When her father fell from grace and his colleagues and superiors chose to believe the vicious rumors that shredded his reputation, peace of mind, and his health, Carmen had thought at first Boniface had been behind those false stories; especially when some of the ugly, unbelievable stories and accusations focused on her. Then he had showed up like an avenging angel, fighting to defend her father, mocking those who chose to believe the lies. Even with the taint of disgrace clinging to Carmen and Reverend Mackenzie, he had still wanted to marry her and take both of them away to a quiet life at a small congregation that was waiting for him. His anger had been tempered with sorrow when Carmen refused him again.
Carmen found she could breathe again when Boniface's blue-gray gaze slid off of hers and he turned to study the other side of the street.
"Nothing," he said, his voice colder than the rain.
"Are you sure you heard it?" the driver asked. In a moment, the steam-cart carried them both out of sight.
"You don't hear it, idiot. You feel it. In your bones."
"My bones are frozen."
Whatever Boniface said in response was hidden in the drumming rain, the splashing of the cart's wheels and the rumble-hiss of its engine as they continued down the street.
Carmen brought her knees up to her chest and wrapped her arms around her legs, hiding her face in her knees as she shuddered. For just a moment, even as memories and hurt tumbled through her mind, she had been about to open her mouth and shout for him. What made her think that he could possibly be willing to rescue her?