Of all the people to find her, it would be HIM! Captain Reid was the last man in the entire regiment she wanted to stand anywhere near. As a medical man he might look at her just a little too closely and see past her disguise. She may not be the only beardless soldier in the Twenty-Fifth, but she was fairly certain she was the only one with a pair of breasts…although…Billy Kaufman came fairly close. But even his excess flesh was melting away from the constant exercise and bad food they were all forced to endure.
Her lungs burned, and her feet hurt, but Charlie didn’t stop running until she burst out of the tree line and onto the bare earth with its deep cannon holes and furrows.
She pushed a pebble off the bottom of her bare foot and wished she had not left her shoes in the tent to save them further wear. A fly buzzed around and landed on her hand, tickling her with its tiny black feet.
The captain was a very nice-looking man, she had to admit, and her pulse raced out of control whenever she caught sight of him. Plus he had this most disturbing way of looking at her with those clear blue eyes. It made her feel as though he could see into her innermost thoughts. She shivered just thinking of the man. He had a way about him that made her feel like a woman again.
Most of the time she could actually forget she was a woman. She was just a soldier like the thousands of other soldiers all around this valley. Except…except when Captain Reid appeared with his thick blond hair, neatly trimmed beard, and handsome face.
Charlie stopped dead in her tracks and covered her face with her hands. My beloved Josh is dead…dead for only a few months and here I am already thinking of another man!
Perhaps she should give up being a soldier and head home to Mama and Papa. More and more thoughts like that began to creep into her head making it ache with confusion. It would be so easy to do, just go up to an officer, tell him she was a woman, and they would send her home in a flash.
To go home to food and shelter and a feather bed…it would be wonderful…it would be awful. To walk in the door of her house and know Joshua was never coming back again. It was unthinkable.
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