Yellowstone Redemption

By: Peggy L Henderson

Book 2 Yellowstone Romance Series


Acknowledgement





Without the constant support and help from my critique partner, Carol Spradling, this book would not have been written. Sometimes I think she knows my characters better than I do, and doesn’t hesitate to point out to me what works, and what doesn’t. So, thank you, Carol, for keeping me going on this journey, and helping me bring these characters to life. Also, once again, to my husband Richard, for supporting me in my writing efforts, and continued advice about basic survival skills.

Thank you, Ramona Lockwood, for creating the beautiful covers for this series! (http://coversbyramona.blogspot.com)





Chapter 1





Madison Valley on the Yellowstone Plateau, 1835





“Please, Mama, why can’t I go?” Sarah Osborne implored in a high-pitched voice. She followed close on the heels of her mother, who stormed through the front door of the cabin. Although her legs were much longer than the older woman’s, she almost ran to keep up with her strides.

Her petite mother ignored the question, threw her hands in the air in an overly exaggerated movement, then quickly brought them back to her sides, and balled them into fists at her hips. She turned more fully towards the man sitting at the table in the middle of the room. The thick long braid of her blonde hair swung like a whip behind her back. The man finished tying an obsidian arrowhead to a long wooden shaft, biting off the end of the sinew strings. He set it aside and raised a questioning brow in her mother’s direction. Her eyes glowered, and she took a step towards him.

“Daniel, talk to her. She’s your daughter.”

Sarah watched her father push the chair away from the table. He didn’t look at her. Instead, his brown eyes met her mother’s stare unflinching, and he raked a hand through his black hair to sweep back some unruly strands that had fallen into his eyes. Threads of silver mixed in with the black and reflected like icicles off the bright sunlight streaming into the room from the glass-paned window on the wall to the right. A lazy grin spread across his face, creasing the lines in the corners of his eyes. Her mother’s features appeared to relax. His hand shot out, and he grabbed her wrist, then pulled her onto his lap with one swift pull. She gave a little squeal, and placed her hands on his shoulders. Good grief! Not now! Why did they always have to act this way? Heat rose up Sarah’s neck into her cheeks, watching her parents’ display of affection.

Her father nuzzled her mother’s neck, and whispered in a low growl, “No, gediki. She’s most definitely your daughter.” Her mother turned her neck to give him better access, and reached a hand up to caress his cheek. His arms tightened around her waist.

Sarah stood just inside the front door, arms around her waist, and shifted weight from one foot to the other. She rolled her eyes, and let out an exasperated snort. Her parents always acted like a newly wed couple, even though they had been married for twenty-five years. Time to put a stop to this outlandish display. “Would you two stop it already,” she cried out. “Honestly, Mama. The way you and Papa carry on is downright embarrassing.”

Sarah watched her mother sit up on her husband’s lap, then turn blue eyes on her. A warm smile brightened her features, the annoyance from a moment ago apparently forgotten.

“Sarah, one day you’ll meet a man and fall in love. Time will stand still whenever he’s near, and the outside world forgotten when you’re with him.”

Sarah laughed and let out a most unfeminine snort. “I can ride, track, and hunt better than any man in these mountains, including my brothers.” She lifted her chin, then paused and met her father’s amused gaze. “Well, maybe with the exception of you, Papa.” She flashed him a smile she knew always won him over. “So what would I need a man for?”

With his eyebrows raised and lips drawn up in a boyish grin, he shot his wife an unmistakable I told you so look. Sarah’s insides swelled with satisfaction, and she gloated silently, her chin raised high in a defiant gesture towards her mother. Too late, she realized she should have approached her father with her request first.

“I recall words like those coming from you at one time.” Daniel swiped a finger down his wife’s nose, a devilish grin on his face.

“Yes, well, a girl has the right to change her mind,” Sarah’s mother replied haughtily and patted his cheek, then pushed herself off his lap. She turned to face her daughter. “But I’m not changing my mind about this.”

Sarah groaned silently at the stern look in her mother’s eyes. “Why not?” she challenged.

“Do you remember what happened last year?” Her hands were back on her hips.

Daniel rose from the table, his size dwarfing his wife. He stood next to her, and put a hand around her shoulders, pulling her up next to him

“What’s going on?” her father directed his gaze on her.

Sarah’s shoulders drooped. His dark eyes stared right through her. Trying to convince him might not be so easy after all.

“Mama says I can’t go to the rendezvous this year,” she blurted out. “She doesn’t think it’s appropriate for me anymore.”

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