Christie and the Hellcat

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christieandthehellcat_lg Barbara Davies
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Nuance
304 pp. ● 6×9
$15.95 (pb) ● $9.95 (eb)
ISBN 978-1-939562-16-6 (pb)
● 978-1-934452-17-2 (eb)

FICTION – Western
FICTION – Lesbian

About the Books

Zee Brodie can’t seem to walk down the street without being reminded of her days as the notorious outlaw, Hellcat. Never mind that she paid her dues in Yuma prison and is now the Deputy Sheriff of Cochise County.

Life for an outlaw-turned-deputy is never going to be tranquil. When Zee and her prisoner seek shelter in the home of the enchanting Miss Christie Hayes, the encounter imperils both Zee’s life and her heart.


Praise

“Davies has given us easily likeable characters in Christie and Zee. Even Zee’s darker side proves to be only a mask covering a soft, loving woman. There are a host of characters that work at the whorehouse, drink and gamble at the saloon and end up in Deputy Brodie’s jail. These folks also entertain and enthrall us.” – Anna Furtado, L-word.com & East Bay Voice

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“This book, while not complete fantasy, plays fast and loose with one aspect of history, and that is the likelihood that only the Holy Rollers would take exception to a frankly lesbian sheriff’s deputy and her live-n lover in the Old West and that said deputy is a knife-throwing, pistol-shooting phenomenon that would make Wyatt Earp envious feel seriously threatened. It’s a nice dream, but it didn’t happen. But then again, that’s far from the point of this novel. The point of this novel is that it is WAY FUN.”Kit Moss Reviews


Excerpt

The poker game was going Zee’s way. She was still wearing her undershirt, Levi’s, and socks, but Serena was down to her chemise and stockings, and Nellie the Fox and Rowdy Molly were both clad only in their drawers.

She cast an appreciative glance at their bare breasts then at her cards (three aces), and leaned back until her chair was balancing on its hind legs.

“Your bet,” she told Molly, who shot her an aggrieved glance.

“You cheating again, Brodie?”

Zee smiled. “Who, me?”

Molly’s humph was drowned by the sound of the door opening, and Zee glanced round to see who it was. Angie was standing in the doorway, and with her was . . . Her chair went over backward with a crash.

A rueful Zee got to her feet, rubbing the back of her head and trying to ignore the laughter coming her way.

“Christie?” She gazed at the blonde woman in the demure gingham dress and bonnet. “What are you doing here?” She moved toward Christie, took her elbow, and guided her back out the way she had come. “Did anyone see you come in?”

Something soft landed on her head and draped itself over her eyes, and she reached for it as Nellie called, “Don’t forget your shirt, Deputy.” Laughter and whistles followed her out into the corridor, and she stubbed her big toe on the doorjamb as she went.

“Damn!” she muttered, but didn’t pause in her rush to get Christie away from all this depravity.

“I was in Benson,” Christie said breathlessly, as she took the stairs Zee indicated. “So I thought I’d come and see you.”

Zee guided her along the corridor to her bedroom, and with a relieved sigh bundled her in and closed the door behind them. She crossed to the window, drew the curtains so no one could see in, then turned to look at her.

“Are you loco? What about your reputation?”

Christie wrung her hands. “I know,” she said. “But I had to come.”

Zee blinked at that, then shook her head and, since there was no chair in her tiny box room, gestured at the bed.

“What’s done is done, I guess. Sit.”

Christie sat down on the narrow bed. She set aside her little drawstring bag, then untied her bonnet and took it off.

Zee realized she was still carrying her shirt. No point in putting it on now. She flung it on the dresser. Left my boots downstairs too. She sat on the bed next to Christie.

An awkward silence followed. Christie was the first to break it.

“Thank you for the flower bulbs. They meant a lot to me.”

“Hope they ain’t all cactuses. One bulb looks much like another to me.” Zee studied Christie, whose soft cheeks pinked under her scrutiny. “So, you had to come to Benson, huh? What for?”

“Fred insisted I visit that Parisian seamstress, Madame Clemence.”

Zee laughed. “If she’s Parisian, I’m Governor of Arizona.” She wondered how Fred could insist, then it dawned on her. “For your trousseau?”

“Yes.”

“You’re gonna marry him?”

“Looks like it.”

Something wasn’t adding up. This sheltered young woman was about to be married, yet she had ventured all alone into a brothel just to find an ex-outlaw? “You don”t sound very sure.”

“I’m not. But it’s the right thing to do.”

“Says who?”

Zee’s question got her an exasperated look. “Says everyone. He’s the son of one of Contention’s wealthiest families. His connections will be invaluable to Blue.”

“Seems to me, there’s something missing from this picture. Do you love him?”

Confused green eyes darted toward her then away again. “I . . . What is love?”

“Ask me something easy, why don’t you?” Zee relaxed back onto the bed and clasped her hands behind her head. This time Christie’s assessing gaze remained on her longer.

“Have you kissed him yet?”

“Back to that subject?” Christie blushed. “You seem obsessed with it.”

Zee chuckled. “And why not?” she said. “Since it’s so pleasurable.”

“Is it?”

“I find it so. Don’t you?”

Christie grimaced.

“No,” she admitted. She gave Zee a wistful glance. “I thought, when you kissed someone, it was supposed to feel wonderful. But when Fred kisses me . . .” She trailed off.

“Perhaps you ain’t doing it right.”

“What do you mean?”

Zee tossed a mental coin. All right, here goes. “Only one way to find out. You need another kiss to compare it to.”

Christie gave her a look. “And just who’s going to kiss me?”

“Thought I might give it a shot.”

“You?” Christie licked her lips.

“Yeah.”

The last time they had touched on the subject of Zee kissing women, Christie had fled. This time, if Zee was reading her right, the idea seemed to intrigue her. Perhaps it was the real reason Christie was here, though she might not be conscious of it. Encouraged, Zee unclasped her hands and sat up.

“When whatsisname–Fred?” She received a nod. “When he kisses you, does he take you in his arms like this?” She pulled a startled Christie onto her lap, ready to release her at once should she request it. She didn’t.

“No.”

Green eyes blinked at her from only inches away and the pulse point in the delicate neck was visibly pounding. Zee’s own pulse was doing much the same.

“And does he hold you like this?” She eased Christie back and slipped an arm round her, making sure she was fully supported.

“Uh . . . no.” Christie’’s breath was warm against her cheek. Still she made no protest.

“Then does he tease you, just a little? Like this?” Zee started placing butterfly kisses on Christie’s neck, on her jaw, her earlobe–she pushed the fair hair out of the way–the corner of her mouth.

“N . . . uh.” Christie’’s breathing had gone ragged and she was trembling.

“No, he don’t, or no, you want me to stop?” Zee was enjoying herself and hoped it wasn’t the latter.

“He . . . he doesn’t.”

Well, well!

“Then does he kiss you, like this?” She pressed her mouth to Christie’s. At first Christie’s lips felt cold and unyielding, then they warmed, became pliant, and, as Zee ran the tip of her tongue along first the lower lip, then the upper, they parted. She darted her tongue inside, tasting and touching teeth and sensitive skin.

Christie groaned. Zee pulled back at once. “Are you all right?”

No reply.

“Christie?”

“I’m . . . it’s . . .”

Christie closed her eyes, took a deep breath, then opened them and gave Zee a tremulous smile. “Sorry. I just wasn’t expecting it to be so,” she searched for the word, “intense.”

Zee felt almost giddy with relief. “Ah.” She pretended nonchalance. “So. Does Fred kiss you like that?”

“Then that’s where youre going wrong.”

“He doesn’t even come close.”

“Maybe.” Soft lips curled in a speculative grin. “Could we try it again, Zee, so I can be sure?”

“Don’t see why not.”

Five minutes of leisurely and increasingly expert kissing later, Christie said, “You know, I’m really glad I came looking for you.”

“Me too.”

And five minutes after that, “But what are we going to do about Fred?”

“Don’t worry, darlin’. We’ll think of something.”