Cheyenne, Wyoming Territory , October 1886
It was only the wind.
Charlotte Harding wrapped her arms around her waist, trying to convince herself there was no reason to tremble like a cottonwood leaf in a storm. The creaks that had wakened her were simply the building shuddering from the force of the wind. That was all. No one had broken in. No one had found her. She and David were safe. But the brave thoughts had no effect. They never did.
With a sigh, she fumbled to light the lamp. As the soft yellow flame chased away the darkness, she slid her feet into slippers and padded across the room. Perhaps it was foolish. She could see that the intruder had been nothing more than a figment of her imagination, the product of her fears. Her bedchamber was empty, except for David. Sweet David. The love of her life.
Charlotte stood at the side of his crib, looking down at the red hair so like his father’s. Other than his eyes, which were the same shade of brown as hers, her son was the image of his father. The trembling that she’d managed to quell returned as thoughts of David’s father and the fears that always accompanied those thoughts assailed her once again. Taking a deep breath to soothe her ragged breathing, Charlotte shook her head. She had to stop this worrying. It had been almost a year since she’d moved to Cheyenne, and no one had come looking for her and David. She had done everything she could to ensure that no one would know she had once lived at Fort Laramie as the wife of First Lieutenant Jeffrey Crowley. What she feare