Sarah's Heart

Sarah's Heart by Ginger Simpson

Book: Sarah's Heart by Ginger Simpson Read Free Book Online
Authors: Ginger Simpson
right.”
    He puzzled over the
look on her face. Something about what he said bothered her, but she didn’t
respond, instead only hung her head.
    “So, do you have a
destination in mind?” He said, certain her thoughts had drifted.
    She looked up. “I’m
sorry. What?”
    “I was asking if you
know where you want to go.”
    Sarah shook her head
and shrugged. “How about you? What are you going to do
now?”
    “Go back to where I
started, I reckon. I have to find a job to earn the remaining money owed on a
piece of land. It’s that or forfeit my dream. My aim
is to be a cattle rancher someday.”
    “That makes two of
us… finding a job, I mean. Maybe I could travel with you to Independence and find something there. Would
that be all right?” A child-like anxiousness lit her eyes.
    “It’s fine with me,
if you can stand the company. We have a few towns to pass through before we get
there, so don’t be alarmed if people don’t take too kindly to you being with a
breed.”
    Sarah squared
herself and glared at him. “Don’t belittle yourself because people are
small-minded. Just pay them no never mind.” She took another bite of bread and
quickly washed it down with coffee, showing the effort it took to swallow.
    Wolf sipped from his
own cup to hide his budding grin.

 
 
    Guilt washed over
Sarah like pouring rain. How could she ever admit she left him for dead? And
stole his horse, to boot? She’d been a fool for even mentioning trying to mount
one. Surely, now that they prepared to travel, the question was going to arise
again—where was her horse? She took a deep breath and smiled nervously across
the campfire at him.
    “We should probably
gather our things together and head out.” He announced. “If we leave before
noon, I know a place we can camp tonight that’s far enough off the trail to be
safe and private.”
    “Packing won’t be a
problem. I travel light.” She chuckled. Her heart filled with dread. Surely
he’d ask about the animal any minute now. What in the world would she say?
    “More coffee?” he
offered.
    “No thanks. I’ve had
my fill.”
      “Me, too,” he said, leaning forward and
dousing the fire with the remaining liquid. The flames sputtered and died,
sending a small spiral of white smoke upward. “It wasn’t much more than hot
water anyway.”
    Her mind spun about
the absent horse. She cursed herself for bringing it up, but after all, she was
delirious at the time. Standing, she swept the dirt from her pants, and turned
toward the overhanging rock. “I’m going to get my bag.”
    She scurried inside,
thankful for the break in conversation, but she’d just finished running a brush
through her hair and stowing it back in her valise when Wolf joined her.
Wordlessly, he hunkered down and tucked the bead-decorated pouches holding his
personal effects into his sleeping robes, rolled them into a bundle, and
secured all with a rawhide tie. He swiveled and faced her. “We best get
started. We can only ride double for so long before Scout gets tired. I’ll walk
for a while.”
    She held her breath,
waiting for the obvious.
    “I imagine your
horse must have bolted the moment it heard the snake rattling. No tellin’ where
the animal is now. Sure would be nice to have two mounts.”
    The lump in her
throat slid down and she swallowed it—it and the truth. Praying that God
wouldn’t strike her dead, she nodded in agreement, feeling relief flow through
her body. “I’m sure you’re right…about having two horses, for sure.”
    The words tasted
bitter on her tongue, but she refused to divulge the truth. Wolf might leave
her to fend for herself, and that scared her far more than being labeled a
liar.

 
    * * *

 
    Sarah’s behind was
numb, and her legs ached from hours riding bareback. She and Wolf had left the
camp right after breakfast, stopped at a small creek for cool water and a
handful of berries, then pushed onward. She dared not complain because he’d
been

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