Sing My Name

Available for purchase or borrow from Amazon (paperback or ebook).


Story Summary:

Sarah Hammond is the overprotected daughter of passionate Massachusetts abolitionists. Matt Slade is the orphaned son of hardscrabble Texas settlers. Sarah knows about every Civil War battle from studying newspaper accounts. Matt fought in the bloodiest of them under Generals Longstreet and Lee. If Matt and Sarah ever crossed paths, it should have been for an unremarkable moment. He would tip his hat. She would nod and pass on by.

Except as survivors of a Comanche attack, Matt and Sarah spend far more than a moment together. They come to know each other, depend on each other, and love each other. The vicious revenge of Sarah’s humiliated, jilted fiancé allows him to say, “I destroyed them.” Did he? Or when Matt and Sarah meet again years later, can they put their lives and their love back together?

Excerpt:

The sudden silence in the house made Sarah more aware of the shrieks outside. Right outside. Close.

Anna Royer walked to Lieutenant Broderick. Neither one said a word. He pressed his pistol to her breast and fired. She smiled as she fell.

Broderick turned to Sarah.

“Miss Hammond.”

His cold, formal manner and clear intention panicked Sarah. She threw herself backwards, scrambling into the opening of the stone fireplace, trying to hide. “No!”

Unable to get further away from the man and his gun, Sarah looked up into his contemptuous eyes, ready to argue, beg, but Broderick was the one who spoke.

“You stupid little bitch,” he said, then turned the gun on himself.

As his body fell, Sarah tried to push herself even farther back into the fireplace. She was alone, the only sounds those of the Comanches outside, beating on the door and shutters to break through. Except....

Webb’s prisoner moved across the floor so quickly Sarah could hardly take it in. He dug in Barney Webb’s pocket, pulled out a key and freed one wrist from the handcuffs. Pocketing the key, he left the cuff dangling and turned Webb’s body over. A pistol that had been hidden at Webb’s back went in his waistband. Crawling from one body to the next, he searched through pockets and cartridge pouches.

He took a rifle from one of the dead soldiers. Sarah watched with disbelief as he pushed bullets into the gun. Where had he found more ammunition?

With a wolfish grin on his face, he poked the rifle through a loophole, took careful aim and fired. After a second shot, the assault on the door stopped, and the sounds outside faded as the Indians moved back. Relief flooded through Sarah, then dissolved as the young killer crawled from one window to the next, staying low, firing a shot without aiming from each one before moving to the next.

Back at Webb’s body he took a knife from the scabbard on the man’s belt. Then money? Sarah watched in disbelief as he pulled a handful of paper notes and coins from the dead man’s pocket and stuffed them in his own.

Between more random shots, he pried at one floor board after another with the knife. Near where Sarah had slept, he stopped, pulled a board out of the floor, then another.

For the first time, he looked at her. “Let’s go. Time to move, Boston.”

Sarah didn’t move. Uncomprehending, she stared at him. He didn’t waste more words; he came and got her. As he pulled her out of the fireplace, she yelped. He clamped a dirty hand across her mouth, dragged her to the opening in the floor and pushed her through. Sarah fell into a shallow hole in the dirt underneath the floor. When she rolled over and sat up, cobwebs brushed her face. She whimpered and cowered lower.

The killer stepped down into the hole beside her, fit one of the boards back into place, and dragged something over the floor. Hunching down beside her, he used the knife to fit the second board into position. The darkness was almost total, only faintly lighter along the cracks between the boards. In the small space he bumped into Sarah with every movement.

He kept moving, elbowing her time after time, until a thump sounded from above. As he fitted himself down beside her, still at last, an unmistakable stench filled the air, and liquid dripped down between the boards, dripped onto Sarah’s arm and shoulder and on the ground where she sat.

He’d knocked over the chamberpot! Sarah couldn’t stop the sound that escaped her as she tried to get away from the filth.

His hand closed over her mouth again. Even pitched low, his voice was harsh. “Not another sound. You understand?”

Sarah managed to move her head enough to nod in spite of his hard hold.

“If they find us, they most likely won’t kill you, but they’ll hurt you bad. You want to take your chances with them?”

Sarah shook her head violently from side to side. In the dark, the distinctive sounds as he drew back the hammer on the pistol tore across her nerves and left her quivering. The empty iron cuff and chain hanging from his wrist fell across her shoulders, and the barrel of the gun pressed under her chin.

“Me neither,” he said. “Now, sssh.”

Epilog:

If you have a copy of the ebook that doesn't not include the Epilog to Sing My Name, you can download it here.


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