...read chapter 2 at: Fiction Vixen www.fictionvixen.com
HANG FIRE - Chapter 3
Cedar Hunt knew better than to argue with the woman. It didn’t keep him from it, though. “You’ll be safer if you stay with the Madders. I don’t want to lose you.”
Mae Lindson’s eyes narrowed a bit and Cedar held his breath, hoping she hadn’t heard the need behind his words. There was no time for those kind of feelings–not on this trail with winter on the way.
The beast within him turned and pressed, wanting him to say more. Wanting him to take Mae as his own. Cedar pushed back against the Pawnee curse. He still had a man’s mind, and he wasn’t about to lose it to the beast.
“I won’t stay behind,” Mae finally said. “Arguing with me, Mr. Hunt, only wastes time. Ours and Rose’s.”
Logic. For all that Mae’s mind drifted from the coven calling her home, she had not yet lost hold of her reason.
“Show me where you last saw Rose.”
Mae turned her mule toward the river.
Cedar glanced over at the Madder brothers. Each of them dark-bearded and built like bear, but the youngest, Cadoc, had a knit cap on his wooly head, and the middle brother, Bryn, wore a brass monocle over his ruined left eye. They rode alongside the bulky wagon that the eldest brother, Alun, drove behind the big draft horses.
“We’re seeing to Rose,” Cedar called. “She’s gone missing.”
Alun, in the driver’s seat, raised his hand in acknowledgment, then dug the pouch at his belt for tobacco and pipe. “I’m sure she’s fine,” he said.
Cedar did not share his confidence.
Wil, Cedar’s brother, slipped through brush to follow Mae with the silence and speed particular to a wolf. He, too, carried the Pawnee curse, but only wore the skin of a man during the dark moon, whereas Cedar only wore a wolf’s skin each full moon.
“Up river just a bit more,” Mae said. “By the shallows.”
She pushed the brim of her bonnet back and stopped her mule just short of the bank, so she could scan the narrow strip of water. “She was there by those standing stones. Said she saw something move. Thought it was metal and went to go see. You know how she is.”
“Feet that can’t stay still and more curiosity than a pack of cats.” Cedar pulled his goggles up from around his neck, setting them in place over his eyes and thumbing through the various lenses.
No horse, no movement, no trace of Rose–not even a wet footprint on the opposite bank. Even the stand of trees beyond didn’t hint to a rustle of life. The forest was silent, as if suddenly all living things had found a need to cower.
And then a scream broke the air.
...read chapter 4 at: The Qwillery http://qwillery.blogspot.com
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