Authors: Cassie Edwards
CASSIE EDWARDS, AUTHOR OF THE
Winner of the
Lifetime Achievement Award for Best Indian Series!
“Cassie Edwards writes action-packed, sexy reads! Romance fans will be more than satisfied!”
Suddenly Thunder Horse stopped and turned to Jessie. He swept her up into his arms and carried her onward to the camp. He kissed her as he leaned low and placed her atop the blankets.
—in my language that means, ‘I love you,’” he whispered against her lips. “I have wanted you from the moment I first saw you. I want you for my
my woman, for always.”
“I want you as much,” Jessie murmured, overwhelmed by the feelings and emotions exploding within her.
As he kissed her he slowly removed her clothes, until she lay splendidly nude beneath him. He quickly tore off his own clothes so that nothing remained between them. . . .
Other books by Cassie Edwards:
TOUCH THE WILD WIND
ROSES AFTER RAIN
WHEN PASSION CALLS
SECRETS OF MY HEART
Dorchester Publishing Co., Inc.
200 Madison Avenue
New York, NY 10016
Copyright © 2006 by Cassie Edwards
All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any electronic or mechanical means, without the written permission of the publisher, except where permitted by law. The scanning, uploading, and distribution of this book via the Internet or via any other means without the permission of the publisher is illegal and punishable by law. Please purchase only authorized electronic editions, and do not participate in or encourage electronic piracy of copyrighted materials. Your support of the author’s rights is appreciated.
This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents are either the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, events, or locales is entirely coincidental.
Trade ISBN: 978-1-4285-1798-1
E-book ISBN: 978-1-4285-0403-5
First Dorchester Publishing, Co., Inc. edition: February 2006
The “DP” logo is the property of Dorchester Publishing Co., Inc.
Printed in the United States of America.
Visit us online at
In the deepest of friendship I dedicate
to Tammy Russotto (my fan club president! Thank you, Tammy!), and also Jai Clark, who does so much to support America’s fighting heroes! (Thank you, Jai!) I also dedicate
to my special friends Paul and Carol Welton.
Rain beats down on our bodies tonight;
as if blessed by the Great One, our two souls unite.
To never again be alone, we love as one,
and as each day dawns, we will rise with the sun.
Take me to where the ravens fly,
so high in your hands—don’t ask why.
The souls that wander the great plains
will be forever true.
When the night comes, they will smile,
as our love shines through.
So tell me, warrior, that you forever need me
as the moon does the sky.
Then we shall become as one, as the ravens fly high.
—Angela Dawn Reinhardt,
a poet and sweet, dear friend
Moon When Cherries Turn Black—August
The sky was a turquoise blue overhead, with only a few puffy white clouds breaking its vastness. The air was hot and dry; an occasional breeze stirred the dust on the ground into small swirls.
Weak from fasting, Chief Thunder Horse rode across a high hillside on the way home to his village. He had been praying for the strength he needed to protect what remained of his Fox band of Sioux.
Because of one
, one white man, Thunder Horse’s small band was out of tune with their universe. He had fasted to regain harmony with all things encompassed by the Great Powers.
As it had been from the beginning of time, it was incumbent upon the leader of his people to purify himself of the demands of the flesh by fasting on a high place. And so Thunder Horse had done, hoping for
guidance through dreams, for sometimes dreams were wiser than waking thoughts.
It had been three days and nights since Thunder Horse’s fasting had begun. As always, he had prepared himself spiritually through song. It was well known that songs shut off twisted thoughts and emotions.
The fasting was now behind him, for he had received the answers he had sought in his dreams. He felt assured now that the course of action he planned was right.
Suddenly his thoughts were interrupted by activity down below him. He heard the thunder of horses’ hooves, and the screams of a
, a woman.
He drew rein, stopped his steed, then wheeled his sorrel around.
His eyes widened when he saw a stagecoach down below, pulled by a team of six horses running totally out of control.
But what surprised him the most was that there was no stagecoach driver. The reins were flopping here and there while the horses raced onward as though they were crazed.
Hearing frantic screams for help, Thunder Horse spotted a woman leaning out one of the stagecoach windows. Not one to interfere in white people’s troubles, he hesitated to help the woman in distress.
But when he saw the horses suddenly veering to the right, now galloping hard toward a cliff, he knew that he could not just sit there and watch the horses and the woman plunge to their deaths.
Although weak from lack of food these past three
days and nights, Thunder Horse sank his moccasined heels into the flanks of his steed. He scrambled down the hillside, then urged his horse into a hard gallop toward the stagecoach.
When he drew alongside the team of horses, their hoofbeats sounding like thunder in his ears, he steadied himself, then leaped onto one of the lead horses.
He reached out and finally was able to grab the reins. Pulling hard on them, he finally managed to get the horses under control.
Once the animals had come to a halt, he spoke soothingly to them until they had quieted. Thunder Horse then leaped from them to the ground and ran to the stagecoach door.
The woman’s eyes watched him fearfully through the window as Thunder Horse opened the door.
As she came fully into view, Thunder Horse found himself gazing onto a face of pale pink perfection. It was complemented by hair the color of a setting sun, which flowed across her tiny shoulders and down her back.
She was young, surely no more than nineteen winters of age, and petite in every way. Her tear-swollen green eyes were filled with fear as she looked upon him.
Needing to make her understand that he was a man of peace, a man of honor, who had never harmed any white woman in his lifetime, who especially would not harm someone as tiny and helpless as this woman, Thunder Horse released his hold on the door and stepped back. He spoke to her in good English, which he had learned long ago in order to be able to parlay with whites.
“I am a friend,” he said slowly. “I saw your trouble. I came to save you from harm. The horses were running straight toward a steep cliff.”
When she still didn’t say anything, but only sat there trembling and staring at him, he again spoke to her.
“You have nothing to fear from me,” he said softly, marveling at her loveliness. She was like no other woman he’d ever seen, with her hair the color of fire hanging long past her shoulders from beneath a fancy bonnet.
He looked back in the direction from which the stagecoach had come, then gazed at the woman again. “Where is the driver?” he asked, imploring her trust with his midnight dark eyes.
He could not help her any further if she would not communicate with him. Yet he did not want to leave her alone out here in the desert.
“How is it that the horses got so spooked, they came close to carrying you to your death?” Thunder Horse asked, frustrated that the woman still did not trust him enough to answer his questions.
Truly mesmerized by the Indian, Jessie Pilson stared back at him in utter fascination. She was held silent not so much by fear as by surprise. Never had she imagined being so close to an Indian. And this Indian, with his bronze and noble face, his flowing black and glossy hair, was perhaps the most handsome man she had ever encountered in her life!
He was a man of regular, yet striking features. His cheekbones were high.
His midnight-dark eyes spoke of a free and open life on the plains and in the mountains.
Although he was dressed in fringed buckskin that covered most of his body, she could tell that he had a powerful build; that he was a physically perfect man.
Afraid that the Indian’s patience might be wearing thin, and feeling more at ease as she saw the concern in his eyes and heard the kindness in his voice, Jessie finally found the courage to speak.