Chapter One: The New Help
The soft quiet morning on the farm was a beautiful as ever. Rising sun past the beautiful fields, that stretched to the hills. Sounds of the rooster crow, bringing life to the animals. Inside the beautiful, but simple house Ben began to stretch and move before kicking Dog off the bed. Ever since the day he brought that mutt home he tried to sleep in my damn bed he thought. Mainly feeling Pitty for him he had brought the brown and white shaggy dog home, but soon he realized Dog was pretty smart and had become a good hand around the farm.
Hearing the animals awake Ben ran his hands through his auburn brown hair before putting his dark blue denim jeans on. Walking to the kitchen as he buttoned up his shirt, he waited for his coffee to be done. Enjoy the crisp cool autumn morning, he buttered a piece of the fresh loaf of bread putting it on his plate. W some eggs and potatoes, making his mouth water, before he could take a big bite there was a knock on the door.
"Well Good morning Ben" not wanting to be rude but wishing he wouldn't be bothered he slowly saw it was Reverend Michael. Quickly Ben realized when he spoke with the Reverend last week, he committed to picking up a Girl who had lost her family and needed work and place to stay. Having the empty tack cabin I had agreed to let her live there and earn a wage on the farm.
"Hello Reverend Michael, is today the day I needed to ride to town?" Worrying I'd already forgot the words that we spoke just last week. Then again with losing my mother just five months ago I haven't kept much awareness for the days and week that past.
"Oh no, your fine I thought I would bring her out and introduce you both myself. Since she has no other family I knew she would be in good hands here, with honest work and it might just do you some good to have the company."
The Reverend was always a kind, simple man just his wife and him since they never did have any children. Being in his older years now he mostly just helped those in the town as he could. Though I wish he'd stop tryna put his nose in my business and "helping me" as he calls it. More like meddling in all the single folk in town. Ben looked past the Reverend to see a small girlish figure sitting in the coach, there wasn't much he could see from this distance but the beautiful raven color, long, black curls that were by her face as the other half sat in a bun on her head. The reverend seeing his eye looking past him, turned and held his arm out for Ben to walk over with him.
Reverend Michael opened the coaches door and held his hand out for the beautiful lady to step down, Ben trying to keep his eyes from looking her up and down to long quickly put his eyes back on the Reverend who started to introduce them.
"Ben I would like you to meet Ms. Nora" Benjamin was a tall, strong man and his looks could be intimidating as there were not many around she had seen that had such strong looking shoulders but yet the deepest blue eyes that pulled you in. Before she fell deeper into her eyes he kissed the back of her hand.
"How do you do Ms. Nora, I'm Benjamin Layton but you can call me Ben. There is breakfast in the kitchen if your hungry." Nora didn't know what to say, she hadn't eaten since yesterday morning and she wanted to leap at the idea as she was feeling hungry "Oh no that's quite alright Mr. Layton I'm fine, thank you." He gave her half a smile as he grabbed her bags to go show her to the small cabin when he heard her stomach rumble. "This here is where you'll sleep, there's a fresh spring down by the trees there and there's a few buckets around so you can fetch water. Once your settled come up to the house for breakfast and I'll show you around the farm."
He tipped his straw hat to her and walked back to the reverend leaving her by herself. She examined everything in the small wooden building, there wasn't much here other than a small bed, chair and a fire place. It could use a good cleaning to she thought but this was much better than the few options she was given. Once she got her things put away she quickly changed into her riding pants and a blouse before walking up to the house.
Walking on the small dirt path that lead up to the back of the house she noticed the beautiful fields of the wheat that looked like the sun glowing in the soft breeze. She came to the back door admiring the flowers that sat in the window seal before she knocked on the door. She heard Mr. Layton walking towards the door before he opened it giving her a soft smile before gesturing her to come in.
"Well I figured your hungry from the sounds your stomachs making so I made you some eggs, potatoes and there is fresh bread and coffee if you'd like"
she could smell the delicious aroma in the room and looked much to eager to sit down and eat. He watched as she had quickly ate every bite on her plate trying not to look like a wild animal she would stop to have a few sips of the coffee.
He watched her amused at how quickly she had ate everything on her plate so he reached over and grabbed her plate to put the rest of what was in the pan for her. She looked slightly embarrassed as he handed her back the plate as her cheeks had turned pink in color.
"Thank you" she murmured softly, before she continued to eat again, but much slower. Slowly moving his eyes to see her he had realized this was not a young girl but a beautiful lady, she was probably around 20 years old. With the clothes she wore, you could see her full curves that came to her slender waist, the loose long curly hair, rested on her chest enhancing the way her blouse looked. Before she could see me starting at her I quickly looked over at Dog to toss him the scraps that were left and she walked the dishes to the wash bin and continued to clean as he finished his coffee. Wondering more about the women and what experience she has.
"Ms. Nora what did you do before you came here?
His voice was deep but smooth.
"I was a Nanny before my parents decided to move here from Texas" curious what happened to her parents he couldn't help but ask
"What happened to them?" He could see her body stiffen as the mention of her parents was a fresh wound
" while we were traveling here there was a group of men who road up to our wagon, at first they tried to tell me to get out of the wagon but when I refused one of them tried to pull me from the wagon. Before he could pull me over father jumped up from his seat to grab the man when another man pulled out a gun. Just as I broke free I grabbed onto my mother's arm and my father whipped the horses to run" pausing remembering how scared she was and how fresh the memory still was, she felt her hands shake. "The men started to ride after us and were shooting their guns, we weren't far from the next town but before we could make it there my mother was shot in her shoulder and she fell from our wagon....my father pulled the reins on the horses to stop and told me to keep running to the town while he ran back to her. Before he could make it, *sigh* they shot him in the chest and he fell to ground cold." He was surprised to hear her tell the story as there weren't many outlaws who came close to the area that he had heard of but he had been taking care of his mother in her poor health and the town gatherings didn't interest him once his mother passed away.
"How did you get away from them?" He asked curiously
" I almost didn't, I ran as fast as I could the town was still a half mile away but the Marshall heard the shots and were coming when the one man reached me by my hair.... before I got beat to badly the Marshall and some town men fired a few shots towards them and they got back on their horses and left." She looked so lost and broken down telling the story but it didn't stop her. She was one brave lady. Speechless and angry at the thought of what she had happen he grabbed his straw hat, and walked out of the front door.
Unsure of if she was supposed to follow him she quickly dried her hands and ran out the door after him, he looked like anger was pumping through his veins as he walked with such intensity, it was hard to keep up with him, as he was much taller than her. They arrived at a gate that he stopped to unchain and walk in, the smell of manure was strong, and the ground had become muddy entering the pen. They walked to the barn that had the big front door open and she saw 4 cows in the stalls with 2 horses on the other side. Before she could ask what she needed to do he handed her a bucket and told her to start milking the cow.
She took the bucket but she had never been around a cow before, let alone milked one.
"Mr.Layton.... um I-I uh don't know how to milk a cow" he paused where he was walking to turn and look at her. Reverend had told him she knew some things about being on a farm, but just how much did she actually even know. She felt his eyes that were already intense staring down at her. She felt the lump in her throat she couldn't swallow and the heat in her cheeks as she wished she wouldn't have said anything. The way he looked at her was like he was going to throw her out of the barn any second but why was he so angry, had the Reverend told him she was more experienced than she really was??