On the other side of the fire, Chase jumped up suddenly. He slid down on the ground on his knees in front of her so quickly, she pulled her knife in surprise. He gave it no notice, and grabbed her by the shoulders.
“Where did you say your mother is from?” His face was inches from hers, his intense stare startling her.
“New….New York,” she stammered. Squirming, she tried to break away from his grip. “You’re hurting me, Chase.” His mouth relaxed, and his eyes softened.
“I’m sorry.” He released his hold on her, but his hands lingered on her arms, his thumbs rubbing the fabric of her shirt up and down her skin. Warmth spread throughout her body, and her skin tingled from his touch. She forced her breathing to remain steady.
Chase sat back on his heels. “How did she end up here in the wilderness?” he asked.
“I don’t know,” Sarah shook her head, her eyebrows narrowing. “I think my father just… found her.” Her voice trailed off. She’d never asked or questioned her parents about that. It was just as natural as breathing that her mother and father should be together. How that came about had never been important.
“He just found her here, in the wilderness?” Chase repeated her words.
“Why is this important?”
“Sarah,” his eyes bored holes right through her, “the stories your mother told you, the magical place, it’s real. The things she told you about are real. They exist in my world…in my time.”