7 Heating Up

When he looked up and saw she was staring at him he turned to rake a pile while hiding the small smirk that formed on his lips. What a shocking lady to sit and gawk like that, not that he hadn't been watching her but mostly to see that she was getting the work done and the right way. With her being slower and running low on steam he noticed the sweat that was glistening on her skin, and the shirt she was wearing that started to show sweat down the front of her... he'd admit she was a hard working and determined gal.

The morning coolness was gone and the sun shown bright today, I was hoping for a small breeze to come along and help cool me down but it felt like it would never happen. Ben was walking over with a bucket of water that had a cup and he held a handkerchief in his hand.

"Here take this, you can poor some water on it and put it around your neck to help stay cooled in the heat, once we get a few more rows we will go down for some lunch"

"Ben, do you mind if I run back to get a hat? The sun is starting to cook me"

She did look like she was getting redness.

"Be quick we have got to make some good progress today" she turned and ran back down towards the house. Drinking another cup of water, he wiped the sweat from his forehead with his sleeve and walked back to keep going.

This was his third year farming and even though he was mostly happy that he settled here he worried his passed would follow him. The years he served as a Marshall were some of his best and worst memories where he made many friends but also enemies.

The man that hated him the most was still out there and wasn't able to be captured but he'll never forget the scar he gave him down the side of his face. When the man had tried to stab him from behind in the alley he was able to avert the attack and when he brought the mans hand around with the knife the tip of the blade ran down the side of his face to his jaw line before the man yelled out in pain and retreated behind the buildings. The man had already left on a horse and wasn't worth finding in the dark but he knew he would be back to try and swindle and cheat people out of their money. Wasn't long after, his mother had fallen ill and he moved here to settle down, just a few towns away from where they had lived.

His thoughts disappeared as he heard a wagon coming down the road and he went to see who had come to visit. Walking closer to the house he could hear Nora talking to another lady and then he heard a mans voice and it made his nerves uneasy.

"Mrs.Williams I am so glad to see you, I haven't had anyone to visit with and the days become long without company" at least friendly company she thought.

"Hello dear I brought you a pie and some fresh chicken noodle soup, Johnny get the basket out for Ms.Nora" her boy wrapped the reins around and hopped off the seat to grab the basket from the wagon. He was a tall man with golden hair that was combed back and deep hazel eyes that shown brightly. He was quite handsome and as tall as a church steeple. Reaching out she grabbed the basket from him that had enough food to feed a whole family.

She looked back at Mrs.Williams

"You didn't need to do that, it smells wonderful won't you stay and enjoy it with us?" She hadn't looked to Ben to see if it was okay to invite them in but before she could she smiled brightly at him confirming they should stay.

"Yes please Mrs.Williams I couldn't have you leave all this food here come in and I'll get some fresh water" he offered a smile and a hand that Mrs.Williams took while she stepped down from the wagon.

They all walked into the house and I began setting the table for everyone as Mrs.Williams took the food out of the basket.

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"Nora dear, will you be attending the Barn Dance tomorrow evening?"

"Sorry, I hadn't heard about it, I've never been and I don't really know anyone here yet." The idea of getting to meet some new people and get away from the Ranch felt wonderful.

"Well it won't take long I'm sure you'll have everyone of the fellers in town asking you to dance.... say Johnny, why don't you bring Ms.Nora to the dance?"

Johnny looked embarrassed by his mothers sudden words and he looked up at me, I gave him a soft smile.

"Well we just met and you don't know me well but I'd be honored to take you to the dance Ms.Nora" his smile was sweet and just as I was going to accept

"Nora will be going to the barn dance with me so no need to worry about it" his voice was sudden and firm and I tried to hide my shocked expression. Why did he say that when he never mentioned it before? Not wanting to make him angry I gave a small curtsy

"Thank you for the lovely offer Johnny, I'll see you there, save a dance for me"

The room felt heavy as Benjamin ate he kept giving a small glare at the boy but he hadn't done anything and I couldn't understand why he was acting so strange. Was this because of what happened with my parents and he was worried about me?

Enjoying the rest of the meal I thanked Mrs.Williams for the delicious food and wrote down her recipe while Johnny pulled the wagon around for his mother.

"Thank you again I look forward to seeing you tomorrow at the dance" showing my excitement as they pulled away. Once they were out of view I turned to Ben

"What was that?! You never mentioned anything about the barn dance" frustration and confusion in my voice.

"You don't just go off with just anyone, anywhere when you don't even know anything about them. I don't care who you want to be with, but I will take you there myself" hearing maybe he had my best interest in mind I went on my way to get back to work in the field.