In a history very different from our own, the Civil War rages on in Texas. Zeppelins fill the air, steam power vehicles battle horses for space on the roads and bodies lay strewn through the wreckage of the Sisters of the Merciful Truth Convent, innocent victims of a local turf war. Three sisters, raised in the convent, emerge from the horror to find their lives of family and devotion over, and their separate lives of crime about to begin.
In lawless times, where faith and love battle doubt and hate, Justice now sees the world from behind the barrel of a gun. She falls in with a handsome and mysterious miscreant as she attempts to carve a place in the ruined world and search for her lost sisters. But when her life of crime catches up to her, Justice will learn the meaning of true love, and family ties.
As Justice walked down the dark hallway toward the back exit, a hand shot out of the darkness and grabbed her arm. She yelped, but she had her gun pointed into the shadows before the sound of her fear died away.
She cleared her throat.“You’d better come into the light and state your intent,” she said harshly. “I don’t kill for nothing, but if I feel threatened that’s not nothing to me, buddy.”
A masculine chuckle, sinfully sexy, emerged from the darkness.
“I’d put that down. I don’t kill women, but I hear you’re as tough as any man is and you kill just as quick.” When he spoke, his voice was rich like warm brandy and soft as velvet. It made Justice suddenly very aware that she was a woman. “I guess I could make an exception for you, but it’d be a helluva waste, Beauty, so let’s put our weapons down.”
“I’ll show you mine if you show me yours,” Justice replied, hand on her gun. “I can’t see you in the darkness. How can I trust you?”
He chuckled again. She hadn’t imagined it, the man sounded like sex. Justice was still a virgin, but she had certainly heard and seen enough, running with her rough crowd, to understand the complex mechanics of the act. If done right, it could be a very nice time. She just hadn’t found a man who could touch her heart. She had held that part of herself apart from who she had become. She had also held out the hope that if she died pure of body, it might balance out the unclean life she lead.
The voice stepped forward, and Justice had to back up. Close up, the man was even taller then she had thought when he had stood next to Jimmy. Life hadn’t been soft for him, his body was a machine made of sinew and muscle and he didn’t have an ounce to spare.
“Why did you grab me?” Justice demanded. Her voice sounded soft and uncertain to her own ears.
His bright blue eyes crinkled charmingly and his row of white teeth was bright in the darkness. His smile was wicked, but it made his face even more handsome. Justice was tempted to move the lock of thick dark brown hair out of his face, but she managed to restrain herself.
“I have a very profitable proposition for you. I’d like you to help me rob a train. Just the two of us, less people to split the profits with, are you in?”
“How do you think the two of us can pull it off?” Justice balked, “I’ve never been involved in a robbery with less than four people!”
“You, little lady, will be able to walk right up to the gold. We won’t even have to draw our guns.”
“I’m not crazy. I’ll even buy your train ticket.”
“I’m a wanted woman. I can’t very well stroll onto a train. There are wanted posters everywhere, with my picture all over them.”
“I’ve seen those pictures, sweetness. You in that lovely hat and that lovely trench coat, with your hair up under your hat? You look like a young man in the posters, not a woman. You could easily board a train in a respectable dress and loose hair. Not a single passenger would suspect you. I’ll even buy you a nice dress. What do you say?”
“You’re not a lawman, right?”
His laugh was loud and honest.
“Honey, I’ve been called a lot of things but ‘lawman’ isn’t one of them. You’d know who I am if you went north to Montana. My wanted posters out number yours two to one. I’m not exactly a law abiding citizen.”
“I need to think about this. I’m no coward, but I’m no fool and it’s a ballsy plan,” Justice told him. “I’ll be at the boarding house down the street until Friday. Come see me Friday morning and I’ll give you my answer.” She ended with a curt nod. As she left the alley she realized she had never even asked Sexy his name. It made her grit her teeth at her own stupidity. How was she supposed to investigate a nameless man?