In the original version of Ivy, Rafael was introduced much, much earlier into the story. He played a large roll though I eventually decided three baddies were a little much and the story was rather confusing. Here’s a small deleted scene from the original, parts of which did actually end up being included into Natasha, but not much. It hasn’t been edited, since it ended up getting thrown in the trash. I thought I’d share.
They were currently staying in the fourth floor suite of a hotel in downtown Glasgow. They’d been there for a few days. Ivy was starting to get tired of feeling like a bird in a cage. She was in the midst of going through some of the photos when voices in the hallway drew her attention. She took a peek out the door to find a group of Rafael’s men heading towards the room.
Grabbing her phone, Ivy rushed out to the balcony. Darren had been down in the lobby but she wasn’t sure how he’d missed seeing them unless they came up the back exit. It seemed unlikely.
“Steve?” Ivy whispered when he answered his mobile. She climbed over the balcony railing to get to the ledge that ran along the side of the outside of the building. “Rafael’s goons are outside the door.”
“Shit.” He sounded like he’d started to run. “Where are you?”
“What exactly do you mean ‘outside’?” Steve asked.
“Outside. On a ledge.” Ivy tried to focus on not falling as she inched her way around to the rooftop restaurant. From the ledge, she should be able to get over the short wall to safety.
“Bloody hell, love.”
She glanced briefly down to find Steve staring up at her. His face was a little blurry but she could feel and hear his concern. “I couldn’t exactly stay in the room, now could I?”
“I’m coming up. Darren’s taking care of the bastards in the room.” Steve disappeared from view.
“Brilliant,” Ivy muttered.
Shoving her phone into her pocket and leaning her head back against the bricks for a moment, Ivy decided that looking down was bad. Slowly crawling along the ledge, she finally made it close to the wall. The last few steps would require her to jump to get over the small gap between the ledge and the rooftop on the opposite side. She took several deep breathes before attempting to leap across. Her hands grasped the wall and immediately started to slip.
Ivy started to slip when a hand reached down to grab her wrist and yank her over the wall. She found herself crushed against a very hard body. Steve was definitely out of breath as he held her tightly.
“Do. Not. Do. That. EVER. Again.” Steve crushed her to him.
“Sorry.” Her apology was muffled against his shirt.
Steve pushed her back. His fingers gripped her chin tightly as his lips pressed against hers repeatedly. They were brief, hard kisses punctuated with slightly out of control breaths.
“Don’t ever take a risk like that ever again.”
“Oh? And should I have stayed in the room to be grabbed by them? Hmm?” Ivy slid her arms up around his neck. “I made the best decision I could.”
“You could’ve fallen. You almost did.” Steve pushed her back against the wall.
“I will continue to do what I think is best.” Ivy glared up at him. He might be a stubborn alpha but she was tired of feeling like she had no say in her life anymore. She refused to continue to give up pieces of herself simply because some murdering bastard was after her. “I assume that we’re leaving.”
“I…” Steve seemed confused by the swirling emotions within Ivy. “Darren’s grabbing the luggage. We’ll meet him at the Range Rover downstairs to head to a safe house out in the country.”
“Ivy.” He frowned when she didn’t look up at him. He kept his arm around her and led her through the hotel out to the waiting vehicle.
Grabbing her camera bag from Darren, Ivy climbed into the second row of seats in the back and pulled her legs up underneath her. She set the bag next to her with a pointed glare at Steve. Her head rested against the window.
The entire concept of running exhausted Ivy beyond belief as did the fear. Steve moved into the first row of seats while Darren got in the front to drive. The two men talked over their plan briefly while she tuned them out and stared out the window.
“Are you alright?”
Ivy tilted her head to find Steve watching her. “I’m fine.”
With a loud sigh, Steve picked the camera bag up to move it to the floor. He sat beside her and loudly cleared his throat. Ivy didn’t bother turning away from the window.
“Ivy.” His voice dropped down to a low growl. “Talk to me, love.”
“I said I was fine.” She tugged the sleeves of her jumper down so she could warm her fingers.
“Look at me.” Steve touched his fingers to her chin until she glanced away from the window. “No lies between us, promise?”
“Steve.” Ivy pulled her chin out of his grasp to stare pointedly away from him. “I would prefer to be left alone at the moment.”
“Oh go howl at something.” She shoved at him until he moved back to the first row of seats.
She continued to mutter to herself about overgrown egos and idiotic males for the next thirty minutes. She didn’t stop the diatribe until they’d pulled up to catch a ferry. She glanced around and caught sight of the sign, ‘Isle of Eigg.’
After storing her luggage in one of the three bedrooms of the cottage they’d rented, Ivy bundled up and took her camera out to get some photos before the sun set. It wasn’t long before a familiar wolf with a collar in its trotted up to her. It was tempting to ignore him but she crouched down to put the collar on him.
He gave her what she assumed was supposed to be sad eyes. He wasn’t as good at it as Gareth. She scritched his ears and buried her face against his fur anyway.
“I am not going to be a damsel in distress like in the faery books.” Ivy grabbed him by the tips of his ears when he huffed derisively at her. “You listen to me, Steven Samuels. I might be your mate but I am not going to be treated a porcelain doll. I’m not saying that I don’t need you. I’m simply saying that smothering me to death is not an option thank you very bloody much.”
Steve stared at her for several long moments before sneezing. He glanced behind her and then trotted off down the path. She turned to find Darren standing off to the side.
“The wolf loves you,” he remarked casually.
“Wolf mucus is not a term of endearment.” Ivy wandered down the road with Darren close behind.
“He’s a wolf…an alpha. He’s the most alpha…of alphas that I’ve ever met if I’m honest.” Darren fell in step beside her. He held her backpack while she fished out her camera. “His pack has been threatened. He couldn’t protect you in the Lake District, he couldn’t keep you safe in London and then he saw you climbing on the outside of a building to rescue yourself. His instincts will always be focused on keeping you safe.”
While Ivy snapped a few shots in the golden light of sunset, Darren talked to her about their pack. He was about to show his fox form to her when the black and grey wolf walked back up to them. He sat beside Ivy and leaned against her leg with his nose poking under her sweater.
“Stop that.” She pushed him away and tapped her finger against his nose. “Change back. We need to talk.”
“I’ll just…go…somewhere else.” Darren handed her bag back to her and wandered back to the cottage.
Steve changed out of his wolf to walk with Ivy down to the south edge of isle. They sat on the rocks to look out over the water. “Please don’t tell Gareth that I sneezed on you. The bastard would never let me live that down.”
She slid her arm around his and snuggled closer. “If I promise to try not to walk out on another ledge, will you promise to try not to act like I’m bloody Rapunzel who needs locked up in a damn tower?”
Find the original Ivy at: