On the run from his gang, having robbed his own sister, outlaw Ahab Perkins has no place to go but ...good. He'd give his heart in a single beat to the woman he all but kidnapped...if only the beautiful lady in gray wasn't a nun.
Hiding out in disguise at a rundown mission, Teresa Avila is as wanted as Ahab. Her past crimes and her evil stepfather's abuse have her thinking she's not good enough for any man. Giving her heart to Ahab Perkins would be far worse than spending her life pretending to be a nun—wouldn’t it?
But there’s more to this hardened outlaw than meets the eye. A burned-out homestead, a kindly sheriff, and an abandoned little girl bring out his tender side, and Teresa finds it harder and harder not to reveal her true identity.
“You’d leave me here alone?” Teresa all but shrieked. Dread drenched her. She might have lived in Arizona these past years, but she was foremost a city girl. Her heart sank when the truth hit her. “Oh, I get it. You’re leaving me behind. Like your gang leaves folks behind when they’re too much trouble.”
His face turned the handsome purple she’d seen before. “Not doing any such thing. Reckoned you could wait for me here and rest up some. It’s been a hard trudge. Reckon your ankle’s a tad sore.” His voice turned so low she could barely hear him. “I know how to treat a lady. Even a sister.”
Anger flamed now even as the fire consuming the homestead started to die down. She stamped the foot that didn’t hurt.
“A sister?” she scoffed. “Like you raised up your sister into an outlaw girl? Jessy Belle could have been raised polite and proper at a mission like mine, if you’d nowhere else.”
Polite and proper? Her own words reminded Teresa she needed to turn back. No matter Jessy Belle needing anybody, Teresa needed to find herself back at Saint Ignatius. If Will for some reason had gone back there, she could busy herself saving his soul instead of Ahab’s. Ahab Perkins was outlaw through and through, not a lost boy like Will who needed love and a home. She needed to carve the fact in her brain. In her heart.
“Go on ahead. I’ll find my own way,” she told him with a nod.
“Like hell you will, Sister. You just wait on me. In case you forgot already, there’s outlaws afoot, and their spies. And believe it or not, I’m not one of them any longer.”