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Jenny never intended for this to happen. It was just a stupid pop-up ad on a stupid website. Seriously, who offers 30-day trials for viking husbands? Of course Jenny didn't read the fine print, she just clicked it! Now Torhild is standing on her doorstep wrapped in animal pelts, his muscles rippling, his primitive mind set on just two things: Conquest, and making love to his new American bride!~~~~~ Excerpt ~~~~~He was the tallest man I'd ever seen outside a basketball game, yet his body was nothing like a professional athlete's. His neck and shoulders were massive, his biceps thicker than my thighs, and his own thighs were like glistening tree trunks. I saw all of this, and all the glistening, because he was garbed in nothing but fur pelts. His bare skin was shiny with sweat and the spatters of what I didn't recognize as blood.I'd stepped out of my car laughing. I stopped when I realized the stag slung over the man's shoulder was alive--or had been until just recently. Its antlers bowed over his broad chest, its eye closed in death. I dropped my purse when the man called out to me. His voice was as frosty as a glacier and as rugged as the calluses in his palms. "Greetings, Jenny Templeton," he boomed. "I am Torhild, son of Folcwald, strangler of the serpent's spawn and bane of Jrmungandr.""Uh?" I said. I stared into the man's ice blue eyes. They were heralds of winter in the warm fall evening. His hair, too, had a wintry cast, a pale blonde that was more snow than gold. The hair was thick and flowed over his shoulders, some of it wrapped up into long, complicated braids. His face was beardless, though a reddish stubble gleamed on his cheeks and chin. His eyebrows, thick and even whiter than his hair, rose high on his tan forehead. "You are Jenny Templeton?" he asked."Um, yeah," I said. I shouldered my purse and tried to remember if mace had an expiration date, and if I was even carrying my mace, and if mace could stop a hulking hunk that strangled serpents' spawn.Torhild nodded. "Then we are well met," he said. "You are a most comely maiden."Why was I blushing for this psychopath on my doorstep? I swiped a lock of hair behind my ear and shook my head. "Well, uh, joke's on you, buddy, because I'm not a maiden." I glanced quickly to my left and right. Where the hell did he come from? Could I outrun him? He'd apparently outrun a deer, so probably not.Torhild let rip a mighty laugh that threatened to rock my car windows out of their sockets. "Aha!" he snorted. "Tis good, Jenny. I've little patience for blushing virgins. Green kindling yields little warmth.""Oh, okay, so that's where this is going," I muttered. "Just stay back or I'll scream. You can't attack me in broad daylight."He smiled at me from beneath his snowy eyebrows. "I've no intention of ravishing thee, Jenny." He hefted the deer on his shoulder. "As a token of my troth, I've hunted the swiftest stag in this land. For five days he led me through the woods of Fairfield, Litchfield, and Hartford, where I at last slew him within a stone's throw of Tolland. He died honorably and shall make a fine feast."I stared at the man, my mouth agape."Or perhaps you are a vegetarian?" he asked.
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© Copyright 2017, Helen Ridley, All Rights Reserved
NOTICE: This ebook is licensed for your personal enjoyment only. This ebook may not be re-sold or given away to other people. If you would like to share this book with another person, please purchase an additional copy for each recipient. If you’re reading this book and did not purchase it, or it was not purchased for your use only, then please return to your favorite ebook retailer and purchase your own copy. Thank you for respecting the hard work of this author.
Disclaimer: This story contains explicit content, including graphic descriptions of sexual intercourse. It is intended for adults only. All characters depicted are over 18-years-old. This is a work of fiction. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or actual events, is purely coincidental.
Cover designed by Sloan Publishing. Cover Photos © Alexsutula © Marquardt21.
* * *
My hand trembled as I poured the steaming coffee into my last clean mug. On my couch, the young policeman gazed at it hopefully, his lip trembling in time with my fingers. I started to bring the mug over to him, then I realized which mug it was. Muted pink, chipped lip, a cartoon dog grinning from behind a grinning cartoon cat. The dog's white speech bubble was faded and scratched but it was still possible to read the words "That's good pussy!" in scratchy font.
I grimaced at the dog. The stupid thing was a holdover from my college days--specifically, my college boyfriend Bill. Bill thought this mug was hilarious. I thought it was cursed. Why else would it have followed me through six different apartments, three states, and every terrible relationship in between?
The cop eyed the dog and cat as I handed him the coffee, then offered me a lecherous smirk. He might have winked, too, though it was hard to tell. His eye was swollen shut and half his face was crusty with dried blood. "It's my last cup," I informed him.
He raised his one good eyebrow. "Whatever you say, baby."
"Ugh," I groaned. I stalked back into the kitchen and swept my cell phone off the counter. Ten minutes I'd been on hold and still no answer. I gazed outside (through the new hole in my front wall) where the late afternoon blazed with blue and red. Cop cars were piled into the street and on the lawn. Uniformed men and women were roping off the area while people in white hazmat suits collected shards of glass from my busted window. The ambulance was still out there, which meant Gabe was still out there. I balled my trembling hand into a fist.
A sudden click in my ear was followed by a loud, deep, but unquestionably feminine voice: "Hellllllluuuu!"
I pulled the phone off my ear like I was swatting a hornet. "Ow!" I screamed.
The voice retreated to a slightly less appalling volume and chirped back a submissive, "Så ledsen, så ledsen, honey baby. So sorry to disturb you!"
For the life of me, I could not place the woman's accent. I had to assume she hailed from somewhere Nordic, given the day's events, but whether she was Swedish or Danish, Norwegian or Faroese, I had no idea. Judging by the bass notes in her jolly voice, she sounded like a giant.
"Um, hi," I said into the phone.
"Helluuuuuuu!" the giant woman sang. "I am customer servicer Frigg. To whom am I speaking in this handsome morning?"
Morning? Here in Connecticut it was five in the afternoon. Was Norway (or wherever) really twelve hours ahead? I sighed and resolved to just push forward. "Listen, um, Frigg, my name is Jenny Templeton and I've had a very strange--"
"One minute, Missy Tempertone," Frigg rumble-sang back to me. "I look you up in our customers databaser. Ah, hellu! I see you here! You the wife of Torhild, Serpent Strangler. Grattis! Such a mighty warrior."
"No!" I moaned into the phone. "No, I am not the wife of Torhild, Serpent Strangler! Listen to me, I did not--"
"Öh?" Frigg replied. "Let me check once more again, Miss Temputurn." I expected to hear tapping on a keyboard but Frigg's hasty movements sounded more like the repeated smash of a hammer against an anvil. "You are the wife who live on 8419 Blackberry Drive?" she asked.
"Okay, yes," I said. "Yes, I do, but there's been a mistake. I didn't mean to order from your website."
"Vad!" Frigg yelped. "Is mistake? A stranger steal your face?"
"What?" I exclaimed.
"Ursäkta," she said quickly. "Not with face, I mean. Steal your soul. No. Steal your fingers? When a man take your computer."
I massaged my temple, wondering why I expected this to go any other way. "No, nobody stole my computer," I sighed. "Or my identity--"
"Ja!" Frigg exclaimed. "Your dent-entity!"
"No," I groaned. "No, I clicked on...I clicked on something. I don't even remember doing it. It was a week ago when I was on..." I bit my tongue. "I was on some website when an ad popped up. I have no idea--"
"Ja!" Frigg replied. "You were on the site with the videos of the sweaty men."
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