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Captain David MacInnes was committed to his mission -- uncovering the plot of a traitor. But it was easy to keep his mind on his duty, because he no longer believed in love. Not since the one woman he had truly loved had seen fit to marry his brother. Nor would he ever have believed another woman could cast a spell over him. But then, he’d never met a rebel hellion like Breanne Ritter.
Pittsylvania County, Virginia,
August 11, 1863
David settled himself on a fallen log and drew a satisfyingly deep breath of the pine scented air. He was back in Virginia, where he belonged--although there were those who would contest that fact. His decision to serve the Union had made him a veritable traitor in the eyes of most who resided here. Yet he was still proud to call himself a Virginian, proud, too, to be a Unionist, and determined to see his country survive--whole.
He took one more look around the small copse. The trees cordoned this small clearing from the rest of the shattered world and he was able to have some seclusion at last, a luxury camp life little afforded. Yet he needn’t fear for his safety. This area was too destitute to support any enemy troops. They were away to the south or the north, so he had no cause to be overly concerned. Besides, his own men were less than two hundred yards away on the other side of the trees, and the perimeter was well picketed.
But more importantly to him at the moment, he was away from the prying eyes of his own kind. The fact that he’d been assigned commander of this company of men, relieving the officer in charge, did not make him a particularly popular fellow with many of the officers. Even less would they respect him if they knew his true assignment--investigating one of their own.
Sometimes he found himself disillusioned with the nature of his work, but more often he was disgusted with those he pursued--those who betrayed his country. He had more respect for the enemy soldiers. At least the men who fought for the Confederacy did so with conviction and a loyalty to their cause--even if their cause was wrong.
Pulling a letter from inside his tunic, he turned the envelope over while absentmindedly refastening the garment. It was from his older brother, Malcolm. He smiled sadly, a pang of regret passing through him. He had not seen his brother since their respective units had gone separate ways. Malcolm had tried to have him reassigned so that they could remain together. David himself had arranged to have the appointment blocked, but then, his brother had no idea that his captaincy in the Fifth Artillery was just a cover. Just a sham. Malcolm didn’t know that he was, in fact, a spy. And he never would, if David could help it. Malcolm had had first hand experience with those dealing in espionage, and he despised the lot of them.
Carefully preserving the envelope as he tore it open, David extracted the letter and hungrily read the contents.
I’ve good news to send. Abigail has been delivered of a little girl, with the blue eyes of a MacInnes and the beauty of her mother. We’ve named her Grace Lynn, and I cannot wait to introduce her to her Uncle David. Both mother and daughter are doing well. Abigail’s time was easy, as childbirths go. We were able to reach Rose Hill before the advent of the little one, and for that I am grateful to God. Mother was with her, as was Moira, though I will tell you I was a nervous fool throughout. I find the rigors of a battlefield less frightening, but Abigail bore it all well, and I am sure you can tell from my letter than I am more than proud of her.
She sends her love…
David again glanced at the top of the letter. March third. Five months ago.
He sighed and closed his eyes, calling up the vivid angelic vision he carried in his heart. Abigail. He still envied his brother for having married her. Her laugh floated into his mind, and again came the empty ache. She was everything he had wanted in a woman, but she had made her choice between them, and now she was his brother’s wife.
Sandra lives on a 32 acre Arabian horse farm in rural King and Queen County, Virginia with her husband, son, two cocker spaniels and more rabbits than she can count. Her passions, aside from writing, include horseback riding, sewing and oil painting. She loves to hear from readers and you can send her a message through her website: www.sandradugas.com.
Book Publisher: Wings ePress
No. of Pages: 512
Paper Weight (lb): 21.2
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