The Sins of a Few
by Sarah Ballance
The moment he steps off the boat and into his hometown of Salem, Nathanial Abbot knows the rumors about Salem are indeed true. For in the two years since he's left Salem—disowned by his family and seeking a fortune of his own—the town has changed. It is dark with discord and suspicion... and accusations of witchcraft. Now all that remains for him is the woman he's never forgotten.
But Faith Downing isn't happy to see Nathanial. In his absence, his younger sisters have ignited the chain of hysteria that resulted in twenty deaths—including Faith's aunt, to whom Nathanial owed his life. Yet through her acrimony, Faith can't prevent herself from responding to the man Nathanial has become, handsome and kind. A man who kindles something in her that speaks of sin.
“Tell me,” he said, his voice coarse to his own ears. “Tell me how I dishonor a woman when I chose to forsake my own family to pay my respects.”
The look of utter disdain she passed him was somewhat lost by their proximity. They were trading breaths now, as close as lovers. But their positions could not douse the venom in her tone. “You have hardly forsaken your family,” she spat. “Not unless you’ve pushed them piecemeal into the harbor, which is an event I dare say few would mourn. Do they not await your return, alive and well? That is more than anyone can say for my aunt and the remaining nineteen murdered…or the rest who died awaiting trial.”
Mid-diatribe, her attention had fallen to his lips. He touched her chin, knowing that in doing so he risked the welfare of his finger, and didn’t speak until her liquid gaze found his. “I crossed the ocean and I came here first,” he said. Quietly. Fiercely. “Tell me what more I could have done.”
“You could have been here. You could have stopped them.” A single, heart-wrenching sob escaped from her throat. “You could have saved her.”
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