Wednesday Briefs: Angel of Mercy

This week, Avery has continued the Civil War story (part 2). The prompt she used was “to have gunshots in your story.” She also used part of the another prompt. See if you notice sleep and bandage in the story.

I hope you enjoy the story! When your done, be sure to check out the links at the bottom.


Angel of Mercy


Avery Dawes

Henry left the injured soldier resting against the tree. He wanted to turn, look back at Emory, but didn’t want to appear desperate. Focus on the man’s health and well-being, not his physical attributes.

Henry jogged the last hundred yards to his farmhouse. Taking the stairs two at a time, he reached the armoire in the hallway outside his bedroom. He pushed aside an extra quilt to locate his first aid supplies, and grabbed some linen fabric strips. These would suffice as bandages. He then took an unopened jar of salve off the shelf. He’d been lucky of late—no serious farming injuries. He paused to think . . . when had the last one been? That’s right. On that unseasonably warm day this past March. He’d been working to repair damage to the barn from a hard snowstorm. The saw jumped, knocked him off balance, shredding part of his left forearm. He winced recalling the blood. He still had deep scars from the incident. Enough reminiscing, Henry! Get back on track!

He needed a bag to carry these supplies. Probably wouldn’t hurt to take a knife along. Henry would have to expose the wound before he could treat it. Soap, too, to clean the wound.

Upon returning to the mudroom off the porch, he located a canvas bag. Perfect! He added a knife and a bar of soap to his supplies. As an afterthought, he took two ripe peaches from the bowl on his kitchen table. Emory might enjoy them. The crop had been very juicy this summer.

As Henry began the walk back, he hoped Emory hadn’t disappeared during his absence.

Approaching his secret spot cautiously, Henry surveyed the area. He listened for anything out of place. Last thing he needed was the rest of Emory’s regiment finding them. Hearing something soft, he moved closer to the clearing. He’d almost reached Emory when he heard the same sound repeated, louder.

He barely held back a chuckle when he realized what he’d heard—snoring.

Emory remained where Henry’d left him. He was relaxed in sleep, head tilted to the side, mouth agape. Worry and exhaustion lines had cleared, leaving a much younger-looking, more handsome man. Rumpled hat on the ground, his thick brown waves stuck up at odd angles. If that wasn’t the most adorable thing he’d ever seen . . .

Musket fire pierced the silence. Henry jolted, before realizing the sound had come from the west. Not very close. The noise jerked Emory awake. He stumbled to his feet, reaching for his rifle. Well, he attempted to stand. The injured leg failed him. The poor man crumbled to the ground.

“You all right there, Emory?” Henry knelt, lightly touching his shoulder. “I don’t think those shots were too close. We’re still safe here.”

Emory grunted, shifting his position. “Yes, I suppose I am. Just startled is all.”

Henry gestured toward his bag. “I brought some supplies. That is, if you’ll allow me to tend your leg.”

A soft smile graced Emory’s face. “You’re much too kind. Thanks to marching over dusty roads and wading through swollen rivers, I’m afraid it’s become infected.”

Henry grimaced. He could deal with the sight of his own blood, but seeing someone else’s seeping wound would definitely turn his stomach.

Emory must have sensed his hesitation. “If you hand me your supplies, I’ll take care of it.”

Henry pulled himself together. “No, I’ve got it. Although . . .” He felt his cheeks heat, and then his voice cracked. “I need to remove your pants. Ah . . . er . . . I mean, I need to open your pant leg so I can see how big it is. The wound, I mean. The wound.”

Emory laughed heartily. Tears streamed down his face. After several moments, he regained control of himself. “Aren’t you the cutest thing this side of the Mason-Dixon? I don’t mean to laugh at your discomfort. It’s just been awhile . . . the war has hardened me. I thought I was a lost soul, but evidently not.”

Henry thought for a moment. Everything Emory said made sense. But the Johnny Reb better watch out. Two could play this game. “You best hope I’m skilled with this knife.” Henry rotated the blade until it caught the sunlight.

Emory raised his eyebrows. “Well, to be safe, should I shift myself away from the injured thigh?”

“If you’re that well-endowed, you might want to . . . or I could always move it for you.” Henry ducked his head. He didn’t know he had that in him. He’d never spoken to another man like that before. Oh dear Lord. My heart’s going to beat out of my chest any minute now. He pointedly studied a crumbled leaf by Emory’s knee. What’s gotten into me?

A finger beneath his chin forced his gaze upward. “I trust you, Henry. You can do whatever you need to do. I won’t complain.”

Henry wasn’t sure how Emory meant that. He really didn’t want to mess this up. He’d never been in such a position before. Was he reading Emory’s innuendo correctly?

“Come here,” Emory whispered, his lips suddenly very close to Henry’s.

This, this was going to happen. It was really going to . . .

“Quit overthinking.” Emory’s lips brushed Henry’s with the lightest of touches.

Henry paused, not breathing. Is that it? There has to be more. He moaned softly when Emory pulled back.

“Like that, did ya?” Emory didn’t hesitate this time. He brushed Henry’s lips again, staying longer, nibbling lightly on his bottom one.

Henry could do this all day long. He breathed in the scent of pure male, felt his body respond to the scrape of Emory’s whiskers. He wanted to taste him, but didn’t know if he was brave enough to make the next move.

A tree branch crashed much too close to them. Henry stood, a little unsteady on his feet, and peered into the woods.

to be continued . . .

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