‘Tis almost time y’all! Two more days until BRODY swaggers into your ereader or your hands. ;)
How about another excerpt? Olivia and Brody dig deeper into danger in their quest to find Benjy. They’re about to cross a line they can’t uncross.
Brody didn’t need a map to find the place on the Rio Grande where he wanted to cross into Mexico. During the war, he and his brothers had crossed at that particular spot numerous times, mostly because it was hidden from view and out of the way of prying eyes.
They rode through the morning, stopping only briefly to eat before pushing on. By sunset, he saw the big river sparkling in the orange rays shining from the west. His gut clenched at the sight.
This was the last chance to turn back, to send Olivia packing to her ranch. He had tried to scare her and bully her, neither of which worked. His only other option was to force her, but that would have an even worse outcome.
There was no chance she was going to change her mind, so he had to accept the fact he was stuck with her. He’d been the one to start their partnership, such as it was.
He pulled his horse to a stop a hundred yards away from an oft-used campsite. “We need to stay put until dark, then cross over.”
“The fewer people see you in daylight, the better.”
She made a face at him. Although her skin was colored by the clay, she didn’t look Mexican close up. From a distance, and in dim light, she’d be fine.
“If there’s more clay nearby I can put some more on my skin.”
He leveled a stare at her to shut her up. “You look fine. We just need to be as quiet as we can when we cross. That’s all.”
“Fine. I was just trying to help.” She stopped at the edge of the campsite and dismounted. “I’ll get a fire going.”
“We don’t need a fire. Just sit still and stop talking.” He stayed in the saddle, scrutinizing the river for signs they were being watched.
She huffed and puffed but, otherwise, she was quiet. He heard her fussing with her mare, which gave him a chance to think. Sanchez had told him the pueblo where they met their buyer was twenty miles south into Mexico. It was far enough to make a quick run to the border improbable but not impossible. He wanted to think through what to do once they got there without Olivia nearby to confuse his thoughts.
He was worried about what she would do when they spoke to someone. Hell, he didn’t even know if she spoke Spanish. He could tell them she was mute, but then he’d probably have to gag her to keep her quiet. There was no help for it, he had to ask.
She glanced at him. “Sí, hombre. Vivo con una mujer que me enseñó. Hablamos español todo el tiempo.”
“Bueno.” He kept his face impassive, but damn, damn, damn. Not only was her Spanish perfect, but her accent was even better than his. If he closed his eyes, he could believe he was in a tavern in a pueblo deep in Mexico. He had no excuse to leave her behind. Or to gag her.
“Are you going to tell me what we’re doing next? Besides sit here and stare at the river?” She perched on a rock with her chin in her hands, scowling at him.
“I’m still thinking on that. My original plan didn’t include you.” He scowled right back at her.
“My plan didn’t include leaving the ranch but here I am.” One brow went up. “You need to think quick out here.”
For that, he ought to throw her over his knee and spank the sass out of her. His hands itched to do just that, but a tiny part of him knew it was more than just a spanking he wanted from her. Olivia had gotten under his skin.