Nick lifted his legs so the bolas could be unwound. Todd climbed to his feet. He grabbed one of Nick’s hands for him to pull up against. Their packs were taken, and they were forced a few paces apart, hands pulled behind their backs and cuffs slapped into place.
A horse was brought forward.
“Time to mount up,” one of the soldiers said and shoved Todd at the animal. He slung the packs’ straps over the saddle pommel. Another soldier dropped a noose around Nick’s neck, gave a tug, and tied him to the horse’s saddle.
Todd dug his heels in. “Where’s his horse?”
“He’s roped to it. Now get on.” The soldier slammed his fist into Todd’s back, forcing him forward a few steps.
“Either he rides with me or I walk with him,” Todd ground out.
“Oh, for the love of…if the fool wants to walk, let him,” the captain said. She held out her hand, fingers waggling. “Give me another rope.” A second noose was handed over to her, which she promptly dropped around Todd’s neck, then gave a jerk, pulling it tight. When he groaned out a breath, she smirked and stepped closer to Todd.
“My advice? Don’t piss me off again or I’ll forget my orders and put you both out of my misery.”
“You’re working for the wrong man, lady,” Todd said.
“It’s Captain Felicity Howard.” She turned away from Todd, but not before elbowing him in the solar plexus. Todd bent in half, blowing out a harsh breath.
“Now shut it or your boy here pays the price.” Captain Howard tied the loose end of Todd’s rope to the same saddle Nick was fastened to.
Todd clamped his mouth shut but didn’t refrain from lifting his head far enough to glare daggers at the woman. Nick sidestepped close enough that he could get his shoulder against Todd’s and help him stand straight again.
The captain mounted the horse and nudged it into motion. Todd had a fleeting image of the horse tossing her onto her nice, round ass. With short hair so dark red it was almost black and pale gray eyes, she gave Todd the impression of an angry cat. A very angry cat. She was average height for a woman, with the type of build that came from rigorous physical activity. He was sure that, pitted against her in a fight, he’d have to work hard to keep her from kicking his ass. A rifle poke in Todd’s back stopped his thinking and got him walking.
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