Read an Excerpt
by Roxanne Rhoads
The air was still a little cool but the sun shown warmly down on Ardwinna’s upturned face. She looked to the sky, thankful that it was a clear and beautiful pre-spring day. Too many times she had performed this ritual in pouring rain or even in three feet of snow.
She smiled. ‘Thank you, Goddess, for blessing me with such a wonderful day.’ In the distance she could hear raccoon chatter, odd since it was still early in the day. They probably came out to welcome spring, too.
Ardwinna hiked out to the clearing by the river, her favourite place in all the forest.
She could feel a strange presence in the forest. It was someone new but she could feel that he was not harmful, just curious. He would not disturb her until she was ready for him. It was the vernal equinox and she was ready to perform her annual welcome spring fertility ritual. Having a healthy and virile man’s seed to contribute would be a welcome change to her normal lonely offering.
Tom wandered through the forest enjoying the quiet serenity. The trees had not started to blossom with green buds yet and there were not many birds flittering among the trees just the little finches and cardinals that stuck out the long, cold winters of the northern states. It was finally starting to get warm but a cool breeze still filled the air.
It was beautiful. His boss was an idiot. No one needed another subdivision. The housing market was a mess, there were already too many empty houses on the market, a subdivision was a terrible idea, cutting into the pristine beauty of this forest to make the subdivision was an even worse idea.
Tom hated his job but with the economy in such a mess he was thankful to have a job at all. If it wasn’t for his brother, Jerry, he wouldn’t have this job. Tom’s brother married the boss’s daughter and just happened to be in his good graces. So when Tom lost his engineering job due to the economic downshift Jerry was nice enough to talk to his father in law and get Tom a job as a land development scout.
The good news? It’s a pay cheque. The bad news? The job totally sucks. It usually involves talking some poor guy into selling a piece of property that’s been in the family forever and not giving him what it’s worth but he needs the money so he finally gives in and takes it. The big boss wasn’t hurting for money, even with things being so bad for so many around the US. He was taking advantage of others’ misfortunes and buying up foreclosed properties and getting fabulous land dirt cheap. Once the economy picked back up he would make a bundle selling all the properties and developing the land.
To Tom it was all bad karma, taking advantage of others like that, but in the business world it was … well … business.
He continued walking along the forest trail until he popped out along the river. The trail continued on next to the river. He kept following it until he heard music and voices, maybe just one voice. He slowed down and started walking quietly, he didn’t want to freak anyone out and he didn’t want to stumble upon anything weird. What he saw took his breath away.
A curvaceous woman with long flowing auburn hair was stripping off her clothing.
Was she going for a swim? he wondered. It was awfully cold still to go in the water. The temperature had only crept over 60 degrees a few times; the water would still be like ice. No way, she couldn’t be going in the river. What was she doing?
He crept up behind a large tree and continued to watch her. His curiosity and his libido were both piqued.
She was stunning. In addition to her long auburn hair that lit up like glowing fire when the sun touched it, she had perfect ivory skin. Not pale and pasty, no ivory. Smooth like cream with a touch of gold. And now that smooth creamy skin was completely bare for Tom to enjoy as the gorgeous and crazy stranger stripped off her panties and socks and placed them in a neat pile with the rest of her clothes.