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"Did they see you?" she asked nervously.

Flashing a grin at Emma, Josiah tossed a portion of the rabbit meat onto the robe beside her. "I'm only seen when I want to be."

Emma looked at the hunk of raw meat, and was about to ask Josiah if he wanted her to collect wood for a fire, when she looked up to see him eating!

"Aren't you going to cook it first?" she cried in horror.

"Nope," Josiah replied with a mouthful of rabbit. "An open flame will carry far in all this darkness, and I don't want them Blackfoot knowing we're here."

The very idea of what Josiah was doing, turned Emma's stomach and she tried not to watch.

"Why ain't you eating?" prodded Josiah. "Ain't you ever had raw meat?"

Emma promptly shook her head in disgust.

Frowning, Josiah tore off another mouthful and then chewed as loudly as he could so Emma could hear. "Looks as though you'll just have to go without," he concluded.

Timidly, Emma slowly pulled something from her dress and Josiah recognized the dried meat he had left her earlier that day. "I saved it, in case you weren't coming back," she explained.

"There weren't no chance of that happening," declared Josiah, taking another bite of food. "Good women are scare in these mountains, especially ones as purty as you." Josiah watched her closely until her brown eyes flashed in the moonlight, and he knew she was looking directly at him. "I never had a wife afore," continued Josiah. He set down his rabbit to wipe a hand against his buckskins before resuming his feast. "Some men tire fast of their women, but from the looks of you, I won't be getting weary anytime soon!"

"What if you do?" wondered Emma, her voice sounding as though it could easily happen at any moment. "What if you no longer want a wife?"

"Then I'll give you back to the Blackfoot," grinned Josiah. When she remained deathly silent, he chuckled. "I was just teasing, Emma."

"What if this doesn't work?" she repeated. "What will happen to me?"

"I ain't letting you go," Josiah informed her outright, "so you might as well make the best of it."

"If you ever change your mind and let me go," wondered Emma, "will you leave me at a trading post?"

Josiah stopped eating long enough to look at the woman seated on the buffalo robe. "Why?" he asked. "No white man will want you, when they find out you've been the wife of a half-breed."

The truth of Josiah's remark hit Emma hard, and she struggled not to start crying again. "I know," she finally managed, "but I'm not speaking of remarriage. I'm only requesting that you spare my life, instead of leaving me to fend for myself when you no longer want me."

"What makes you think I don't want you?" scowled Josiah.
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