Before I’m through with you, you’ll
beg to have me love you, she-cat!
“The little white dove has courage, Sepúlveda will say that for you.” He waved a finger admonishingly. “But you must understand that this game will have to stop now with your friends. There is no need for you to get scarred, little one. All Sepúlveda wishes is that you scream, just a few times. This will certainly bring Comanchero Hunter and the slayer of my fine dog into the open to rescue you. They are the ones I want. You have done me no harm. When I have what I want, you may go free. Now, is not Sepúlveda a fair man?”
“You are a butcher!”
The foul-breathed smile slowly faded from Sepúlveda’s face. He glanced at Isa‑tai, then set the piece of kindling back into the campfire flames until there was a quarter-inch of red, burning ash on the wood. A smile that was all cruelty now worked the swarthy face as he came closer.
“You must guard your tongue well, little dove. Yours would not be the first that Sepúlveda has cut out.”