Marti Talbott's Highlander Series, Book 1 (ANNA - CHAPTER II, page 2 of 16)

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"Is she bleeding?"

"There was blood on the ground near her horse. It comes from her mouth. Her back bled, but it stopped before I left. We should have taken a lass with us. We cannot tell if she has been…"

Kevin quickly interrupted him, "Have the lads stopped?"

"Nay, they will continue unless Thomas thinks she can ride no longer."

"How far away are they?"

Clymer looked up to see where the sun was in the sky. "They are going slow, half a day, maybe more. She needs Katie's medicine for the rope burns, and…"

"Rope burns?" It was Kevin's sister, Katie, who asked the question. Standing in the doorway behind her brother, she looked a lot like Kevin with the same dark hair and soft blue eyes.

"Aye, they bound her in three places and left her across the back of a horse face down. Whoever did it wanted her dead by the time we got there. The ropes broke the skin on her back, but we could see no blood on the back of her skirt where her legs were bound."

Katie shook her head in disbelief. "Is she dirty as well?"

"Aye, she is covered in it, her clothes are torn and her belongings are gone." He bowed his head and took a forgotten breath. "She does not complain. She has been kicked."

"Kevin, you must cover her before you bring her here. She will not like anyone seeing her like that."

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