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Authors: April Hill

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Scarlet Fever

BOOK: Scarlet Fever
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Scarlet Fever





April Hill



©2013 by Blushing Books® and April Hill





Copyright © 2013 by Blushing Books® and April Hill


All rights reserved. No part of the book may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the publisher.


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Hill, April

Scarlet Fever


eBook ISBN:



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This book is intended for
adults only
. Spanking and other sexual activities represented in this book are fantasies only, intended for adults. Nothing in this book should be interpreted as Blushing Books' or the author's advocating any non-consensual spanking activity or the spanking of minors.




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In early twentieth century Canada, when the Royal Northwest Mounted Police first arrived to bring law and order to the lawless gold camps, they were “kitted out” in bright red tunics with brass braid and buttons, making them highly visible, and easily distinguishable from the United States Cavalry, which was active in the region, as well.

The “Mounties” quickly earned a reputation for honesty, bravery, and devotion to duty that endeared them to the peaceful population—and particularly to women. The frontier was a dangerous place, and living conditions for a Mountie were primitive. The pay was poor, but the standards for acceptance into the “Force” were high. A young man seeking to “engage” as a new recruit needed to be tall, clean-cut, in excellent physical condition, and have a thirst for adventure and excitement.

All of which tended to make the Mounties, as a group, an extremely desirable addition to communities where sober, attractive men of marriageable age were always in short supply. The Mounties soon found themselves in great demand—at parties and balls, at church dances, and at ice cream socials. Anywhere where young women were in need of escorts, or male companionship. The fact that it was virtually impossible for a member of the RNWMP to get permission to marry seemed to make them even more irresistible. Before long, it became popular to refer to a sweet young thing’s hopeless infatuation with a red-coated Mountie with the term,
Scarlet Fever.
“Have you heard the news?” it might be whispered around town. “Poor Mary Ellen has come down with a terrible case of Scarlet Fever.”

At that time in history, of course, scarlet fever—the
scarlet fever— was a disease that had already begun to rage across North America like wildfire, bringing death and heartbreak to millions of families, especially those with young children. But the term continued to be used, and is still common today. When visiting Canada, having your picture made with a handsome Mountie in a crisp scarlet tunic—particularly if you’re a woman— is still the “in thing” to do. Thanks to modern antibiotics, scarlet fever isn’t the terrible threat that it once was, but there’s very little that can be done for a bad crush on a great-looking guy in a bright red tunic you may never see again.




Anne Wilson stood at the shack’s single grimy window and watched a tiny speck in the brilliant blue sky come closer, growing steadily larger until it became what she’d been hoping for— a single-engine plane. She wasn’t crazy about airplanes, especially small ones, but she was well past the point of being picky. If everything went well, she could be back in the United States by tomorrow—unless whoever was coming here to “deal with this unfortunate situation” turned out to be some officious, governmental toady, determined to make a mountain out of a molehill. Corporal O’Brien had already used that annoying phrase, “
dealing with this unfortunate situation
,” at least two hundred times since she arrived at this godforsaken hellhole. Now, all she wanted was to get home as quickly as possible, and never set foot in another Royal Canadian Mounted Police station. Especially one in the freaking middle of freaking, frozen nowhere, with only short, plump Corporal Michael O’Brien for company

When did “Mounties” start looking like cops everywhere else?
Anne wondered. Whatever happened to rugged guys like Sergeant Preston of the Yukon, or Renfrew of the Mounted, those tall, handsome men of iron, popular in the comic books of the forties and fifties? Her older brother, Paul, had been collecting vintage comic books for years, and warning his nosy little kid sister that if she so much as
them, she risked torture, dismemberment, or even something serious. After Paul joined the Army, naturally enough, she’d wasted no time in digging the forbidden comic books out of his closet, and spent the warm, summer afternoons reading the early exploits of Superman, Batman, and the Green Hornet. The “Mountie” stories had been Anne’s favorites, though—possibly because at eleven-going-on-twelve, she was just beginning to form a rough vision of what real “men” should look like, and
like. At eleven, she had already decided upon a career as a world-famous journalist— a tough, hard-bitten reporter, making her way in a man’s world—the

In young Anne’s daydreams, masked heroes with bulging muscles and superhuman powers didn’t do a thing for her, but rugged outdoorsmen were a different matter entirely. Real men. Intelligent but
men, capable of wrestling bears and mountain lions, tracking escaped felons through the wilderness, and occasionally pausing long enough to rescue a hard-bitten but astonishingly beautiful female reporter who has fallen (through no fault of her own) into a perilous crevasse in the ice.

Pudgy, bespectacled RCMP corporal Michael O’Brien just didn’t fit this romantic image at all. As far as Anne could tell, he spent most of his time scribbling reports, and when he wasn’t writing reports, or on the telephone, he was dusting and cleaning everything in sight. Or reading Rudyard Kipling. Record-keeping and obsessive tidiness had apparently replaced wrestling bears and rescuing maidens in distress. But Rudyard Kipling? Who in the name of God read Rudyard Kipling in the year 2013?

Her promised “escort” had been delayed for three days because of bad weather, and now, as the single engine plane banked right, circled once overhead, and dropped quickly through the morning’s low clouds, Anne felt her stomach clenching up.
, she thought.
Nothing to worry about. It’s not like you’re a criminal, or anything. Not a real criminal. What can they do to you, really, except throw you out?

“Is that for me, do you think?” she asked the young man sitting at the desk. O’Brien had been tense and distracted all day, and now, with the promised reinforcements he had wanted so badly arriving, it surprised her that he seemed not to have heard the drone of the approaching plane.

He looked up from what he was doing. “I’m sorry. Did you say something?” he asked.

“There’s a small plane out there, about to land,” Anne explained. “Were you expecting anyone, besides?

Her question was answered when Corporal O’Brien jumped up from his chair so suddenly that he knocked the stack of papers he’d been working on to the floor. His face seemed to light up. “It
to be the guy from Regina,” he breathed. It sounded to Anne like profound relief, or maybe a heartfelt prayer. And an insult aimed at her, of course. The corporal was transparently eager to get rid of her. At least as eager as
was to see the last of him and his dreary little hovel.

She’d apparently worn out her welcome with the corporal, who had spoken to her in nothing but monosyllables for the last two days—since the incident with the damned book. Before that, in her
twenty-four hours at the post, he’d been polite to the point of being a pain in the ass. Of course, that was before they learned that the plane would be delayed, and before the stupid incident with the telephone and that gigantic book— the incident that had left the luckless corporal with two black eyes and a possibly broken nose. It had also left
in what might be some very
deep shit with whoever was aboard that airplane.

The corporal flung open the door and hurried outside, while Anne waited at the window, watching sullenly as the plane touched down on the ragged length of patched macadam that served as the isolated police post’s landing strip. As the plane rolled to a stop a few yards from the shack, she noticed a faded image of a red maple leaf, and the initials “R.C.M.P.” painted along the length of the fuselage, indicating the aircraft’s official police status. Her heart sank. The plane wasn’t private, and it wasn’t commercial. She was about to be deported—officially.

A tall man stepped from the cockpit onto the macadam, and paused for a minute or two to speak with the corporal. She had expected—in a worst-case scenario—to be handed over to a governmental nobody. Some low-level, bureaucratic hireling in a pinstriped suit. An unimportant twerp who would deliver a practiced, sanctimonious reprimand about being a good neighbor, and about respecting international borders, and then send her on her way. But the new man on the scene was not a bureaucrat. Another cop, and also RCMP, but outfitted differently than O’Brien. He was dressed almost casually, in a long-sleeved white shirt, dark blue pants with a yellow stripe down each leg, and a pair of high brown boots with laces. As she continued watching, though, the cop reached inside the plane and pulled out a bright red jacket, a holstered revolver wrapped in a brown belt, and a broad-brimmed beige Stetson. Like Smokey the Bear. Not a good sign. Even Anne knew that Canada’s renowned mounted police didn’t wear the full uniform unless there was something going on. Like a parade. Or maybe an official arrest?

Despite her apprehension, though, she couldn’t help noticing that the new arrival on the scene fit the romantic image from her daydreams far better than Corporal Pudgy O’Brien. Even at this distance, it was obvious that
Mountie was extremely good-looking. Sandy brown hair, cut short, of course. Tall, maybe six-foot four or five, and well built without that “I work out every day at a gym” look that usually turned her off. He took a few moments to slip on the high-necked red tunic and button it, and then started toward the shack, still carrying the pistol and belt. The corporal scurried alongside, doing his best to keep up with the taller man’s long stride. By the time the two men came in the door, the officer in the crimson tunic had strapped on a broad, brown duty belt with a large brass buckle, what appeared to be a case for handcuffs, and a pistol, still in its flapped holster. To Anne, who had never seen a traditionally outfitted Canadian “Mountie” in complete regalia and at close range, the effect was both glamorous, and titillating— and mildly intimidating. To someone with her somewhat-checkered history, uniformed, fully armed policemen often meant trouble.

She hadn’t expected handcuffs, and certainly not to be taken away at gunpoint. In fact, the only weapon she’d seen so far was a sheathed rifle that hung on the wall behind the corporal’s desk in the shabby little room the corporal insisted upon calling the “guardroom.” Still, according to the corporal, she
broken several Canadian laws, and this new guy already looked annoyed, and more than ready to enforce
. Under less stressful circumstances, though, she would have called him, “drop-dead gorgeous.” Lean and hard-muscled, he towered over both her
the diminutive corporal. Closer now, she could see that he had gray blue eyes, and a square jaw. A comic book hero come to life. Sergeant Preston of the Yukon. Bold, courageous, ruggedly handsome guardian of the frozen North, and defender of women’s honor. Tall, handsome—and definitely pissed off at being here.

BOOK: Scarlet Fever
12.67Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub

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