolf
Summoned from her contemplative life in the abbey, Alexandra Ashford finds herself at the mercy of her malicious guardian, a cousin she fears and despises. He plans to force her to marry his crony and so forfeit her estate. Her only chance of escape is to trust the wounded man imprisoned by her cousin.
Taken captive and chained to his torturer's floor, clan laird Ian McGregor is left for dead after a brutal beating. He has little hope of escape. But when his enemy's betrothed offers him freedom and asks for his help, he realizes revenge could be sweet indeed.
Facing seemingly unbeatable odds to escape and reach the McGregor stronghold, their greatest challenge is fighting their growing attraction. How will Alexandra react when she realizes she’s the prisoner of the McGregor laird who considers her the “betrothed” of his enemy?
Her legs trembled by the time she finally stood on solid ground. Without looking directly at her, the McGregor ordered, “Wait here.” He led the Sullivan man out of hearing distance and stood with his back toward her. As they spoke, she saw the man nod his head several times before he mounted his horse and rode away.
The McGregor glared as he strode back. She lifted her chin and glared right back at him. When he got close enough to reach her, his hands snaked out, and he grabbed her upper arms and pulled her abruptly against his chest. Startled, she looked up at him with her mouth open to protest. He brought his face down within inches of hers and said in a whisper, “The next time I tell you to do something”—and the whisper escalated to a roar—“by God, you better do it!” He gave her an extra little shake, before pushing her away.
Stunned, she yelled back, “You’re mad at me? I came back to help you, you idiot!”
The McGregor pounded his massive chest with a fist, emphasizing each syllable as he yelled, “Do. I. Look. Like. I. Need. Help? Especially from a woman?”
Alexandra stared up into his angry face. Actually, no, he didn’t look like he needed anyone’s assistance. He looked like a giant, a fierce warrior. She took a deep breath and talked calmly to ease the building tension between them, “You may not have needed my help, but I did help. Next time, I’ll leave you to your own devices.”
“What you did, was almost get me killed!” He glanced down at his bleeding arm.
Alexandra hadn’t noticed until then. Blood dripped from the fingertips of his left hand. She gasped and stated the obvious, “You’re injured!” Stepping forward, she gently lifted his arm and examined the wound. Luckily, it wasn’t as deep as she’d first feared.
“This should be cleaned and stitched right away.”
The McGregor looked down with annoyance. “It can wait, we are only hours from the keep, and there are undoubtedly other bands of Sullivan’s men nearby.”
“You could lose your arm if it gets infected. At least let me apply a salve and a wrap. It will only take a few minutes.” As she spoke, Alexandra ran in the direction of her horse. The McGregor didn’t give her an answer, but he did follow. Thankfully, the animal was well trained and had not strayed far.
Ian sat in silence while she applied a paste she mixed from herbs and water. She had just enough clean wrapping material left to cover his muscular arm. She looked up into his brown eyes and found them already focused on her face. “That should hold until we reach your home. I’ll stitch it for you then.”
Ian nodded. “Let’s get moving.”
After retrieving his horse, they once again ventured out into the meadow, only this time they stayed close to the tree line and galloped across the remaining distance. The horses had rested during the skirmish so the McGregor pushed them at a faster pace. They rode for over an hour without speaking. Neither was in a talkative mood.
Alexandra thought back to the tree incident. The McGregor had stated so coldly she meant nothing to him. He had practically invited the Sullivan man to kill her. She couldn’t help but wonder if that was how he really felt, even though he had followed up with a solution where no one was injured. She couldn’t believe she was actually hurt by his comment. Personally, she thought a bond had formed between them during the time they’d been fighting for their lives. The more she thought about it, the more hurt and angry she became until she couldn’t hold it back any longer.
“So…” She spoke loudly to get his attention, “You only just met me, and you wouldn’t have cared if Sullivan’s man did you a favor and got rid of me?”
The McGregor, taken aback by the tone and look upon her face, laughed out loud.