She stroked the animal’s muzzle and led it to the livery. She asked the livery man to take care of the horse she retrieved her basket and blanket from its back and stomped toward home.
She hadn’t gone far when one of the Brodys stepped in front of her and blocked her path.
“Luke?” Her eyes welled with tears again.
“Yeah, I’m Luke.”
“You gotta help me get Cade out of the jail. My father’s gone crazy.”
“What’s going on between you and Cade?”
“Cade was going to tell you he’s not going to ride with you anymore. We love each other and he wants to marry me.”
“I suspected as much. Now the question is, how much are you willing to lose for Cade.”
“What do you mean?” Amelia raised an eyebrow.
“You know that every lawman from here to Smithfield believes that Cade is an outlaw because he’s been riding with us?”
“That means if he wants to settle down somewhere, it’s going to have to be beyond Smithfield.” He leaned toward her and stared hard.
“Well, if I can’t reason with my Daddy, then I’ll just have to leave with Cade. No one’s gonna stop me from marrying him.” She squared her shoulders and raised her chin.
“I’ll give you twenty-four hours to try to get your Daddy to set Cade free. After that, we’ll do things the Brody way.”
Amelia gasped. “You won’t hurt my Daddy, will you?”
“No. I’ll talk to him and try to convince him Cade is innocent. He only rides with us because I took him in after his Ma died and his Pa weren’t caring for him proper. If that don’t work, we’ll plan a jailbreak. If it comes to that, you better be ready to get outta town with your man.”
“I’ll be ready.” Amelia turned on her heel and went home.