Sunday is almost over. I totally zoned on what day it was until bedtime last night when I set the alarm for church. It's so danged hot here. Tennessee is setting all kinds of heat records. I blogged about it being 111 day before yesterday, exceeding any record since records have been kept about weather. Today, we're already at 104, but that's supposed to be as high as we get. I suppose the heat will eventually end, but luckily, and I'm knocking on wood here, we have power to run our AC which is better than some poor folks in VA and the DC area.
When Ethan Caine pulled the unconscious woman from the half-frozen
creek, he had no idea that his world was about to explode. Dressed in
quilled doeskin of Iroquois design, she stirred up dark secrets from his
past. At the same time, she was everything he desired. But she was more
Indian than white, and on the run for murder. He needed to know the
truth. He needed to find it within himself to trust her.
by the Seneca Indians who had adopted and raised her, ostracized by the
whites in the settlement, Zara Grey wanted only to be accepted.
“Ethancaine” treated her with kindness and concern. It was easy to trust
him. But her Indian ways disturbed him, and her heart she would always
Rufus dismounted, pulling Zara down after him. "See to the horse," he called abruptly to his son. Without a word, Jabez led the animal to the barn.
"Oh, Zara!" Ginny strode toward her. In the pale lamplight, her aunt's face bore signs of strain broken by a smile. "Thank the Lord you're safe! What a fright you gave us." She moved to take Zara under her arm. "Come inside. You must be cold..."
"She's coming with me!" Rufus turned and shoved Zara before him. She feel hard into the snow.
Ginny bend to help Zara up, but Rufus blocked her. "Oh, no Rufus, please...!"
"Stay away, Ginny!"
His wife took a step back, her eyes wide, a hand to her gaping mouth.
"Gi'me that lamp!"
Lying in the snow, Zara felt him step over her. She jammed her eyes shut.
She would not obey. She would not so much as look at him.
His foot grazed her side, not forcefully, but enough to make her flinch. "I said, get up!"
"Rufus, don't!" Ginny cried. "I'm begging you, please. Leave her be!"
"Go inside, Ginny! Now!"
"I cannot allow--"
Her aunt's words were cut short. Rufus struck her a resounding slap across her face. Zara winced at the sound. Then came an explosion of breath, a moan, and the hasty retreat of her aunt's steps crunching over the snow. Zara pulled herself up on hands and knees.
But before she could summon the will to move, Rufus hauled her up under the shoulders, and half dragging, half pushing, propelled her toward the tool shed. "Next time you'll think twice before you make a fool of me!"
He slammed the door open. The murky light of his lamp caused the cramped space to jump at her from the darkness. Shapes and shadows loomed up like ghosts, and she clutched at the doorjamb with both hands.
"Go on, Git inside!" He pushed her in and closed the door behind him. The moldy, dusty smell made her eyes sting.
Rufus hung the lamp and his coat on pegs by the door. From the darkened corner, he took a long, slender birch rod. As the turned slowly, he flexed it in his hands, his face distorted by shadows. "I'll teach you to run away from me." Drawing a small knife from his belt, he stepped toward her.
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