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In the spirit of love and Valentine’s Day, a deleted scene that will one day be resurrected in another story.

From Blood Phoenix: Claimed

After shedding the restrictive and smothering under layers of my skirts, I brought two bowls of vegetable broth to the small and wobbly round table for my children to sit and eat. There were woolen blankets to be beaten before I could come in for the night, eat my dinner and tend the fire until I went to my lonesome bed. I ruffled my son’s hair on my way out of the shack, where I hoisted my blanket up over the branch beside my home.


A sudden awareness pulled my spine tight in my back, turning me from the blanket, switch hovering half way to the rough material.

It cannot be.

The sound of the horse’s hooves drew nearer, morphing from the sharp tones on the shoes hitting cobblestone to the muted thuds of the dirt road. The switch dropped from my hand as I gathered my overskirt and moved to the front of my home in time to see the brilliant brown beast trotting around the street bend.

Please. Please be my husband.

It had been two years since my husband had left, forced to go fight in a war for our king.

Please. Eugene, please come home to me.

My eyes closed, and my body trembled as the horse grew silent. His dismount  equally as muted on the rough dirt road, but the air pulsed, crackling and familiar. 


My eyes sprang open to the tall, dark and broad figure of a man before me. His hair matted and windblown and much longer than I had ever seen it. His beard was rough and poorly shorn. His eyes a deeper blue than I remembered. My heart flew inside me, bouncing against all of my insides as he stepped forward.

“My wife…”

A sob erupted from my throat as I flung myself at him, my arms wrapping around his neck, falling across his broad shoulders. His arms circled me, lifting me from the ground and twirling me about. I pressed my face into his shoulder, unable to keep myself from blubbering. “I believed that I would never see you again.”

Gene’s hand found my hair, and he pressed me closer, his body noticeably shaking under mine as my feet found the Earth again. “I told you that I could never leave you, and I meant it.”

I once believed myself to be in much more control of my urges, but I launched myself upward and pressed my mouth to his, unable to resist the sweet taste of him. Of my husband. Gene seemed as hungry for me as I was for him as he gathered me up in his arms again, carried me toward our home, and re-met our children.