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Blue Thunder

BOOK: Blue Thunder
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BLUE THUNDER

 

 

Thérèse Kraemer

 

Copyright Therese Kramer
2013

Published by Spangaloo at Smashwords

 

 

Spangaloo Edition

http://spangaloo.com

 

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Dedication to my husband
Bill

If it weren’t for his years
of proof reading my Romance Novels, I’d never have been able to put
them out for my friends, family and public to read. He had gone
beyond the call of duty suffering through my terrible English, not
to mention the graphic sex scenes.

 

 

Chapter One
…………………………….Page 1

Chapter
Two……………………………..Page 3

Chapter Three…………………………..
Page 8

Chapter
Four…………………………….Page 12

Chapter
Five……………………………..Page 19

Chapter Six………………………………Page
22

Chapter Seven…………………………..
Page 24

Chapter
Eight……………………………Page 32

Chapter Nine……………………………
Page 37

Chapter Ten……………………………..
Page 41

Chapter
Eleven…………………………..Page 44

Chapter
Twelve………………………….Page 46

Chapter Thirteen………………………..
Page 50

Chapter
Fourteen………………………..Page 56

Chapter
Fifteen…………………………..Page 61

Chapter
Sixteen………………………….Page 69

Chapter
Seventeen……………………….Page 76

Chapter Eighteen………………………..
Page 82

Chapter Nineteen………………………..
Page 88

Chapter
Twenty………………………….Page 93

Chapter Twenty-One……………………
Page 98

Chapter Twenty-Two……………………
Page 101

Chapter
Twenty-Three…………………..Page 107

Chapter
Twenty-Four……………………Page 115

Chapter
Twenty-Five…………………….Page 123

Chapter
Twenty-Six…………………….. Page 129

Chapter
Twenty-Seven………………….. Page 131

Chapter
Twenty-Eight……………………Page 137

Chapter Twenty-Nine……………………
Page 144

Chapter
Thirty…………………………….Page 149

Chapter
Thirty-One………………………Page 158

Chapter
Thirty-Two………………………Page 167

Chapter
Thirty-Three…………………….Page 171

Chapter
Thirty-Four…………………….. Page 172

Chapter
Thirty-Five………………………Page 176

Chapter
Thirty-Six………………………..Page 178

Chapter
Thirty-Seven…………………….Page 180

Chapter
Thirty-Eight……………………..Page 185

Chapter
Thirty-Nine…………………….. Page 189

Epilogue……………………………….......
Page 195

 

 

 

ONE

 

“Sergeant, Sir! The men are tired and
hungry.” A young soldier in a blue uniform spoke from behind
Sergeant Brant Bergeron as he wiped his sweaty brow. He knew he
could never adapt to the hot, humid southern climate in Georgia. He
and his men were separated from their unit two days ago when the
rebels attacked and they had been lost and unsure of where they
were heading. He had six soldiers with him, not much older than
himself. He didn’t want this war to be his war anymore than the
others, but he was here and had to make the best of it.

The men were grumbling. They all had that
look in their eyes after seeing friends cut down. It was a look
that sent shivers down ones spine. Revenge! Even though he couldn’t
get used to all that bloodshed he had to try to keep his men
together. He moved slightly in the saddle, trying to get the kinks
out of his tired and sore backside. His muscles screamed for
attention but he ignored them. Would he find their way back to the
main column? He didn’t know this countryside and feared he and his
men had wandered too far from the front. This was a quiet place
where his detachment sat in the shade. Because horses were scarce,
three of the men were on foot but two days ago they fought near a
small town, taking the enemy’s soldier’s mounts, the spoils of war.
Out here in the countryside the fighting hadn’t arrived, yet. In
time, these beautiful fields would be covered with bodies, and the
smell of gun power and the stench of blood. Burnout homes will mar
the lands. This damn war was taking its toll, not only on people,
but on the green land. Man is the only animal in the universe that
can cause such destruction; and we call ourselves the civil world.
Disgusted and hungry, he turned to his unit.

“We’ll ride a little further. Maybe we’ll
come to some sign of life soon. If not, we’ll make camp and hunt
for our meals.” The men grumbled to themselves, but they continued
until late that morning, when one of the soldiers called, “Look
Sarge! Smoke’s coming over that ridge.”

1

Brant grabbed his spy glasses to get a
better look. “Smitty,” he said, “go and check the area, it may be
Rebs.” The private gave a sloppy salute, “Yes, Sir.” His men made
themselves comfortable and stretched out, closing their eyes for a
short nap. He sat and continued to look through the spy glass until
he saw Smithy galloping back. Most of the men had started this war
on foot, but they managed to get themselves a mount one way or
another and he never asked. The private dismounted and grinned.
“It’s a cotton plantation, Sarge. The smoke is coming from a
chimney. My guess,” Smitty licked his dry lips, “someone’s
cooking.”

“Okay, we’ll go peacefully,” Brant
suggested. “With any luck, they’ll be just plain folks and---”

“Sure Sarge, just like the Rebs that
ambushed us, killing most of the men,” snarled, Smitty. “Me, I’m
not waiting to be cordially invited to dine.” Refusing to hear his
objection, Smithy jumped on his mount, slapped the horse on its
withers, and spurred away. Taken by surprise, Brant tried to call
him back, but his orders fell on deaf ears. He was not happy about
the feeling in his gut that his men were looking to even the score.
The rest of the unit jumped on

their mounts and followed Smitty, also
ignoring his pleas to remain civil. But his men were out of
control. He knew they were trouble from day one, believing they
were intending to desert the first opportunity. He kicked his horse
forward and prayed.

 

2

 

TWO

 

Dawn broke peacefully. Melissa St. Andrew
started her day as she did all the others on her father’s
plantation. From the bedroom window, she was aware of the beautiful
warm day ahead of her. The commotion downstairs made her smile
because she knew the cook, Effie, was busy preparing for Daphne,
her younger sister’s sweet sixteen birthday party.

Melissa thought her sibling had grown into a
lovely, sweet girl. She loved Daphne and her brother, Jason with
all her heart. He was the middle child who claimed he was like a
book with two sisters as bookends. Only seventeen years of age and
he was almost as tall as their father and very handsome with eyes
the color of dark sage. A stranger would never guess them to be
related. Unlike her, her sibling’s coloring was darker, taking
after their parents. She was often teased that she was probably
left in the field by a moon creature, since her hair was as pale as
the moon. She remembered how her father had always reminded his two
children that their sister had his grandmother’s fair coloring and
that she was indeed their blood relation.

Melissa dressed and thought about Jason and
how much she missed him since he went off to that awful war. How
she and her parents had tried to persuade him not to go. Her
mother, Mary wept saying that he was still her baby but Jason took
offense to her statement and declared that men younger than him
were defending their beloved south. He could not sit by with a
clear

conscience and not do anything. Melissa also
put in her two cents, but he was adamant. So with teary eyes from
all, off he went one morning. The skies had opened up that day and
they seemed to be crying for her brother. It gave her the creeps
and a forbearing chill ran up her arms. Silently, she prayed for
his safe return. Daphne’s party wouldn’t be the same without
him.

But nothing had been the same for a long
time. The war had taken so much from every- one. In fact, the
Confederacy gave the government the right to destroy any cotton
that might fall into the hands of the union army. Some of her
neighbors, who were devoted southerners, burned their own cotton to
keep it out of the enemy hands. Her father, Darrel loved the south
but loved

3

his family more, discovered the Union agents
were willing to pay the highest price in over half a century for
cotton. Melissa agreed to his selling of their cotton because it
kept her family from starving.

Once again she let out a
frustrated breath thinking that when the price of foodstuff reached
astronomical heights, Confederate currency would become worthless.
She herself was tempted to smuggle cotton out of the south as did
the women who’s husbands have been killed or are still fighting
have been doing. She knew this because her best friend’s mother is
one of the women partaking in this smuggling. Making a face at
herself in the mirror, seeing her pretty gown was threadbare, she
forced herself to become more cheerful, for her sister’s
sake.
When the war was over, she’d....
Stop wool gathering,
she chastised
herself, and then snorted at her reflection.
C’mon, times a wasting.

Descending the spiral staircase with
buoyancy in her step, she gave a cheerful hello to Sam, the
stern-faced butler who was polishing what was left of the family
silver. He didn’t smile

much and kept to himself most of the time,
but the softness in his dark eyes gave away his true nature.
Although the kitchen was separated from the house by a breezeway,
the aroma of something boiling on the wood burning stove filled the
huge house with a tempting smell. She looked in and saw vegetables
from her mother’s garden and meat she assumed was a critter the
cook’s grandson snared in one of his homemade traps. She dared not
ask what it was.

“Mmmm, everything smells so good.” Melissa
gave her usual warm smile at the black woman whose fleshy arms were
covered with flour dust. The servant was kneading the bread that
would soon be placed in the oven to send another delectable
fragrance through the house.

Though Lincoln issued the
Emancipation Proclamation on January 1
st
, 1863, most of her
father’s trusted and loyal servants remained. Melissa was glad Sam
and Effie were family to her; she loved them both dearly. Anyway,
it’s been over two years now, how much longer could the war go on?
She prayed for it to end so her brother could come home.

“Lordy, chil’ don’ yo’ look purty fahn. Ah
happy fo’ de propah dress. Yes’m, sho betta den dem pants yo’ likes
to weah. Yo’ pappy gonna be mighty proud t’ sees ‘al dressed up.
Yes’m,” stated Effie.

She loved the way Effie’s dark eyes crinkled
with merriment when she laughed. The most

4

prominent thing about the cook was her
kindness, though Effie tried in earnest to appear stern and
unbending. Melissa didn’t mind all the scolding Effie gave, trying
to make her the lady she should be.

Effie clicked her tongue, wondering if there
was any hope for the pretty seventeen year old girl. That child had
a mind of her own and although, she was indeed a lady and attended
the

finest schools, Melissa didn’t like spending
time on needlepoint, sewing, or any other refined arts. She had
spirit and loved to race across the landscape on her chestnut
horse, before the soldiers confiscated it. The poor child cried for
days, more than when her brother joined the Confederates. Melissa
wasn’t like her sister, all frills, and the way a girl was expected
to be. Heaving a sigh, Effie wondered if nature might have made a
mistake. If the girl weren’t so beautiful with her pale hair and
her eyes, the color of raw honey, she might have been happier being
a boy. Effie shook her head thinking the good Lord must have been
in a very generous mood when He made Melissa.

BOOK: Blue Thunder
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