Jamestown, Virginia, July 1740
Tsura Harris lifted the hem of her green skirt and stepped up onto the wooden plank. She
clutched her reticule in her right hand and reached for the rope with her left. The planked bridge
swayed as the boat rocked against the seas. She stared at the water below. White-capped waves
crashed along the ship’s hull, rocking the boat. She inhaled, forced her chin up, and took another
step. She walked the short distance to the boardwalk, releasing the breath she’d held when her
boot touched land. She planted both feet upon the wooden dock and set her shoulders, but the
reminder of why she was here intensified the weight upon her chest. Despair was her shadow, and
Her brother’s deep, masculine shout came from above.
She shaded her eyes from the hot afternoon sun and peered up at him. His stature always
shocked her. Micah Walker was six foot with broad shoulders and strong arms, a spitting image
of their father, Kade. His white shirt gaped open to show the tanned skin beneath, a sign of too
many days out on the water. Long blond hair waved in the breeze. Her handsome brother had his
pick of the ladies, but still hadn’t settled down. It was a shame. She knew he wanted children and
a wife of his own, but his heart belonged to the sea and time would lend him those favors only
“You must wait,” he called and raced past his men carrying crates of goods onto the wharf.
She placed her bag onto the wooden walk and clasped her gloved hands together.
He reached her, his cheeks glowing and dark eyes lit with mischief. Before she could
discourage him, he picked her up and swung her around. Her boots kicked the bag, knocking it
over, as his strong arms held her tight.
Micah had always been affectionate. He never shied away from holding her hand, kissing her
cheek, or teasing her like a brother would. He’d come to her side when she needed him the most.
When her life had fallen apart, and she couldn’t see past her own misery to pick herself up. He
had carried her, and she loved him for it.
“You cannot go off without wishing me well.” He smiled down at her.
“If you would simply release me, I’d be able to make it so,” she retorted. He was the only
one, aside from her mother and father, who she allowed to touch her.
“Very well, nit.” He set her in front of him. The nickname he used for her was one of
endearment and came from her pestering him as a child.
“Thank you.” She smoothed her skirt before bringing her eyes to meet his.
“You do not need to do this.”
She glanced away unable to stare at him any longer.
She shook her head. The urge to leave caused her legs to shake. She couldn’t be around him
any longer. His cheerful disposition haunted her and made her think of things she’d rather forget.
“I know you don’t want to speak of this, but—”
“Tsura, you need to forgive—”
“Forgiveness is not within my heart.”
She shook her head, careful not to release the many pins holding her thick corkscrew curls in
“Do not speak to me of forgiveness, brother. My heart is cold to it.”
His dark eyes watered, and she knew her words had hurt him, but she didn’t care. It was
“Will you not reconsider?”
“Please stay. I will protect you.”
Protection was not what she needed. She could care less if she died. It’d be a relief from the
“I should’ve taken you to mother and father.”
“Do not speak to them of my presence here.”
Micah sighed. “As you wish.”
“I must go.” Anger pressed on her spine, and she straightened.
“I port back in Jamestown one month to this day. You will be here.”
It was not a question, and she didn’t know if a month would be enough. Would the time
between then and now ever fade from her soul? Would she be ready to return? She didn’t know if
she could go back and so she didn’t answer.
“Hiram knows of you coming?”
“Very well.” He straightened and smiled. “Know that I love you.”
She fought the tears. If Micah saw one ounce of sadness within her, he’d throw her back
aboard the Jade and take her with him.
“As I you.” She refused to say the words.
He picked up her bag and handed it to her.
“Thank you. Now go. You have work to do and whores to see.” She smirked.
“Ah, that I do.” He pulled her into a final embrace. “You will find your way. I am sure of it.”
He held her away from him, and his eyes searched hers. “Remember who you are.”
She pressed on his chest and stepped out of his embrace. She couldn’t help the furrow of her
brow or the set of her chin. The reminders of the life she led were never to be forgotten, and
because of that she’d be forever lost.
Micah sensed the change in her and left it alone. He bowed, and with a final kiss to her
She turned, unable to watch him go, raised to believe it was a sign of weakness, of regret to
watch one leave your life. This was meant to be. The world around her had tilted, and even
though she wanted nothing more than to go back in time to the lavish house on the hill where
she’d felt content, where laughter was but an expression upon her lips, she could not. What had
been was no more, and she’d do right to remember it. One year had passed, but the ache inside
But is duty and honor his only reason, or does Red Wolf still carry a flame of love in his heart? And will Tsura finally discover her destiny?