As he spoke, Carissa noticed the thin, white line of an old scar that ran from his cheekbone down to his square-cut jaw. It brought back a stinging memory. Her mind flashed to the day she first met this man, years before.
He might be a miscreant and a reprobate, but fortunately he did not remember her or know the shame he’d caused her family.
When his head disappeared below the rocks, Carissa relaxed in relief.
She savored the moment, as he tested his luck with the Fates, and Carissa intended to show him how unlucky this place could be.
Moments later, as she walked the horse forward, the rope tightened and her son cried out in victory as he crested the top of the ravine. A smile of triumph gleamed on his young face. She held him and hugged hard.
“Never, ever, go near the edge again!”
Harshness failed her in a flood of relief.
Caius quickly turned from her, untying the knots.
“Isn’t he amazing, Mother?” His eyes shone in something akin to hero worship.
“Who?” Carissa could guess the answer.
“That man who rescued me. He promised to show me how to tie knots like this one.” Caius relished the moment with boyish wonder.
Her resolve wavered. How could she explain that she wanted to leave this man at the bottom of an inescapable pit?
She moved to the edge of the ravine, finding the courage to look over. The man stared back in silence, his head cocked, waiting for the rope. Perhaps he sensed her indecision. Deep blue eyes held hers, sending chills through her body.