The man’s gaze hesitated on the four-inch cut on Joe’s left cheek, courtesy of the log that had slapped him in the face on the river. With twenty-some stitches sticking out, the wound looked like a giant red caterpillar was crawling across Joe’s face.
“Well, that’ll disappoint the ladies.” But then the captain grunted. “Never mind. With you, they’ll probably like it, think it’s all manly.” He peered behind Joe. “Anyone naked in there?”
Joe stepped aside. “I’m having an off morning.

I shan’t mind if you don’t,” he agreed. “But I’ll not let you go, Prudence. Til not pester you, but know this: I will wait until you choose to listen to your heart.”

“Pshaw.” It was a feeble effort. She took a deep breath and tried again. “Humbug! How can you presume to know my heart?”

He smiled a slow, devastating smile. “You are my heart.” He lifted her hand and kissed it. “And our hearts beat in tune. I know it-I, who used not to believe in such things. And you know it.

i’ve loved you since the sun first rose,” he read. “Ive loved you through God send Catastrophe and manmade Disaster. I’ve loved you though my heart stopped beating and my eyes ran dry, through time and in spite of it, for our love has its roots in eternity and cannot fall victim to time or death. My love has no shame, no pride. it is only what it is, always has been and always will be. It is Yours. all Yours. Only Yours

Gregory went cold with fear-

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