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A Night By My Fire
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𝑩𝒍𝒊𝒛𝒛𝒂𝒓𝒅𝒔, 𝒉𝒆𝒂𝒕 𝒃𝒆𝒕𝒘𝒆𝒆𝒏 𝒕𝒉𝒆 𝒔𝒉𝒆𝒆𝒕𝒔, 𝒂 𝒔𝒕𝒓𝒐𝒏𝒈, 𝒊𝒏𝒅𝒆𝒑𝒆𝒏𝒅𝒆𝒏𝒕 𝒘𝒐𝒎𝒂𝒏, 𝒂𝒏𝒅 𝒂 𝒎𝒂𝒍𝒆 𝒗𝒊𝒓𝒈𝒊𝒏 𝒘𝒉𝒐’𝒔 𝒎𝒐𝒓𝒆 𝒂𝒏𝒊𝒎𝒂𝒍 𝒕𝒉𝒂𝒏 𝒎𝒂𝒏…
I pulled my stranger from the river. Breathed life into his lungs.
I saved him in this arctic tundra. Yet he looks at me like a meal. Touches me like I’m his greatest temptation.
Tells me he desires my body to use in a way I’ve never offered myself before.
Storm raging outside my cabin, there is little to do to escape him. Little chance I might survive this encounter unscathed.
He wants life. My life. And I have no choice but to offer it.
And I don’t harbor a single regret.
𝐴 𝑁𝑖𝑔ℎ𝑡 𝑏𝑦 𝑚𝑦 𝐹𝑖𝑟𝑒 𝑖𝑠 𝑎 𝑠𝑡𝑎𝑛𝑑-𝑎𝑙𝑜𝑛𝑒 𝑛𝑜𝑣𝑒𝑙𝑙𝑎 𝑝𝑟𝑒𝑣𝑖𝑜𝑢𝑠 𝑝𝑢𝑏𝑙𝑖𝑠ℎ𝑒𝑑 𝑖𝑛 𝑎 𝑛𝑜 𝑙𝑜𝑛𝑔𝑒𝑟 𝑎𝑣𝑎𝑖𝑙𝑎𝑏𝑙𝑒 𝑎𝑛𝑡ℎ𝑜𝑙𝑜𝑔𝑦. 𝑇ℎ𝑖𝑠 𝑠𝑡𝑜𝑟𝑦 𝑐𝑜𝑛𝑡𝑎𝑖𝑛𝑠 𝑛𝑜 𝑐𝑙𝑖𝑓𝑓ℎ𝑎𝑛𝑔𝑒𝑟𝑠, 𝑏𝑢𝑡 𝑑𝑜𝑒𝑠 𝑜𝑓𝑓𝑒𝑟 𝑏𝑢𝑖𝑙𝑑𝑖𝑛𝑔 ℎ𝑒𝑎𝑡 𝑡ℎ𝑎𝑡 𝑤𝑖𝑙𝑙 𝑏𝑢𝑟𝑛 𝑦𝑜𝑢 𝑓𝑟𝑜𝑚 𝑡ℎ𝑒 𝑖𝑛𝑠𝑖𝑑𝑒 𝑜𝑢𝑡. 𝑁𝑒𝑒𝑑 𝑡𝑜 𝑤𝑎𝑟𝑚 𝑢𝑝 𝑖𝑛 𝑓𝑟𝑜𝑛𝑡 𝑜𝑓 𝑎 𝑓𝑖𝑟𝑒? 𝑊𝑟𝑎𝑝 𝑦𝑜𝑢𝑟𝑠𝑒𝑙𝑓 𝑖𝑛 𝑎 𝑠𝑜𝑓𝑡 𝑏𝑙𝑎𝑛𝑘𝑒𝑡 𝑎𝑛𝑑 𝑒𝑛𝑗𝑜𝑦!
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*This book is intended for adults only and contains scenes featuring total power exchange which may make some readers uncomfortable.
A slap of water crested her upper thighs, forcing a reflexive hiss past pursed lips. Straining forward through the slosh, River traversed the half-frozen lake shore, her hiss replaced with creative profanity once icy water saturated her belly. The subsequent cramp stole her breath, but she was close enough to reach forward and fist her hand in the clothing of the massive body floating by.
Fingers losing feeling, the woman pulled, yanking whoever he was from the bracken he’d been tangled in.
And boy, was he damn lucky she had seen him drifting while she was fishing… that was, if the floating behemoth was still breathing.
There was no time to check. Dead or alive, she needed to get out of that arctic water. Hardly sparing him a glance, she hooked her arm around his chest and tugged her cargo to the lapping shore. The man was massive, his clothing waterlogged, and dragging him out of the tide took a feat of pure will.
Flopped on his back, he was tangled in layers of clothing. River tore at his hood, finding the fuzz of a military haircut, the man’s nose and mouth covered by a flap of cloth.
There was no time for delicacy.
She ripped the fabric away, scratching his face in her haste. It got a reaction: the male jerked.
He was alive.
Numb fingers pried apart his jaw. The man twitched again. Panting, she rolled him onto his side, certain by his garbled wheeze the giant’s lungs were full of water. She stood, and kicked the bastard square between the shoulder blades.
The instant gush from his mouth confirmed her suspicion.
Pressing his back to the rocky shore, angling the man’s thick neck, her lips went to his. She gave him her breath. There was hardly a need for compressions before he spit up another wave of water. After clearing his mouth, she breathed for him again.
When she puffed air into his mouth a third time, the man’s eyes flew open. An inhalation, rattling and unhealthy, was sucked deep even as she tried to turn him to his side so he could vomit up the rest. Shifting her feet, loudly cursing him to high heaven, she kneeled, fisted her hand, and began to vigorously rub his chest in hard, brutal circles.
With each retch, his color slowly went from purple to an unnatural shade of green. Jerking movement became erratic, panicked. A series of racking coughs pushed out the last bit of lake water, but the man, the great beast she was trying to tend, was far more obsessed with fighting her off than spitting up the fluid.
It was such a strange thing to witness, a powerful man gagging, shuddering, and wielding a muscled arm so big it seemed it could break her in two, yet so weak he could not move her an inch.
Batting his flailing arm away, she kept him on his side and helped him cough up the last of the lake water. But the way he watched her—the hatred in that glower—she almost hesitated, unsure if she would be safe once she’d fully revived him.
But integrity mattered.
She met a wide-eyed death glare with a squinted warning of her own. A huge noisy breath was immediately sucked deep. Then another, expanding a rib cage so massive, she felt the need to back away.
It was not a sensation she humored. Instead, she stood and offered a hand. “You lost your footing, stranger.”
Bowed over, clearly struggling, he loudly cleared his throat, hacking as he got to his knees and shoved her back.
Her ass hit the ground, the rocky shore digging into her butt. Cold, sopping wet, and pissed off, she barked, “If you want something to panic about, it should be the coming dark, not abusing the woman who saved your life!”
She knew he was in shock. It was clear from the way he trembled and the settling confusion in his bloodshot eyes. Not that it made him any ounce less an asshole.
Her muddy boots came into his line of sight. There was hardly any time for the stranger to snarl before River had the nerve to strike him in five concurrent blows on his back. His body reacted and he spit up again, the liquid flowing past his lips and landing right on her feet. He wheezed, sputtered, and then the bastard had the audacity to look up and actually growl at her.
“Yeah, fuck you too,” she said, cocking her chin once toward the frozen river. “You think I wanted to wade into that shit? Now, get on your feet or freeze to death and waste the life I just gave you.”
Standing, throwing one of her long braids over her shoulder, again she offered the stranger a hand, her eyes warning that if he didn’t take it, she would leave him to die. All the male did was stare up at her, as if measuring her, as if debating some great matter. She knew what he found in the appraisal: a filthy, wet woman. A woman with mud smeared all over, glowering at him, her own return gaze anything but friendly.