(Is this the fabled Heartstone? Is Eric's quest finished?)
He looked up as she settled beside the fire. Not too close but not far enough he couldn't reach out and drag her into his arms if he wanted to. Irritated with himself, he jabbed the fire again. "It's true."
"I know," she said then shot him a wary look. "I've always been able to tell when someone is lying."
He nodded. Many females had a keenly developed truthsense. "Stonebearer, the loss of your mother grieves me but, still, I must have the Heartstone. Surely there was someplace where she kept it safely hidden."
"My mother and I were found wandering down Highway 90. I was just a baby. I don't remember anything before that." Her head ducked and her hand snaked to her chest to rest there lightly. "She had amnesia. There was nothing to identify us, no reports of a missing woman and her child. All we had was the clothes on our backs.... And her necklace."
The woman reached inside her shirt and withdrew a thin gold chain. At the end of it hung a dark red jewel. "It's all I have of her, of our life before...."
Slowly, she pulled the chain over her head and held the stone in her palm. "She never took it off. She called it a legacy, said I was to have it when she..."
Her head came up, her eyes shone wetly. "We always thought it was just a garnet but if...if--" She thrust it at him. "Take it."
Heartstone is available in Trade Paperback and E-Formats at Mundania Press