Native Wolf
you Mr. Half-Breed,” she murmured. “Or One-Son. Or Yoema’s Grand-“
    “Kisan-yiman-dilwawh," he grumbled over his shoulder.
    "Is that...your name?"
    He grunted.
    "Ah." Now she was getting somewhere. "Pleased to make your acquaintance, Mr....Kisan...yiman..."
    "Dilwawh."
    "Dilwawh." What a long and difficult name. She wondered what it meant. She’d learned from Yoema, whose name meant Little Flower, that most Indian names came from nature. "How do you do?"
    He didn’t reply. She couldn’t blame him. After all, "how do you do" was a rather inane expression, difficult to translate and hard to answer.
    "Claire is a French name. It means bright," she offered. "What does your name mean?"
    "Kisan-yiman-dilwawh?" He sniffed. "He Who Beats Chattering White Woman."
    The hopeful smile she’d pasted on her face fell flat, and on impulse, she smacked the back of his head with the flat of her hand.
    “Ow!”
    “I am not chattering. That is an ungentlemanly thing to say. Yoema would be very disappointed—“
    He stopped in his tracks. “Will you stop saying her name?”
    Claire would be damned if she’d let the savage dictate to her what she could and could not say. The words tumbled from her lips in a rush of childish passion. "Yoema! Yoema! Yoema!"
    She regretted her impetuousness almost at once, for he spat out a long string of words she was sure were epithets.
    "Stop it!" he threatened, "Or maybe I will beat you."
    Claire acquiesced, not because she believed him—he was proving to be all bark and no bite—but because she could see he was as stubborn and strong-willed as his grandmother when it came to getting his way.
    Still, his insistence on silencing Yoema’s memory disturbed her. How could he forbid Claire to speak the name of her Konkow mother? How could he deny his own kin’s existence? How could he allow Yoema to fade from the world unnamed and unremembered?
    Chase wondered if Xontehltaw, Coyote, was laughing at his empty promise. He might make Claire ride on his back. He might compel her to eat food not to her liking. He might make her wear his shirt and force her to sleep on the hard ground. But he’d never raise his hand against a woman.
    Turning back to the path, he grimaced in self-scorn. Some avenging savage he was. The woman was right. He was half white. And at the moment, he felt every civilized drop of that white blood.
    Hearing his grandmother’s name sent a superstitious shiver along his spine. But that wasn’t the only reason he’d scared the woman into silence.
    Each soft word she uttered chipped away at his honor and made him regret his mistake in kidnapping her even more. Her beautiful wide eyes reminded him that she was a virtuous young woman and made him feel like a poor excuse for a man.
    Honestly, he didn’t want her to know his name. He didn’t want her to acknowledge him at all. He’d just as soon she forgot all about him. A proper young lady like Claire had no business carrying on with a savage like him. He wished he’d never made the mistake of stealing her. He wanted things to go back to the way they were before he’d met Claire Parker.
    Which made him all the more angry when his body, responding to the seductive sensation of warm feminine flesh on his back, started behaving as if it would like to get to know her better.
    By the time the sun had crossed the sky and hovered on the crest of the western hills, Chase was dead tired. It wasn’t his burden that made him that way. A blacksmith’s back was as solid as a tree trunk, and the woman was no heavier than a down quilt. No, it was his mind that was exhausted. His thoughts had run in circles all day.
    For the sake of his grandmother, he should loathe Claire Parker. In deference to his tribe, he should despise the whites, who had stolen everything from the Konkows. But feeling the woman’s smooth, long limbs wrapped around his hips filled him with emotions completely unlike loathing.
    Here he was, in the midst of mortal

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