This week’s WIP Wednesday post is plucked from the pages of my second western historical ms, WILD CHASE. The story of Cajun con-woman Esther and U.S. Marshal Alonzo (her older brother’s best friend…gosh, I love that trope) has been such a pleasure to write, and I love sharing bits and pieces of their journey across the mountainous frontier with you.
In this snippet of a scene, Lon has confronted the Pinkerton agent, J.M. Owens, who’s been following them for weeks at the behest of Esther’s most dangerous enemy.
“I’m just doing my job,” the detective said calmly, rocking back on his heels as he slid his hands casually into his trouser pockets.
Lon gnashed his teeth, resisting the urge to snatch the Pinkerton agent up by his shirt collar and swing a fist into his easily forgettable face. A face Esther had noticed, remembered. Feared. “And I’m doing mine.”
“How? You’re doing yourself no favors by keeping her from the law.” Owens shook his head. “I heard you were a smart man. Don’t turn stupid over a skirt.” He paused, and the shadows of the dark alley shifted over his features as he stepped forward. “Let me take her in.”
“No.” He wasn’t going to let Owens anywhere near Esther, much less hand her over to him. So long as the Pinkerton remained in Frederick Danton’s employ, Lon couldn’t possibly trust the man to do the right thing with his prisoner.
But even as he told himself it was because of Danton, Danton was the reason Lon wanted Esther with him, he knew it to be a lie. Esther Beldonne—that annoying, treacherous, conniving, clever, gorgeous, wicked creature—was his. And he would stoically watch his career go up in flames in order to keep her.
A smart man? Lon smiled coldly. No, he was a fucking idiot.
2012 © by Edie Harris
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