The vicious and predatory Cros are amassing in ever growing numbers in the foothills above the travelers’ temporary encampment. Facing inevitable attack, the tribe hastens to prepare for the last leg of their journey—the perilous voyage across the Bering Strait to the shores of the
. But time is in short supply. Americas
Kidnapped by a band of marauding Cros, Rachel’s fate as a slave is preordained. Females are few, the tribeswomen the ultimate prize and better off dead the reality. But fate is capricious and unsettled. When the savage warrior, Hawk, overpowers her captors and takes her for his own, Rachel’s destiny takes a new direction.
From the direction of the camp a dog barked, a frenzied, excited yapping. She froze, her senses going on alert. The dogs only barked when something was wrong. The hair at the base of her skull stood on end. She shuddered. Chills raced up and down her spine. Pay attention! That’s what Jonas always said. And here I am outside the stockade without a frickin’ weapon to my name!
I wish Jonas were here right now! Her hand touched the leather sheath hanging from her waistband. No! Wait! I have a cutting knife! Poor defense against the vicious predators lurking outside the boundaries of the camp!
Slow and careful, she backed up, eased out of the water and crouched down. Breathing in tiny pants, her heart drummed a frantic rhythm in her breast.
I could make a run for it! The camp was not that far away but the path meandered through some pretty tall plant life. Plenty of spots for an animal or one of those crazy-assed Cros to hide! Adrenalin surged through her system. She drew a deep breath, readying herself.
“Rach! You out here?” Jeremy’s voice rang out nearby, sounding worried.
“Here,” she called, standing up and waving.
The tall reeds parted and Jeremy’s merry face poked through. “Dogs are fussing. Riley said you were out here. We need to get back inside.”
Her breath exhaled in a relieved whoosh! “Thank God you’re here! I was about ready to mess my drawers.”
His brow furrowed. “Did you see anything? Jonas’ll want a report when we get back.”
“No. I didn’t see anything, but the dogs are still barking. We need to move.”
He chopped at the tall grass with a wicked looking panga. “We need to clear this crap out and open up the pathway! Stuff grows like frickin’ weeds.”
He sliced through the grass, yelped in surprise and then tripped, falling as a monstrous saber-toothed cat sprang from the brush, huge mouth gaping in a screech of rage. He rolled to his side covering his neck as the cat landed astride his back.