The Captive Heart

Digan opened his eyes, or tried to. One wouldn’t open farther than a slit. He touched his face—still swollen. His body ached with the bruises he’d received subduing the last enemy of his father.

The brilliant sun shone through a slice in the rags covering the hole. A bird sang, sounding close outside the window. A beautiful day for the things he must do. He sat up stifling the groan that sprang to his lips. He had at least one broken rib, maybe two. Staggering upright, he almost stepped on his prisoner.


He touched her arm. She didn’t move. He’d have sworn that he’d not harmed her—or not any more than necessary. He clutched his side and bent closer, trying to focus on her chest. Was it moving or not?

He went to his knees.

He sensed life, but would swear she was asleep, worn out from yesterday’s fight and the long ride to this hidden place. It was he who bore injuries from the fight as he’d done all in his power to subdue her without killing her. He reached to touch the shining lock of her hair where it ran down one shoulder. Soft. Would that he could soften her heart for there is where her future lie. With him.

A silky strand caught and with a life of its own seemed to wrap around his finger. Unable to stop himself, he brought it to his lips and kissed it.

She moved. Stiffened. Knew he was near. If only he could remove the hood tied around her head. She reminded him of a falcon, wild, beautiful, cunning, and deadly. But, like a falcon, until she understood his place in her life, she had to be protected from her own nature.

He staggered up, to fetch water for them both and tripped over an out flung foot. She was upon him like one of his father’s demons. Her hands almost clear of his ties, she arose in grace and somehow knew exactly wherever he rolled as she kicked what was left of him from yesterday. If she ever got the hood untied, he’d be dead. Fending off her deadly feet, he managed to finally grab one long enough to bring her down to the floor with him—hard.

He moved quickly, covering her, holding her down with his weight as he subdued her hands. One knot had held fast. By one knot he’d almost lost her.

Tying her hands back and doing a better job of it this time, he tried to think of words to woo and win her. He had to. For if he couldn’t tame her, he had to kill her.


Pat Davids said...

Oh, oh! You leave us hanging like this? Where is the rest????

Nina Sipes said...

Yes. I did. For many, romance is in the chase, not the catching. This was an errant willow-the-wisp scene that popped into my head one day. The last line came at the moment of writing it. I haven't been able to decide if there should be more. This poor beaten virile hulk of a man is caught between so many rocks I'm not sure I can get him out. I hope it is obvious that the heroine is no mere victim. She's the one who's broken his ribs for him as well as all the other injures. If he went home sporting those injures no one would recognize him for he is a much better fighter than that. In my heart, I know he will only be happy when she is happy too. Maybe, when I'm a better writer, I'll be able to figure it out for them.

Joan Vincent said...

Nina, my first thought was like Pat's--I want the rest of the story!! A fantastic scene. I hope you do write their story.

Nina Sipes said...

But, is it romantic? I never know. What makes you the most compelled to want to know more?

Reese Mobley said...

You have such a wonderful way with words. Have you ever thought about writing for a living? (grin) Great job!!!

Nina Sipes said...

I wish I was more sure of myself when it comes to writing. Sometimes I get something going and it seems to be ok--to me. I get complaints. The biggest complaint is that I'm too wordy, no dialogue, oh, the list is so looooong.

Starla Kaye said...

You mean, mean woman...leaving us hanging like that! I loved it.

Nina Sipes said...

All of your comments had me re-reading the Captive Heart. Then I laughed. I never described the characters.

Becky A said...

I don't describe my characters because I want everyone to be able to see them for themselves. I have a very clear picture of what yours look like, so don't mess with my mind! But do manage to give us the rest of the story. You've got us all hooked now.
You asked what makes us want to know more so I'll tell you: what is he going to say or do to win this woman over? If their conflict is to the point of actually killing each other; he is going to have to be very persuasive to capture her heart as well as her body. Those are the romantic words and actions that I want to read.
So get busy woman, we are waiting!!!

Rox Delaney said...

Excellent, Nina! I wouldn't expect anything else from you. :)

Nina Sipes said...

Thanks for the insight. I hadn't guessed that, but I see where you're coming from. For some reason, I 'see' this story from only his side, not the reader's point of view. All I feel is his deep fear of what will happen if he can't pull it off. He can't get caught by his father's minions either. They'll kill her. He can't be gone long or someone will come looking for him. If they find him and catch him with her--they'll kill her. She's injured him to the point he can't protect her to the best of his normal ability--he can barely stand. This guy is in an awful bind. That's what I was seeing.

Nina Sipes said...

Ah Rox. Thanks. Expectations? We have those?

Rox Delaney said...

Nina, it's because you've gotten deep into his POV. The reader loses herself in the character, what he's feeling, both physical and emotional. And it's the best way to show how important it is not to change POV often. We don't need to know what she's thinking or feeling. She'll get her turn later. :) And the reader looks forward to it.

As I said, it's excellent!

snwriter52 said...

Okay Nina. It's been several days. I just bet your characters are talking to you, are you listening? :) I too would like to hear more of your story. Great beginning.

Penny Rader said...

Please, Nina, may we have some more? :D Well done!

Nina Sipes said...

Sharon, I'm ashamed to say, that I wrote that little snippet over two years ago and haven't added another word since. I've been trying to stick to one WIP at a time. (It is driving me crazy, but I don't know if writers are supposed to work on more than one at a time?) I thought I lost the snippet in a loss of computer and I actually was in a quietly fuming snit about it for over a year. Then I found it on an old backup disc and the sun came out again. Isn't that the silliest?

You Oliver Twister you! You had me laughing. I really ought to do something with this snippet of a story. I merely don't know where to go from there. Yet.

I really do love it that you all like this piece since it is one so liked by me. Thank you, very much.