"Dearly beloved," the minister began.
Cray glared at the man of the cloth, at the sheriff and all the townspeople who were forcing him to marry the little hellcat he'd caught stealing his eggs. If he'd known she was a woman, he never would have tried to spank her. But she'd been dressed in pants and a too-big coat, and had taken her last egg from his chickens. He'd cornered her once before, but she'd lied about her name and slipped past him. Then he'd tracked her to the rundown cabin at the edge of town and he'd walloped her hard before she bit him. She must have run straight to the sheriff with yet another story. The only amusing part was that she clearly was not any more pleased with this turn of events than he was.
"This is all your fault, mister," his new bride hissed at him.
He took off after her even as the townspeople, their task completed, abandoned them. He grabbed the squirming little woman and gave her the rest of that spanking she had coming. And then he fed her. She might be a liar and a thief, but she was also scared, and skinny, and hungry! And now she was his problem, one he wouldn't walk away from, although he suspected he was going to have his hands full trying to turn her into a sweet, respectable young wife.