Forbidden Love (continued from 3/24/17)

They dined on fried chicken, cheese and buttermilk biscuits and washed it all down with apple cider.

Did you make this tasty chicken and these delicious biscuits?”

Amelia smiled. “Yes, I did.”

What about your Ma?”

Amelia’s gaze dropped to her lap. “My mama died of cholera when I was six years old.”

I’m sorry.”

How about you? Do your Ma and Pa approve of you running with the Brody gang?” Both Amelia’s head and body tilted toward Cade.

My ma died when I was fifteen and Pa took it real hard. He sought relief in the bottle and he’s nothin’ but a drunk.”

I’m sorry. Seems like we’ve both seen some hard times. Why do you ride with the Brody gang?”

Cade sighed and raked a hand through his hair. His eyes met and held hers. “I ain’t like the Brodys. I ain’t never killed no one.”

Amelia’s relief was visible when her entire body relaxed.

I have been known to rustle cattle and steal horses, but that’s the extent of it. I ride with the Brody gang because

when things got bad at home, Luke Brody took me under his wing. He promised me I’d never have to do nothin’ I didn’t want to do and that I’m free to leave them whenever I want. He’s kept his promise.” Cade’s eyes searched hers while he awaited her response.

Amelia didn’t know what to say. Relief had flooded her entire being to learn that Cade had never killed anyone. She wondered what it would take for him to want to leave the Brody gang.

As the silence stretched between them, Cade leaned toward her, cupped her face in his hand, and kissed her. His kiss was soft, sweet and short.

Amelia was disappointed that it hadn’t lasted longer, and she reached her own hand up to the side of his face, and place her lips to his.

Cade’s response was a deep kiss, filled with passion and hunger. When it ended, Amelia was trembling. They leaned their foreheads together.

I never met anyone like you before.” Cade kissed her temple and trailed little kisses down the side of her face to claim her mouth again.

This time when the kiss ended, both Cade and Amelia were breathing heavily. Amelia drew back and began to pack up the picnic things.

I guess we should be getting back.”

Cade didn’t say anything. He watched as she finished packing up her basket. When she stood, he stood and reached for her hand.

Could we walk along this creek for a little while?”

Amelia smiled up at him. “I think that would be nice.” She set the basket on the blanket and took his hand.

They walked a while in silence, then Cade stopped, faced her and took both her hands in his. “I think I’m in love with you, Amelia. I’ve never felt this way about anyone before but I don’t want to leave you. Ever since I met you, you’re all I think about.”

That’s how it’s been for me since I met you too.”

So what am I supposed to do next?” He grimaced and put a hand on the back of his neck.

The corners of Amelia’s mouth twitched but she refused to smile. She didn’t want him to think she was laughing at him, but it was amusing to see a tough outlaw so unsure of himself.

Well, the normal thing would be for you to ask my Daddy’s permission to court me, but I don’t think that’s going to work.”

Forbidden Love (continued from 3/17/17)

Amelia didn’t go out again for two days. She decided it was better not to be seen with Cade again too soon, especially since her father disapproved.

She ventured out on Friday afternoon, her regular shopping day. Amelia left with her basket on her arm intending to go to the General Store. It was a warm, sunny day and the town was alive with people and children in the street and on the wooden walkways. Several young men tipped their hats to Amelia and smiled at her. She returned their smiles briefly.

She continually scanned the crowds in search of Cade Jeffries. She saw some of the Brody gang loitering outside the saloon and was grateful they was across the street.

Amelia entered the General Store and was immediately greeted by Mr. Borden, the proprietor. “Good afternoon, Amelia. What can I get for you today?”

Good afternoon, Mr. Borden. I would like half a pound of coffee, half a pound of sugar, two pounds of flour, and some salt pork.”

As Mr. Borden gathered those items, Amelia looked around at other items in the store. Then she asked him for some of the pickles from the pickle barrel, a small basket of apples, and a nickel’s worth of her father’s favorite penny candy.

When everything had been placed in Amelia’s basket, she stepped through the door of the General Store and walked right into Cade Jeffries.

Oh my! How clumsy of me. I’m so sorry.” She felt the flush creeping up her neck and cheeks as her their eyes met.

Cade tipped his hat and smiled. “So lovely to see you again, Miss Williams. Could I help you with your basket?”

Her heart pounded in her chest like a blacksmith’s hammer on the anvil. Her heart screamed “yes” but her head contradicted her heart.

When she didn’t answer, Cade lifted the basket from her arm and took it upon one of his own. Then he offered her his free arm, which she took without hesitation and she was sure her heart would burst out of her chest.

Finally Amelia found her voice. “I was afraid you’d already left town. I haven’t been out and about for the past two days.”

I know.”

She looked at him and his intense gaze seemed to pierce her very soul. “You know?”

Yes. I have been looking for you, hoping to spend some time with you. Could I buy you lunch in the town cafe?”

Amelia bit her lip. She wasn’t ready to be that openly visible with Cade yet.

I have a better idea. Why don’t I return home and pack us a picnic lunch and we can go to a nice grassy area near the creek outside of town and picnic under the big, old oak tree?”

His grin took her breath away. “That’s a wonderful idea.”

Cade escorted her to her home then went and saddled up his horse.

When he returned, the wait was brief before Amelia appeared, her basket over one arm and a blanket over the other. Cade took the basket and fastened it to his saddle. Then he rolled up the blanket and tied it behind the saddle.

Are you ready?” He put his hand out to her.

You want me to ride on your horse with you?” Her eyes darted around the busy street.

It’s the only transportation that I have. You can sit sideways in front of me. I promise you’ll be safe.” He moved toward the horse, gently tugging her hand for her to follow.

Before Amelia could think of an alternative, Cade placed his hands on either side of her waist and lifted her upon the horse then swung himself up. He reached one arm around her back and one arm around her front to take the reins. He gently dug his heels into his horse’s sides and the horse trotted down the middle of town. Amelia prayed her father wouldn’t see when they passed by.

She sat stiffly in front of him.

You’ve never been on the back of a horse before have you?”

Sitting so close to him, she could feel his breath upon her ear when he spoke.

No, I’ve only ever ridden in wagons and carriages.”

The strength of his arms around her helped her to relax and she began to enjoy the ride just when they’d reached their destination.

Cade slipped from the horse and lifted her down, his hands lingering on her waist and their eyes meeting. When Cade started to lean toward her, Amelia turned and escaped his hold. “Isn’t this a lovely place for a picnic?”

It’s beautiful.” Cade answered, his eyes never leaving her.

Well, if you’ll untie the blanket, I’ll spread it out under the tree while you fetch the picnic basket.”

Of course.” Cade loosened the blanket and handed it to Amelia.

Amelia breathed easier as she spread the blanket on the ground and was several feet from Cade. She couldn’t seem to breathe or think clearly when he was near and yet she found herself wondering what it would be like for him to hold her close and kiss her.

The Shack (Movie Review)

I read The Shack by William P. Young in 2008, not long after it came out. Lots of people were reading it and then the controversy began — people calling it heretical, unbiblical, etc. I reread it about six years ago when my oldest son asked me to read it with him.

I liked the book and people can call it heretical, unbiblical or anything else they want to call it, and they can criticize it all they want and I will still like the book.

Now my husband and I saw the movie about a week and a half ago, and I like the movie too. I think the movie did a pretty good job of staying true to the book, but two things I think were brought out even stronger in the movie were (1) how judgmental people are about even the smallest things, and (2) the message of the need for and power of forgiveness.

Now I will tell you why I like both the movie and the book and don’t find it heretical or unbiblical, etc. People tend to put God in a box, but if we really believe what we read in the Bible, have experienced or witnessed miracles, and have seen the power of prayer in action, we should know that God has infinitely more power than we give Him credit for.

One of the biggest issues people have with The Shack is that God is portrayed as a black woman. Unfortunately, I don’t think this was explained well in the book. However, I did some research on William P. Young after reading The Shack the first time when all the controversy was at its peak and learned that he had been abused as a child, and the one person he could trust and who took care of him was a black woman. In the movie, they showed the main character, Mack, remembering his childhood and his father abusing him. Then when he faced tragedy in the movie and he was in The Shack with God, God appeared to him as a black woman because “you aren’t ready for a heavenly father yet”.

As someone who was rejected and abandoned by my birth father and mentally and emotionally abused by my stepfather, I completely understand this. I had faith in God for a long time and have always been a praying woman. However, it took me years to accept that God is a loving heavenly father who loved me unconditionally.

Besides, didn’t God appear to people in the Old Testament in different forms? He appeared to Moses in a burning bush. He also appeared as a pillar of cloud and as a blinding light.

I am just as guilty as anyone else for sometimes putting God in a box, but when I really consider the power of my God, I know that He is infinitely more than I can imagine, and therefore, I believe He can present himself to those who need Him in any form He thinks best.

 

 

Forbidden Love (cont’d. from 3/10/17)

This is a continuation of the story I began last Friday, Forbidden Love.

“Amelia.” “Amelia!”

She started at the sternness in her father’s voice. She tore her eyes from Cade’s departing figure and looked up at her father. “Yes Daddy?”

“Whatever were you thinking? No decent  man in town will want to court you if they see you taking up with the likes of Cade Jeffries. He’s an outlaw. The Brody Gang that he rides with are some of the vilest men in the western territories.”

“Then why aren’t they in jail? Why don’t you arrest them while they’re here?”

“I don’t have enough deputies and my little jail wouldn’t hold them for long. Besides we don’t have a judge within eighty miles to come and preside over a trial.”

“Is Cade Jeffries as bad as the Brodys?”

“Amelia, it doesn’t matter if he’s committed the same awful crimes or not. He’s guilty by association, if nothing else. Now you get your thoughts off of that man and do as I say – stay away from Cade Jeffries.” He spoke his order slowly and carefully announced each word.

Amelia hung her head and continued on her way. She hadn’t answered her father’s order because she didn’t want to obey it. She was intrigued by Cade Jeffries and definitely felt an attraction to the man. Surely he couldn’t be as bad as her father thought. If “guilty by association” were a real crime, the good Lord himself had been guilty of it when he walked on earth and had visited and dined with sinners, and aren’t we all sinners? No, she couldn’t promise to stay away from Cade Jeffries. She’d just have to be careful.

 

Forbidden Love

Okay everyone, I’m not sure how long this story will be, but I got this idea and began writing it for my Friday post here on my blog. I hope you will enjoy it and follow it through to the end. I will post installments of this story every Friday until I reach its end.

Forbidden Love by Kelly F. Barr

The sun beat down and the air was hot and dry. Amelia carried a parasol to shield her from the sun as she walked along the wooden walkway. The pounding of hooves and shouting of men burst through the air and Amelia turned to see six men on horses galloping down the middle of the street as townspeople scattered out of their way. The men arrived in a cloud of dust, reining their horses in, dismounting and tethering the animals outside the saloon across the street from where Amelia stood.

Amelia entered the dressmaker’s shop.

“Good afternoon, Amelia. Your dresses are finished. I think you’ll be pleased.” Miss Rachel, the dressmaker greeted her.

Miss Rachel led the way into her back room and pulled a dress from a rack. Amelia changed into the dress and was greatly pleased with the fit. It was a cornflower blue dress. It was perfect for Sunday wear. Next came a yellow dress covered with tiny pink roses, followed by an emerald green dress with a cream colored bodice. They all fit perfectly.

“Oh Miss Rachel, you have such skill with a needle and thread.”

“You are quite adept at choosing colors that compliment your coloring. No wonder every man in town watches as you pass by.”

Amelia felt her cheeks grow warm. “I think that’s an exaggeration, but thank you for the compliment. How much do I owe you?”

“That will be $9.”

Amelia opened her purse, paid Miss Rachel, placed her packages in her basket and left the shop.

She went next door to the milliner’s shop and picked up her new Sunday hat. It would go very well with her new cornflower blue dress.

She stepped out onto the wooden walkway and began to stroll down the walkway when her path was suddenly blocked by the strangers who had rode into town a little earlier.

One of the men tipped his hat to her. “Well, howdy. Ain’t you a purty little thing? What’s your name?”

Amelia stiffened and pulled herself to her full height. “Would you mind letting me pass?”

“Oh, now don’t be like that. I’m just tryin’ to be friendly. My name’s Cade Jeffries.”

Amelia gasped and put her hand to her throat. Cade Jeffries was a known outlaw who rode with the Brody gang. She realized that must be whom she must be facing at the moment. Her mind raced and her eyes searched to her left and right hoping that someone would see her predicament and come to her aid.

Cade narrowed his eyes at her and spoke in a sharp tone. “I’ll ask once more. What’s your name?”

Amelia cleared her throat. “I’m Amelia Williams, daughter of Sheriff Williams.”

Cade grinned at her. “The sheriff’s daughter. Well, don’t that beat all. Guess we should let the lady pass.” He motioned for the others to open a pathway, but he remained directly in front of Amelia.

“Would you allow me to carry your basket for you and accompany you on your way?”

His bright blue eyes and deep dimples were hard to resist. Amelia had always had a soft spot for dimples, and Cade’s were the deepest she’d ever seen. She also noticed his strong arms and broad shoulders.

“That’s very kind of you, but I assure you it’s not necessary.”

“I’d still be obliged if you allowed me the privilege of carrying your basket and walking with you.” His eyes pleaded with her.

“Well, I suppose there wouldn’t be any harm in that.” She offered a small smile and handed the basket to Cade, who then offered her his other arm.

She took it and hoped her father would not see her with Cade.

“So what brings you to town?” Amelia asked.

“We were just passin’ through, but now that I met you, I might stick around a while.”

Amelia was certain the warmth in her cheeks meant she was blushing under his gaze.

“Oh, don’t let me be a reason to change your plans.”

“Why not? Do you have a beau or are you just afraid your daddy won’t allow you to be seen with Cade Jeffries?”

Amelia was unsure if the glint in his eyes was teasing or mocking her. “My father trusts my judgment, although I’m sure if he saw me with you, he would question it for the first time.”

“And you’d be quite right about that.”

Amanda’s hand flew to cover her mouth at the sound of her father’s voice. He was standing on her right, having just come out of the jail in time to see her with Cade and hear her last sentence. She’d been so focused on Cade that she hadn’t realized that had come to the jail.

Her father grabbed her arm and pushed her behind him.

“I don’t know what you and the Brody gang are doing in my town, Cade, but you can just keep moving, and stay away from my daughter.”

Cade and her father stared each other down for a few minutes. Then Cade reached around her father to hand her basket to her. A smile slid across his lips. “It was a pleasure, Miss Williams. I hope we meet again.”

He gave Sheriff Williams an icy glare, turned on his heel and headed back up the walkway toward the Brody gang who were waiting for him by their horses.