When Delilah Devlin put out a call for sexy Viking stories, I thought, “Finally! One I can let slide by.” For some reason, I always feel like I have to rise to the challenge for her story calls. See, she was the one who got me writing erotic romance in the first place, because she challenged me.
This time, I was like, “Vikings? Nah, I don’t have a Viking story in me.” I hadn’t even read a Viking story in over a decade.
But then she wrote, “They can even travel as far as North America,” and I was like, “DAMN it.” Because there it was, my Viking story.
My hero, Calder, has traveled to Newfoundland and met with a native tribe there. As a peace-offering, the chief of the tribe has offered Calder his daughter Odina. She is no prize in the tribe–she is too tall and is considered ugly, but Calder finds her beautiful. It was a really fun dynamic to write because of the language barrier.
The Viking’s Prize by Emma Jay
But she didn’t respond.
He tried again, louder, his tone commanding, and several women tittered.
Reluctantly, Odina raised her gaze.
He expected to see fear, but what he saw instead was defiance. The idea that she would be defiant toward him angered him. She was his property.
He rose and reached for her. She looked at his hand for a long moment, and again, he wondered how different their customs were. Did she understand she was to take his hand? He bent to demonstrate what he wanted her to do when she placed her slim fingers in his.
She was almost as tall as he, towering over the others in her tribe. He was used to tall women—his wife had been only two fingers’ width shorter. But the way Odina slouched made him wonder if her height was one of the things for which her people rebuked her.
The village chief had shown him to his lodgings on the edge of town—a pleasant little hut with a fire pit in the center and a hole in the roof to vent the smoke, a place of honor, he understood, for the leader of the warriors. If not for Odina, Calder would have slept outside with his men in the forest with a view of their ships, which bobbed in the inlet. But he had been too long without a woman, and his curiosity about this woman was overwhelming.
Odina kept her gaze on the pile of furs, wolf, and caribou, as Calder closed the flap behind them. She stiffened as he walked behind her and ran a rough hand down her glossy hair and frustration rose in his chest. He wished he knew how to communicate with her. Was she afraid of him? Angry with the chief for making a gift of her? In love with someone else?
He turned her to him and tucked his finger under her chin, forcing her to meet his gaze. This time, he didn’t see defiance in her eyes. This time, he saw something he didn’t recognize. Not fear, exactly, not caution. He couldn’t put a name to it, adding another frustration. He hadn’t expected a language barrier within himself.
Then come the sexy times, which were also a lot of fun to write! I so appreciate Delilah giving me this challenge, and I hope you enjoy the result!
Oh, and for fun, here’s my inspiration for my Viking!