This is the second, unedited, chapter in the upcoming third book of the Stoney Creek Story series. I hope you enjoy it and feel free to comment! I will update weekly with chapters from two of my WIP’s.
Cassidy Jane sat by the fireplace in the kitchen with Myra and Beulah. Silence surrounded them as the sisters enjoyed the crackle of the fire. Beulah yawned and rose to take her leave. “I am grateful that tomorrow is Saturday, for we shall need a day to gather our strength before I am required to share a pew in church with Maybelle.”
Myra laughed quietly so as not to disturb Papa. He had left them hours ago, for he would be up before the dawn to tend the animals. Cassidy Jane visited Sadie directly after dinner, barely containing herself for that long.
“The Good Book does advise us to honor our father, Beulah dear. I am pleased to know that you shall heed the words of our Lord.” Myra teased, but there was a seriousness in her expression. She had seen the relationship between Papa and Maybelle as it grew and wanted her sisters to give their father a chance at happiness.
Beulah pulled a face at Myra, surprising her middle sister and making her laugh out loud. Cassidy Jane smiled and shooed Beulah upstairs.
“She has changed during this trip.” Myra said to Cassidy Jane as much as to herself. Cassidy Jane nodded. “I was quite amazed by her in New York. She and Rose enjoyed the big city far more than I did, that’s for certain.”
The sisters sat quietly for a time pondering over the changes within their family. Myra wondered aloud about Beulah’s offer in New York. “Cassidy Jane, what do you think will come of our shop in town if Beulah does leave?”
Cassidy Jane shrugged her shoulders. “I haven’t come to terms with our big sister leaving us yet. I cannot imagine that you would be able to keep up with the orders on your own?”
Myra nodded absently. “Once Mr. Easton and I are married I had thought to start a family of our own.”
Cassidy Jane imagined Myra as a mother. Her heart swelled at the thought of nieces and nephews she might take fishing on Stoney Creek. A new generation would begin in just a few short years, what with John and Rose as newlyweds and her middle sister marrying soon.
At this, she remembered to ask Myra if she and Mr. Easton had set a date. “Are you still to marry come spring, Myra?”
Myra shook her head. “I believe that if Papa and Maybelle become serious it would be best if we were married and settled on our own. Now that you and Beulah are home, we may as well get a wedding planned.”
Cassidy Jane laughed, her happiness at being home so profound. Her heart was still with Joshua’s family in New York but nothing would ever replace her sweet home.
She hugged Myra as the two stood to retire for the night. “I am so happy for you Myra. And for Beulah, although her plans may take her far from us. This business with Papa and Maybelle will take time, especially for Beulah.”
“Indeed!” Myra replied as the sisters gained the stairs.
Beulah heard her sisters on the stairs as she stared from her bedroom window to the kitchen garden below in the moonlight. Leaving Stoney Creek and her family felt like the right thing but her heart was heavy with the decision.
A tentative knock upon her door broke her trance and she rose to admit her visitor. Cassidy Jane slipped in, her eyes heavy with the need for a good night’s sleep.
“I only wanted you to know that Myra will likely marry soon. The relationship between Papa and Maybelle and your coming move to New York has hastened her decision, I think.”
Beulah’s tears fell unexpectedly and Cassidy Jane found herself holding her eldest sister close. She wondered at the thought of Beulah needing her comfort. “I am sorry, Beulah. I did not intend to upset you.”
Beulah smiled through her tears and brushed at them with consternation. “You’ve done nothing of the sort, C.J. I am relieved that I might see Myra married before I leave for New York.”
Cassidy Jane decided not to mention Papa’s situation again as she hugged Beulah one last time. “We have a wedding to plan!” She whispered loudly and bade her sister goodnight.
Inside her own room at last, Cassidy Jane sat on her bed glancing around marking all the familiarities of her safe haven. There was the one floorboard that rose slightly higher than the rest, her rocking chair with it’s happy yellow pillow, a picture of her mother on the front porch her smile radiant.
She held the picture tightly, hoping to be as happy with Joshua as her mother and father had been. She wondered again, as she often did, why her father had never remarried. She had come to the conclusion that she and her sisters might have played a part in his decision to remain a widower. If Papa were ready to allow himself the companionship of a mate as his daughters were all grown up she would not be one to stand in his way.