Part of The Good Fight Series
by Andrew Grey
Available from: Dreamspinner Press
Cover artist: Ann Cain
Will Martin’s racist father, Kevin, hates Native Americans and wants to keep them off his property, never mind that part of the ranch land is sacred ground for the Sioux. When they request access for prayer, Kevin refuses—but Will doesn’t share his father’s views. Ever since he first saw Takoda Red Bird during one of the Sioux sacred ceremonies, Will has been fascinated. He grants the tribe access.
Takoda defies Kevin on a regular basis. He often sneaks to the sacred site on the rancher’s land for prayer and knows Will has seen him there. When, out of spite, Kevin places the land up for auction, Takoda knows it is time for action and bands together with Will to stop the sale.
In the fight that follows, Will gets more than he expected. He starts out helping the tribe preserve their identity… and ends up finding his own.
When Will opened his eyes again, movement caught his eye. A lone man sat cross-legged on the ground, gently swaying back and forth. He didn’t seem to be wearing a shirt, his skin almost providing a type of camouflage against the red-brown land. Slowly, Will led Midnight down the far side of the rise, closer to where the man sat. As he approached and dismounted, the man’s posture stiffened, but he made no move to get up.
“If you’re here to kick me off, you can just go about your business,” the man said in a deeply rich voice.
“Why would I do that? You aren’t hurting anything,” Will said. He didn’t come too close. “You might get trampled by the cattle if they wander this way, but that’s the only kicking anyone is going to do.”
The man opened his eyes, and Will stared into the deepest set of brown eyes he’d ever seen in his life.
“I know you, and I know this horse,” the man said, and he slowly unfolded his legs and stood up, tall and proud. “I saw this horse and probably you a long time ago.” He met Will’s gaze. “I was coming to say hello when your grandfather pulled you away.”
Will swallowed as his gaze traveled over the man’s body before quickly returning to his face. He didn’t want to be too obvious, but damned if this guy wasn’t some sort of god come down to earth. “I remember you,” Will said, his mind conjuring up the memory. “I was watching the ceremony when I was a kid, and I remember you on your horse, riding bareback. I wondered at the time if I could ride like that on Midnight here, but I never tried it.”
“How do you know it was me?” the man asked.
“I remember the scar on your shoulder. The boy I saw had the same one, but it was fresher then. Now it’s an old wound, but not then.” Will met the man’s gaze. “What are you doing here?”
“Praying,” he answered. “This place is very special to me and my people. I come here sometimes to pray to the gods to help my people, but they don’t listen.” He sounded angry. “Instead, they let your father keep us away from this land and bar us from coming here.”
“He did that?” Will asked. Not that he was surprised. Thinking back, his father had probably stopped them from using the land as soon as Grandpa died. Even now, Will didn’t know why his father hated Native Americans so much, but he’d found out that the man he’d thought his father was through young teenage eyes turned out to be far different from the man Will saw through adult eyes.
“Yes. He stopped my people from coming here two years ago. Now I’m the only one who comes. Your father would call the police if he found me, but I don’t care. It’s more important to practice my people’s beliefs than it is to obey the wishes of some small-minded, hard-hearted white man.”
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