The Outlaw's Lady

The Outlaw's Lady (MF)

by Gina Duncan

Siren-BookStrand, Inc.

Heat Rating: SCORCHING

Word Count: 69,765

Historical Western/Cowboys


[Siren Allure: Erotic Western Romance, HEA]

Royce only wants to run his cattle ranch and live his life. When he’s confronted by someone who is trying to kill him, he has to become an outlaw to protect what is his. He is discovered by someone, and he’s surprised to find out it’s a lady. Was she sent to spy on him? When he begins to feel strongly about her, he wonders if he can trust her to keep his secret.

Cora is running from a man who is trying to force her into a marriage she doesn’t want. She accidentally sees a group of outlaws dressed in black gunning down other men. When she tries to get away, she’s tracked, knocked from her horse, and taken by one of the outlaws to his home. Can she trust him not to kill her for what she saw, or will he steal her heart before she can get away?







They helped each other out of their clothes. Then she pushed him slowly to his back. Her eyes roamed over his body. He was magnificent, and she couldn’t help but run her hands all over him, touching every inch, caressing, burning his image to memory. She began by kissing his cheek, and then moved slowly down the column of his neck and chest. She took first one small nipple into her mouth and suckled it as he moaned loudly. She wondered if it felt as good to him as it did to her. He groaned out a protest when she released it to kiss across his chest to the other hard little pebble. She was kissing and making her way slowly down his body.

She wrapped what she could of her hand around the base of his massive erection. She was still amazed at the size and feel of his cock, so hard, yet silky smooth. He was perfect. She lowered her head to place a kiss there first, and then did as he’d suggested earlier. She placed her tongue to his cock, licking gently, and then slid her tongue down the length of him then slowly back up. She looked up his body to his face. His eyes tightly closed as she did it. She was surprised by the sheer passion she saw there.

“I’m not sure that I’m doing this right,” she confessed softly.

“You are doing just wonderful.” He moaned. “It feels better than I ever imagined.”

She nodded her head then bent back to him. When a drop of pearly moisture appeared in the small opening of his bulging purple head, she licked it, tasting the tangy saltiness of him just before taking him into her mouth. I can do this. She suckled him gently, being careful not to let her teeth touch him. She was actually surprised that she liked the taste of him on her tongue and knew she’d do this anytime he wanted, and maybe at times he didn’t bother to ask.

“Oh, Cori, your mouth is so hot. I don’t know how much more I can stand before I lose control,” he said, moving his hand to caress her head. Cora smiled around him. She would learn everything about this man, and she’d find a way to keep him at her side forever. When he sat up abruptly, she let him pull her up and roll her over to her back on the soft wildflowers growing all around them.

He began kissing down her body the way she had done his. Cora was afraid she’d never be able to stand the torture his lips were causing her. He kissed down one leg, avoiding where she wanted him most. She almost cried out in torment. She wasn’t sure how much more she could stand as he began kissing up her other leg. When his tongue first touched her sensitive clit, she came off the ground, arching into him, sinking her fingers into his hair, holding him to her. How could something she thought would be so wrong feel so glorious and right? His mouth and breath were so hot, his tongue so tantalizing as it moved slowly over her. She was on the very verge of eruption when he suckled her little bud into his mouth. When he inserted one of his large, callused fingers into her, she was suddenly floating out of her body, soaring to paradise, and she no longer cared that she was out in the open, lying in a field of wildflowers. Nothing and no one mattered but Royce and how he was making her feel.

She never wanted to spend another moment without this man, but how could she tell him the way she felt for him? She had tried to once, and that turned out for the worst. If she told him he was her heart, would it scare him away, or would he believe she was saying it because of the way he was making her feel at this moment? She was sure that nothing could ever feel this good until he slid up her body and sank deeply inside her eager pussy with one swift thrust, and then she began to soar all over again.


Professional Reviews

4 HEARTS: "Cora Belle Talon has just one purpose -- to escape an unwanted marriage to a cruel man. Disguised as a young boy, she rides away from home, only to encounter outlaws in the act of killing. One of them, Royce Wilkason, accidentally knocks her off her horse, discovers she's a woman and not a boy, and takes her to his ranch. Since he believes her to be spy for those trying to destroy him, he can't let her go. When the man claiming to be her fiancé, arrives, Kris, a ranch hand, takes her away to safety. While there, the romance between Royce and Cora heats up, and they make love, but the danger is still out there. Through their investigation, they learn that Donavan is the man trying to take Royce's land. They get the proof and once Donavan and his helper is in jail, Royce and Cora are free to pursue their love. I enjoyed this book. I liked both Royce and Cora, as well as the secondary characters. Rosa, the housekeeper, is a wonderful cast member, as are all the ranch hands. This was an enjoyable and intensely sexy read. The author has created several interesting and beautifully described settings. The reader feels both Cora's doubts and, in spite of them, her intense attraction to Royce. The author has done a good job in creating the antagonists, Donavan and Olivia, as well as the most interesting saloon characters. There is an occasional problem with point of view, as well as with transition between settings, sometimes creating confusion. The culmination of the search for the truth is especially exciting, and the special romantic ending very enjoyable. I enjoyed this and would read more by this author." -- Jaye Leyel, The Romance Studio



Copyright © 2012

Chapter One


Montana Territory, 1875


Cora Belle Talon was a beautiful young woman with only one problem at this point in her life, or so she thought as she moved around in the dark room with the light of a single burning candle. She had always hated the dark, but if she was going to leave, she’d have to do it in the middle of the night while her stepmother Olivia slept. Otherwise she wouldn’t get away. She thought that her father’s murder was the worst thing that could ever happen to her, but now being forced to run away from her home, the only home she’d ever known, might actually turn out to be the worst thing to ever happen to her.

She had no idea of where she would go or what she would do once she got there. The only thing she had ever done was take care of her father, cooking for him and keeping the house. All she knew now was that she had to get as far away from home as possible. She was trying not to think about being out in the open in the dark all alone. She knew if she did, she’d probably change her mind about leaving altogether.

She was dressed in her father’s old clothes and boots. They were a little big on her, and she had tied the britches to keep them up. The boots were also a little big, but there was nothing she could do about it. She had pinned her long blonde hair up and stuffed it under his old hat. Looking in the mirror to be sure it was all hidden beneath the old hat, she was finally convinced she looked more like the young boy she was pretending to be than the woman she had become.

Cora crept to Olivia’s room to make sure the woman was asleep then pulled the door quietly closed as she made her way back to her room to get the satchel of clothes she had already packed and hidden beneath her bed earlier today while Olivia was out somewhere. Taking that and the candle, she made her way to the kitchen where she wrapped some bread in a cloth. She quickly looked around to see what else she could take with her. She wasn’t sure how long it would be before she found a town as far away from this one as she could get, or how long it would take her to get settled once she was there. She didn’t have any money for a coach—not that Olivia or Donavan would let her get on one if she did in the first place.

She headed for the back door then remembered she’d forgotten her locket lying on the dresser in her room. Making her way back there and grabbing it, she placed the chain around her neck. Seeing the portrait of her parents sitting there on the dresser, she grabbed it as well and hurried back to the satchel waiting for her at the back door, stuffing it inside.

Carrying the candle and satchel, she made her way out to the barn where her father’s brown mare was prancing in her stable as if she knew something was afoot.

“It’s all right, girl.” Cora soothed her hand over the mare’s nose after she set the candle and satchel down. She thanked God that her father had taught her how to saddle a horse and to ride when she was a little girl.

She pulled the stool to the mare’s side so she could reach her, throwing the blanket over her back then the saddle, and then stepped down to fasten the cinch beneath of it. She pulled on the horn to make sure she had the saddle tight enough, and then she grabbed the bit and bridle, slipping them into place. She led the mare out of the stable, bringing her closer to the rail, and then tied the satchel to the saddle. She blew the candle out, leaving them in the dark except for the moon that was shining through the open barn doors, and then used the rail to climb onto the mare’s back.

It was a shame her father didn’t own a gun and she’d never learned how to shoot one, she thought. It would sure make her feel a little safer right now if she had one.

She was running from an unwanted marriage to the man she just knew in her heart had killed her father, but had no way to prove it since the sheriff was in the man’s back pocket. Olivia hadn’t even believed her and couldn’t wait until after the funeral to tell Cora that she was going to be marrying her off as soon as possible.

“All right, girl, it looks like it’s just you and me, and this god-awful darkness.” She patted the mare on the side of the neck as she leaned down to make her way out the barn doors.

She wasn’t so sure that leaving home was the right thing to do, yet staying home to marry Donavan Carlyle would have been worse than what she was going through right now. Not really knowing which way she should head, but knowing at least enough not to head toward town and the horrid man she was running from, she headed in the opposite direction.

Heading northwest from Hellgate Valley toward French Town, she knew the terrain wouldn’t be easy. She’d have to cross a high range to reach it at some point, but it would be her best choice. She could have headed south to Bitter Root, but knew that would be the first place Donavan and Olivia would look for her because it was the easier route. At least going to French Town would be easier than trying to head east toward Bears Town. If she had chosen that way, she knew the canyon there was at least forty miles in length with a range less lofty than those on the west, but she would also have to cross over the Hellgate River, which was quite deep in most places considering several streams poured into it. The largest of the streams was the Big Blackfoot, but she would also have to worry about an Indian ambush. They had already heard of fur hunters and trappers being ambushed along that trail just trying to make it to Hellgate Valley.

Cora had ridden slowly for most of the night over the hills and ridges, being careful not to injure the mare or herself. She kept to the shadows, being as quiet as she possibly could. She also kept an eye out for Indians and was always looking back to make sure she hadn’t been followed. It was almost too much. She’d never been out on her own before, and it was scarier than she thought it would be when she’d come up this plan. She wasn’t sure how much farther she or the mare would make it, and now that it was starting to get a little light out, she decided she was far enough away from home to stop for a little while and maybe eat a bite or two of the bread she had brought with her. Sliding off the mare’s back, she then grabbed the reins and led her to a low-hanging branch next to Bitter Root River and tied the reins to it. She thought it’d be best to leave the saddle on, just in case she had to move fast. Cora untied the satchel and pulled out the blanket she’d brought with her. Spreading it out on the ground and sitting down, she pulled the bread out. Looking around, she was sure she was hidden pretty well in the trees behind a fairly big ridge. She felt secure enough after eating a few bites, and she decided to lie down for a little while to see if she could rest.

She must have fallen asleep because she was awoken suddenly by the sounds of gunfire. Sitting up, she began looking around to see where she was and trying to identify where the shots were coming from. The best she could tell, they sounded as if they were coming from the other side of the ridge she was resting behind.

Holding on to twigs and rocks jutting out from the side of the ridge, she climbed and pulled herself to the top to peer over, trying to be as quiet as possible, not knowing who or what was on the other side. She almost cried out when she saw what looked like a nightmare in progress before her. It looked as if there were at least five or six dead men lying on the ground in their own blood. There were five men getting off their horses. All were dressed from head to toe in black, and they even wore black masks to cover the lower halves of their faces. She watched as they began moving around the dead men. They were using the toes of their black boots to nudge the men on the ground.

To make sure they were dead, Cora was sure, and a shiver ran down her spine. She put a shaking hand to her mouth to keep from crying out for fear of being discovered and murdered the same way. She tried to move as quietly as a mouse back down the ridge so she could repack her things and get on her mare before she was discovered. She felt like cursing when rocks and pebbles began to slide down the ridge, making a soft rumbling sound. She stopped suddenly and prayed the masked men were too far away to hear something as soft as the pebbles. She quickly peeked back over the top of the ridge, watching as one of the masked men looked up at where she was hiding. Cora prayed a little harder that she was too small and far away to be seen by the murderer.

She lay there watching until he turned away, and then she slid as quietly and as quickly as she could back to the ground, going to her blanket and satchel. She began rolling up her blanket, stuffing it back into the satchel. Walking softly and quietly, trying to avoid any fallen leaves or sticks the best she could, she made her way back to where she had left the mare tied to the small branch next to the river. She tied the satchel to the saddle and led the mare to where a log had fallen so that she could mount once again.

Cora was glad that she had been far enough away that she couldn’t see the faces of the dead men. She just knew their dead stares would have brought her nightmares for months to come. After all, it hadn’t been that long ago that she’d found her own father lying in a puddle of his own blood. His empty, glassy eyes staring up still haunted her. All at once she began to worry…what if the man who’d looked up at the ridge had actually seen her? Would he come after her now? Would they kill her, too?

She wondered if she should try to make it to French Town quickly and try to find a lawman to tell what she had seen, but if she did, then she would be right back to where she had started from. They’d want to know who she was and what she was doing out along Bitter Root River all alone. Would they return her to Olivia and Donavan? God, what should she do? Trying to put as much distance between herself and the outlaws as possible.

Still, she couldn’t ride very fast or hard until she was clear of some of these larger ridges, but once she was clear of them and some of the thick woods, she’d make better time. She just had to.

* * * *

Royce Wilkason looked to the top of the ridge when he heard the rocks sliding down. There had only been a few, and they hadn’t made enough noise to catch everyone’s attention, but he had grown used to listening for every sound and movement to keep them all safe. He knew someone must have been up there watching. He hadn’t seen anyone, but that didn’t mean they weren’t there. He could almost sense someone watching them. He knew someone had seen them, but whom? Yeah, there was no denying that they’d killed these men, but not in cold blood. These men had been sent to do a job, and they’d done it pretty well by the looks of his ranch, broken fences, and dead cattle. He’d almost bet they were the same men that tried to burn their barn down just a few nights ago. Anyone just seeing this fight, though, would think he and his men had chased these men down without any rights and outright killed them. Looking from his brother and hired ranch hands back to the top of the ridge, and knowing there was only one safe pass off that ridge, he knew how to get just ahead of the person who’d been up there, if there had been anyone. He knew he couldn’t take any chances as he turned back to his men.

“See if they have anything that can help us learn who’s doing all this to us, and then we need to get out of here before anymore of his damn men show up,” he said, looking around.

He hated knowing what they had to resort to, what they had become just to survive and keep what belonged to them. At least what rightfully belonged to him and his younger brother, Seth. The other three men were their hired hands. They had been hired to help run their cattle and horse ranch, not to have to kill men. They didn’t mind doing the killing so much anymore, not since their livelihood was threatened, too. If there was no ranch, no cattle, and no horses, there would be no work.

There wasn’t enough head of cattle left now as it was to do much of anything with. Luckily for them, the men had at least got the horses out of the barn before they’d lost any of them. Since whoever it was that wanted their ranch had come along, they’d all had to learn to do things they never thought they would. The man sure wasn’t stopping at anything to get what he wanted. He wasn’t even above murder, Royce realized, when men started shooting at them as they tried to repair the barn that had been half burned down. Hell, they’d even killed a couple of the horses today. When they returned home today, they were going to have to work on the fencing so that head of cattle and horses they did have left wouldn’t get out. The barn would have to wait until after that.

There wasn’t much law about, and what there was certainly wasn’t any help. They were too afraid to leave town to come anywhere near the Flathead Indian Reservation, which was just beyond Royce and Seth’s ranch. Royce was also beginning to wonder if whoever wanted his land owned the law as well. That would certainly be a better reason for the law not to want to come to his ranch. The Flathead Indians had been quite friendly and never gave him any problems. Now their only hope to keep what was theirs and stay alive long enough to find out who was doing all this, and hopefully get enough on the man to take it to the marshal was to kill whoever came after them first. So, dressing as outlaws themselves and killing the men that were sent to kill them or run them off was the only way they had to stay alive and keep what was theirs until they found out a way to stop the bastard.

“Take whatever you find, split up, and head back to the ranch. I’ll meet you there to see if we found anything worth taking to the marshal,” Royce said, slipping the Colt back into the low-hanging holster at his side. He slipped the mask off his face, sheathed his Winchester, and then mounted his black stallion. He removed his hat to wipe at the sweat beading on his forehead.

“Hey, where are you going?” Seth called after him.

“I’ll see you at home. There’s something I need to do. Just be careful and keep out of sight,” Royce said, placing his black gambler hat back atop his head.

Royce waited until Seth nodded his head, and then he took off across the plane headed toward the tree line. He had to know who was up there watching them. Was it the man gunning for them or maybe a spy for the bastard? He’d question whoever it was, and if necessary, kill them. He knew there was someone there. He just couldn’t shake the feeling coming over him. He’d felt their eyes on him, watching and waiting.

He rode hard to be ahead of whoever it was then looked around until he found a place among the trees to hide. He wasn’t about to be discovered and have any of them hung as outlaws when they were all good men just trying to survive. For their own good, he could only pray it was only his imagination and not a spy or the man himself. He hated to have to kill men over cattle, horses, and land, but what else could he do? He was worried enough about Seth, who was starting to behave as if he liked living as an outlaw. No, he decided he couldn’t let that happen. It had to end soon.

Royce heard someone coming before he actually saw them. He smiled to himself, knowing someone had been up there on that ridge watching them. He was filled with apprehension, not knowing what he was going to be facing. Had there been more than one person up on that ridge? He didn’t think so. He hadn’t really felt threatened, and yet that feeling of dread lingered. A chill ran up his spine as the person came into view. It was a feeling he’d never had before and never wanted to feel again. The person didn’t look big enough to be too much of a problem. More like a young boy lost or out to make a name for himself. He didn’t like the thought of having to hurt someone so small, or so young. Maybe he could just frighten the boy a little, put a good scare into the young lad, and he’d learn not to go around spying on people.


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