Sneak Peek Sunday – Fiery Bride, post 2

Set up: Maggie has resigned herself to go with Jenny Talbot to meet her husband in the Colorado Territory.

fiery_brideJenny’s reasons she understood. Jenny was the oldest of seven children and, at twenty-two, felt she was a burden on her parents even though she worked and helped out with the bills. She hated her job and wanted to get married. Her chances were getting slim. Most young men of marriageable age were either already married or old, widowers with hellions for children.

Jenny was a tall, slim girl with pale blue eyes and dark blond hair. Her lips were full, her nose long and straight. Just a plain young woman from a struggling family who wanted a better life. One that the wild frontier might be able to offer.

Mr. Black’s reasons were less clear. He was successful and wanted children. Maggie had presented several other candidates, some more attractive, some younger, some older, all of which he’d rejected. The reasons he gave were weak. Brown hair. Too short. Too fat. Too thin. Too young. Too old. There seemed to be a reason for rejecting every candidate she sent him.

Finally, he’d settled on Jenny with the proviso that Maggie herself accompanies her. She’d agreed, but was going to send Mr. Sinclair in her place, as she felt she was needed in New York more and the girl would be accompanied, just not by her. She didn’t feel bad about her decision. Really she didn’t, she told herself. But she was lying not only to Mr. Black but to herself. She was afraid to meet Mr. Black. Afraid that her image of him would be wrong, but even more afraid that it would be right and he really was the man in the letters.

She shouldn’t have allowed it, him writing to her but it had been innocent enough. In the beginning. A simple flirtation with some she’d never meet. But now, the thought of actually meeting him terrified her and thrilled her. Now she had to go. So Mr. Black was getting what he’d asked for after all, much to her dismay.

The building she lived in was one of Edgar Selby’s rental properties, but after having to sell everything else, this was all that was left. She hadn’t lived in the small apartment with her husband and she was glad of that. The fewer memories of Edgar, the better. She’d gotten rid of most everything they’d had. She’d even sold their china and bought a cheaper replacement. There were, of course, some things she kept, such as her clothes and jewelry, selling sold only the ugliest pieces as she’d needed to in order to survive. That was before her business took off. It had taken five long years to get where she was today. And the worst of those days was better than any with Edgar. She was free of him. Forever. Never would a man touch her in anger again. Never would another man hit her.

4 thoughts on “Sneak Peek Sunday – Fiery Bride, post 2

  1. I like the impression of Mr. Black as a man determined to meet Maggie no matter how many would-be matches he has to reject first. I take it he hopes the squeaky wheel gets the girl. Fun excerpt. 🙂

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