Title: Ghosts in the Shadows
Genre: Western (contemporary)
Em felt a chill creep into the warm April evening the moment she saw the man's face. The blood drying on his chambray shirt and caking his hair against his temple was alarming, but the face she had hoped never to see again caused cold apprehension to curdle in the pit of her stomach. The sharp angles were slack now, the dark eyes closed, but in a shadowy corner of her memory Em still could see the tacit threats that defined Brit Moonchaser's existence.
She considered slamming and locking the door, but a twinge of guilt caused her to step out of the way instead. Pressing a palm against her forehead, she stood to one side as two of her wranglers stumbled up the steps and into the living room, dragging Brit's limp, bloody form between them.
"What happened?" She was almost positive any answer they gave would represent no real surprise.
Most of Mac's breath was consumed by the effort of hauling dead weight, but the small part that wasn't squeezed out an apologetic reply. "Dunno, but he's hurt pretty bad. Didn't know where else to take 'im."
"Lay him on the couch." A resigned sigh accompanied Em's words, but it did nothing to relax the frown pinching the bridge of her nose. What is he doing here? She had fired the Apache a decade earlier and demanded he stay away from Ghost Shadow Ranch. His presence was no more welcome now than it had been then.