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Authors: Deanna Jewel

Never Surrender

BOOK: Never Surrender
4.54Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub















Deanna Jewel






ISBN:  978-1-45245-434-4



Copyright © 2009 Terry L. Blankenship



Cover Art: 2010 Swallowtail Productions, LLC


Cover Images: ©,




I would like to dedicate this book to my family and
Lisa and Lauren
, who stood behind me during the writing of
this work and always believed that one day I would be in print. Thank you so
much for your love, understanding and encouragement and for putting up with me
during vacations to Wyoming and the constant quizzing on history as we

Thank you to fellow author,
Patricia A. Rasey
for your critiques during the writing of this work. Your input and suggestions
only made the use of my senses more intense. I miss you immensely.

Thank you to
Millie Ingram
for your critiques
in the final edits of this work and for helping me to correct the remaining
mistakes that were still there after so many other edits. I loved your input.

Thank you to
Jon Dayley
, Professor of
Linguistics at Boise State University for translating some of my dialogue to
the Shoshone language. We talked a long time ago but I knew one day I’d be able
to thank you. You helped add life to my characters and make my dream become a
reality. I am forever grateful.

To the
Shoshone Nation
, I hope I have given a
fair view of your people and your language, thank you.

To my husband,
, I thank you for your
continued support and encouragement for me to never give up my dream of being
published. You have made so many dreams happen for me. I love you!

Chapter One


July, 1997  Dubois, Wyoming


Katelyn Bradach shaded her eyes and glanced around in
awe at the western town, just one more of several she hoped to tour. Managing
the historical museum, especially the Native American section, back in
Pennsylvania had stressed her this year and this laidback town would help her

Perhaps her haunting nightmares would subside now,
hoping they were just a carryover from her job. Too often she’d dreamed of a warrior
who sat atop a sleek black horse as thick mist from the lake swirled around
him. The surrounding valley lay nestled before two snow-capped mountains. She
could never clearly see his features, but his dark hair touched the middle of
his bare chest and two eagle feathers hung from his headband. He always
appeared to stare at her, but never once did he nudge his horse to move closer,
yet one hand reached out to her.

Though she couldn’t make out the color of his eyes,
his gaze sent her heart racing, made her breath catch in her throat. The dream
always left her with sensual tingles along her moist skin each time she woke
up. The passion created by the dream disturbed her, since nothing ever happened
except when their gazes met. Then it was as though she could read his thoughts
of how much he needed her, wanted her for his own. She would always wake up
trembling and out of breath but the dream never changed nor finished.

Would she find her warrior out here? Something had
drawn her west, yet she couldn’t put her finger on it but the pull was

Strolling along the wooden walkways, the heels of her
dark snakeskin boots echoed. The design of the mid-1800s town looked like a
movie set from an old western and it suited Kate. She smiled as she looked around
at the peaceful town. The warm morning air smelled of fresh rain and held a
hint of sagebrush. An old stagecoach rumbled by, rocking on the huge iron
wheels, and three youngsters sat on top joyously waving to their parents who
waited at the ticket area.

The large window of the local Mercantile General Store
displayed Native American-made moccasins, colorful dream catchers and jewelry,
cowboy hats and boots. Kate stepped in and joined the few customers who milled
about the wooden-floored store. The smell of leather came from the boots and
saddlebags in the tack area on her left. After browsing over linens,
knickknacks, and souvenirs, she headed toward a rack of sweatshirts near the

A deep velvety voice froze Kate and she rested her
hand atop a sweatshirt. Familiarity astounded her as she listened. Her heart
raced as though she’d just awakened from the dream and those images of the
warrior atop his horse flooded her mind’s eye. Was it possible for souls to
travel through time and reunite more than one hundred years later? She supposed
anything was possible when one believed in soul reincarnation.

“Thank you,” the man said in an unhurried manner.
“I’ve been waiting a long time for these.”

A sack crinkled.
He must have picked it up
, she

“Any time, Brandon, you know I’m more than happy to do
what I can for you,” the sales girl said.

At the sound of his retreating boot steps, still
breathless, Kate glanced over her shoulder in the man’s direction. The sales
girl didn’t bother to hide her dreamy stare as she watched the man saunter
toward the door. A dark brown duster draped his tall frame, a matching Stetson
upon his head. Straight, black hair hung past his shoulders. Something about
the stranger made her body tingle the same way her dream affected her.
Realization hit. Could there be some connection?

Kate’s heart pounded, and she could barely breathe.
She took a few moments to compose herself, then glanced back at the sales girl
and waited for her attention. “Who

“Brandon Wakiza. His Shoshone heritage gives him those
handsome dark features and every unmarried woman in Dubois is vying for his
attention, but he mostly keeps to himself on his ranch. He usually only comes
into town once a week.” The girl placed Brandon Wakiza’s money in the register.

Kate thanked her and stepped out onto the wooden
walkway as she mulled over her reaction to a total stranger. That he should
cause her heart go out of control and make her unable to breathe was
ridiculous. Those reactions only happened in her dream. She glanced up and down
the street. The man was nowhere to be found. Both relief and disappointment
shifted through her. She took a deep breath and decided not to dwell on the
stranger. She was here to relax and get away from her life for a while. A gift
shop of Indian articles caught her eye. Putting thoughts of the stranger behind
her, Kate opened the door.

She gasped.

Brandon Wakiza stood not three feet away.

Again, Kate couldn’t breathe. Who was he and why did
his presence have such an effect on her? She watched him as a sense of
familiarity shrouded her. He looked so much like the sensual warrior in her
dream who watched her from afar though she’d never seen his eyes in her dream.
Her pulse raced as pieces of her dream floated through her mind like a haunting

Brandon Wakiza counted money, his long, work-roughened
fingers stretched out. Nodding at something the clerk said, a smile firmed the
muscles of his chiseled jaw; the brim of his hat blocked his eyes from her
view. He placed the rest of his change into his snug pants pocket, drawing
Kate’s glance down to the sinewy thighs beneath the close-fitting jeans. She’d
hate to be caught staring but he was gorgeous.

When she looked up from his sinewy thighs, she was
unprepared for the shock of meeting his gaze full-force. Kate reached out for
the counter for support. The blue of his eyes penetrated clear to her soul,
calling to her. Tiny hairs stood up on the back of her neck. It was as though
the two of them communicated without words, almost being pulled toward one
another. Was he the man from her dream? He looked back at her for a long,
intense moment, and then he smiled. For that moment, she felt he knew her
deepest thoughts and her cheeks heated.

To her surprise, he spoke to her. “Do I know you? You
look so familiar, like we’ve met before. Perhaps the spirits have guided you to

“No, I’m just here on vacation.” She smiled, but
wished with all her heart she’d met him before. Then again, maybe the spirits
guide her here. Crossing behind him to the back of the store, she continued
shopping but she’d never forget his blue eyes. The spicy scent of his cologne
surrounded her. A scent she would forever link to this unknown stranger. Her
spine still tingled as she thought of her warrior and the way he made her skin
damp each time she’d woken up, wanting more of him, needing him to touch her,
but the dream never went that far. She longed for those touches, and then
fantasized about the stranger touching her, his fingers tingling along her
skin, and her nipples tightened. Taking a deep breath, Kate tried to ignore
those around her.

After Brandon moved toward the door, Kate stepped
forward to look at something on the counter. The Native American clerk watched
her though he kept busy.

Kate laid a beaded necklace on the counter and fumbled
in her purse for money. “I’m traveling through on vacation. Is there an area
around here with a lake near two mountains?” She prayed he would give her at
least some information about the location she sought and not send her to
another town. If she found the lake with the two mountains then she’d know she
was closer to finding the meaning of her dream. The connection she felt toward
Brandon easily compared to what she felt for her warrior. Hoping she was
correct, Kate anxiously waited for the clerk’s directions.

His eyes lit up like lanterns within his weathered
face as he rung up her sale. “That would be Brook’s Lake, north of town beyond
Union Pass.”

Excited, Kate pressed further. “Can you tell me
anything about the petroglyphs on a boulder in the hills south of town? I saw
them as I drove around earlier.” From her work at the museum, petroglyphs were
a big part of the Indian culture centuries ago.

“You speak of Whiskey Basin. The markings have been
there for centuries. There are more paintings up in that area. Be careful
wandering around those parts, though. The rocks can be dangerous for someone
climbing alone.”

“Thank you, I’ll be careful. I’m anxious to see them
up close.” Kate quickly placed her change back into her purse as she headed
toward the door. An uncanny sense of being watched made her glance up in time
to stop herself from crashing into Brandon where he leaned against the door

She stared into his blue eyes in silence for nearly a
full minute, still feeling the electrical charge between them. She wanted to
speak but couldn’t.

He smiled and spoke first. “I’m Brandon Wakiza. I
couldn’t help but hear you ask about Brook’s Lake and the petroglyphs at
Whiskey Basin. I know this area like the back of my hand and I’d be happy to
answer any questions you might have about the petroglyphs.”

“Thank you. I’m Kate Bradach.” Brandon’s presence
definitely influenced her reactions, making her feel like a wanton. But why?
She had to find out and what better way than to spend time with him in town.
Kate gave the handsome stranger a sideways glance. She smiled and took a deep
breath, scolding herself for being so ridiculous. “I do have a few questions.”

Brandon stepped out of her way and held the door open.

His hand touched her waist as he ushered her out the
door and she caught her breath. Calming herself, she stepped onto the wooden
sidewalk unable to believe her luck. Thoughts of the warrior reincarnated
drifted through her brain. Her heart raced with excitement thinking she may
have found him.

“I manage a Native American department at a museum
back in Pennsylvania and I find everything about their cultures so interesting.
I’d love to hear whatever you can tell me about the petroglyphs at Whiskey

He smiled down at her. “There are many legends about
the Basin and how the drawings came to be. Of course, we’ll never really know.
They’re just stories passed down from our elders. I belong to the Shoshone
Nation. We’ve been in this area for hundreds of years.”

Gazing into a shop window, she saw a beautiful lodge
pole bed. “That’s gorgeous. I’d love to have furniture like that but it would
be so out of place back in Pittsburgh.” Kate noticed the sales tag on the bed
and leaned closer to see it. The tag showed the name of the company, then the
builder’s name – Brandon Wakiza. Her gazed quickly met his.

He presented her with a full smile. “All this is
hand-made by
Red Bird Furniture
at the north end of town. I’m good
friends with the owner and we built all this furniture ourselves,” Brandon said
with pride. “I’ve also furnished my home with it.”

“The furniture is beautiful. I love that this type of
furniture is like bringing a bit of nature indoors.”

“We’ve had movie stars purchase from us and people as
far away as Alaska and New York. Most of our business is by word of mouth so
their friends have called too.”

Kate and Brandon walked on, heading back toward her
Trailblazer. As they walked, he slipped off his duster and slung it over his
shoulder, wafting the spicy scent of his cologne her way. Smiling to herself,
she still couldn’t believe she might be with the warrior from her dreams.

“You’re very easy to talk to,” she said, pushing up
the sleeves of her sweatshirt from her wrists. Tourists over-dressed as cowboys
passed them, their gazes taking in the length of her. She smiled at them as
they strolled by but chuckled to herself at their silly outfits.

Gently biting her lower lip, she took in a deep breath
of sagebrush-scented air and enjoyed her walk with Brandon. He seemed to be
very genuine in helping to answer her questions. She remembered the muscled
thighs beneath the taut blue jeans as the breeze brought the scent of his
cologne her way. Brandon definitely had an effect on her senses.

She quickly glanced at Brandon, hoping he didn’t
notice the heated blush creeping up her neck to her face. Why did his very
presence create the reaction she had experienced in the Mercantile General
Store? Or worse yet, her reaction to him in the second store when his blue eyes
penetrated to her very soul? She definitely couldn’t tell Brandon why she was
in town, he’d think she was nuts.

She couldn’t wait to call her friend, Monica, to tell
was with her and to discuss the change in her dream last night.
The warrior had actually coaxed his horse forward toward her. That had
happened in the dream. Monica had encouraged her to come out west to see if the
area might hold the answers that she sought, but it held way more than that for
Kate. Her mind raced with anticipation at what this new friendship with Brandon
might mean, though it was all too soon to tell yet.

Kate looked around. “People back in Pittsburgh have no
idea this way of life still exists here in America; it even surprises me. No
one hurries, or is rushing to an appointment, or making a mad dash for a
parking spot. The slower pace agrees with me; it’s a nice change from home.”

Kate stopped at her Trailblazer, hating that she would
soon have to say goodbye as she glanced up at Brandon.
God, he was handsome
His blue gaze entranced her, making her speechless, yet there were so many
questions she wanted answers to. “This is my car. I should go now. I’d like to
head over to Whiskey Basin.” 

BOOK: Never Surrender
4.54Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub

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