Some Write It Hot

January 28, 2011

Tom’s Story Continued–Chapter Seven by Debbie Vaughan

Filed under: Free read — dangerouslysexy @ 04:00
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Just in case you need to catch up:

Chapter One
Chapter Two
Chapter Three
Chapter Four
Chapter Five
Chapter Six

“You best be steppin’ lively,” he cackled. “Or as light as a dead man can.”

I cast a disparaging glance over my shoulder as I got my bedroll. “You’re not worried you might upset me, Paul? I can’t figure if you’re that brave or just stupid.”

“Bit of both, I reckon.” He cackled louder. “But then I ain’t the one that’s fixin’ to lay me down in the dirt for a nap, while a body I don’t know keeps guard over me and mine.”

He put a fine point on my own thoughts, but my choices were few and dwindling fast. Dawn was about to break. I unrolled my blanket into the trench he’d fashioned in the sandy loam then, stretched out on it. I raised a brow as he flapped another blanket to unfurl it.

“This here will keep the topdressin’ from getting you over dirty.” He spread the blanket, smelling strongly of mule, over me. “Rest easy, Massa Tom.”

“I am no one’s master,” I said aloud—I thought. The sound of hands moving soil and mulch grew faint and then– nothing.
*****
I awoke to the bitter sweet smell of chicory. What Paul used for coffee. I had survived the day with body intact and my companion still with me. I rose slowly, letting the soil and debris shift from the blanket before I removed it. Popping it into the air removed the remainder.

“Be whit’cha in a bit. Jist finishin’ up dinner.” Paul held his plate high, shoveling the beans in his mouth.

The sight of him left me lighthearted. He was a man of his word. I stretched my arms and cracked my back. “Take your time. Have the animals been watered?”

“Only a wee bit Sa, just a sip from the canteen. I daren’t leave ya to go to the crick.”

“That’s right good of you, Mr. Monroe–.”

“Paul, Sa—jist Paul be fine.”

“Paul, you finish your meal and I’ll water the stock.” I untied Silas and Merry and led them the twenty or so yards to where a brook babbled merrily over tree roots and stones. As they drank, I washed the parts I could, rinsed my mouth and wet my hair, running my fingers through in place of a comb. When finished, we returned to the campsite.

Paul sat studying his wrist. He looked up as we entered the fire’s glow. “Don’t that beat all?” He held his wrist up for inspection. “If’n I din’na know no better, I’d said I done dreamed this whole biznez.”

I took his wrist in my hand, no sign of my bite remained. Only a scar of an old rope burn marred his brown flesh. So, not just animal hide.

“You seem surprised Sa. Ain’t this how it always is?”

“Truth-be-told Paul, I don’t honestly know. I don’t normally stay around after feeding.” I raised my eyes and a brow to look into his face. “I knew our spit could stop the bleeding, but not that it healed so completely.”

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