fancy, and certainly nothing ever from scratch. “So,” she began and he looked up to see her cheeks a little flushed. “Any developments on that missing rancher?” She didn’t look up, and he noted her cheeks flushed a little brighter. He smiled. She was attempting to remind him that she’d defended him. She didn’t need to. The act of kindness was one he wouldn’t forget. “No.” He answered simply. Her only reply was a soft, “Oh.” They enjoyed a comfortable silence as she finished preparing their meal -- the best RedKnife had ever had.
Chapter 13 Three days passed without much change. Cindy cooked and stayed in the cabin, and RedKnife disappeared each night, but returned to spend his days watching her cook or helping clean and restock firewood. Getting a little stir crazy, Cindy showered the morning of the fourth day and exited her room clad in jeans, socks, and a loose sweater. RedKnife was already stoking a fire in the hearth. “Morning.” “Good morning,” he responded, turning to look at her. “So.” She clapped her hands together in front of herself. “Any word from Monroe? Is he coming to question me? Or is it okay for me to go home?” RedKnife assured her that he’d spoken with Monroe, but that was it, nothing else had happened. She thought Monroe would either believe her or come and question her himself. Neither had happened. “But…but that doesn’t make sense.” Her eyes crinkled in confusion. “I mean, I understand if he was worried about me being a… a spy, why he wouldn’t want me at StoneCrow, but why hasn’t he come here?” “He doesn’t know we’re here.” “Wait.” She help up a hand. “You said he sent you to retrieve me.” “He did.” “But he doesn’t know we’re here?” “I failed to deliver you. We’ve been hiding out here. Monroe doesn’t know where we are.” She felt dread in the pit of her stomach. “But… why ?” “I wanted to get answers for myself.” “Because I helped you with that missing rancher?” Her anxiety only grew when he dipped his head, looking repentant. “RedKnife?” She took a tentative step toward him. Straightening his shoulders, he looked her straight in the eye. “I gave Monroe the initial intel on what I thought was your disloyalty. I heard you speaking of it, and I assumed it was true. I believed you were a Walker enemy.” It took a moment for her brain to catch up and process what he’d just said. “You!” Cindy shot at him accusatorily. “ You’re the reason Monroe thinks I’m a traitor?” Betrayal bit hard. “Why?” She nearly shrieked. “Why would you do that to me?” “I heard you speaking with Cody.” He took a step toward her, but she quickly retreated. “How? When?” “In the parking lot, the day you found….” “I wanna go home!” RedKnife’s brow furrowed. Damn . She was angry, and he wanted to tell her that he’d been the dog she’d taken in, but now clearly wasn’t the time. “I’M LEAVING!” Cindy yelled as she turned and hurried to the bedroom and jerked a dresser drawer open. Yanking articles out, she carelessly tossed them on the bed as she fought back tears. Stilling, she stared at the drawer. “Cindy?” “Don’t get that gentle, pleady tone with me. If you’re looking for a crybaby, you’ve got the wrong girl.” Her bravado nearly shattered when a tear slipped free and she swiped at it angrily. Fucking men! She slammed the drawer closed, realizing they weren’t even her belongings. “I can’t let you go.” “Right.” She whirled on him. “You can’t let me go, but you won’t take me to Monroe so I can clear my own name.” She shook her head. “You’re the reason he thinks I’m his enemy.” Her eyes burned with fury as she glared at him. “Why can’t I go?” She crossed arms over her chest and waited. “You