Today's excerpt is from An Outlaw in her Bed by Kastil Eavenshade.
We hope you enjoy today's tease!
After a quick look at the breech to make sure it was loaded, she raced to the front porch. Outside, three men had already approached halfway up the dusty walkway inside the fence. Each wore a pair of pistols on their hips. All had their hands ready to draw. Not one looked the least bit friendly.
Her features hardened as she pointed the shotgun at them. "That's far enough."
The one in the middle laughed. "Oh we're just passing through. Ain't we boys?"
"Then git to passing." She jerked the gun toward the edge of the fence.
He stepped forward. "What? No hospitality for weary travelers?"
The gun bucked in her hands as she squeezed the trigger. She staggered back from the jolt. Dirt sprayed the men from the splatter of the buckshot, but they remained in place.
"You only got one shot left, Ellie."
Ellie froze when the man used that name. She'd left that life behind when Owen swept her off her feet almost ten years ago back in Briar Creek. Her eyes studied the men, and her heart stopped when she recognized each one. Nash, Cody, and Buck. Three men who had attempted to share her bed without payment in her former profession, until her handsome stranger had stopped them.
"You ain't got no business here."
"I believe we do. How far did you think you could run with that preacher? Once a member of the Devil's Addition. Besides you owe us a little comfort."
"I owe you nothing, mister."
Nash hooked his thumbs in his belt and spit to the side. "Where’s your husband? Rumor has it that he's sick with a bout of lead poisoning." He moved closer as Buck and Cody snickered amongst themselves.
A shot rang out behind Ellie, nipping into Nash's boot. He stumbled back.
"The lady asked for you to leave."
Ellie backed to the side of the porch, her mouth agape for a second. Her guest stood in the doorway with her husband's Colt in his hand. Gone was the feeble man. He wore a sheet around his waist to hide his nakedness, the fabric bunched in one hand to keep it from falling. The bandages stretched taut against his well-defined muscles. She noticed the hard icy glare in his eyes — like Death being called from the depths of Hell.
"We're only having a friendly chat about acquiring her many services, same as you." Nash grinned, his hand hovering at his gun.
"Hobble your lip, boy." Her savior cocked back the hammer, his finger tight on the trigger. "Or I'll be leaving you far from above snakes."
Nash curled his fingers around the hilt.
"You unshuck that piece, and I shoot you first." He trained his gun on Nash. "Last chance to absquatulate."
"Come on, boys." Nash stepped back a few paces. "There's plenty of wag-tail at the vaulting house in town." He jerked his head, and the other two followed him back to their horses. Turning at the fence line, he pointed his finger back at Ellie's savoir. "This ain't over."
"Then throw down, boy."
With a sneer, Nash eased into his saddle and spurred his horse.
Ellie watched them leave, her tainted past coming back to haunt her. Owen had rescued her long ago from a life of prostitution. Left broke from a stagecoach robbery when traveling to seek her fortune in the West, she’d had nothing to turn to but an offer from an oily man named Reese Mason, at the Last Stand Saloon in Briar Creek. She'd sold her dignity long ago, and Owen had redeemed her in one magical night. Though their first night together was anything but a quick binding marriage contract, her husband loved her with care afterwards.
Why had these men shown up after all these years? She'd paid her debt, or at least Owen had, to release her from her contract with Mason. She'd seen the money exchange hands. Ellie had a feeling that wasn't the last altercation with those men.
Turning to thank her guest, she found him flat on the floor. Austin was behind him wringing his hands.
“I couldn’t hold him up any more, Ma.”
"It's okay, Austin. Help me get him back into bed."
Who is this mysterious man? And why is he tempting the devil in me?