Archive for May 22nd, 2013

Alex settled before the fire, the stress of battle now behind him. He felt lucky to have survived. The Rebels declared the battle a victory, and the Union Army had retreated. But the Confederates lost General Jackson. He’d been accidentally shot by his own men the night before the battle.

Despite the Rebel victory, maybe the loss of Jackson would bode well for the Union.

Too keyed up to sleep, he took a swig from his flask. One of the other soldiers had given him a bit of Scotch. While it burned its way down his throat, he recalled the last battle where he’d been in the ranks.

He hadn’t been engaged in combat since last September at Antietam. There he’d been with Federal troops. That had been a massacre for both sides. Since he’d become a spy, he usually witnessed battles from the sidelines.

This latest battle had taken a toll on him. He felt drained and needed to recoup and get some rest. Leaning back against a rock, he looked at the stars dotting the blackness. Moonlight brightened the landscape, producing an eerie glow.

Katie by his side in battle was also a new experience. Although he knew she was an experienced soldier and could hold her own, an overwhelming urge rose to protect her. A woman should be home tending to the hearth, waiting for her man to return from battle.

His thoughts drifted to Annabelle. Was she back in Richmond waiting for word of her new fiance’? Their brief encounter assured him he no longer had feelings for her, but he worried that she’d revealed his identity to her husband-to-be. Since the captain hadn’t confronted him, though, he doubted she had.

Smoke from the fire drifted to him, stinging his eyes. He wiped his sleeve across his face. When he opened them, a soldier approached. He focused his vision and realized Katie strode toward him. She’d acquired a new slouch hat from her brother-in-law. The large, black hat concealed her red curls.

When she settled down cross-legged beside him, her mood seemed pensive. She watched him a moment before speaking.

“I found something that belongs to you.”

His mouth went dry. Something was wrong. “What have you got?”

“I’m hating to have to say it, since I’d accused you of being a thief, but I stole something from you.” She looked away.

“What could you…?” He racked his mind trying to figure out what she could have taken.

“I went through yer pack.”

“In Patrick’s tent?”

“No, weeks ago back at the cabin. I went through it to try to learn more about you when you were in the stable. I found a letter and took it but didn’t have time to read it until now.”

Alex swallowed.

“It was a Federal dispatch. Yer a Yankee.”

His chest tightened. No wonder he’d been unable to find the dispatch. She’d had it all along. “What do you intend to do?” He hoped she wouldn’t discover his real motive. He could never harm her.

“You lied to me the whole time,” she said, disbelief marring her delicate features.

He exhaled the breath he’d held. “I had no choice.”

“If I’d known you to be a Yankee, I’d have shot you the first chance I got.” Her eyes glittered in the light of the fire. “You touched me…pretended to care fer me. And all the while, you lied to me.”

The raw hurt on her face broke his heart. He’d deceived her. He couldn’t deny it. “What do you intend to do?” he asked again.

She shook her head slowly. “I’m sorry, Alex, but ’tis me duty to turn you in.”

1st place First Coast Romance Writers 2010 Beacon Contest for Published Authors, historical category.

2nd place 2010 New England Reader’s Choice Bean Pot Award, historical category.

Read opening chapters and get links to reviews at my website http://www.susanmacatee.com

Confederate Rose available for $2.99 at Amazon http://www.amazon.com/Confederate-Rose-Susan-Macatee/dp/1601545568/ref=ntt_at_ep_dpt_4

Barnes and Noble http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/confederate-rose-susan-macatee/1100248420?ean=9781601545565&itm=3&usri=susan%2bmacatee

The Wild Rose Press http://www.wildrosepublishing.com/maincatalog_v151/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=89_117&products_id=3672

and All Romance Ebooks http://www.allromanceebooks.com/product-confederaterose-362961-158.html

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