Archive for May 29th, 2013

Alex wasn’t sure Katie quite trusted him. But she’d brought him to this camp, and he’d given her no solid reason to suspect him of anything. Especially since he’d disposed of the Rebel correspondence by sending the bag down stream. He’d dumped it when she thought he’d gone to relieve himself on the last stop before they made camp. He had nothing on him, except…the dispatch. How could he have forgotten that? The letter was still in his pack. Could be a fiery red-head had distracted him. He’d have to read and burn it first chance he got.

Joining the Rebel army would give him the perfect opportunity to gather information. Soldiers said things to each other they’d never say to a newspaperman. Plus, he’d be privy to orders sooner.

Later that afternoon, Alex engaged a few soldiers in conversation to gather more information. From the corner of his eye, he caught sight of Katie approaching. He had to be on his guard since most of the men knew her as Sean.

She smiled then joined the men in the discussion of where they would be sent.

“We’re moving south, then?” Katie said.

A wiry, gray-haired soldier nodded. “Goin’ to meet the Yankees at Chancellorsville is what I heard.”

Alex remained silent but absorbed all that was said. Chancellorsville would take him a bit closer to Washington, but not by all that much. He’d have to find a way to smuggle messages out if he wanted to stay under cover and not be charged with desertion by the Rebels.

Since Katie knew him as Alex Hart, he’d signed up using his real name. He didn’t think it would present a problem, though. If they checked on him, and he doubted they would, they’d find he was a resident of Richmond, Virginia, and the son of a plantation owner.

If my father could see me now. But his family’s rejection brought him to this point. They’d disowned him when he refused to fight for the Confederacy. Annabelle had slapped his face and ended their engagement. She claimed he’d dishonored both her and his family.

He was completely on his own. No ties, except to his friend, Elliot James, who he’d lived with in Pennsylvania while attending a university before the war. Elliot was a surgeon with the Union Army and the only family Alex now had.

He wondered what Katie would do if she found out he was a Federal spy. Would she slap his face like Annabelle had or spear him with her bayonet? Knowing her demeanor, he’d bet on the bayonet.

Once the others drifted away, Katie moved closer and whispered, “I’m proud of what ye’ve done. I’ll be honored to stand beside you in battle.”

Her sweet, musky scent caused his senses to reel, and he felt himself grow hard. He longed to lean over and take her mouth. A male voice stopped him from doing just that.

“There you are, Sean, me boy-o.” Patrick strode up to them. He glanced at Alex. “Saw yer name on the picket roster. Looks as though ye’ll be on duty with me tonight.”

“So I am, Sergeant,” Alex said.

Katie smiled. “I’ll be seeing you tomorrow, then.”

“I look forward to it.”

Alex watched Katie move toward her tent but felt Patrick’s eyes on him.

The Irishman rounded on him, blocking his view. “I’ll be seeing you on picket, Hart.”

Alex nodded and wondered what Patrick would have to say to him once they were alone. The man’s feelings for Katie went much deeper than those for a sister.

1st place historical category of First Coast Romance Writers 2010 Beacon Contest for Published Authors!

2nd place historical category of 2010 New England Reader’s Choice Bean Pot Award!

Read opening chapters at my website: http://susanmacatee.com/confederateroseone.html

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

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