An Everlasting Heart
At last, the War Between the States is over! Sanderson Redding is finally home, and for Charlotte, life is good. Until the Army comes knocking.
Sanderson's old captors have charged him with the murder of Lieutenant Lantz, who died mysteriously on the streets of St. Louis when the South surrendered. With help from the most unlikely sort, can Sanderson convince the Yankee jury of his innocence?
Left alone when Sanderson is carted off for murder, newly pregnant Charlotte is despondent. However, when the stress of their predicament threatens the life of their unborn child, Charlotte is more grateful than ever to have Minerva as her sister-in-law, and roommate.
When the judge sentences Sanderson to a suicide mission in lieu of hanging by the neck until dead, Charlotte knows she can't go along on this adventure. Between a hard pregnancy and a rash of hydrophobia that threatens the entire Arkansas countryside, Charlotte wonders if Sanderson will have a home waiting for him, if he survives the mission, and if he wants to come home at all. However, a freakish dog bite in the midst of the outbreak may well be the end of them all.
“Don’t die till we get to have some fun, girl.” Samuel’s whiskey-ruined voice was hot in Charlotte’s ear. Somewhere behind her, Dean’s maniacal laughter pulsated with cruelty. The Bowie knife grew closer to her face, but with her arms lashed behind her, Charlotte could only watch in helpless terror as the promise of death drew nearer.
“Sanderson!” she screamed, just before the icy blade met the skin of her neck.
“I’m here. I’m not going to let anything happen to you,” Sanderson murmured into her hair. His arm, muscled and tanned, tightened around her middle. His voice was thick with sleep. “Was it that dream again?”
She sat up and traced the knife scar at the base of her neck. The air was crisp in their loft and a rash of goose bumps cropped up on her exposed skin. “It was one of them. The knife one. I always wake up before they kill me, but I swear,” Charlotte shook her head to clear the nightmare from her mind, “it gets scarier every time.”
“They’ll get worse before they get better.” Sanderson propped himself up on an elbow and ran his hand down her thigh. “Mine are pretty bad right now, too. But when I wake up and look at you, I know that I’m finally home.”
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