Telling the World
Taking a deep breath she turned the key in the lock, heard the confirming click, and slowly opened the beautiful chest. It gave a groaning creek as it was opened revealing a trove of things a bride might have on her wedding day. With careful hands she propped open the lid to explore the contents further. There were pieces of lace, mended dishes, pressed flowers, a pair of white boots, old photos and buried beneath it all, a diary.
Katie gently pulled the diary from its hiding place hoping not to disturb the contents of the chest. Her mother would “ring her neck” if she found her daughter up here in the dusty attic reading her diary. But as Katie knew from Colleen, their mother had read her diary some years back. That hadn’t been pleasant and if caught Katie was ready to turn the tables.
Katie moved quietly over to the window for better lighting and sat down to read. Her parents had one of the most loving marriages in Colorado Springs. Their bond was like no other and Katie dreamed of having a marriage like theirs someday. However she wanted to know the juicy details of their meeting for the first time, which was always kept mum.
“Maybe this will tell me more,” Katie said to herself as she opened up her mother’s diary.
Katie skimmed the pages of her mother’s arrival in Colorado Springs, her run in with a thief, nearly dying, and what was this… “Oh my,” Katie said to herself before blinking twice to make sure she’d read the words correctly. “Tied up inside a barn by a savage thinking I might die, until he arrived…” Katie smiled; she was hooked now wanting to know why this savage had tied up her mother and those juicy details no one would tell her.
Sully sensed something was wrong the moment he stepped into the stables, everything was much too quiet. Normally the horses were making noises, munching on oats, kicking the stall doors, snorting. His hand instinctively went to his belt where he kept his tomahawk as he hunched over slightly and moved quietly through the darkness.
With many years spent with the Indians he learned how to move without making a sound, and more importantly how to fight. He was ready with his weapon in hand and alert to whatever noises might break the silence of the night. Ever so slowly he rounded the corner into the long stretch in between stalls keeping his eyes peeled for anything unusual. So far everything looked normal, until he spotted a flash of something blue.
Michaela froze the moment she heard footsteps come into the barn, she was fearful her captor might return with a knife. She hadn’t gotten a good look at him but she remembered the beads, feathers, and the awful noises he made in her ear. Her mother had warned her not to go out at night alone, but she hadn’t listened. Flash needed her and now here she was bound and gagged against a rough post in the stables and terrified of what might be lurking in the darkness.
Suddenly a shadow fell across the small silver of light streaming through the boards. Michaela closed her eyes fearing the worst; the Indian was back and was going to take away her life and add her beautiful locks to a belt. She didn’t want to even look at the savage face and was completely shocked to hear a soft masculine voice break the silence.
“Ma’am are ya alright?” Sully called out softly as he explored the beautiful woman in front of him.
Michaela slowly opened her eyes to find herself looking into the most handsome face she’d ever seen. Upon further inspection she noticed his clothing was different, not something a gentleman would wear. Sensing some momentary fear, she bit hard on her gag and tried to pull lose of her bonds.
Sully watched as she opened up her eyes and nearly lost his breath, “God she was beautiful,” he thought to himself. She was also well out of his league although his body was responding in other ways. The moment she tried to loosen herself, he stopped her. “Please, let me help you.” Michaela looked at him and sighed, she was so helpless right now and hated it, vowing also to herself that once she got lose she was going to run.
The moment Sully’s hands came in contact with her bonds; Michaela nearly lost herself in a burning fire of desire. She had never felt the gentle touch of a man before and his touch was soft and electric all at once. Within moments she was free and staring back up again into his eyes.
It was on the tip of her tongue to ask him who he was, but she couldn’t move her eyes away from his or think of anything else but him. She wondered briefly what it would be like to feel his lips on hers, his touch over her body, and then their eyes locked.
Sully swallowed hard fighting back the urge to look into her eyes and fully lose himself. He saw the way her tongue moved in her mouth, the way her eyes looked as if they wanted him as more than just a rescuer. Her scent was intoxicating; and if he stayed this close to her much longer desire was bound to take over. He was just the hired help and women like her didn’t keep company with men like him.
Michaela reached up touching his shoulder, forcing him to keep his gaze on her. She swallowed hard before speaking, “Thank you.”
“You’re welcome.” Michaela smiled and forced her hand to leave his shoulder, but not before it was captured. Sully marveled at the small delicate hand in his own rough one, loving how soft and right it felt, and placed a small kiss a upon it before letting it go.
Katie fell over with a deep sigh, “That was so romantic,” she said to herself placing the pages over her chest as she starred up at the ceiling.
“Ka-teee! I tee you!” little Cody called out to his sister.
“Cody! What are you doing up here? How did you find me?” Katie exclaimed as she jumped up from her spot near the window; diary falling to the floor. Cody looked at his big sister with a puzzled look on his face. He wasn’t used to Katie’s shouting and thought she’d be glad to see him but he was ready to crumble into tears.
Remembering the diary, Katie quickly scooped it up, placed it back in the chest, shut it and grabbed her baby brother. “Ka-tee no shout,” he said against her shoulder with tears threatening to fall.
“Hush now, I’m not going to shout at you,” Katie replied. “Oo-tay, we play hide seek?”
“Maybe, but first we have to do our chores,” Katie answered realizing that she’d spent so much time up in the attic that the Maybell was probably about to burst.
“Coo-res, down,” Cody said as he started to squirm out of his sister’s arms. Katie set him down and watched him use his little legs to get himself down the stairs as fast as he could. It was quite a sight to see and she couldn’t help but smile.
Katie tried to make a run for it the moment she heard her parent’s voices downstairs, hoping they wouldn’t see her, but when she felt her father’s hand come down on her shoulder she knew she was in for it now.
“Kates,” Sully said keeping his hand on Katie’s shoulder. “Where’ve ya been?”
“Upstairs in my room,” Katie replied not wanting to divulge that she’d actually been in the attic. Her mother would….she didn’t want to think about that.
Sully wasn’t convinced fully and worried his daughter was lying to him about something but he couldn’t pin point what she would be trying to hide. They’d always been close but Katie was growing up and he’d seen behavior like this in Colleen years ago. He hoped too that it would pass as he hated to see his daughter lying and cutting corners.
“I hope ya aren’t fibbin’ and next time try and get ta the cow before you run off to your room,” he replied trying to get his point across to his daughter. Katie cast her eyes to the floor, “I’m sorry, Pa, won’t happen again.”
“Good, now go take care of Maybell,” he replied before letting go of Katie’s shoulder and watching her run off towards the barn. He stood there watching her for a moment thinking of how much she reminded him of her mother.
Michaela came over to stand by her husband just as Katie disappeared into the barn. “She always did have a mind of her own.” Sully laughed, “Yep, gets it from her ma.”
Katie tried her best to focus on milking Maybell, but her mind kept drifting off to what she’d read in her mother’s diary. It had been so full of romance, just like the books Ms. Dorothy sold in her store that she was forbidden to read. But that hadn’t stopped Katie from an innocent look beneath a cover from time to time. She loved stories like that and now she was hooked on her parent’s own story. Katie knew she had to find a way to get back up there and read the rest of the story. “Maybe I can sneak up after everyone is in bed,” she thought to herself and began to divulge a plan until….
“Ka-tee! We eat now, c’mon,” Cody said breaking his sister’s thought process as she sat there starring at the cow. Katie nearly jumped when her brother’s voice broke the silence in the air, and worked quickly to gain composure. “I’ll be right there,” she replied. Cody seemed satisfied with the reply as he took off towards the house; Katie followed moments later.
When she stepped inside the house her family was seated at the table with hot food in bowls or plates around them. She could smell hot rolls, a roast, some potatoes and beans from her mother’s garden outside.
Quickly she scurried to the kitchen, washed off her hands, before seating herself at the table. All eyes were on her causing a flush to creep over her cheeks until she realized she had to give the grace that night.
Katie recited a short grace thanking God for the food he provided, and added a silent prayer of forgiveness just in case she was caught reading her mother’s private thoughts. She did her best during the meal to talk about school, her best friend Laura, and the possibility of helping out Miss Claire with her sewing work after school. While all the while her thoughts strayed elsewhere.
As night fell Katie lay in bed waiting for the house to quiet down before she stole back to the attic. Her parent’s always sat by the fire with tea after she and Cody turned for the night and when that was over they came to bed. Katie nearly fell asleep waiting for them to turn in, until her Pa and Ma came to her door and bid her a “Goodnight” before closing it.
Katie stayed still for what seemed like an eternity of time before she crept out of bed and quietly made her way back to the attic where her mother’s diary was hidden inside the chest. Once in the attic again, she carefully opened the chest, removed the diary and sat down to read it with a lone candle.
Michaela turned away long enough to reach for her medical bag, which was thankfully still beside her. She hadn’t wanted to unlock her eyes from her handsome rescuer, but when he looked down at the floor before placing his hands on his thighs to stand up; she knew the moment was over.
Sully watched as Michaela stood dusting the straw off her dress, all while holding a small black bag. He noticed how long her hair was, how it fell in beautiful curls down her back, how the delicate lace framed her feminine beauty and the look she was giving him….
“I’m afraid I don’t know your name?” Michaela asked softly, a part of her not wanting to let this man out of her sight. Never mind what her mother thought thousands of miles away, her heart was here and now with this man.
Sully hesitated a moment before answering, unsure if he should reveal his name. He wanted to, but a part of him knew he shouldn’t, yet he soon heard his name leave his lips regardless of what his head was trying to tell him. “It’s Sully,” he replied his eyes not leaving hers for a second.
Michaela smiled, “Thank you Sully for rescuing me, I am eternally grateful to you.”
“You’re welcome…..?” He replied with a bit of a question as her smile caused him to forget the words he was about to utter.
“Michaela,” she answered softly, still staring into his eyes.
“I …um…had best go,” she stammered out a several minutes later.
“Are ya goin’ far?” Sully asked suddenly wanting to spend more time with Michaela not wanting to let this beautiful angel out of his sight.
“Just back to the boarding house,” she replied softly as she turned the corner to leave the stables. The moment she turned, Sully got a strong whiff of her scent; roses; that made him want to take her right then and there. Instead he reached for her arm, “Wait, I’ll take ya home.”
“Thank you, but that won’t be….” Sully silenced her with a passionate kiss unable to hold back any longer. It was one thing to find and rescue her, but entirely another when her scent drove him nearly mad with desire. He marveled at the softness of her lips, how well she molded to his body and deep down how right it felt to be kissing this beautiful women inside the stables. All he wanted to do was claim her as his own and tell the world he’d finally found his heart song.
Michaela found Katie that morning sound asleep in the attic with her open diary lying next to her. She had no idea Katie had been up there snooping around and reading private things. A part of her was furious and wanted to punish her daughter, but when she thought of what she had done years ago with Colleen all she could do was quietly leave her daughter at peace.
She walked back downstairs to her bedroom, opened the door and walked over to Sully spilling what their daughter had been up too.
Sully wrapped his arms around Michaela and let her vent out her frustrations over their daughter. He’d had a feeling Katie wasn’t telling the truth and a part of him wasn’t pleased with that, but another wasn’t. Katie was a curious child and sooner or later she was going to hear the story of how her parent’s met that fateful night in a barn.
“I’m worried about Katie, Sully. She’s growing up so fast.”
“She’s already a young lady,” Sully replied.
“Let’s hope she doesn’t get any fool ideas from that story she read,” Michaela said hoping her daughter had more sense than Colleen did at that age. “She’ll be fine,” Sully whispered into her hair.
About that time they heard footsteps coming down the stairs and Katie mumbling to herself about finding a handsome man to come rescue her.