Published By: Ellora's Cave Publishing Inc.
Published: Sep 08, 2010
ISBN # 9781419929304
Available in: Epub, HTML, Microsoft Reader, Adobe Acrobat, Mobipocket (.prc), Rocket
Categories: Romance>Erotic Romance
Rosalie O’Kelley is not above using her feminine wiles to secure much-needed supplies for her fellow townspeople. But when Union Colonel Eric Skaarsberg is put in charge, Rose’s usual tactics fail miserably. In exchange for supplies, she comes to a scandalous arrangement with him. She agrees to become his willing plaything—to fulfill his every physical need, eagerly and without hesitation.
Eric is duty-bound to ferret out the spy who has been leaking information to the Confederates. All evidence points to the passionate belle who readily responds to every touch and taste he metes out. One by one, he strips away Rose’s secrets, but Eric is not satisfied with owning the she-Rebel’s luscious body. He must uncover the truth of her past at any cost—even if it means the destruction of them both.
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An Excerpt From: REBEL ROSE
Copyright ? DEBRA GLASS, 2010
All Rights Reserved, Ellora's Cave Publishing,
O?Kelley inhaled the crisp fall air. Dread
settled in her tightly corseted stomach as she gazed up at the castle-like
fa?ade of the college building the Yankees had established as their
?You ain?t goin? in there by
glanced at the freedman servant who?d borne her husband?s corpse all the
way back from Shiloh battlefield. Rueben
was as dedicated to the cause of getting much-needed salt, sugar, medicine
and fabric to war-torn north Alabama as she was but he did not approve of
her methods. ?I shall be just fine,? she said.
shook his cane in her direction. ?You don?t know this Yankee. He might not
be as?generous?as the last one.? Rueben was only thirty-two years old but
he had the demeanor?and the gait?of a man twice his age.
haven?t come across one yet who wasn?t?generous,? Rose said as she deftly
unfastened the top two buttons of her black mourning gown.
don?t like it.? Rueben shook his head. ?I don?t like it at all.?
remained silent. She didn?t like it either but her only other choice was
conceding defeat and that was not in her nature.
would Mister Billy,? Rueben muttered.
drew in a sharp breath. ?Mister Billy?s dead and I am only doing what I
have to do.?
head dropped and he continued to murmur unintelligible words about Rose?s
deceased husband. Rose missed Billy too but her heart went out to Rueben.
After all, he and Billy had been half brothers. Although on paper, one had
owned a brickyard and the other had been his slave, the two had always
acted as brothers. And when Billy?s father had died, leaving Billy
everything he owned, Billy?s first act as heir was
to free Rueben.
had signed the papers before his father?s body had been interred in the Florence Cemetery. Rueben had been the only
family Billy had left besides Rose.
two men had grown up a year apart in age. Since Billy had donned a gray
uniform and was killed fighting for the Sixteenth Alabama Infantry, Rueben
was the only family Rose had left. Then, the soldiers had been confident of
an early victory, of chasing the Yankees out of the Confederacy.
heart twisted when she thought that her own brother might have fired the
bullet that had made her a widow at nineteen. Or perhaps, Billy had fired
the bullet that had killed the brother. Either possibility was the stuff of
she wondered if the stress of both deaths had been the reason her baby girl
had died in her womb.
been two years since she?d become barren and widowed. Now, at only
twenty-one, she felt as if her life was over?as if her life had ended
instead of her husband?s. The war had toughened her as it had most of the
soldiers and civilians who?d shared dreams of glory. Rose sighed. There was
no use in looking back. What had been done was done and all she could do
now was make the best of her youthful good looks to make the lives of Florence citizens
that the entire Confederate Army of Tennessee was headed this way, she, and
others like her, were stockpiling all they could get from the Yankees in
order to replenish the Confederates? supplies.
meant brandishing her bosom to get laudanum for a suffering soldier, Rose
was ready to do it. What did her reputation matter any longer? She never
intended to marry again anyway. But bleakly, she recalled how wonderful it
had felt to lose herself in Billy?s arms, to come utterly undone at his
touch, his kiss.
inhaled. What man would want to marry her now? The doctor had told her when
she lost the baby that she?d never be able to get pregnant again. It was
just as well that she was barren. This was no kind of world to bring a
shudder ripped through her as she climbed the stairs into what had once
been?and hopefully would be again?Wesleyan College.
Now it served as the headquarters for the Yankees.
Despite what she thought about sex, Rose understood the mere innuendo of
the act was a vehicle through which she could obtain most anything she
wanted from women-starved soldiers.
here,? she whispered to Rueben as one of the Yankee guards nearly tripped
over his own boots to be the first to open the door for her.
Rose,? he greeted, blushing profusely. ?How nice to see you.?
too, Sergeant Poole. My, my, have you done something different with your
whiskers?? Rose asked as she gave the youth a pat on the cheek.
something about you looks different. I swear, you
look at least five years older.?
the corner of her eye, Rose saw a scowl cross Rueben?s features. She
ignored him and instead, dazzled Poole
with a smile as she swayed through the door. ?I?m here to see the new
officer in charge. I believe I was told his name is Skaarsberg.?
hoped he was less portly and ancient as the last staff officer in charge of
issuing permits for goods.
As Poole directed Rose up the stairs, he walked as
closely as he could despite the wide sweep of Rose?s hoop skirt. She was
grateful for the two feet of space the skirt kept between them. Poole stank of soured wool and that tangy stench that
clung to unwashed bodies. Still, she smiled and flirted as if he were the
most handsome, clean-smelling man on the face of the earth.
said, standing in the doorway of what had once been a classroom.
voice that came from the other side of Poole
did not sound like that of a decrepit old man. Instead, Rose intuited the
speaker was educated and bearing little evidence of the harsh, nasal accent
she associated with the Federals who?d been here before.
?Mrs. O?Kelley is here to see you, Sir,? Poole
her in,? a whisper-quiet voice replied.
Poole stepped out of the way as he turned to Rose. That broad
jack-o-lantern grin spread across Poole?s
face once more and Rose gave him a gracious nod as she passed into Skaarsberg?s office.
colonel did not shoot to his feet as the Federals?even the notorious Sherman?had done.
Instead, he kept his head down so that the only thing visible about him was
the wealth of golden waves covering his head.
dampened her lips with the tip of her tongue. She toyed with the drawstring
on her reticule. Waiting. Waiting.
welled at the audacity of this man. Did he not have proper breeding or
he raised his head and when he did, Rose suppressed a gasp. He possessed
the face of a sculpted angel. His skin was nearly as golden as his
sun-kissed hair. He was as fair as Rose was dark. Where the sun brought out
her Cherokee heritage by turning her skin a burnished brown, the outdoors
made this man glow.
slipped off his spectacles and as he came to his feet, it seemed as if he
would go on forever. Rose swallowed as he towered and when he stepped out
from behind his desk, she resisted the urge to take a step backward.
giant of man, he looked like one of the Norse invaders she?d read about in
history books. His very presence caused her knees to quiver. He was
handsome. Far too handsome. She reminded herself that she was here to work
her wiles on him, not to behave like some shrinking ninny just because he
had a handsome face?and a comely physique.
cleared her throat, waiting for his gaze to travel downward, to linger on
her open bodice and then her narrow waist before lifting once more to her
eyes. No man had ever resisted her. Instead, his gaze briefly met hers and
almost immediately, he turned his attention to some lint on the sleeve of
his frock coat.
may I be of service to you, madam?? His voice was cool.
need a permit for six barrels of salt,? she blurted. With the others, she
had flirted, been coy, swished her skirts and batted her eyelashes. Their
reaction to her beauty had made it easy for her. Skaarsberg?s
gaze grazed hers again. ?May I ask for what reason you need six barrels of
of them had ever asked why! Rose stared, trying to think. A breeze blew
through the open window, bringing the colonel?s scent with it. Rose
breathed the clean, spicy fragrance in. There was no lingering odor of
cigar or pipe tobacco. No stench of damp wool or horse sweat. Instead, he
smelled as heavenly as he looked. Rose realized she was trembling. What
must he smell like up close?
he asked, shaking her out of her reverie.
have several servants. It?s coming upon the time of year when I will need
to salt down a good deal of meat and??
barrels is more than one woman and a handful of servants need.?
roiled. Rose clenched her fists. ?Sir, would you have us starve this
winter? Would you have what we have worked hard for this past year go to
waste because we have not enough salt??
write you a permit for three barrels.?
took two steps toward him, forcing him to look her in the eye. Green. His
eyes were the palest spring green. Rose stared for a steep second before
she remembered what she was there to do. ?Your own Colonel Cornyn carted off my livestock and produce but a year
ago. I have struggled to restock my spare larder.? She took one more
calculated step closer. ?I have faith a good Christian man such as you
would not deny me.? She took a deep breath, knowing her breasts rose and
fell seductively with it.
gaze never wavered from her eyes. ?Three.?
shook. She resisted the petulant urge to stamp her foot. ?I need six.? Her
voice rose in pitch and she realized she was about to lose control of her
authorized to write you a permit for three,? he said.
well,? Rose said, daring to take another step closer to this giant of an angel.
Her black skirt swept over the toes of his polished boots. ?Then write me
two permits. Each for three barrels of salt.?
rhetoric and pretty persuasion are regrettably lost on me. I could not
write you more than one permit?for three barrels of salt?if I wanted to.
Surely you realize how tight the reins are on rations in these trying
would be no trying times if you Yankees would just go back where you
belong.? Rose wanted to kick herself. Hard. What the devil was she doing?
She should be smiling, batting her eyelashes, even working up tears.
Instead, his denial and blatant rejection of her had transformed her into a
breathed as deeply as she could, wishing she had not asked Queenie to lace her stays so tightly. Obviously, a
slender waist?or any of her others wiles?had no effect on this man.
wouldn?t want my servants and me to starve with winter coming on, would
you, Colonel Skaarsberg?? she asked, looking up
at him with what she knew was the perfect pout on her rouged lips.
gaze flicked to her mouth and then he averted it again. A small triumph
welled in her breast. Rose did not miss a trick. She moved so that she was
once more in the line of his sight. ?Please, Colonel. It?s only three more
than you have agreed to give me.?
inhaled, summoning courage. She?d never stooped this low before but with
the Confederates nearby and the threat of losing her hard-earned provisions
again, she felt she had little choice. She leveled
her gaze on his. ?I?I would be willing to?offer you a trade.?
trade?? he asked. His eyes were so cold, like green ice.
cleared her throat. ?My?services for your supplies.?
What type services? Are you a seamstress??
making this very difficult.
forced herself to hold his gaze. ?No.?
what?? he asked impatiently.
chest rose and fell with her deep breaths. What if he agreed? She didn?t
want to think about what she?d do if he didn?t agree. Her mouth was so dry
she could hardly form the words. ?I?I realize you are far from home. Far
from female?companionship. I could offer you that.?
wanted to scream. ?Sex, Colonel Skaarsberg. Sex
with me for your supplies.?
muscle in his jaw twitched before he promptly spun on his heel and went
back to his desk.
was close. Rose watched him dip his pen in the bottle of ink on his desk
and scrawl something on a piece of paper. Her heart pounded but she made
sure he saw the dimples in her cheeks as he handed her the permit.
day, Mrs. O?Kelley.?
gaze fell to the paper. Her spirits plummeted. Three? ?Three? But?? she
began but he quickly cut her off.
day, Mrs. O?Kelley,? he said tersely.
stammered, trying to think of words that would not come. She could not
believe he had refused her so coldly. She stared as he returned to his
seat, donned his spectacles and went back to the task he had been
performing before she had entered his office.
flooded her cheeks. She wanted to rail at him, to throw the permit back in
face. She did neither. Instead, she spat out an insincere ?thank you,? spun
and stalked from the room.
skirt swept the floor as she descended the staircase. Poole
caught up with her as she fled the building. ?Always good to see you, ma?am,?
was in no mood to charm the sergeant. ?Tell me, Sergeant Poole?is the
colonel always so disagreeable??
To you?? Incredulous, he glanced back toward the stairs.
burst through the open doorway. ?Let?s go, Rueben,? she said as she
continued moving to the street. She could not get away from this place fast
he give you the permit?? Rueben hobbled to keep up with Rose.
clutched the permit in her hand so tightly it crumpled. ?He gave me a permit
for three barrels,? she said practically spitting the words out.
glanced back at the gothic brick building. ?That him??
stopped in mid-stride and whirled so quickly her heavy hoop swung her
slightly off balance. She sidestepped to right herself before she trained
her gaze on the window where Colonel Skaarsberg
stood, staring down at them with his expressionless face.
Rose said, jerking her chin at him as she turned her back on him once more.
?That?s the blue devil.? The irony was not lost on her that only moments
ago, she had pictured him as an angel.
could he have been so unresponsive to her entreaties? She?d offered him her
body and he?d dismissed her as if she had been an old crone instead of an Alabama belle in her
prime. And a widow at that. Didn?t widows have the reputation as being a
bit more amorous than their maiden counterparts?
slowed her pace to match Rueben?s. He?d been wounded in the fighting where
her husband was killed. Rueben did not talk about it but Rose had read
letters that detailed how Rueben had been so grief-stricken at the loss of
his brother, he?d taken up one of the new Enfield
rifles and single-handedly put five Federals in Tennessee graves that stormy April day.
guess Hood?s army will just have to make do with what we have,? Rueben
sighed. ?Not if I have any say so in the matter. I?ll get that salt. Just
you wait and see.?
colonel was just harder to persuade. That was all. And he did not have any
idea just how persuasive Rose could be when she wanted something.