Working on more of Stained by Ashes today. Well, transcribing my second beta reader’s notes into the master file actually. Have through Chapter 21 done for now. For today, I’ll share some of the last that I edited yesterday. From Chapter 19:
She shook her head, but the pain in his voice felt like it ripped her heart out. She took a step forward and unable to stop herself, reached up to run a finger along his jaw. He didn’t flinch like she’d been afraid he would, but he stood completely still. “Adam.” He shuddered then lowered his eyes to hers. She saw the pain there, and the longing. It was too much, and she dropped her hand. “You keep saying they, but you think my father did it.”
“Or he hired someone. There were three other men. He didn’t have a chance. They didn’t give him one.”
“You tracked them? To our ranch?”
He hesitated. “I lost the trail west of it. Close enough to meet up when the job was done.”
Her stomach twisted at his words. “Pa never goes out that way.” Louis did. She’d seen him meeting some friends out that way before. “Adam, please stay away.”
“Leah, if he-”
She held up a hand, her fingers barely caressing his lips. “It wasn’t my pa. I’m sure he’s done things I won’t agree with, maybe a lot of things, but he didn’t kill your pa.”
“Who else would have done it?”
She thought about saying it, but she couldn’t voice that. She and Louis had never gotten along, but he was still her brother. She shook her head. “Please stay away, Adam. I don’t want you hurt, but I can’t let you come after my pa because you lost yours.” She turned away as a tear slipped down her cheek. She hurried to her horse and climbed into the saddle. Adam cried her name but she kicked the mare into a lope, needing to get away before it all tore her in two.
If things keep going the way they are, I shouldn’t have a problem having this out before the official end of the summer. Hoping for that at least.