Never, in her wildest dreams, did she imagine witnessing something like this. Seeing the four naked Indians toss Adam off the bank and into the river had frightened her beyond measure. When she saw that he could not swim, she had considered saving him, but the Indians had pushed past her.
In moments she realized that they had decided, for some unknown reason, to teach Adam Skelding to swim. The rest of the afternoon she sat under the oak trees and watched the antics of five very naked men.
Now, the man who captured her attention the most lay next to her. Water glistened on his olive skin. She couldn’t keep her gaze off the hills and valleys of the muscles across those broad shoulders, back, and tight rear end. He breathed hard, making everything ripple just slightly. Entrancing to witness.
With effort she focused on his face, but he had closed his eyes.
“Why did they do that?”
The Indians had also emerged from the water and donned their loincloths and moccasins once more. The eagle, which had remained perched in one of the trees nearby during most of the day, lifted from its leafy shelter and circled the group of Indians.
First one blue eye opened and then the other. Rolling on his side to face her, Adam propped his head on his hand, resting his elbow on the ground.
“Because I could not swim. Black Wolf and the others knew this.”
“How did they find out?” Marilla hoped he would confide in her enough to tell his story. Curiosity just about ate her up.
He sighed and rolled onto his back, totally distracting her once more. His manhood grew stiff…and big…and swollen, unlike the Indians. She swallowed hard. He appeared not to notice her interest and seemed very comfortable lying nude.
“During the war, my partner, Pamela, and I worked in Richmond. We discovered that the Confederates had built a secret weapon. We had to get that information to the North. But after learning about this weapon, Pamela disappeared. One of my agents saw her leaving town with a Confederate officer. I thought she had been kidnapped, so I rode to the rescue, fool that I was. In the struggle I ended up in the river. Black Wolf and his friends arrived in time to pull me out of the water.”
Sitting up, Adam reached for his shirt, which Marilla had spread to dry on the grassy bank, and started to dress. She found herself wishing he wouldn’t cover his magnificent body, but said nothing to stop him. The idea would be unseemly.
Adam turned away and headed toward the Indians, who had gathered around the wagon to feast again, feeding scraps to the bird on Black Wolf’s arm. Marilla watched him walk away. He had loved Pamela. His obvious pain said so.
A combination of guilt and self-doubt hit her hard. Her Carl was gone, too. It had hurt at the time to lose him in the war, but her grief had faded quickly…too quickly. Maybe she didn’t really know what love meant.
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