Amanda waited for her cheeks to cool and then tried to push away from
Tallyn’s side, intending to take a step closer to the arrogant woman.
Back home, in her own element, she wouldn’t have hesitated to put the
cocky bitch back in her place, whatever it took. It wouldn’t be the
first time someone mistook her petite stature for weak.
Tallyn tightened his grip around her waist, stopping Amanda, a reminder
she wasn’t on Earth anymore. She had a bad feeling about this one,
sensing Tallyn’s guard rise. This wasn’t just your average everyday
bitch trying to get a rise out of someone. No, more like a dangerous,
lethal bitch, one who could probably wipe the floor with a simple human
woman like Amanda, do some serious damage. Or even kill her. Though she
didn’t want to look like a cowardly mouse in front of Tallyn’s
people, Amanda decided to keep quiet this time. Let him handle it.
Or she would have if Tallyn hadn’t hesitated to introduce her.
Amanda held out her hand. “Hi there, I’m Amanda, but everyone calls
me Mandy.” She shrugged when the woman ignored her hand. “Sorry,
guess you guys don’t shake around here. No worries, I’ll get
everything figured out eventually.” She rubbed her damp palm along the
outside of her thigh, doing her best to ignore the smirk that developed
on the tall, dark-eyed woman. She was beautiful, Amanda had to give her
that, but in a wild, feral sort of way. Her body was all lean, hard
muscle, just like Tallyn’s, with shapely legs that went on for miles.
Amanda felt positively frumpy standing next to her, though she refused
to let the woman know it. “You must be from Tallyn’s . . . pack,
right? What do you do there?”
“Correct, young female,” the woman said, her eyes and hair color
almost the same dark brown. “I’m not familiar with many of your
human customs, as I know you are ignorant about most of ours. Tallyn
might have his hands full teaching you enough to keep you….” She
stopped and chuckled softly. “Well, enough to keep you from offending
everyone you meet.” She bit at the corner of her lip, obviously trying
not to laugh, her dark eyes sparkling. “Learning our customs will not
be your only obstacle, young one. I suspect you’re going to cause a
great deal of trouble for our current ruling pair. Mathias conveyed deep
concern for your safety should Tallyn insist upon bringing you home with
him. He tells us—”
“Jianna,” Tallyn growled. “That’s enough.”
Amanda put her hand on his forearm and gently squeezed. “Yeah, I know,
I must look like an insignificant bug to someone like you. Wouldn’t be
the first time a person misjudged me, and probably won’t be the
last.” She grinned, though knew it didn’t quite reach her eyes.
“Not a mistake people tend to make twice.” Amanda shrugged, lifting
her chin and tried to look down her nose at the arrogant cow, not an
easy task when standing next to an Amazonian type. But she could play
the haughty bitch scene with the best of them, enjoying the spark of
fury building in the woman’s eyes. “Oh, cool your jets, girl. I’m
not stupid, Jianna. I expected to run into some trouble here. Just try
not to judge me by my size. It’s a mistake. I’ll learn what I need
to know. We’re probably not as different as you’d like people to
believe.” Except for you being a psycho bitch and all.
Jianna scowled, obviously not getting the reaction she’d hoped for,
though she quickly recovered, a slight sneer developing. “Yes, young
female, to judge solely by one’s size could be considered a mistake,
but size is not your only handicap, is it? Or even the worst of them. I
sincerely doubt it’s necessary for me to spell it out. Tallyn
understands, even if you don’t.”
No, it wasn’t necessary. Amanda wasn’t a werewolf and Tallyn’s
father wasn’t likely to let either of them forget it. Still, they’d
have to work that out later. Though Amanda’s guts churned, she only
grinned and tipped her head, offering a touché moment, knowing it was
useless trying to argue against the truth. But they both understood very
well that a challenge had been given . . . and accepted. Amanda allowed
instinct to guide her. Only time would tell whether or not it turned out
to be a mistake. Calem had been wrong when he accused Tallyn of not
teaching her anything. During all their many dreamwalks together, Tallyn
had drilled into her head that she must stand proud no matter what they
faced. Who cared if this smug woman ended up wiping the floor with her
ass down the road. She couldn’t touch her right now and they both knew
A sudden chill popped up out of nowhere and Amanda fought not to take a
step closer to Tallyn. Instinctively she knew it was important not to
hide behind him, though she didn’t take it so far as to push him away
when he slipped his arm around the small of her back, snugging her tight
against his side.
“Well, hey, you guys,” Amanda said, rubbing her hand against
Tallyn’s shirt. She’d grown tired of this woman and her blustering.
“It’s been fun and all, but if you don’t mind, I think I’m going
to steal your prince away for the night. We need some alone time.” She
allowed her grin to widen. “I’m sure you understand, right?” She
nodded at the two silent men accompanying the bitch, keeping her tone
carefully light, almost playful, when she added, “It’s been a real
pleasure to finally get to meet some of Tallyn’s friends. Guess
we’ll see you all again in a couple of weeks. Right?” She directed
the question toward Tallyn. He nodded, amusement visible in his golden
eyes as Amanda continued, “I know you guys must be anxious to get him
back, but you’ll have plenty of time to visit and catch up once we
reach your….” Amanda stopped, uncertain what they called their home:
a city, burg, town, village…?
Tallyn filled in the blanks when Amanda stumbled. “Go back to our pack
and tell my father his message was received. We’ll arrive in two
weeks, no later, as our king requested.” Tallyn smiled down at Amanda
with real warmth before he returned his attention back to the woman.
“You are excused, Jianna.”
Jianna’s mouth dropped open, fury brewing in her dark brown eyes. Her
reply came back clipped, a faint, threatening growl behind it.
“Forgive me, I never meant to offend our new princess. If I have, it
was unintentional, I assure you. Forgive me, Tallyn, in the future I’m
sure your mate and I will become close friends, but for now, in my
defense, I must remind you that I’ve received mixed signals from her.
Perhaps one day this touching of hands will become a new custom among
our people.” She coughed, hiding a smile behind her hand as she bowed
low, her cold brown eyes never leaving Amanda’s face. “Here on
Laizahlia only a submissive would think to offer their hand. It’s
taken much like exposing one’s throat.” She glanced toward Tallyn.
“You wouldn’t want her to insult the wrong person over an avoidable
faux pas.” Her smile broadened. “I’m sure you know exactly who
I’m speaking of, yes?”
“Thank you,” Amanda replied. She squeezed Tallyn’s arm, then
grinned at Jianna, though they both knew it was forced. “I appreciate
your concern for my safety.” Tired of playing word games, she placed
her hand on Tallyn’s stomach and smiled up at him. “I know your
friends have missed you, but it’s been a long day and I’m starving.
We should probably go.”
“Yes, of course,” Jianna said with a slight bow, her tone not quite
so haughty. “Though I fear we’ve overstayed our welcome this
evening, I’m afraid we’ve been ordered by our king to escort you
both home. We’ll be close at hand . . . should you run into any
unforeseen problems on your journey through the mountains. Mathias
wishes no harm to befall his son. The three of us are here to see his
wishes are honored.”
“Enough of this,” Tallyn growled, glaring at Jianna. “You may
escort us home, since you’ve been ordered by Mathias, but all three of
you will remain out of sight the duration of the journey. There’ll be
severe consequences should you choose to disobey me, Jianna.”
“Yes, my Prince. We’ll escort you from a distance. Your female will
never know we’re there.” She lowered her eyes and turned to leave.
The two men who’d stood silent behind her bowed only toward Tallyn and
then fell into step behind Jianna.
“Well,” Amanda said, watching their retreating backs, “wasn’t
that just a blast.” She slipped her hand into Tallyn’s and squeezed.
“Guess I messed up with the handshake thing. I have a lot to learn,
“It’ll take time. Don’t worry about Jianna. She’s not important.
She would have done anything to try to embarrass me.”
“Embarrass you, ha,” she said, then snorted. Jianna was afraid of
Tallyn, that much had been clear. But there’d been something more, an
underlying rage in the woman. “Look, Tallyn, I may not be familiar
with all your rules and customs, but I damned well know jealousy when I
see it. It’s eating that woman alive. I’m not trying to put you on
the spot here, the past is the past as far as I’m concerned, but did
you and Jianna ever have a thing? She acts like you belong to her.”
Amanda could do without the mental picture it brought, but it would
certainly explain the bitch’s bad attitude toward her.
“No, I’ve never been interested in Jianna.”
What a relief! She could scrub that image from her mind. Plus, things
would be hard enough without the addition of a jilted lover. “I wonder
why she’s acting like you two are an item?”
“I don’t know,” he said, though his tone said otherwise. Amanda
frowned. “I haven’t been back to my home for nearly four hundred
Wow, freaking hell, Amanda thought, again squeezing his hand. How could
they live so long . . . and still look so damned hot? “Tallyn?”
“Yes, Prin— I mean Mandy.”
She sighed. “Let’s get out of here, okay? I could use some privacy?
I’m not used to being around so many people.” Not anymore. “It’s
almost claustrophobic.” Tallyn’s entire body grew still, almost a
living statue, and Amanda nervously glanced around, wondering if she’d
missed out on something new. She had a feeling he’d been speaking
telepathically to someone else, and not liking what he was being told.
Should she pressure him to tell her?
No, let it go, she told herself. It’s not important right now. “You
“I’m sorry, it’s nothing.” He shook it off, whatever it was.
“What would you like to eat? There is a variety of food available.
It’s only a short distance from here.”
What she was hungry for couldn’t be bought from a taco stand. Or
whatever else food they offered here. She could happily spend hours
nibbling on his gorgeous body. “Whatever you like will be fine.”
Let’s just get the damned stuff and go already.
Tallyn cupped her cheek, his thumb over her mouth. “I’ll never let
anything separate us. I don’t want you to worry about Jianna, she
won’t be a problem. Or my father. Jianna’s ambitions are greater
than her station in life. They always have been.”
Amanda nodded, hoping he was right, because she was in it for the long
haul now. They’d have to pry her cold, dead fingers off Tallyn to
separate them. He belonged to her.
Excerpted from "Ghost Warrior (Immortal Warriors Book 2)" by Denna Holm. Copyright © 2017 by Denna Holm. Excerpted by permission. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher. Excerpts are provided solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.