Book SEVEN of the series, Garland of Druids
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Cardiff, Wales, 1925
Jamie heard her before he saw her, or at least her very observable posterior. Definitely the most tempting feminine derriere he’d ever seen. Round and just the right size. The female owning it looked to be plunged deep in a bramble bush, on all fours, her delectable bottom aimed toward the horizon.
She sounded furious. At herself? Naturally. Her trapped body left her in a really ridiculous position. Enticing him to smile at her irritation and her provocative posture. Actually he couldn’t see all that much of her, but it certainly wasn’t the view he expected during a casual stroll along the green, green lanes of Wales.
Not that he could complain.
“Blazing fires! How do I get out of this mess?”
Her fuming voice reached him just as he saw a young badger run almost across his boot tips.
He walked closer and saw her long chestnut hair caught firmly by the brambles. She kept working to free herself but caught with her head down, couldn’t raise her eyes to see how to deal with the problem. Still whenever she moved her head her hair gave off intriguing copper lights.
Jamie couldn’t resist chuckling. If the rest of her matched her enticing exposure she might just be someone he’d appreciate knowing.
He strode close enough to make sure she could see his walking boots. If she were gently bred, she’d recognize the excellent leather and let him help her. Indeed those few words he’d heard were in a cultured accent.
“Do you require assistance, madam? I don’t think blazing fires will help you now.”
That most intriguing part of the unknown female’s body wriggled.
“I don’t think what I could say has anything to do with the matter. If’ you’re a gentleman you might just help me out of this mess.”
Her indignation resounded in every word.
“And might I ask why you’re down on the ground with your hair firmly caught in the brambles?”
Jamey’s voice showed his amusement, even as he began to free those lovely strands of hair from the bramble bush. Lord, whoever she was, she had gorgeous hair. Beautiful, beautiful hair, lush and with just the slightest curl. It must hang down to her waist when fully loose. Now, half confined and half free, it fell in thick masses part way down her back. A cinnamon brown with those fetching copper glints.
“I’d just set up my canvas when I noticed that devilish badger caught in the brambles. He was whimpering and struggling but couldn’t wiggle his fur loose. I freed the little devil but he didn’t seem grateful. He scratched at my hands, even while I kept trying to help.”
The indignation in her voice amused him, but he kept his voice matter of fact as he worked at loosening another strand. He didn’t want to hurt her but she’d tangled herself neatly.
“Badgers are notorious fighters.”
“But animals never attack me.”
Jamie grinned at her astonishment.
“Well this one certainly did.” He caught a glimpse of her injured hands and winced. “I saw him as he ran away,” Jamie added. “He looked like a young one, and since badgers forage mostly at night he’d probably been trapped quite a while and frightened half to death. Of course he scratched you.”
The thorns were thoroughly entangled in her clothes as well as her hair. As he worked to free her, he marveled at the softness of the skin he couldn’t help touching. He hoped his tugging didn’t hurt her. Still the silky feel of her flesh pulled at his underfed libido. After all, it had been six months since he’d left Calcutta and Shajiri’s bed. Where he’d learned just how addicting passion could be. Better not to think of anything now but helping free this enticing girl.
He had yet to see her face but the rest of her, her voice, her lovely figure, her luxurious hair, all entranced him. Could he have found so quickly a girl suitable to be his wife?
“And were you then calling on the blazing fires of hell to extract you? Not a pragmatic solution, madam.”
For some reason he couldn’t resist teasing her.
He loosened the last tangled shining strand.
“I was about to call on the blazing fires of Beltane if you must know. Hell as such does not exist for me, sir. Ah, I think I’m now free. I must indeed thank you,”
She straightened slowly, wincing just a little and combing her hands through her luxurious locks to straighten them. She stood before him, lithe and lovely, a woman any man would fight to the death to call his own. Smiling her thanks with beautiful lips and seductive hazel-green eyes. Eyes with golden flecks shooting from the dark iris. Her delicate skin seemed untouched by anything but a slight bit of sun. No feature seemed touched by cosmetics, nor needed them.
Jamie’s shocked mind refused to acknowledge her beauty. Beltane! She’d said Beltane. He was in Wales, after all, the very location where Druidism claimed to have begun. Beltane, the Druid festival of fertility and spring. She was a Druid. The last breed of woman with whom he wanted to become involved.
A Druid. Damn and blast. He already had plenty of Druids in his life. He wanted normality, not Druid magic.
All books in the Garland of Druids series
can be read as a stand alone book.