More of Kent Ashton’s Backstory

I wrote another scene for Kent Ashton’s Backstory.

kent ashton's backstory ebook2

I wanted to pair up the scene I posted yesterday in my Sunday Story Sample from Falling In Love With Her Husband.  I didn’t want to rewrite the scene from Kent’s point of view.  Instead, I opted to have the next time they talked.  That way I don’t repeat myself, so if you read Falling In Love With Her Husband, you won’t get bored with the same scene.  😉

Without further ado, here’s the scene.  Remember, it’s in first draft form…


Two weeks later, Kent waited by the oak tree in front of the school.  Classes ended for the day, but he hesitated to go home.  He shifted from one foot to the other and watched the campus lawn as students left the building.  He wanted to see Ann Statesman.  Maybe today she’d be alone.  So far, she’d been with her friend Agnes Brothers.  Sometimes Agnes’ older brother, Todd, was with them.  Maybe no one would accompany her today.  Ever since he met her in class, he hadn’t been able to get her out of his mind.  He’d wanted to talk to her sooner but didn’t know what to say.  This time he had planned some things he could say to her.

“Hi, Kent.”

He turned around and saw that Rebecca was standing behind him.  He hadn’t heard her approach.  Glancing back at the school where he didn’t see Ann, he said, “Hi,” and reluctantly turned his attention back to Rebecca.  “Do you need something?”

She shook her head.  “No.  I just wanted to see how things are going.  Adjusting to a new place and all.  It must be difficult.”

“Not really.  One place is as good as another.”

“I’ve been to New York.  It was a year ago.  I got to see the Statue of Liberty.  Did you ever see it?”

He looked back at the school entrance.  “Yes.  A couple of times.” Catching sight of Ann leaving the school, he said, “I have to go.  I’m glad you enjoyed your trip to New York.”

Without waiting for her to respond, he hurried over to Ann.  She was alone today!  If he didn’t act quick, he might not get another chance for a long time.  “Ann!” he called out.

Ann halted in midstep and turned to face him.  “Good afternoon, Kent.”

When he caught up to her, he gestured to her books.  “I’d be happy to carry those home for you, if it’s alright?”

Blushing, she nodded and handed them to him.  “Thank you.”

“Which way do you live?” The truth was, he already knew since he caught sight of her carriage in front of her house three days ago, but he was afraid if he admitted it, then she’d wonder if he was following her.  And he wasn’t following her.  He was just taking note of the things she did.

“I’m four blocks in that direction.” She pointed down the sidewalk.

He fell in step beside her, his heart beating with excitement.  As long as he didn’t say anything wrong, he might get a chance to court her.  “That’s not far from where I am.  I’m three blocks away.”

“Oh, your family is the one who moved into the Hubbards’ old residence.”

“I suppose.  I didn’t take note of who lived there before.”

She smiled.  “They were an elderly couple.  They moved to Boston to be closer to their son.”

An image of his parents moving closer to be near him made his skin crawl.  His hope had been in going back to New York and sending them money as they needed it.  He hoped they had the same desire.

“We talked briefly before, shortly after your arrival here,” she began, her cheeks a lovely shade of pink.

“Yes, I remember.” Like he could ever forget the moment she walked into the classroom and everything else around him had faded so she became his focal point.  Recalling the boy she’d been talking to in a friendly manner, he said, “I wasn’t too forward in introducing myself, was I?  I didn’t think anything of it at the time, but I did interrupt the conversation you were having with Todd.”

“No, you didn’t interrupt anything.  I’ve known Todd for as long as I can remember.” After a moment of silence, she added, “I’ve also known Alex for almost that long.  I hope you don’t think we’re all the same way he is, pulling the pranks that aren’t as funny as he thinks they are.”

He grimaced.  The afternoon when Alex ruined his pants still bothered him.  “I didn’t think anyone else were the same as him.”

“Good.  Because we’re not.”

“He doesn’t seem to bother most people.”

She shook her head and adjusted her hat to better shield her eyes from the sun.  “I think it’s because his father is a prominent member of society.  Plus, many students have respect for Todd and he’s close friends with Todd.  I think most of them overlook what Alex does because they like Todd.”

Since she’d brought up Todd again, he wondered if she harbored romantic feelings toward him.  “So,” he began, wondering how he could best word his question, “has Todd asked to court you?”

Her eyes grew wide and she gasped.  “No!  My family is well acquainted with his, but that’s all there is to it.  I have no desire to be with him in that manner.”

Relieved, he relaxed his hold on her books.  That was the best news he’d received since he came here.  His parents wanted to see him marry a young woman from a wealthy family, and she caught his interest.  Perhaps he could satisfy his parents and be happy.

“I hear you come from New York,” she said.


“I hear there’s much to do there.”

“There is.  Theatre, art, music…  It’s a place filled with culture.  I’d like to return there once I find a job after we graduate.”


Noting the slight disappointment in her voice, he ventured, “And of course, I’d take the lady I marry with me.”

Her cheeks grew a brighter shade of pink and her smile widened.  “Oh?”

Sensing her interest, he grinned.  “I can tell you more about New York sometime.”

“I’d love to learn more about it.  I only know what a friend told me, and she made it sound fascinating.”

“It is.  There’s always something exciting to do.” They reached her house, and his steps slowed.  “Thank you for letting me walk you home.” He waited until they reached her front door before he handed her her books.  “Can I walk you home tomorrow?”

With a nod, she said, “Yes, you may.”

“I’m looking forward to it.”

He waited until she entered her house before he headed home, feeling much better about his future than he had since he moved to Virginia.

About Ruth Ann Nordin

Ruth Ann Nordin mainly writes historical western romances and Regencies. From time to time, she branches out to other genres, but her first love is historical romance. She lives in Omaha, Nebraska with her husband and a couple of children. To find out more about her books, go to
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2 Responses to More of Kent Ashton’s Backstory

  1. Sounds intriguing. What year is this set in?

    • This is 1899. I usually just list time periods in my books, but I should have specified when I started these scenes since they are going to be posted before I publish the book. hehe

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