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Graze

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Sadie hissed softly in pain, lifting her shirt to look at the wound along her side. She’d been grazed by an O’Driscoll bullet while taking on a homestead full of the assholes with Arthur. It was still bleeding sluggishly.

The tent opened and Abigail swept in, carrying a steaming basin of water and an armload of supplies. She spread everything out on top of John’s trunk.

“Let me see.” She leaned close to Sadie, who held her shirt out of the way. “It’s not deep, I don’t think you’ll need stitches. But we’ve got to get it clean and bandaged.”

Abigail wet a rag and began gently patting away the blood. Sadie bit her lip. It hurt, but not as much as she’d expected.

“You ain’t gotta be so gentle,” she ground out.

Abigail glanced up at her, frowning. “Of course I do. Be quiet and let me work.”

Her no-nonsense attitude had impressed Sadie from the first, and it kept Sadie grounded. Abigail had been through so much in the past few months, but she’d come through stronger than ever. Sadie couldn’t even imagine the pain Jack’s kidnapping had caused her. The gang needed to be strong, especially now, when members were dying or running and the law was so hot on their trail.

The damp rag was pink with blood by the time Abigail finished. She picked up another and soaked it in gin. Sadie gritted her teeth and turned her head away. The first touch burned, but she held in her pain. She had to be strong.

“Sorry,” Abigail whispered, feeling Sadie tense under her touch. “Almost done.”

Sadie let out a breath as the sting faded a little. Abigail picked up the roll of bandages and began to wrap the wound. “Keep it clean, and change the bandages often,” she said softly.

“I’ll leave that job to you, Miss Roberts,” Sadie said, boldly. Abigail met her eyes and smiled. “In return, I’ll bring John back, how about that?”

“Thank you.” Abigail rested her forehead on Sadie’s shoulder. “He’s an ass, but I don’t want him in prison.”

“Arthur misses him too.”

“He does. He acts gruff, but I know he loves John.” Abigail gathered up the supplies and rose to put them away, but Sadie grabbed her wrist and tugged her back down.

“Oh! Sadie!” Abigail landed in the other woman’s lap, a giggle escaping her. Sadie was glad. Times were tough and weighing on the poor woman, she needed some fun.

“Thank you, darlin’,” she murmured softly. Her arms went around Abigail's waist and squeezed. Abigail's gaze softened and she leaned against Sadie, mindful of her injury. They kissed softly. To Sadie, Abigail tasted like warmth, sunshine, laughter. Things she’d thought she’d lost with Jake but had discovered again in the other woman.

They parted, looking into each other’s eyes.

“What do you want, darlin’?” Sadie asked softly.

“You.” Abigail answered honestly. “A ranch. My boy. John and Arthur. The five of us livin’ honest and workin' together.”

“Then that’s what you’ll get,” Sadie promised. They rose and Sadie slung her rifle over her shoulder. “You got my word on that.”

Abigail kissed her cheek, tears in her eyes. Sadie smiled at her and strode out of the tent, looking for the familiar figure hunched over his journal.

“Morgan! Let’s ride!”