Copyright © Regina Kammer, 2016
Royal Marine garrison, San Juan Island, 1 December 1869
There is an aching in my heart which I barely understand. An emptiness, a void made more bleak by winter’s burgeoning desolation.
It began when Gideon left.
A man…there have been times when a man has incited a spark of passion within. Always have I buried that desire, restraining the urge to act upon it. To do so is essential. Society finds love between two men aberrant.
But Gideon has affected me in a new and exciting way. I could not restrain myself.
And I do not regret it.
Our attachment is an unlikely one: I a soldier for the crown, he a free-spirited American adventurer. He was here merely visiting. I would not be here if it were not for this “war”—although the epithet is unwarranted. Since the occupation of this island began, there has been little antagonism. It is a border dispute, not a philosophical battle between our two nations. We British are cordial to the Americans and vice versa. At times, this good rapport develops into genuine friendship.
Yet, to form such a deep connection as Gideon and I have is extraordinary.
And for this yearning for his company to burn inside me is exceptional. Never before has the absence of a man caused such a hunger.
But what if Tilda were to find out? Would she doubt I love her as well?
Braxton Thorne rested his pen next to the inkwell and stared at the words drying on the open page of his journal.
Good God. What if Tilda found out? She had bemoaned his spending time with Gideon to the detriment of spending time with her. Might she suspect something unnatural fed upon him driving his need to be with the American?
Would she report him to his commanding officer for immorality?
No. Surely Tilda understood the flush of excitement with a new friendship. And she had been there the day they met…