Bending Steele

Novella
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Four years ago, Hexe was an ordinary man taking his aging parents on the vacation of a lifetime: a trip to the Himalayan Mountains. But when their car took a deadly swerve off a mountain road, Hexe was the only survivor. Brutally attacked by a shape-shifting snow leopard, Hexe became one of many living in the mountains. Now, as King of the Himalayan tribe, Hexe has his eyes set on a woman he thinks could finally make his life whole again. The mysterious and dangerous Steele–every bit as cold and deadly as her name suggests.

At eight, Steele watched a killer murder her mother while her father ran for his safety. She learned then that people couldn’t be trusted and has lived on the fringe of her people’s society since, barely participating in the tribe at all. Until Hexe, their new King, lays a claim on her.

Determined to fight for her freedom, Steele has no intention of letting her King walk away from the fight–and Hexe has every intention of making her his mate. But when a deadly poacher returns to the mountains, Steele learns what it is to have a partner at her back, and together it’s up to them to save their tribe. But to do so, Steele might just have to bend a little and let one very determined man into her heart…

Length: 22k words

Excerpt:

“Drop the blade.” Her jaw tightened and Hexe dug his thumb into the sensitive pulse of her wrist. “Drop it, Steele.”

Pain flashed in her quicksilver gaze, but she didn’t yield until her hand spasmed and blade tumbled loose of her grip.

She grimaced. “What now?”

He’d won the first round, but Hexe knew better than to think the rest of this would be easy. She would be slow to tame, slow to heat, but he’d seen metal turned molten before and she reminded him so much of her namesake. She’d bend, soften.

“You’re mine for the next two weeks.”

Her lips curved into a sneer and Hexe had to fight not to lean down and steal a kiss.

She knew Wintersong, the Marks. She’d known what would happen if she lost. She’d hoped to win the fight and deny him. Hexe grinned.

“I’ll play nice.” His gaze drifted to her lips again, “But I won’t be giving you back your blade.”

Her hips flexed slightly under hers, her whole body arching as she tried to reach for it. Hexe held her fast, waiting. In a frustrated sigh, she stilled beneath him again. He pinned both wrists with one hand, and swept the knife up into his free hand. Her gaze sharpened and he didn’t miss the fury that passed through her frost tinged eyes. Steele tensed underneath him, her hands curled into fists.

“That’s fine. I’ll steal yours.”

He had no doubt she’d try.