Chapter 6

Written by: Donna McTavish

A slow smile spread over Saul’s rugged face revealing pearly white teeth.

“Now, that is a really fine idea,” he said.

He poured red wine into her stained glass watching her with ice-blue eyes. With a smile, he reached gently for her roughened hand. A rosy flush spread over her cheeks. Embarrassed, she looked away and slid her hand with its dirt caked fingernails out of his rough palm.

His smile changed to a smirk.

“Now, why would a pretty girl like you be going to America?”

“I’m just runnin’,” she told him. “Trying to get away from my bullying husband.” She lifted her chin, determined not to tell him the whole story.

Saul moved his fingers along her arm. She could feel their heat through her shirt. He traced a purposeful line across the bony ridge of her shoulder blade and found the column of small white buttons at her throat. Without a pause he undid the first one and then took his time undoing the others. Mary did not resist when he stooped to lift her to the bed.

In the night he brushed a lock of damp hair from her forehead and made her head spin with tales of sailing to America. They would have a grand house, he said, with a porch and two wicker rockers. She smiled shyly as he described the many pretty dresses he would buy her and she fell asleep believing for the first time in her life that she could be happy.

When the sun poked through the rough wooden planks she held her eyes tightly closed, not willing to see what she already knew. The room was empty.

Mary clutched at the blanket as the door swung open. Jake stood awkwardly in borrowed clothes that fitted too closely to his huge frame. His face was creased with dirt and blood and he held a gun in his right hand.

“How’d you get here?” To disguise her shaking voice she shouted.

“Glad to see me, are you?” he growled but his eyes glistened as he looked at the outline of Mary’s body under the blanket. “I told you food is always your friend with animals Mary,” he said. He let his eyes drift over the battered tin plates and smudged wine glasses still holding the last of the red wine. A cynical smiled tweaked his lips. “And you sure found yourself an animal.”

“Get up,” he said roughly.

As she reluctantly dressed under the blanket, he watched, a tight smile straining across his mouth.

Outside, Jake’s horse stamped its hooves impatiently. Beside the dead fire, the cold bodies of Toby and Bryan lay in a circle of empty bottles. A figure with with long wavy black hair sat opposite with his hands tied tightly behind his back. Like a hog, thought Mary as she stumbled behind Jake.

“Got your prize wife have you?” Saul sneered at Jake. “We had some mighty fun last night but she’s all yours.”

Comments

Small continuity problem in chapter 4 Saul has blue eyes.
The characters in this chapter are exactly as you would expect, as rough as the landscape and as mean. They are beautifully drawn.
What a lovely twist... '[she] held her eyes tightly closed, not willing to see what she already knew. The room was empty.'
So the dream is shattered. Dear me, more trials for Mary. Great chapter Donna!
Dirty politics! That is a great way to continue this story Donna. Good set up for the next writer.