Redeemed By A Rebel: Prologue
St. Louis, Missouri
The iron pressed against Jake Anderson’s back was almost as cold as the
rain pouring out of the night sky.
“Knock on the door,” demanded his brother Zach, his voice angry and on edge.
Jake did as he was told and pounded on the front door, hard enough to be heard over the din of the rain.
“What the hell?” said his eldest brother, Liam, when he opened the door.
“Jake? Zach? What are you two doing here? It’s the middle of the night.”
Zach growled from behind Jake. “Are you going to let us in or make us stand in this rain all night?”
“Come in. Zach, put that gun away.”
“Can’t until the kid here,” he poked Jake in the back with the gun, “is inside and we’ve talked to you.”
Jake walked into the foyer of the house his oldest brother owned in St.Louis. Steamer trunks and carpet bags lined the hallway down to the parlor.
“Sorry to do this to you, Liam. I know you’re leaving tomorrow,” said Zach, laying his hat on one of the trunks.
Jake threw his hat on the trunk next to Zach’s.
“Yes. At first light. Now, tell me what’s going on and why you brought Jake here at gun point,” said Liam.
“Only way I could get him to come.”
“And?” Liam said, exasperated. “Don’t make me beat the story out of you word by word, little brother. Just tell me the problem.”
Liam pointed at the two chairs in front of the fire, then went to the fireplace and stoked the banked coals to life. He added a piece of wood to the tiny flames before he turned once again to face them. “Jake. You first,” he said in a tone that brooked no argument.
“I killed an army captain,” Jake said, refusing to sit. He couldn’t sit. Couldn’t be still. He wanted to scream at the injustice, shout at God for his betrayal.
“Why’d you do a damn fool thing like that?”
Jake shrugged. “I didn’t have a choice.”
“There’s always a choice,” countered Liam.
Zach put away his gun. “No, there’s not,” said Zach. “There was reason for it, but he did kill the man. I use the word ‘man’ loosely.”
“Damn it, Jake. They’ll hunt you down and hang you for this.” Liam had been a colonel with seventeen years service, Jake knew he was familiar with military justice.
“The son of a bitch deserved to die. And as soon as I can, I’m going to kill the other bastard, too.”
“He’s mine,” snarled Zach.
“Who?” asked Liam.
“Jesus! You two had better tell me what’s going on. Start at the beginning.”
Jake began to pace. The hardwood creaked under his weight and small droplets of water from his wet boots followed in his wake. He swallowed hard and took a deep breath. He didn’t want to relive that moment when he’d lost Elizabeth, but he knew he had to. For Liam. So he’d understand....
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Thanks everyone! ~Cynthia