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The sound of thundering hooves trampling over the earth brought Alex’s mind right back to the present. All three men jerked their heads toward the intrusion. A bay steed burst through the bush carrying a wild-eyed girl. Her beautifully carved slender legs were exposed up to her knees and she was missing one of her slippers.
The horse immediately sensed the wolf and reared straight up. Surprisingly, the bareback rider managed to hug tight to the beast’s neck and stayed on. As the front hooves made contact with the ground—and before the horse could rise in protest again—the girl catapulted off the side and unsuccessfully grabbed for the reins. The mare bolted away.
“Damn!” she said, simply annoyed, as if she had lost a shilling rather than a thoroughbred.
“What on earth!” Perkin’s previous calm appearance all but shattered into a thousand pieces in front of them.
“Is that a wolf?” The girl’s sites fixated on Malikite, a glint in her bright eyes, her breathing coming hard, causing her small breasts to rise and fall, threatening to escape a much-too-slack bodice.
Alex stared. Who on earth had helped this poor woman dress? Clearly a dressing-maid with a vengeance. Unless the young lady before them was newly escaped from the asylum. Which might explain the entry.
The girl was completely disheveled. A twig dangled from her raven-black curls. Windblown pink cheeks decorated her milk-white skin and a bead of perspiration highlighted her cupid-bow lips. Her eyes were like the palest green of the sea, and they raged as wild as a developing storm. Never in his wildest dreams had he ever thought a woman could be this… inspiring. Captivating. Alive! She had to be from the asylum, Alex concluded. Someone’s daughter or young bride that had lost her wits and had to be committed.