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She called him Tender Spirit, because he was kind to her, for she knew not his true name. In fact, Beth named them all, the entire band of young Indian men who took her from her home.

As she watched them, she found their characters and mannerisms interesting, and it occupied her mind giving each of them names. This kept her from dwelling on the worst and helped her keep her mind off the pain–the pain of the wound she received when the bullet from one of their guns tore through the tender flesh of her thigh.

Beth wondered what had happened to her brother, Tom, back at their cabin, their home where they had taken care of each other since the death of their parents over a year ago. Why had he not tried to stop them was her question, as she struggled to keep her fear, and the agony she was in hidden away.

Where she was being taken and why, would soon be revealed. The man she called Tender Spirit, whom she came to know by his true name, Kiyiya, had taken her hoping she could bring happiness to his mother, Helaku. With Kiyiya’s sister having been lost to death, he wanted Beth to help lessen that loss, or at least this is what Beth was led to believe.

But for Beth, seeing Kiyiya as a brother was never truly an option. She knew when she first looked into his black eyes that she would never be the same.