Another Scene from Kent Ashton’s Backstory

For today’s Inspiration for the Book (which I’ve been doing for Monday), I thought I’d post another scene from Kent Ashton’s Backstory.  For those of you who read An Inconvenient Marriage, you might remember the brief conversation Jake Mitchell (hero in An Inconvenient Marriage) overheard while at a bank.

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            (Jake Mitchell) went over to a desk in the lobby to fill out the necessary paperwork.  The boy named Kent sat in a couch close to him.  Though Jake had his back turned to him, he could hear Kent talk to the young lady sitting next to him.  The girl in Todd’s picture wasn’t the same girl who was talking to Kent.

“Why do you insist on marrying Ann Statesman instead of me?” the girl asked.

Jake rolled his eyes.  It was one of those discussions.

“Ann Statesman comes from one of the wealthiest families in town,” the boy replied.  “She has a considerable dowry.”

Jake focused his attention on the conversation.  It sounded oddly familiar to what he overheard from someone in his past.

“But I thought your affections were for me,” she argued.

“They are, Rebecca.”

“So why don’t you court me?  Who cares about the money?”

“It’s a lot of money we’re talking about.  I want to do some traveling and entertaining.  Her money will provide for that and more.”

Jake quickly finished signing the contract after he read through it and walked by Todd’s desk.

That was the conversation between Kent and Rebecca, and it took place before Kent ended his courtship with Ann in Falling In Love With Her Husband.  At the time, I thought it was so neat to give a glimpse into what was happening with Kent and Rebecca that no one got to see in Falling In Love With Her Husband.  However, when I started writing Kent Ashton’s Backstory, I forgot all about that scene until someone asked me why Ann’s father refused to let Kent propose to her.  I hit a roadblock on this for about two weeks and couldn’t write anything until I figured out what to do with that one pesky little conversation.

I finally got it smoothed out and am ready to post it.  🙂

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The next day, Kent shifted in the carriage in an effort to get as far from his father as possible.  His father was in a sickeningly good mood.  The only thing that made his father this happy was when he was about to come into a lot of money.

“These investments will make us both wealthy in a year,” his father said, fidgeting in excitement.  “We’re very fortunate to had made friends with Mister Johnson.”

“Then I don’t need to marry his daughter,” Kent replied, hoping his father would relent.

“Rebecca will serve you much better.  She might not come with a dowry as much as Ann’s, but you can’t deny Mister Johnson has better connections than Mister Statesman does.  Why, to have anything to do with Mister Statesman is laughable.  What benefit can he give you?”

“I don’t care what benefits he can give me?  I just want to marry Ann.”

His father shook his head.  “Foolishness.  That’s all this is.  You will marry Rebecca.”

“No, I won’t, and there’s nothing you can say or do to make me.”

The carriage pulled up to the bank and the driver opened the door, but Kent refused to look away from his father.  His father finally left the carriage.

As Kent joined him, he whispered, “We’ll see about that.”

He glared at his father, but his father’s back was turned to him as he approached the bank.  If Kent didn’t need the money as badly as he did, he would have headed straight home.  But he did need the money if he hoped to be with Ann.

When he entered the bank, his gaze fell on Todd who was at one of the desks.  He grimaced.  He forgot Todd worked here.  It was because of Todd that Ann’s father wouldn’t let him marry her.  What was so great about Todd?

“Kent, come over here.”

Kent headed over to his father, his steps slowing when he realized Mr. Johnson had brought Rebecca with him.  She smiled at him in a way that made his stomach churn.  Noting his father’s silent message to return Rebecca’s smile, he did, but only because they were in a public place.

“Rebecca, my dear, why don’t you wait for me over there?” Mr. Johnson gestured to the couch in the center of the room.  “We don’t want to bore you while we discuss business.”

“Alright, Father,” she replied, offering Kent another smile before she left them.

Kent hardly paid attention while his father and Mr. Johnson went over the details of the investments, but soon enough, he followed his father to the teller.  Feeling the heat of someone’s gaze on him, he scanned the room and saw that Rebecca was watching him.  His face warmed from a mixture of aggravation and embarrassment.  Todd wasn’t that far away and he’d probably assume more was going on than actually was.

“Excellent,” Kent’s father told the teller, interrupting Kent’s thoughts.  He turned to Kent.  “We’ll arrange things with Mister Wilcombe.”

The two men went to the office and filled out the necessary paperback to open the investments.  When they were done, his father said, “I want to talk to Mister Johnson.  Sit over there and wait for me.”

Kent looked at the couch where Rebecca was still sitting and sighed.  The chairs were already taken, so there was nowhere else he could wait.  “I’m not marrying her,” he whispered.

His father ignored him and walked over to Mr. Johnson.

Gritting his teeth, he stumped over to the couch and sat down, choosing a section that wasn’t right next to her.

She chuckled and scooted closer to him.  “There’s no need to be shy,” she softly said.  “My father explained everything.”

“What did he explain?” He saw the two men leave the chairs and cursed his poor timing.  If he’d only waited a couple more seconds, he could have been sitting across from her.

She fiddled with her gloves.  “Oh, about how you want to you secretly want to be with me but was too afraid to ask my father if you could court me.  I had no idea you entertained romantic feelings for me all this time.  If you’d only asked me, I would have accepted your suit.”

Is that what Kent’s father told Mr. Johnson?  He couldn’t believe it.  Settling a little further from her, he said, “Rebecca, I don’t know how to tell you what’s really going on.”

“You don’t have to.  I already know.  Our times together have been magical.”

“I can’t marry you.” There.  He came out and said it.  “I’m going to marry Miss Statesman.”

“I don’t understand.  There’s nothing stopping us from being together.  My father heartily approves the match.” She frowned, her lower lip jutting out.  “Why do you insist on marrying Ann Statesman instead of me?”

“Ann Statesman comes from one of the wealthiest families in town.” Then before she could argue that she also came from wealth, he added, “She has a considerable dowry.” And that was true.  Ann’s dowry was significantly larger than Rebecca’s.

“But I thought your affections were for me.”

He glanced at his father and Mr. Johnson.  Neither would be pleased if he admitted that he had no desire to be with her at all, and quite frankly, it didn’t seem fair to let her know that he never found her attractive.  “They are, Rebecca,” he finally hedged.

“So why don’t you court me?  Who cares about the money?”

“It’s a lot of money we’re talking about.  I want to do some traveling and entertaining.  Her money will provide for that and more.”

Tears welled up in her eyes.  “So you’re giving up love for money?”

He inwardly groaned.  What was he supposed to say to that?

His father approached them.  “It’s time to go.  You may see Rebecca when we attend our next dinner party at the Johnsons’.”

As he stood up, he happened to catch the way Todd was staring at him.  Narrowing his eyes, he waited for a moment.  Todd refused to break eye contact with him.  What had he ever done to Todd?  Just because Ann didn’t want to marry him, Todd hated him?  Well, it was her choice who she ended up with, not Todd or even her father’s.

He considered going over to Todd and asking him if he had something to say to him, but his father cleared his throat.  “Kent, time is of the essence.”

Reluctant, Kent looked away from Todd and left the bank.

About Ruth Ann Nordin

Ruth Ann Nordin mainly writes historical western romances and Regencies. From time to time, she branches out to contemporaries romances and other genres (such as science fiction thrillers). For more information, please go to www.ruthannnordin.com or check out https://ruthannnordinauthorblog.wordpress.com.
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2 Responses to Another Scene from Kent Ashton’s Backstory

  1. It sounds like Kent is weaving a tangled web. He’s not being honest with Rebecca. This will probably backfire on him.

    • Yep, and I show how in the next scene. 😀 The next scene is why I wrote this backstory. I thought it would be 10,000 words at the most, but now it’s almost 16,000 words, and I think I finally am hovering around the halfway point, or maybe just a little beyond it. It’s hard to tell how many more scenes I need to write to get to where he tries to take Ann from Todd.

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