The clouds darkened to a featureless gray. Cool air hinted at the rain to come, but it was not here yet. The wide open prairie was a dim portrait of its usually bright self. It was not quite dusk yet, but the clouds blotted out any joy and the landscape stood silent, waiting for the coming storm. A light breeze combed through the solitary tree. The quiet was oppressive, and when the horse broke over the hilltop, its hooves slapping the ground as fast as his riders could urge him on, the prairie barely noticed. The sound could not fill the emptiness.
He felt her hands tighten around his waist as he spurred the horse faster again. He didn’t want to ride Henry this hard, he wanted to treat this treasure gently, this wedding gift seemed like more than just a beast of burden to him. But he knew this was silly, and they dearly wanted to get to town before the storm got here.
Henry gave a small leap over a particular rutty part of the road, and July yelped from the sudden jolt. She gripped him tighter and flattened her body against his back. He felt guilty for enjoying it, feeling her warmth, her breasts pressed against him through the thin fabric of her summer dress.