Yes, I realize I usually do the story samples on Sunday, but I also follow it up with a Monday post which is usually has an “inspiration for the book” theme. This Monday, I am announcing the winners for the giveaway I’m doing. So this means I can’t make an inspiration post on Monday. What I’ll do is make the inspiration post on Monday and do a sample scene today.
Sunday Saturday Story Sample
Today I thought I’d shift gears a bit from Kent Ashton’s Backstory to Lassoing Her Groom.
Quick background in Lassoing Her Groom:
The story takes place in 1907. (Kent Ashton’s Backstory takes place in 1899 – 1901.)
Rose Larson is 18. Kent Ashton is 25. Kent has just returned from Ireland and is heading west on a train when two men steal his things and leave him, beaten and helpless, in an alley. Dave Larson happens to find him and brings him home to help him recover. Rose has taken an instant liking to Kent (and when I “instant”, I mean she’s decided they’ll get married before they’ve said more than a couple words to each other).
So in this scene below, Kent doesn’t know anything about her except that she’s Dave Larson’s daughter. This is why he reacts to her the way he does. But Rose isn’t one to be dissuaded easily. 🙂 Hence the title, Lassoing Her Groom. She won’t stop until she gets him, and since this is a romance, we all know that they end up together. The fun is seeing how.
This scene takes place in Chapter 5 and is in Rose’s point of view. Oh, Adam is Rose’s 25-year-old brother. I mention him in the chapter and don’t want people to be like, “Who the heck is Adam?” LOL Emily is the one who married Isaac in Isaac’s Decision.
(This is the first draft.)
“‘The tempest surrounded them as they made their way to the abandoned house that sat on the hill,’” Rose read from a dime novel the next day.
She shifted, adjusting her skirt. She wasn’t used to wearing them except for church and special occasions, but she thought she’d start wearing them more now that she had someone to impress.
Turning her attention back to Kent who was asleep, she smiled and continued reading, “‘Though they’d been warned never to go there, they did, unaware that they were being watched, unaware that they had sealed their fate. If only they had known the consequence of their decision, they never would have stepped foot through the front door.’” She released an anxious breath. “My sister-in-law Emily is right. These dime novels are hard to put down. They’re much more entertaining than those books.”
She glanced at the books on the table by his bed then turned her attention to him. If Emily hadn’t come by that morning and shared a couple of her dime novels with her, she’d be missing out on some very entertaining stories. As soon as she finished cleaning the downstairs, she’d hurried upstairs in hopes of reading to Kent. Unfortunately, he was sleeping, but even so, she pulled up the chair and started in on a horror story that sounded intriguing. She kept hoping he’d wake up but so far that hadn’t happened.
She marked the page in the dime novel and closed it. Learning forward, she took the time to study his face. He’d shaved that morning. Biting her lower lip, she glanced at the partly open door. No one was upstairs. Before she lost her nerve, she touched his cheek then his chin, noting how smooth he felt. He had a strong jaw, a very masculine one. Bringing her hand up to his hair, she gently ran her fingers through it. If she guessed right, Adam had helped him wash his hair. It was softer than before and the dried blood was gone.
Her gaze lowered to his lips. Emily said there were some romance stories in the dime novels where the hero kissed the heroine. She wondered what a kiss felt like. Emily said kisses were one of the best experiences in the world. Rose traced Kent’s lips, noting how soft they were. Her heart raced. Did she dare kiss him? Just to see what it was like? She looked at the door again. Still no one else upstairs.
She took a deep breath and lowered her head. She closed her eyes just because it seemed more romantic than if she was staring at him. Plus, since his eyes were closed, she could pretend he wanted to kiss her. Maybe she could even pretend he asked if he could kiss her. Yes, that seemed like a good way to think about it. Her lips touched his and a thrill of delight raced up and down her spine.
He jerked away from her and she straightened up in surprise. “You’re awake,” she said.
“What are you doing?” He struggled to sit up but winced and grabbed his ribs.
“Don’t hurt yourself.”
She hurried to help him, but he shoved her away. “What’s wrong with you?”
Startled by his tone, she stopped and stared at him. “There’s nothing wrong with me. I’m trying to help you.”
He shook his head. “You’re not helping.”
“What do you need?” She picked up a glass of water. “Are you thirsty?”
“Leave me alone.”
She watched as he struggled to sit.
When he finally managed to settle with his back against the pillow, he was out of breath and holding his ribs. He was obviously in no condition to do much on his own and yet insisted on it.
“I don’t understand you,” she said, placing the glass back on the table. “You shouldn’t be pushing yourself so hard.”
“And you shouldn’t come into a bedroom without a chaperone to kiss a man you don’t know,” he snapped and grimaced.
“You’re in pain.” She picked up the medicine her uncle had left and poured him a spoonful. She held it up to his lips.
“What are doing?”
“I’m giving you something for the pain. This will make you feel better.”
“Why do you insist on treating me like a child?” He gingerly lifted his arm and took the spoon. Once he swallowed the medicine, he gave it back to her. “Where’s your mother? Where’s your father? Where are the others?”
“They’re busy. I’m done with my chores, so I came to read to you.” Recalling the dime novel, she found it on the floor by her feet and picked it up. “There it is. My sister-in-law dropped a couple of these off earlier. I was reading to you. It was the beginning of a wonderful tale. There is this old curse placed on a house out in the middle of nowhere and—”
“I don’t care what it’s about.” Grunting, he shifted and released his breath.
“Oh, but you should,” she protested as she sat back in the chair and flipped the dime novel open. “You’re the main character. Let’s see…” She scanned the opening paragraph. “Leonard, that’s his name. But it’s alright because I’m pretending he’s you, and he’s with his wife. Her name is…um… Here it is. Fannie. But we’ll pretend she’s me.” Ignoring the way he rolled his eyes, she continued, “Anyway, they got stranded at a train station that’s run by a really creepy old man who refuses to give them a ticket until the next day, and they need somewhere to stay. They try the inn but it’s full. Oh, wait. I forgot to tell you that they’ve been warned about the old house on the hill while on the train.”
“I don’t care,” he said.
“But don’t you want to find out what happens to us?”
“No. And there’s no ‘us’.”
“Not yet, but there will be.”
He blinked several times and shook his head. “You’re behavior is scandalous. Are your parents aware that you do this to men you don’t know?”
“All I’ve done is read to you.” Really, she didn’t see what was so scandalous about that.
“And when I woke up you were kissing me.”
“Oh, that. Well, that’s alright because we’ll get married. I won’t do anything else until we’re married, so don’t get any ideas. But there’s nothing wrong with a little old kiss.”
“How many men do you go around kissing?”
“None. You’re the first.”
He rubbed his head and groaned.
“Are you in pain?” she asked, leaning forward.
“Please tell me I’m stuck in a bad dream.”
Amused, she laughed and closed the dime novel. “You have a wonderful sense of humor, Kent. I just know we’re going to have a lot of fun together.”
Lowering his hand, he glared at her. “We aren’t going to have fun together because there is no ‘together’ like you’re saying. As soon as I’m well enough, I’m getting on the first train out of here.”
“Then you’ll take me with you?”
“But you have to if you marry me.”
“I’m not going to—” He winced and pressed his hand against his ribs. “Never mind. I’m not up for the fight.”
“Is there anything I can do to help you feel better?” she asked, reaching out to touch his arm.
He shook her off of him and yelled out, “Someone! Anyone! I need help!”
Surprised, she stared at him. Why didn’t he accept her offer of help?
Footsteps hurrying up the stairs alerted her that someone decided to answer him. Disappointed, she rose to her feet and reached the door just in time for her mother to arrive. Her mother glanced from her to Kent and sighed. “Rose,” she began in a low voice, “I told you to leave him alone. He needs time to heal.”
“I gave him some medicine. He was in pain, Ma,” she replied. “I couldn’t let him sit there clutching his sides like that, could I?” she gestured to Kent who was taking deep breaths and holding his ribs.
“Clean up the downstairs.”
“Then go help your pa clean out the stalls.”
She frowned. “But I’ll smell like the barn.”
“That never bothered you before,” her mother replied.
“Well, I know but…” She glanced at Kent then returned her gaze to her mother. She couldn’t get out of doing some kind of chore, and she might as well be with the horses. It was better than being stuck in the kitchen. “Alright. Mind if I slip into my pants first?”
“Of course not.”
Resigned to leaving Kent for the moment, she went to her bedroom to change clothes.