The following morning by the light of the dying fire, Blue again watched his captive sleep. She looked like a contented child, her long, dark lashes closed over her emerald eyes.
Each time he looked at her he wanted to scoop her into his arms and kiss the breath out of her. He wanted to taste her lips and feel her body pressed close to his. Although it was his right by Lakota law to take her as he wanted, he wouldn't force himself on her. Couldn't. Another way he was so different from those he lived with, he berated himself.
He gazed at her and imagined her giving herself to him willingly. His mind drifted to a picture of her mouth curled in laughter, of her eyes bright with joy, her heart filled with love. Children, running happily about, finished the picture. He sighed. Would he ever be completely fulfilled with a wife and children? Would he ever know true happiness? His vision drifted back to the delicate creature nestled in the furs across from him.
He froze. Her eyes were open and she was staring back at him.
"Nothing of importance." He pushed himself up from the pallet. "Hungry? You've slept well into the morning.
"Yes, some." Her perusal of him never wavered.
He turned his back, unnerved by her continued examination. It reminded him of another girl and how she'd led him down a fool's path. Would this slip of a girl do the same thing? Angrily, he dished out gruel and handed her the bowl.
She sat up and dipped her fingers into the mixture, but continued to gaze at him as they slid in and out of her mouth. Blue stared back, captured by her face. By her whole being.
"Are you ready to tell me your name?"
She finished the gruel and put the bowl aside. She licked the last of the food from her fingers and nodded.
"Since it appears I may be here a while, I suppose it will do no harm." Blue didn't miss the condescending tone in her voice. "My name is Amy Ross. And yours?"
"Blue Fox with Two Hearts."
"Hmm, Blue Fox with Two Hearts. Two hearts," she repeated. "A half-breed." Her words sounded dirty and cold.
"Yes, a half-breed," he snarled back.
"But why are you here? You've obviously lived with civilized people, you know our language perfectly."
"I'm here because of people like you, who judge me because of what I am, not because of what's inside me. You said it the other day. I don't belong here. I've never belonged anywhere." His words tasted bitter in his mouth and he felt he'd said too much.
He looked into her face and saw it had softened.
"Feeling sorry for the little breed?" he spat.
"No, I don't," Amy answered. "You feel sorry enough for yourself for the both of us."