Saturday, August 1, 2009

The Taming of a Vixen by Wendy Stone

Alyssa snatched her hand from his grasp. A strange tingle shot up her arm, leaving her gasping. She blinked as she heard his name, for it was well known in London. He was a known rakehell and scoundrel, a determined bachelor and a touted horseman. He was also rumored to be known for his fists at the gentleman’s club he frequented; not one to take on in the ring unless one was willing to walk away bruised and swollen.

And he was unbelievably handsome, a fact that was just becoming apparent to Alyssa as her ire slowly faded. She had a temper as fiery as her hair and was known for sharp tongue and bursts of pique. But she was also known for her generosity and kind heart.

This was her first trip to London. She had been forced to come. She’d returned home from France just a few months before, where she’d gone to a finishing school at the behest of her father who thought she was becoming too “male-minded”. The one bright point of this trip would be her visit to her best friend, Lady Catherine Trent. Cat had been her roommate at school and also her conspirator, helping her get away with numerous pranks on the staffers of the school. A fact that hadn’t set well with her father and had caused him to rage at her when he’d come to visit.

But now she had returned to the life she loved; raising horses, reading, and hunting, all the things that had sent her father into such a tizzy.

“It is not necessary, Lord Ashington. I am sure I will be able to find my own way very well.”

“But Lady Alyssa, it grows late and the night will be upon us soon. With no horse, it will be full dark before you reach home. Come, it is only a small ways and you can ride pillion behind me, if that will cover your maidenly modesty,” he chuckled, watching as her cheeks grew redder, and her eyes flamed with ire once more.

She lifted her fingers to her lips, pursing those lush morsels and letting loose a shockingly loud whistle. Within moments, a high pitched whinny was heard, followed by the sound of a horse’s hooves beating down as it ran. Alyssa held her gown as her mount barreled toward her, making no effort to get out of the brute’s way.

Jason watched, his heart unexpectedly in his throat, his hand, ready to pull her out of the way. To his surprise, the horse swerved at the very last moment and ran past Alyssa. She reached out, grasping the pommel with both hands, swinging herself up and into the saddle with an ease that told him that this was a practiced move.

“Impressive,” he said, whistling through his teeth as he watched the fiery vixen ride away. She turned and he swore she was laughing at him. With a wave of her hand, she aimed her mount into a small copse of trees and disappeared from his sight.