Yellowstone Redemption(100)

By: Peggy L Henderson

“Thank you for your kindness, grandmother,” he said to the ancient Indian woman. “Give the food to her, if she’ll eat it.” He turned his head to the girl hovering next to him. “Are you hungry?” he asked quietly. She looked up at him with her big doe eyes, and nodded her head slightly. The urge to wrap his arms around her, and protect her, hit him with such intensity, he strained against his bindings.

The old woman held a bowl out for her. The girl accepted it hesitantly, and looked at the contents. Large chunks of meat filled the container.

“I must return to my teepee,” the old woman said, and hurried off. No sooner had she turned her back, and the girl grabbed a piece of meat and tore into it hungrily. Kyle drew his eyebrows together, watching her devour the food. How long had she gone without eating?

Only one piece remained before she lifted her head, panic in her eyes when she met his gaze. “I…I’m sorry,” she stammered. “I left hardly any for you.”

Kyle grinned. “You look like you need it more than I do. I actually ate just before you showed up,” he lied, and motioned with his chin for her to finish the food. She hesitated. “Go on, finish it,” he coaxed. Slowly, she reached for the last piece of meat, and held it to her lips. Her eyes stayed on him from beneath long lashes, a silent thank you evident in their depths. He groaned silently.

“Do you have a name?” he asked, in an effort to distract himself.

“Kate Ellen,” she said quietly, swiping the back of her hand across her glistening lips in a most unladylike fashion. Then she wiped her hand on the skirt of her dress.

“That’s a mouth full,” he said. “Nice to meet you, Kate Ellen. I’m Kyle.”

Her eyebrows drew together. “And that’s an unusual name,” she smiled tentatively. Kyle’s heart rate increased.

“Yeah, well, my pop gave it to me, and he’s an unusual man,” he grinned, then his face went somber. “Listen, if I can get these dam….darn ropes off me, we can get out of here once everyone sleeps. Laughing Badger is not the brightest man I know, or he would have thought to tie you up, as well.”

Kate Ellen’s hands reached up, and she fumbled with the leather thongs at his wrists. After several attempts, the panic returned to her eyes. “I can’t loosen the knots,” she said.

“I have a small knife concealed in my britches,” he said. “I just can’t reach it. If you can….ah, get it out, it’ll cut right through this leather.”

To his astonishment, she didn’t flinch or hesitate at his suggestion that she needed to stick her hand into his britches. “Where exactly is the knife?” she asked.

“Right up against my left thigh, below my hip.” He studied her face for a reaction. She merely nodded. He adjusted his position so he sat more on his right hip bone, jutting the left up towards her. Think of falling into the Hell Mouth, Kyle. Anything but this pretty girl’s hands in your britches. He clenched his jaw.

Kate Ellen slowly pushed her soft hand between his skin and the waistband of his pants. His gut tightened, and no matter what faraway thoughts he trained his mind on, his body had other ideas, and he could feel the blood pooling in his groin. Thankfully the knife sat to the outside of his thigh. Her silky fingers seemed to caress his skin as they inched further down his leg. Suddenly, death by torture seemed easier to endure than the sensations coursing through him at this moment. He prayed to God she didn’t brush up against his arousal.

Kyle felt her grip the flat handle of the small blade, and slowly pull it upward. When her hand pulled free of his britches, he expelled the breath he’s been holding. “Good girl,” he said, his voice hoarse. Kate Ellen smiled triumphantly at him, and wasted no time sawing through his bindings.

When the last of the leather was cut through, the blood rushed through his hands and fingers, and he fought the urge to pull his arms forward. He had to bide his time. Not everyone in the village was asleep yet.

“Now what do we do?” Kate Ellen asked.

“We wait.”

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