Antique English and French  Flintlock Pistol.She inched closer, her skirts and a leather strap grazing his thigh. “You could’ve given it back. I doubt the hostler knows how to use it.”

“I’ve been shot at enough times not to tempt fate.” Grinning, he rose to full height. “And interrupting a romantic interlude has a way of agitating a man.”

“Romantic interlude indeed,” she huffed. “I offered to help the hostler, not kiss him.”

Help the hostler? With the broken brace?

He glanced at her slender hands. Red-gloved fingers pushed back one side of her hood as though she sought a better view. With the moon at her back, pallid light spilled over him, leaving her in shadows.

“May I?” She looped the leather strap over her arm and extended an upright palm.

He passed over the blunderbuss. One red-gloved hand curled around the walnut stock with feminine authority. She angled the weapon in moonlight, her thumb stroking the rounded end.

“A good hold, but the wood needs oiling.” A leather-clad finger drew a leisured line down the hammer. “Cock spur’s bent. Probably doesn’t fire right.”

“I wouldn’t rush to any conclusions.”

“There’s no visible powder on the flash pan. And it’s quite beat up—”

“Making it all the more dangerous.”

Wind gusted around them. She searched his face, the blunderbuss relaxing at her side.

A smile ghosted her lips. “Looks harmless to me.”

“But looks can be deceiving. Never underestimate what’s worse for the wear.” His mouth quirked. “You might be surprised at what you find.”