Slater’s Bride by Patricia Thayer

SlatersBrideChapter three

For nearly three hours, Letty had been holding onto the side of the bench for dear life.  She had never ridden in a buckboard, but quickly realized the wagon had been named appropriately.

The icy winds bit her cheeks, and although the blankets helped ward off most of the cold, she wasn’t going to complain about the bumpy road or the speed.  The faster they got to their destination, the better.

“Whoa!  Whoa!” Paul called to the team.

The horses obeyed and stopped at the side of the dirt road.

“I thought we needed to take a break.”

“Thank you.  I could use a few minutes,” she told him as he went around to her side and helped her down from the wagon.

“Walk around. If you need some privacy…don’t wander off too far.”

She nodded and made her way across the frozen earth, careful of the ruts in the road.  Getting used to her new boots was easier than she thought.  They definitely kept her feet toasty.

Montana was cold, but so was Chicago, with the freezing winds blowing off the lake.  Of course, she never went out in a storm nor rode in an open carriage.

Oh, my, she sounded spoiled.  Not really.  She had been employed at the Catholic school.  Her wages were diminutive since she also received a room with her meals.  The small amount helped her pay for her college classes.

She walked through the grove of large pine trees and found a somewhat private spot.  Although it was more difficult with trousers, she managed to get her drawers down.  She couldn’t help but giggle a little.  If the nuns could see her now.

After taking care of her business, she returned to the wagon to find Paul giving the horses some water. She pulled her wool tweed coat together against the cold, wishing they were already in Morgan’s Crossing.  She climbed back up into her seat herself and covered her lower body with a blanket.  “Do you need me to help with anything?”

“No, I can handle it.”  Paul placed the water bucket in the wagon, took something out of the bag, then swiftly returned to the driver’s seat.  His shoulder brushed against hers as he settled in beside her.

She found she liked having a man close.  Or maybe it was this one particular rancher.

“Here,” he said and held out an egg sandwich.  “It’s all I have until we get to the cabin.”

“Thank you.”  Normally, she’d be a lot pickier about her food, but hunger won out.  She bit into the cold bread and decided the sandwich was delicious, warm or cold.  “This is pretty good.”

“Yes, it is, but not as tasty as S Bar D beef.”

“So, the ranch is named after both of you?”

Paul nodded.  “I didn’t know it at the time, but I now know that the D stands for Drennan.”

She started to comment about her brother’s business endeavor when she felt something on her face.  Looking up, she caught the swirl of snow flurries.  She didn’t need to tell Paul.

“Let’s go.”  He picked up the reins with his gloved hands, released the wagon brake and started the horses moving.  With another flick of his wrist and a shout from Paul, the animals picked up the pace.

“Are you going to make it to the cabin?” Letty asked

Paul never took his eyes off the road.  “Like I said, we don’t have a choice.  So we move a little faster.”

“How long before we’re there?”

“About four hours.  I suggest you pull that blanket up around you and stay warm.”

“Is that your way of saying I talk too much?”

“No, it’s my way of saying there’s nothing we can do about this situation but to keep going.”

“Then we should go faster.”  Letty wrapped the colorful print blanket around her body, trying to absorb the heat.  She glanced at Paul.  He seemed plenty warm enough in his big sheepskin coat with the collar pulled up and a scarf covering his neck.

Then he moved the wool to cover the bottom half of his face.

He glanced at her with those startling blue eyes, and a strange feeling came over her.

He leaned toward her, “I bet you’re wishing you never left Chicago until later in the spring.”

“I didn’t have a choice but to come now.”  She wondered if it was too late already.

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MelissaStewardson-2ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Patricia Thayer was born and raised in Muncie, Indiana, the second in a family of eight children.  She attended Ball State University, before heading west, where she has called Southern California, home for many years.   There she’s been a member of the Orange County Chapter of RWA.  It’s a sisterhood like no other.

Patricia has written over fifty books.  She’s also had the honor of being nominated for both the National Reader’s Choice Award and the prestigious RITA award, and seeing her book ‘Nothing Short of a Miracle’ win a Romantic Times Reviewer’s Choice award.

When not working on a story, she might be found traveling the United States and Europe, taking in the scenery and doing story research while thoroughly enjoying time with my husband, Steve. Together, we have three grown sons and four grandsons and one granddaughter. She calls them my own true life heroes. On rare days off from writing, you might catch her at Disneyland spoiling those grandkids rotten!

When she wants some quiet time with her guy, they escape to their little cabin in the mountains and park themselves out on the deck and let the world race by.

One thought on “Slater’s Bride by Patricia Thayer

  1. First of all, I want to thank Cindy for posting my new book, Slater’s Bride, on her blog. And to Debra Holland for inviting me to join in this Montana Sky series with all the other wonderful authors.
    I am a contemporary author of over 50 books, but I’ve always loved reading historical. So this was my opportunity to write my own story, especially since I got to introduce some of ancestors from my own, Slater Sisters of Montana series. I hope you all get a chance to visit or revisit Sweetwater Springs and Morgan’s Crossing.
    I would love to answer any questions you have for me or the series. Pat Thayer

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