eet Buck. Spirit brother, dream walker, shaman’s son—he’s never been at the mercy of his abilities nor hungered for violence… until her.
When the spirit fever struck a town, a village or an outpost, it left few if any survivors. The white man blamed the Indian saying they used their mojo on them. The Indians blamed the white man for angering the spirits. The survivors knew it didn’t matter. The Fevered were forever changed.
Rebuilding Dorado is only the first challenge…
Surviving a vicious attack by their enemies and an outbreak of the Fever has left Dorado in ruins and the Flying K under siege, now all their resources are devoted to rebuilding their town and protecting the newborn Fevered in their midst. Buck Morning Star and his siblings divide their time between training their new family members and avoiding the threat of detection the arrival of soldiers constructing a new fort pose, but the spirit walker’s dreams are haunted by Delilah. But when Jason Kane threatens to come between them, Buck’s obsession may drive him to madness.
Her secrets could destroy them all…
Rescued from a whorehouse in Fort Courage, Delilah Rinaldi never expected to find a sanctuary populated by Fevered and their allies. Silent since her arrival at the ranch, she longs to believe in Buck and the passionate dreams they share. But she keeps dangerous knowledge of the enemy hunting them all close to her heart—information Jason may reveal and cost her the only home and man she loves.
Primitive, primal and provocative, their struggle is intensely personal…
Close contact arouses a soul-stirring passion and love. But it may not be enough to sustain a relationship forbidden by their power and the tempest it can unleash.
His dream. Her words. Their destiny.
Read an excerpt
They rode for the better part of an hour, ranging toward the hills. Thankfully, the constant cold wind diminished, but not even the sun could warm the chilly bite to the air itself. Their breath came in puffs of steam. Riding in silence, accompanied only by the cadence of the horses’ hooves against the hard earth, filled him with exhilaration. When he noticed the red discoloration to her cheeks, he turned the horses toward the caves. The stone canyon was deep within the lines of the Flying K, safe from outside Fevered who could not cross without the invitation of a Kane and farther still from the construction of the new fort. The Army would be moving out today, another good reason to take her for a ride. She avoided the military more than they did and he wanted to give her back the element of serenity they’d lost.
“We’re going to rest the horses there. I brought food and we can build a fire.” Buck caught her reins and turned the horses up the path. It took them but a few minutes to make the climb. Inside the cave lip, he swung down and walked them inside and away from the chilling breeze.
Helping her down, he was careful to not hold her too tightly. She was so much more delicate than he expected. She pressed her gloved hands to his chest and curled her fingers into the jacket keeping him close when he would have walked away. She tilted her chin up and gazed at him. A question echoed in her eyes.
“It’s okay.” He covered her gloved fingers and gave them a light squeeze. “It’s cold and the horses need a break and so do you.”
Her brow wrinkled with a frown and her mouth opened. His heart squeezed. Would she actually talk to him? He held his breath, waiting. She exhaled a sigh and nodded. She stepped away from him and walked slowly into the cave. Buck resisted the urge to kick himself and gritted his teeth. It should be easier to talk to her, but trust took time. He needed to win her trust and then she could confide in him whatever dark secret haunted her.
Decided, he stripped the horses down and rubbed them dry. He pulled out light blankets from the back of the saddles and draped them over the horses to keep their muscles warm. Building a fire took little time. The brothers often added to the stores of firewood and supplies in these caves. They maintained them as a fallback, in case they needed to get away from the ranch or hide. They created boltholes across the ranch, more so now than ever before. If they had to face another incursion like Miller’s, it was better to be prepared.
Delilah sat next to the fire, gloves off so she could warm her fingers. Joining her, he held out a canteen with water and pulled out the wrapped sandwiches he’d made in the kitchens. They ate in silence, much like they did everything.
If you want to be in her dreams, you need to let her know what you are doing or you are abusing your gifts. Quanto hadn’t visited him more than to see if he was all right since Jason Kane interrupted their conversation, but he didn’t need Quanto to remind him of what the right thing to do was.
“Delilah,” he sought a place to begin this conversation.
I’m a dreamwalker and I’ve been spending the last few months visiting your dreams so I can get to know you. I know you may not understand the Fevered, or what we do, but I don’t want to hurt you. I want to become intimate… He grimaced. Those words would hardly bring her comfort.
She brushed her fingers against the side of his hand. Looking up, he found her staring at him, eyebrows lifted.
“Can I ask you a question?” Which, in and of itself, was a question. But he ignored the obviousness of it.
She pulled his hat off and nodded to him.
He hesitated, but she had a right to know. “Do you know about the fever and those affected by it?”
Paleness swallowed her color and she withdrew her touch. He would take that as a yes.
“We’re not dangerous—” He grimaced again. “No, some are dangerous. But most are like you, looking after their family, seeking safety and livelihood.” He hated the wide-eyed look and the fear glimmering in her dark eyes. Catching her cold fingers he tried to warm her hand between his. “I promise you, none of us are going to hurt you. But you landed in the middle of a war. A war we didn’t seek and a war you need to understand.”
She pulled her hand away and stood. He rose from his crouch to follow her, but she didn’t walk away. Instead, she stared out of the cave at the landscape beyond.
She turned slowly. Disturbance etched across her face and she chewed her lower lip. He pushed too fast. He was not good at this. His father had the gift to talk to people, as did most of the Kanes. Even Scarlett managed better than he.
Delilah pointed to him.
“Yes.” He could have added more, but it was better to be simple. “I wish you could talk. Then you could ask me the questions I see in your eyes.”
She answered him only with a negative shake of her head.
“Kid said you spoke when he met you in the New Mexico territory. Did something happen to prevent you from speaking now?”
Folding her arms across her chest, she shook her head again and walked away from the fire.
“It’s cold out there. Stay here next to the fire. I’ll—I’ll leave it alone,” he murmured. He shouldn’t have pushed her. Instead of listening, she walked further from the fire. Grabbing one of the blankets, he carried it toward her.
She turned and held her hand up, palm outward. He stopped. “I want to give you the blanket against the wind.”
The breeze from the cave entrance stirred her hair. Her cheeks reddened and she turned her back to him. “Please. Don’t follow.” Her words were the barest whisper and Buck froze in place.
Was she actually speaking to him?
“Yes.” It was almost too soft and he could hardly hear her.
“You can talk.” Wonder edged in irritation filled him.
“Of course I can talk.” She murmured. “I chose not to and I had my reasons.” Whatever they were, she continued to move away from him and she wouldn’t turn to look back.
About the author
A national best selling author, Heather Long lives in Texas with her family and their menagerie of animals. In addition to military romance, Heather writes a wide variety of romance from paranormal historical western romance to contemporary romance and romantic suspense. She loves characters and the stories they have to tell.
As a child, Heather skipped picture books and enjoyed the Harlequin romance novels by Penny Jordan and Nora Roberts that her grandmother read to her. Heather believes that laughter is as important to life as breathing and that the Easter Bunny, the Tooth Fairy and Santa Claus are very real. In the meanwhile, she is hard at work on her next novel.
Heather is giving away 4 winners’ choice e-books from her backlist, each to a commenter on her Indie Week editorial post about what writing what you don’t know! To enter to win, check it out here!
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