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.