Saturday, September 15, 2007

Saturday morning excerpt

A few days ago I reread all of the stories in The Wild Rose Press' Celtic Brooch series. My story, Freedom's Touch, is the second one in the series. They're an interesting group of stories, all so different yet with the celtic brooch passing through the lives of each of the heroines in the series. I love it that I was asked to participate in this series. I love, too, waiting for each new installment. I can't help but wonder where the brooch will go next...

Thought I'd post a small bit of my story this morning. Freedom's Touch takes place during the Civil War, when women fought to keep the homefires burning while their men decided the fate of our young country. Hope you enjoy!

From Freedom's Touch:

Weary, that’s what I am. Plain weary. This whole
affair has gone on for so long, with so much heartbreak.
Even when I try and do all I can to further our cause there
always seems to be a blockade to go around…or over…or
under. Why oh why can’t everyone see this slavery issue for
what it is? Why can’t we simply let people live as they were
intended to live without having to go through all of this
misery? Damn, I’m so tired of it all! Just so…

At the sound of the approaching horse, Kay turned
and opened the door. Had Captain Conrad forgotten to
tell her something? Surely not another maudlin

Stepping out onto the porch, she noticed, as she had
earlier, the scent of a few early rose blooms that wafted
upward on the night air and surrounded her with their
sweet fragrance. A distant grandmother’s transplant, the
roses grew in abundance beside the front porch and along
the back wall of the garden, in the side cutting garden
and near the barn. Their fragrance masked the odor of the
privy, as well. Apparently a snippet of a rose bush grew in
profusion when planted in rich, sweet soil!

Crossing her arms over her bosom, she waited for the
men to make themselves known to her a second time. She
saw only one large black mass in the darkness and
thought Mr. Parker must wait at the end of the lane,
assumed that the Captain had one last word or two to
exchange with her.

The voice that came to her from the gloom wasn’t the
one she expected. It was, instead, the voice she heard
night after night in her dreams.

“Why, you’d think it was an ordinary occasion for you
to receive visitors after dark, the way you’re standing
there in your night dress.”

“Marsh—is that really you?”

The figure swung off his mount, secured the animal
to the hitching post and took the steps two at a time.

“Of course it’s me, Katy-did. Did you expect someone
else?” His teasing tone made her heart skip a beat, as did
the familiar nickname—no one else called her Katy-did
but Marsh. The sound of it on his lips stole her breath

Throwing her arms around him, she lifted her face to
his and smiled. He felt solid in her arms, the living
embodiment of her endless imaginings. Pressing herself to
him, she opened her mouth to speak but didn’t manage to
utter a sound. Marsh’s mouth met hers with a hunger
that took them both by surprise. Their lips touched, their
tongues explored and their bodies heated as all the
repressed desires rose to the surface in the beat of their
hearts. Kay met his touch without restraint, her tongue
swirling around his in the age-old dance of love that
required no lessons.

The thin cotton nightdress provided no buffer
between her body and the regulation uniform Marsh was
wearing. His arousal was evident, insistent against her
body as her hips ground into his.

I don’t know what you’re doing here, my darling man,
but I’m not going to let you go until we’ve dropped these
barriers between us. So often I wonder if I’ll ever see you
again. Why waste what precious time we have on social
protocol? It’s ridiculous, and I won’t stand for it, not
another second. In this world, a second may have to
sustain us for a lifetime. And more importantly, you feel so
completely enchanting…