I wrote some more for Kent’s Backstory. The plot for his romance is slowly forming in my mind, and I think Rose Larson (one of Dave and Mary’s daughters) will be the heroine. After examining the Nebraska Timeline, Rose will be old enough to get married at the time the book takes place. Rose is actually a twin. Harriett is the other one. When I decided to give Dave and Mary twins in the timeline, I already knew Rose and Harriett would be opposites. Rose will be outgoing and have men falling over their feet to be with while Harriett won’t be. I’ve always loved the twins being opposites dynamic, so I’m going to have fun with it. 😀
And as I was typing the above paragraph, I got the idea that Harriett is going to end up marrying a man who had wanted to be with Rose. (That is how most of my ideas come to me. They come while I’m writing either a post or another story. LOL) I’m not sure what the details of that story will be, but I know a bit of the plot. I’d like to have it where he thinks he’s marrying Rose, and Harriett believes he wants to marry her. So both will be in for a huge shock when they find out the truth, but I have to let that idea sit for a while before I settle on it.
I changed the cover. The wine he’s holding becomes significant to why things turned out the way they did for him in Falling In Love With Her Husband. It’s still no excuse for what he did to Ann toward the end of the book, so he’ll still have to redeem himself in that incidence.
“I specifically told you to take care of your pants,” Kent’s father grumbled. “But I come home and I find them soiled.”
Kent glanced up from the settee as his father paced the parlor. The closed doors gave them privacy from the servants, something he was thankful for. It was bad enough having his father upset with him, but if anyone else saw it, it would be much worse. “I didn’t do it on purpose. Alex Dawson threw a frog on me, and it startled me. If it weren’t for him, my pants would be fine.”
Pausing, he faced Kent. “Dawson? As in Peter Dawson’s son?”
He shrugged. “I don’t know. Maybe. I don’t care who his father is.”
For sure, Kent had no desire to associate with Alex, whether at school or elsewhere. Alex had no manners at all. The fact that he was allowed to remain in the school was something he couldn’t understand. It seemed that a young man who behaved the way he did would be thrown out.
“It might behoove you to care who Alex’s father is,” his father reprimanded, his hands behind his back. “If he’s Peter Dawson, this could be to our advantage.”
Before Kent could ask him to explain, his father hurried out of the parlor. Kent sighed and rose from the settee, glad he could go to his bedroom so he didn’t have to wear one of his clean pants that barely reached his ankles. The servants had to suspect his parents’ financial standing wasn’t secure. Even as much as his parents tried to hide it, there had to have been things that made them wonder. He didn’t think the servants were as daft as his parents assumed.
Oh well. There wasn’t much he could do about any of it, at least for now. At some point, he’d fixed the situation, but he wasn’t going to do it today. Once he shut his bedroom door, he sat in the chair by his large window and stared outside, lost in his thoughts of the past he couldn’t change and future his parents would control.
“I assure you my son won’t ruin Kent’s trousers ever again,” Mr. Dawson told Mr. Ashton as the tailor recorded Kent’s measurements into his book.
Kent, Alex, their fathers, and the tailor were in Mr. Ashton’s parlor, and Kent remained still as the tailor measured the length from his waist to just past his ankle. As soon as Kent’s father sent word to Mr. Dawson about the incident during lunch, Mr. Dawson insisted on coming over to their house to make amends. While Alex’s prank still upset him, Kent thought his father was taking advantage of Mr. Dawson’s generosity in agreeing to let Mr. Dawson purchase three new suits. One would have sufficed, and Kent’s father knew it. But Kent’s father saw an opportunity and wasn’t about to waste it.
At the moment, Mr. Ashton was smiling in his most charming fashion at Mr. Dawson. “I appreciate how quickly you came to take care of the matter.”
“Of course,” Mr. Dawson replied. “I don’t condone Alex’s behavior one bit. Alex, you owe Kent and his father an apology.”
Alex, who had his hat in his hands, dutifully voiced the apology, but Kent didn’t believe he was sorry. He’d made no hint of being remotely repentant earlier that day.
“I expect these pranks to stop at once,” Mr. Dawson told his son.
Though Alex nodded, Kent had his doubts Alex would actually obey the command. But his father was satisfied, and that was all that mattered as far as this conversation was concerned.
The tailor stood up and closed his book. “Mr. Dawson, I have finished. I will have Kent’s first suit tomorrow morning before classes start and the other two suits before the week is done.”
Mr. Dawson relaxed. “Good.” He turned back to Mr. Ashton. “I hope that will suffice.”
“It more than suffices,” Kent’s father replied. “Kent and I thank you for handling everything in such a timely manner.”
“It’s the least I can do.” His gaze went to Kent. “I hope you won’t hold this against Alex.”
Before Kent could respond, his father laughed and shook Mr. Dawson’s hand. “Of course, he won’t. I’m sure despite their shaky beginning, our sons will be good friends.”
Not if I can help it, Kent thought.
“We’ll take our leave,” Mr. Dawson said and motioned for Alex to follow him and the tailor out of the parlor.
Mr. Ashton followed them to the front door, once again commending Mr. Dawson and Alex for their kindness and generosity. Kent resisted the urge to roll his eyes. His father was only nice to them because of their wealth.
After they left, his father returned to the parlor, his eyes lit up with excitement. “Do you know who Mr. Dawson is?”
Kent shrugged as he poured himself some water from the pitcher on the table in the corner of the room. “Alex’s father?”
“Oh, he’s much more than that.” His father approached him and took the glass out of his hand before he could take a drink. “Mr. Dawson donates significant funds to the school you attend.”
“That’s why Alex is allowed to get away with his pranks,” he muttered.
“Don’t begrudge a young man the need to laugh.”
Kent couldn’t believe what he was hearing. “Are you defending what Alex did to my pants?”
“There was no actual harm in it. His father made amends, and you’re gaining three new suits.”
“You weren’t so happy when I came home in soiled clothes.”
His father drank the water and set the empty glass on the table. “That was before I knew how influential Mr. Dawson is. Now that I know, we must act accordingly. You will be friends with Alex.”
“You must do this for me, Kent. You are here to build connections and establish yourself in this community. You will do whatever it takes to do that. Do I make myself clear?”
“Yes,” he forced out.
“Good. Now, I will tell your mother the good news. The strain we’ve been under hasn’t been good for her health.”
With a shake of his head, he picked up another glass and poured water into it. His mother with her endless headaches… Headaches that could only be cured with money. He drank the water and sighed. He didn’t care what his father wanted in regards to Alex. He wouldn’t stoop to the level of pretending to like someone as childish as he. There was no way he was going to be like his father.
How old is Kent in this excerpt?
Seventeen. Part of his problem is that he has his lack of life experience working against him. 😀
And he doesn’t willing drink the wine. It’s slipped into his drink.