Noble Metals by L.A. Witt

Noble Metals by L.A. Witt

Author:L.A. Witt [Witt, L.A.]
Language: eng
Format: epub
Tags: Nightmare
Amazon: B00LRZLOHU
Publisher: Riptide Publishing
Published: 2014-07-12T04:00:00+00:00

Daybreak came much too soon. Under any other circumstances, I’d have suggested we lie here for hours, wrapped up in each other beneath the blanket, but of course, we couldn’t.

Outside, mechs were already clanging and sputtering past us. Men walked and grumbled. Horse hooves and dog paws crunched on snow. Before long, the trail would be crowded with men and machines. Comfortable as we were, we had to move on.

Besides, the longer we lingered this far south, the worse the weather would be when we reached the north, so we finally pulled away from each other and rose for the day. Thankfully, our clothes were still under the blanket when we awoke. Nothing would put an unpleasant end to a wonderful night like slipping into cold clothes.

Out of the corner of my eye, I watched John dress. He’d long ago abandoned the dignified silk and embroidery he’d worn when he’d stepped into my world. He dressed like any other man on the trail now—thicker trousers and a plain, unembellished shirt beneath a long coat not unlike my own.

We each had a set of brass goggles hanging around our necks by thick leather straps. Snow wasn’t falling yet, but it could start with little warning, so we kept them at the ready in case we needed to fend off snow blindness.

Many of the men grew out beards in preparation for the bitter northern cold, but not John. He tried a few times. Day by day, the shadow on his jaw would darken until, after a few hours of cursing and scratching at it when it scuffed against his collar, he’d dig out a razor and shear it off.

He’d shaved it yesterday morning, and now had only a dusting of stubble around his lips and along his jaw. Even like this, unshaven and dressed like any other stampeder, he’d have stood out in any crowd. Fatigue and cold didn’t stop him from carrying himself the very same way he had when he’d strolled into the saloon, as if to tell the world it would take more than a thousand-mile journey to hunch his back. Once in a while, he even pulled out that pocket watch, withdrawing it from the breast pocket of his jacket and casually glancing at it like a bored man at a dinner party.

This morning was no different, even if his gait was a little stiffer and slower than usual as we hit the trail. My own hips and back ached, but I wasn’t about to complain.

The conversation that had carried us over miles and miles dwindled in the wake of the night we’d spent together. We exchanged looks across the mech, and those looks both promised and demanded more as soon as possible. I wondered a few times if we might throw caution and haste to the wind and spend the afternoon like we’d spent last night.

But we couldn’t afford to lose more time, so for now, we walked.

John and I were lovers now, but for how long? Rich or poor, when this was all over, John would go back to Chicago and I’d .


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