Another teaser from Stained Snow this week. Still no set release date for this one, though I do still hope to have it out by the end of the year.
Maggie wiped her hands on her apron when hooves pounded in the yard. Her father would never ride like that, not if it wasn’t an emergency. Him and the rest of the hands were still rounding up all their cattle. They’d gotten a later start this year. Winter had held on until its last gasping breath. There hadn’t been much to do before the snow finally melted.
She stood in the doorway and watched the rider gallop into the yard. She didn’t recognize horse or man at first. Then, he slowed, and she ran out into the yard. “Thomas,” she cried.
He jumped down from the saddle in time to wrap an arm around her. Something didn’t feel quite right about him, but she was too happy about seeing him to care much. She wrapped both arms around him, holding him close. “I didn’t think you were coming back yet. What are you doing here?”
He brought his hands up to her face. “I had to see you. I can’t stay long though.”
She took a more careful look at him then. “You look tired, Thomas. What’s the matter?”
“I’ve been on the trail a couple days.”
“You need some rest. Your horse does too.”
He shook his head. “I don’t have time to rest. I wanted to stop and see you before I rode on, though.”