For the Love of Liberty
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by Christine DePetrillo
Category: Romance/Historical Fiction
Description: Grace Heaton is a Patriot ready to fight for independence. Desperate to get involved, she slips on her brother's clothes and plans to sneak toward battle, but a cry of pain in the night changes everything.
Isaac Fields is a runaway slave. He enlists with the powerful British army in hopes of winning the freedom he so deserves.
When Isaac is quartered in Grace's Boston home, life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness take on an unexpected meaning.
eBook Publisher: Whispers Publishing, 2011
eBookwise Release Date: June 2011
Available eBook Formats: OEBFF Format (IMP) [54 KB]
Reading time: 29-41 min.
"He has always been a good judge of character. Better than me, it seems." Grace took a few steps closer and fiddled with the handle on the lantern. "I came out here to say thank you."
Isaac straightened before his knees cramped. He rested his arms along the top of the stall wall as Grace's gaze roamed over his bared shoulders. Why did he wish it were more than her midnight blue eyes taking him in?
"Thank me? Whatever for?"
"For helping Mother." Grace set the lantern on a hook in one of the beams supporting the barn, then approached the stall. Hayes shifted around behind Isaac so he could reach Grace. She ran slender fingers over the horse's neck, and Isaac shook with wanting to know Grace's touch.
"It was only tea." Isaac came out of the stall, not wanting the simple wood barrier to separate him from Grace any longer.
"It was more than tea." Grace turned to face him. "You consoled her in a way I could not by sharing your story of loss. She has not been out of bed for days, has not eaten well, but your presence brought her out to the kitchen. She ate a full meal and looks much better. Again, I thank you."
Her gaze lowered to his chest, his stomach, and Isaac figured he had better don at least his shirt before he took her hands and made her touch him. He could not fathom why he was having these thoughts about this woman. This rebel woman who only hours ago despised him. He turned around to get his shirt, and Grace let out a gasp.
"Your back. That is awful. Who did that to you?"
Isaac had forgotten about the ugly scars crisscrossing his back. He had not forgotten the pain, only the scars. "Overseer was fond of whipping."
"Did you do something to deserve a whipping?"
"Does anyone deserve a whipping? I just tried to get my freedom. Sometimes he whipped me solely because I existed."
Isaac pulled his shirt off the nail and bunched it up, preparing to toss his head through the neck opening. A soft brush along the biggest of his scars froze him in place.
Grace flattened her palm against Isaac's back, and her touch reached deep down into his soul. "No one should have to endure such treatment."
"Even British soldiers?" Isaac dropped his shirt on the ground and turned to face Grace. When she did not shrink away from him, he slid his hand to her cheek and tilted her head up.
"You are fighting for the wrong side, Isaac."
It was the first time she had said his name, and the music of it reached out to him like a bridge between their worlds.
"I do not care which side I fight on as long as it is the one that wins. I deserve my freedom, Grace. We all do."
Isaac lowered his head and brushed his lips along the creamy whiteness of Grace's cheek. His hands burrowed into her golden hair hanging loose about her shoulders. She smelled like spring sunshine and the white flowers growing in front of her house.
He hesitated for a moment and searched Grace's face for some sign she did not welcome his touch. Finding only desire in her eyes, Isaac pressed his lips to hers and fell into the angel's embrace.