Go with Your Heart
Six years ago, Shiloh Ray and her brothers escaped enslavement at a Confederate camp during the Civil War. Now they enjoy their freedom by working at a saloon they own in Choctaw Territory. Though Shiloh hasn’t seen the soldier who’d helped them steal away since then, he was never far from her mind…or her heart.
Shiloh kept her ears open for any abnormal sounds, her revolver at the ready. It was utterly silent, Liberton still in bed for the most part this predawn Monday morning. She began walking toward the nearby creek; she would take a quick dip and rinse before returning to the house.
When she broke through the band of trees she realized someone else had beaten her there. The person swam with sure strokes through the water, barely disturbing it. She couldn’t help but watch and admire. She wasn’t nearly so graceful when she swam, but her papa had been determined she’d know how…just in case. Those lessons had certainly come in handy later on in her life.
She started, the voice pulling her from her memories. She stood straighter and stepped back when she finally met the eyes of the person she’d been observing.
“I don’t mind,” Nashoba said, walking closer to the creek’s bank. “It seems we have the same idea.”
She nodded, but continued going backwards. “I didn’t mean to disturb you. I shall go—”
“Please stay,” Nashoba requested. He looked off to the east. “The day is about to begin. I would like your company to welcome it.”
She too looked eastward, the sky pinkening with the sun’s rays. Making a decision, Shiloh took off her robe and her shoes and approached the bank. She noticed a pair of pants a few feet away and she raised her eyebrow.
“You’re naked,” she said.
He nodded. “Wanted to bathe.”
So did she. Shiloh glared at him when he began smiling. “Oh, shut up!”
“I didn’t say a word. It isn’t as if you are a mystery to me, Shiloh, or I to you.”
She huffed out a breath. “Fine, then.” She refused to let him have the upper hand. Not looking at him, she whipped off her shift, shuddering a bit as the cool morning air hit her flesh. She still averted her eyes from him when she entered the water, and she didn’t feel his traveling up and down her body in a way male eyes usually did while she was at the saloon. That fact compelled her to regard him, his gaze waiting for hers. And when he held out his hands to her, she had no thought of doing anything but placing hers in them.