Suzanna scowled sleepily at the lopped-off branches that formed the wall of the hillside lean-to and burrowed deeper into the bedding. At least there’s a bear skin to add some warmth, she thought irritably. It was too cold to get up, and if Gerald thought she was going to actually live in this God-forsaken place, he wasn’t thinking clearly.
“Wife?” he asked from the open side of the shelter.
Suzanna burrowed deeper, covering her head.
Gerald chuckled and came to kneel beside her. “I have a fire going,” he said. “I’ve toasted some bread and am heating water for tea.”
Suzanna sighed and reluctantly uncovered her head. “All right,” she said.
“There’s a herd of elk on the other side of the valley,” he said. “I thought I’d try for one after breakfast. We could use the meat. Do you want to come with me?”
“I’m not staying here by myself.” She sat up. “Not until you’ve built me a cabin.”
He leaned in to kiss her forehead. “I love you,” he said.
“And I you.” She shook her head. “Though I still think you’re soft in the head. This valley is so isolated and cold. How does anything grow up here?”
He grinned, stood, and went out. “The water’s hot!” he called from the fireside.
Copyright © 2016 Loretta Miles Tollefson