Between chapters 2 and 3 of Desert Flowers and Cactus Spines by Gabrielle Graham: When U.S. Marshal Adinal Webster and his companion Zalel Loratoris set out from Armadillo to track down Benjamin “Ben the Blade” Light, they know it won’t be a standard chase. They also can’t know what the spiritual consequences may be of following Light into the darkness.
An undercover mission in a hot springs town brings danger, entertainment, espionage, violence, delirium, and a stunning realization. It’s a test of the medical prowess of one, the hearts of two or three, and the combative abilities of most.
As evidence is heard about Sanosuke’s treasonous father, so is the story of Sanosuke’s involvement with the undercover agent that brought that treason to light.
Having been slaves for most of their lives, they know that love is both a luxury and a weakness they can’t afford; with Sano obsessing over a guard and Katsu enchanted by a newly-arrived fellow slave, however, they may not be able to help themselves. But something bigger than that is going on around them, and their growing feelings may be the least of their problems.