By J. M. Snyder

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For long minutes he waited, listening to the rush of the scant breeze in the leaves and the raucous calls of the men behind him. Had they seen him? Andy didn’t think so, but his heart hammered in his chest and he couldn’t hear much over it. What if they were even now sneaking into the woods, rifles drawn? Or what if they followed him to Sam? What if… All he heard was the wind through the leaves, that silvery sound that reminded him of the rushing river back home. When his heart finally calmed down, he pushed away from the tree.

Andy caught those hands in his. They were cold, so cold, and he tried to rub warmth back into the strong fingers. “How the hell did you get caught up in this damn war, too? And for the North? ” The questions tumbled out in a rush and Sam laughed again, a sound that still managed to make Andy grin foolishly after all this time. “I’ve prayed for you and now 27 A HEART DIVIDED you’re here. Here! Lord God. Maybe my men were right, maybe you are a ghost and you aren’t really here at all—” Sam cut off Andy’s words with another kiss.

But I can bring him back here. He can take a look at it, maybe give you something for the pain, stitch you up—” But Sam shook his head. ” When Andy did, Sam reached out and stroked one hand down the curve of his jaw. “I’m dressed in blue, Andy. Do you think any surgeon in the Confederate Army will take this bullet out of me? ” “You’re from Tennessee,” Andy reasoned. ” “He’ll see the color of my coat and shoot me on sight,” Sam told him, “like a lame horse. ” When Andy shook his head, Sam nodded.

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