In Road to Redemption, my hero, Colby Grainger, has seen the absolute worst in man. A U.S. Marshal, he and three others were assigned to take a prisoner to jail. They did not expect the gang to attack and leave all for dead. Colby survives, but is torn by his lack of ability to protect his deputies, especially the younger one, Brett. Consumed by the bitterness, he rides off determined to seek revenge on those who had done those men wrong. Arriving at Morgan's Crossing, weary and sick beyond belief, he is taken in by a widow, Willow Richardson. Her tough love will pull him through and perhaps open his eyes to the Road to Redemption.
Road to Redemption is a short story developed for Debra Hollands, Kindle World Series - Montana Skies. It was released with nine other sweet stories by 9 wonderful authors for the price of $1.99 each. I hope you will enjoy these stories and visit the Montana Skies and catch up with the series.
Read an excerpt here....
Questions poured into her mind. Am I brazen enough to ask? She lifted her head and ran her fingers across the board, pausing long enough to pull at the frayed edges of the wood. “Where did you come from?”
He paused for a moment before pulling the rake across the floor. “Texas.”
“Texas,” she repeated. “I always wanted to go there. Is it as big as they say?”
“Bigger.” Came his gentle reply.
He worked a little more and she grew silent.
Pushing away from the rail, she walked over to where Stardust stood watching. The horse nickered and moved toward her, knowing she carried a few lumps of sugar from the bowl in her apron pocket. She placed one in her palm and held it out for the horse to eat. “Why did you leave?” she asked, stroking the animal’s nose.
The sounds in the stall came to a halt. An air of expectancy rose between them. She glanced back. He didn’t turn around and she sensed the change in him, the air seemed filled with anger.
“I see.” Willow moistened her lips with the edge of her tongue. “Woman troubles?”
He took a deep breath and turned to face her. She found herself unable to breathe as his blue eyes took on a hooded expression and honed in on her. He neither confirmed nor denied the flimsy excuse she gave.
“Ma’am, no offense intended, however, I want to get this job finished so I can cut you some wood. I happened to notice your wood stack was a bit empty. But I can’t do it with you standing over top of me.”
“Yes, of course.” She could feel the heat rising to her cheeks. She knew when she wasn’t wanted. “Very well, I shall simply ask you not to overdo,” she murmured and, lowering her head, turned and beat a hasty retreat to the house.
She entered her home and, in a rush, closed the front door. She must have been holding her breath the whole way in. A hand to her middle, she took several deep gulps of air to keep from swooning. Fine, he didn’t have to tell her where he’d been. She had just felt curious, that’s all. “Well, now I know not to ask him anything.” Stepping to the window, she glanced at the barn with more questions than answers.
With the deepest regret, Colby watched the small clouds of dust, kicked up by her heels as she hurried away from the barn. He had been harsh, but he had to be. He couldn’t afford to entangle himself with a woman. Closing his eyes, he took a deep breath. The scent of horses, straw, and sweet hay usually soothed him. Today, it seemed to increase the jangle of his nerves.
Willow Richardson was a fine woman, a Godly woman. A woman he pledged to avoid. He needed to focus on his mission, to find the Jonas gang and bring them to justice. Think of Brett.
The image of the tall lanky kid sprang to mind. Colby focused on the way he wore his grey hat hanging over one eye as if he were always one step away from falling asleep. Brett, barely nineteen, still a boy but a boy who would never feel the warmth of the summer sun or winter’s first snows ever again. Another deep breath, and his heart slowed its rapid beat. Yes, it had to be this way.