Where Two Rivers Meet<br/>Washington's Woods Series, Volume 1

Author: Londa Hayden
Publisher: Tate Publishing
Published: 2015-09-28
ISBN(s) 978-1-68207-753-5
Editor: Elizabeth M. Garrett
Language(s): English
Category: Fiction
Audience: Adult
Genre(s): Historical Fiction, Romance & Friendship, Women's Fiction Read Excerpt >

 A search for my maidservant led me down a shadowy path. I stopped and listened. Sobs whispered in echoes above other night sounds, guiding me. I pushed the shed door. It didn’t budge. Climbing to the top of a barrel, I slipped through an open window. A full moon illuminated the space. There she was— huddled in the corner, her dress bloodied and shredded. Her petite ten-year-old frame bore the whelps of rage, glaring back at me.

“Jasmine, what happened?” I ran to her side. 

“I spilled the foreman’s drink at supper tonight,” she said.

My heart sank as I studied her wounds. “I wish we didn't live in Virginia. I hate slavery.”

Jasmine whispered, “Shh, Miss Constance, someone could hear.”

I swallowed hard, choking back my emotions. “The people here are so mean.” My voice quivered. “It makes me ashamed to be white.” Tears moistened my cheeks as I knelt to tend her wounds. I tore a piece of fabric from my petticoat. 

Jasmine flinched as I dabbed at her back. The smell of blood mingled with sweat, mold, and hay turned my stomach. I looked away. The nausea faded when my attention veered to a mouse, scampering down a wood stack, disappearing through a hole.

“The foreman shouldn't have done this to you. I’ll tell my father tomorrow.” 

“No!” Jasmine pleaded. “Please don’t. It will only make things worse.”

“But I can’t stand by and let him keep doing this to you.” I sat back and sighed, realizing I couldn’t do anymore for her. Pain surged when my finger hit against a sickle. “Ouch!” I raised my hand, a red stream trickled. On the boarded wall, my profile silhouetted in soft moonlight as dots fell, staining my dress. I turned to Jasmine. “You’re my best friend. My only friend. We are like sisters, you and I. Don’t you feel the same?”

“Yes. You know I do.”

Taking hold of her finger, I pressed it to the sickle’s edge.

“Ow!” she yelped. “Why did you do that?”

I held my finger to hers, allowing our blood to mingle. “Now we’re blood sisters.”

Staring back, she asked, “What are blood sisters?”

“Blood sisters are together forever. It means you can never be sold or sent away from me. I vow to always be here for you and to never leave your side, Jasmine. Now you do the same.” 

Jasmine pushed herself to her knees, while keeping her finger pressed to mine. Looking into my eyes, she said, “I vow to always be here for you, Miss Constance, never to leave your side.”

“By God’s grace, let it be so.” I nodded, indicating her to do the same.

“By God’s grace, let it be…”

The latch rattled. We both winced and scooted together into the shadows as the door creaked open. It was the foreman.

“Well now, what have we here? Miss Constance is it?” he said, leaning in and squinting. 

I held back, saying nothing. 

“Come now,” he said, snarling. “Does your father know you’re here?”

I hesitated to answer, but my anger got the best of me. “Why do you hurt your own kind?” “I’m not a slave,” he snapped. 

“But you’re black.”

“That don’t matter,” He scowled. “I’m still in charge here.”

I stood to face him, fists clenched. “How dare you beat my servant girl. I’m going to tell my father what you did.”

His eyes narrowed. “I don’t think you’ll be doing any such thing. In fact, my guess is Master William don’t even know your whereabouts at all. Am I right?”

“That’s none of your concern,” I said. I took a deep breath and tightened my jaw.

He stepped toward me, pulling at his trousers.

I gasped, eyes shifting to Jasmine. 

She pushed the sickle handle toward me. I grabbed hold and flung it at the foreman’s calves. 

He screamed, fell to his knees, lodging the blade deep into his flesh.

Jasmine and I scurried out the door. Clasping hands, we ran to the house. “You’ll never be left alone again. I promise.” 

Where Two Rivers Meet ~ Washington's Woods Series, Volume 1   by   Londa Hayden   |   See Bio >
Book 1 of 3 in the Washington's Woods Series.
�We may be free from slavery, but we still fight the slavery within our own hearts and minds.�

On the brink of the Revolutionary War, a plantation known as Washington's Woods, which borders the Ohio River, becomes a center of controversy. Forbidden romance crosses racial lines, leaving a family secret hidden in the symbols of a star sampler. Generations later, the truth emerges as best friends, Nicole and Kate realize they are actually related through a newly discovered biracial bloodline. This painful revelation tears at the heart of their friendship, but in the end a renewed understanding of family comes to light. Thus begins the journey to find true freedom and hope for a promising tomorrow at the place where two rivers meet. 

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