Thursday, October 5, 2017


From Desert Breeze Publishing.

A steam-cart trundled down the street from behind her, just as she stepped into the doorway. A whimper of gratitude escaped her clenched teeth as she saw it was deep and wide enough she could have laid down in it, and kept her feet dry. She gratefully sank down into the corner on the right, well out of traffic, if anyone needed to come out of the door. Tugging her skirts down around her ankles, she raised her hand to press against the cross.

The steam-cart came into view, framed in the doorway. It was an open steam-cart, a newer model but without any kind of roof or covering on it. Carmen snorted her disdain for anyone who thought an open vehicle made any sense in Chicago, with its wind and seemingly constant rain. The man who drove it hunched his shoulders, and his eyes were lost in goggles gone white with steam or condensation. The other man in the cart stood up in the passenger section behind him, one hand braced on the seat back, the other on the man's shoulder, and turned his head quickly, surveying the street in front of them.

Carmen paused with her hand just above the cross. She couldn't breathe, as just for a heartbeat, the standing man's gaze seemed to lock with hers. Despite the rain streaming from the flat planes of his chiseled features and darkening his golden hair, slicking it to his head, she recognized him. That flat, hard line of his mouth, she knew very well. It was the last expression she saw on his face before he walked out of her life. Those lips had been as hard as his voice when he castigated her for the choices she had made. 

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