...continued from previous page
Be among the first to know when I post new chapters, to new books!

Click Here
Keep up-to-date on all the announcements and website news!

Subscribe today!

My policy is to follow the Golden Rule (Matthew 7:12); I hate spam too, and will never sell or give away your email address.
"Reckon you best tell her, Emma. You'll be needing her to help out, when you git tired."

When Emma told Mary of their news, the child jumped up and down, clapping her hands for joy. Josiah didn't know why he was still there, when he had to get ready for another hunting trip. Before he could get to his feet, though, Mary plopped herself onto his lap to give him a great big hug.

It was an unexpected gesture, and Josiah didn't know what to do with his arms. But when he felt the child hug him so trustingly, Josiah felt something stir inside him. Something protective and even tender. Was this what it felt like to be a father? Josiah didn't know, but his arms wrapped around Mary, and he returned her hug.

After several moments, Josiah was ready to stop hugging Mary, but she seemed quite content to stay where she was.

"All right," said Josiah, trying to pry the small arms from around his neck without damaging her, "I have to git going, so let go."

Reluctantly, Mary obeyed, though she stayed in his lap until he transferred her to Emma.

"Hope that baby turns out to be a boy," Josiah said as he stood up. "The women are outnumbering me as it is."

Emma laughed softly, and before he knew it, Josiah found himself smiling. Then a shadow clouded his soul, and Josiah's smile vanished.

"Are you sure you couldn't delay hunting for a few days?" asked Emma. "You need the rest, Josiah."

Afraid of betraying himself, Josiah turned his back to Emma to be sure she couldn't read his face. "We need the meat."

Josiah heard Emma sigh heavily.

"How long will you be gone this time?" she asked.

Shrugging, Josiah began packing some jerky into a heavy buffalo robe. "It depends," he said busily. "I'll chop firewood before I leave, though. I noticed yer getting low."

Grabbing his axe, Josiah headed out the door without meeting Emma's gaze.

This time, Josiah's hunting trip only lasted the day, and he returned just before sundown. He was empty-handed, and in bad temper after finding no signs of game. But it wasn't just his "bad luck" that Emma sensed bothered Josiah. Something was eating away at him from the inside. He had changed, and Emma couldn't understand why.

That night, for the first time Emma could remember, Josiah resisted her caress.

"What's wrong?" she asked.

Josiah's response was sullen and depressed. "Leave me be."
continued on next page...
<< Love Stories Last PageLove Stories Next Page >>
Spread the Love
One of my longtime readers, Myra Valcourt, has created a Facebook group just for you! "The Works of Judith Bronte" offers a forum to discuss the stories and characters, and a way to get to know other readers. I hope to see you there!