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    • "Ain't hardly nothin' to do but hunker down till she blows herself out." The man squatted, "Rance, is the name. Been watchin' you, doin' a fine job. You'll do Wheeler, you'll do. Try and get some rest, might end up bein' a long night. Least you won't be ridin' drag come daylight, there's a plus for ya."   He stood and made his way to his shelter to await the grub that was coming.   @Bongo
    • Meanwhile, in the main house, Reb Culverson was visiting with his old friend Fightin' Joe Hooker, who was the ramrod for the fledgling Montana Territory Stockgrowers Association, Northern District. He was there to convince ranchers to join and support the organization, hoping it would take root.   "And just what good is this here association ya got started?" Reb asked.   "It'll give us a voice in the territorial government, Reb, that's what it'll do. Once that happens we'll be able to git us some sortta range police to protect the herds, and the ranchers." Hooker responded. "Rustlin' might not be the threat it was, but you know as well as me, it can come back."   "You get anywhere with Lost Lake, 'er that cow thief on the Evergreen?" Reb asked.   "Can't say as I have, startin' with the smaller spreads an' workin' my way up to them two. I'm well aware of both spreads, and the men that own 'em."   -------------0------------   They swept down out of the trees whooping and hollering and firing off a couple of shots as they closed on both sides of a big group of cattle, just as they had planned. The  lone night hawk knew he had no chance of stopping the raiders, or of saving the cattle while he watched the chunk of the herd moving toward and then into the trees at a run.  He emptied his Colt at the raiders, the whipped out his Winchester  and levered several shots in the area where they had disappeared.   He could not know that one of his shots had found its mark. A man that had just joined took a slug in his back and toppled from his horse. Toole and the men continued to drive the cattle toward the dry riverbed as planned. It was an acceptable loss.   The sound of the shots, mere pops at the distance to the main house and the bunk house alerted everyone, and men boiled out of the bunk house guns in hand, only to watch the night man shooting after the rustlers.
    • Out on the boardwalk they stopped, "So we managed ta git a deal right off, thet's good, it is. Now all we gotta do is convince ol' Wentworth to free up the money so's ya don't have ta use yers right off." Amos commented, "Seems a fair deal but like you say, minin's not no sure thing."   "John and Mary are good folks. It's not a sure thing, but you saw the vein, went to the floor and it looks rich," Speed responded. "And it looks to be wider where they stopped digging. I can't wait to get it assayed to see what we've really got our hands on."   "And it should assay out pretty good from the looks of it, though I know so little about copper ore." Alice admitted.   "Well, you saw the copper ore, which is clearly distinguishable from the surrounding rock due to its reddish, mottled appearance. And that surrounding rock is granite which is not easy to work, but it can be done, and, if we have hit it, the veins could be as much as a mile long, a mile wide, and a mile deep!" Speed explained with a grin. "With that equipment we'll be able to not only dig deeper, we'll be able to tunnel, and we have the property to do just that."   "Jumpin' Jehoshaphat!" Amos exclaimed. Might oughtta buy up what ground ya can aound 'er, jest ta be certain!"   "First things first, let get on up to the bank." Speed suggested.
    • Justus was more than happy to have a chance to get out of the bulk of the wind, although he knew this was far from over.  And he knew they'd be hacking up dirt for days.     With the picket lines set, he moved over to help put up the shelters for the night, pretty quickly deciding that it was a fool's errand...they were all going to be miserable until this let up.   Squinting, he looked out toward the herd, not able to see but a few in the dust, it looked like they had been swallowed by the big, dirty cloud, and weren't even there.  In fact, he had the eerie sensation that all that was left in the world was this small circle of men and horses.   "Ya need me ta do anythin' else?" he called over the din of the wind.   @Flip
    • Doc Gilcrest walked into the bunck house to see Carson on his feet, dressed. "I may not be able to ride, but I can darn sure walk some. Tired of layin' in that bed."   "I reckon you kin do thet, sure 'nough. No body said ya had ta lie there if'n ya didn't want to. Yer stitched up plenty good. Jest leave thet hog leg where she's hangin' fer now, don't need the weight in thet wound."   "So anybody come sniffin' around?" He asked.   "Not so's you'd notice. There's four men down there keepin' watch, but it don't look like Lost Lake's lost any sleep over their man, that is if'n they even know he's gone." Gilcrest offered.   "He seen that brand an' went ta shootin'!" Carson reflected. "I jest shot straighter. Had no choice in the matter. Fool could'a rode on, but, well, that just ain't what happened. Hell of a mess."   "Oh I dunno. So far nobodies come huntin', the boss ain't upset over it, neither's Granger, so you got nothin' ta worry on 'cept gettin' better."   "I should'a been more careful, but maybe there just wasn't no way to be more careful. Up on the side of that mountain is the purdiest view a man could look at. You can see fer miles, see right where they got them cows of theirs. Now that ain't gonna be no easy matter to get to any of 'em. They're deep on Lost Lake range. Gonna be hard to get at, an' worse to get out. We'll lose some men tryin' this one, that's for sure!'   Gilcrest rubbed his chin. It wasn't like Carson to go on about the prospects of a job.

Christmas Eve 1875


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Mature Content:  Nope

With: Barnabas and
Location: In Town & On The Trail
When: December 24,1875
Time of Day:  Afternoon Into Evening

 

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It was a rare day of late, with the sun out, shining bright, glistening as it reflected off of the snow, which in places reached the hammerhead roan’s belly, but for both it was refreshing to be away from what seemed at times like the confines of town. Oh, Pronto was more than happy at his dish washing job, and the roan was thoroughly enjoying the warmth of the stall, and the regular feed. That was evident in his earlier behavior when Pike climbed aboard. Rebellion to the bit was not unusual for the Roan, especially when he was not ridden regularly. But he smoothed out as they left town at a canter.

 

He rode a ways out from town, perhaps a mile, mile and a half, enjoying the crisp air then he left the trail, climbed to the crest of the hill then turned the animal and together they looked over the valley, blanketed in snow with only the trails to the Redmond spread and the Lost Lake Ranch showing signs of travel. But nothing marred the white blanket beyond that. There had been no movement from the Evergreen Ranch.

 

Pronto needed to think. And for him, sometimes that was best accomplished in the saddle. Now, he was not a man given to feelings about the birth of Christ outwardly, of course that was hardly truthful, just how he let on. Since he had lost his family after the war, both by death and disappearance, and then when he lost out with Valentina Calderone back in Lampasas, Texas to no account Dooley Leddbetter in ‘65, the birth of the Savior, New Years, whatever, was to him, just another day, and nothing more. So he let on. He was not given to the celebrations, or the traditions of the season, any season.

 

But, this was Em. And that made this different. So, he needed to ponder just what it was that Barnabas 'Pronto’ Pike was going to do about it. Because, as he admitted to himself, she was all he could see, if that even began to explain his feelings for her. Yet it seemed to him that this was somehow bigger than that, his feelings for her. It was Christmas, it was Christmas with Em, not that they were exactly together, but that they were close, or so he liked to think, and if that did not make it special then there was nothing that would!

 

Of course, this was confusing for him, because he had no idea what she would say, for just last week he accepted Speed Guyer’s offer to be his deputy come the spring thaw.  And, there was the offer the same morning from Leah Steelgrave, which he had not made up his mind on, even though he and Em had spoken about it.. Women can be downright skittish about things like that. But he needed to do something.

 

He wheeled the roan and looked at nob where the house would sit, their house. Scanning the adjacent land, visualizing the out buildings, where her garden would be, the corals. Then he looked to the partially frozen falls, where the water had forced it’s way through the ice flow, not to be denied.  Pronto pike reined the horse around and down the hill they went.

 

TBC

Edited by Flip (see edit history)
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The ride back to town had been faster than the ride out, two things were settled, he would take her the present he had in mind, and, he would follow through on a plan he had, but the present would come first, there was no rush on the plan, other than the need to get it finished. There was a quick stop at the General Store before it closed. The Diner was still open so he quickened his pace.


He reined in at the hitch rail and stepped down, walking to the boardwalk and to the door, opening it he stepped inside, hearing the sounds of closing up. Closing the door gently behind him he called out. “Man get a cuppa coffee in this place?” knowing there was none to be had.

 

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Christmas Eve...Emeline was closing the cafe up early, and of course would not be open for Christmas.  Already some preparations had been put out, she'd had evergreen garland swags and wreaths around the dining area, decorated with holly berries, popcorn and batting made to look like snow.  And she had prepared some special foods for Christmas day, even though it was only going to be herself and Barnabas, but still, she had the beginnings of a yule log cake, and there was a little cooking to be done in the morning, but she had opted for a day of not-cooking over a sumptuous feast.

 

When she heard someone call for coffee, she set aside the biscuits she was working on and headed out of the kitchen, answering back, "I'm sorry, we're closed for..."  And at the same time, the voice registered in her head and she laughed.

 

"Happy Christmas Eve, Barnabas."  Quickly crossing the room, she gave him a quick kiss on the cheek.  "I ran out of coffee a bit ago and haven't had a chance to make more yet.  But come in, of course.  You'll join me for supper?  It's just going to be leftover stew and I'm making biscuits."  She grinned.  "And the dishes are done already, so you don't need to worry about that."

 

@Flip

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He laughed at the dishes remark. “ Yes Ma’am, glad of thet. Was a good ride, needed ta get a few things worked out, an’ the best place fer thet’s in the saddle, least ways fer this hombre it is.” He paused.

 

“Would ya step on outside a moment, Em?” He asked.

 

Pronto openened the door for her, and tied to his saddle horn was was a lead rope to the horse she ridden on that Sunday they shared, with a large red bow in it’s mane, saddled and ready in the fading light. “A mite early, but the feller at the stable said he’d not be gettin’ outta bed come daylight fer me ta fetch it.”

 

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“ Yes Ma’am, glad of thet. Was a good ride, needed ta get a few things worked out, an’ the best place fer thet’s in the saddle, least ways fer this hombre it is.” He paused.

 

"Good, I'm glad you had a chance to get out."  It was hard enough for her to be essentially stuck inside for so long, and she could only imagine how much worse it would be for a man who was accustomed to being on the trail.

 

“Would ya step on outside a moment, Em?” He asked.

 

"Certainly."  Emeline smiled, removing her apron and setting it aside from habit, then she followed him to the porch, noticing the horses there.

 

Pronto opened the door for her, and tied to his saddle horn was was a lead rope to the horse she ridden on that Sunday they shared, with a large red bow in it’s mane, saddled and ready in the fading light. “A mite early, but the feller at the stable said he’d not be gettin’ outta bed come daylight fer me ta fetch it.”

 

"Oh!  That's the mare!"  Of course she remembered the horse, she'd been such a fine mount, and Emeline was delighted to see that she hadn't been sold.  She looked at Barnabas with as smile.  "A Christmas morning ride?  How delightful!"  She would have to rearrange some of her plans for cooking, but that was easy enough to do, especially with the prospect of a ride in the snow.

 

But why would the horse have a ribbon on it..?

 

Her eyes widened as Emeline looked at Barnabas, then to the horse.  "You didn't..."  Grinning, she ran out into the snow, heedless that she had no coat and was in her household boots.  In an instant she was out the gate and was hugging the horse around the neck as she glanced back at Barnabas.

 

"Really?  She's mine?"

 

@Flip

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Her eyes widened as Emeline looked at Barnabas, then to the horse.  "You didn't..."  Grinning, she ran out into the snow, heedless that she had no coat and was in her household boots.  In an instant she was out the gate and was hugging the horse around the neck as she glanced back at Barnabas.

 
“Yes Ma’am I did.” He said, with a wide smile. “Woman needs a good horse so she kin git around whenever she wants, not dependin’ on livery ta have a rental.


"Really?  She's mine?"


“Merry Christmas, Em! Figgered she’d be better’n a new apron.” Barnabas explained. “Hope she’s to yer likin’.” As they stood there, the snow began to fall again. “Need ta git these two back to the livery afore they freeze out here. You kin surely ride along if yer a mind to.”

 

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"Of course!"  Even though it was just a short ride to the livery, it was a ride, and she was thrilled to be on her new horse.  She excitedly tightened the cinch, checked the stirrups, then started to mount.

 

"Oh, I guess I should put on boots and a coat!"  Laughing, she shrugged, then ran into the cafe, quickly pulling on the items, feeling like a school girl.  It had been a very long time since she'd let herself not be grown-up and serious, and she liked it!

 

Running back out, she launched at Barnabas, giving him a big hug before stepping back.  "Thank you so much!  Oh!  We can just keep her here, in the cafe, no one is here now!"  Of course, she knew that wasn't possible, but maybe they could build her a small shed and corral.

 

@Flip

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"

"Oh, I guess I should put on boots and a coat!"  Laughing, she shrugged, then ran into the cafe, quickly pulling on the items, feeling like a school girl.  It had been a very long time since she'd let herself not be grown-up and serious, and she liked it!

 

 “Good idee.” He could not help but smile after her and her exuberance over the animal. The scene made him happy, the idea that he had pleased her with the gifted horse reminded him that it was really how he made people feel in the end, and it was shaping up to be a full time task with Emeline.

 

Running back out, she launched at Barnabas, giving him a big hug before stepping back.  "Thank you so much!  Oh!  We can just keep her here, in the cafe, no one is here now!"  Of course, she knew that wasn't possible, but maybe they could build her a small shed and corral.

 

“Ya might oughtta settle down a touch thar, Em. She’s yer horse an’ you’ll be havin’ her a long time. So keepin’ in the diner ain’t the best of plans. Not when thet livery takes top notch care of the horses they tend to.”  The he added, “Meby to the end of the street an’ back.”

 

Tag @Bongo

 

 

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"You sound like my parents now.'  Emeline laughed.  "They told me I couldn't keep a horse in my room, nor an elephant!" 

 

She patted the horse's neck, then swung easily up into the saddle.  The mare was just the right size for her, and the saddle comfortable.  Between the gift itself and the circumstances, she couldn't remember a better present.  What she had gotten Barnabas was rather pale in comparison, but gift-giving wasn't a competition.

 

"She needs a name."  Grinning, she leaned forward to pat the horse's neck, then she suggested, "How about..Noel, for Christmas?" 

 

@Flip

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 "You sound like my parents now.'  Emeline laughed.  "They told me I couldn't keep a horse in my room, nor an elephant!"

 
“I do? Shucks, I thought there was some law ‘bout animals in a eatery.” He replied straight faced.


"She needs a name."  Grinning, she leaned forward to pat the horse's neck, then she suggested, "How about..Noel, for Christmas?"  


“Ya know I never named an animal,” He almost added the reason being you never name anything you might have to eat. “But thet was jest me, you name ‘er anything you want an’ Noel’s good as any an’ right nice too.” As he stood there looking at her and her horse and the happiness it brought her he realized that his life before and after the war had been hard, with not a lot of joy.

 

There had been Julia Dey in Virginia City, and there had been Valentina Calderone in Texas, two bright spots in what had been mostly a fight for survival. This could be different.

 

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"How do you not name things?"  Emeline laughed as she looked over at him.  She did know that he didn't have a name for his own horse, although she referred to it as 'Ace', just because.  Maybe, she pondered, it was a 'man' thing not to specifically name creatures...or maybe she was just silly giving a title to every critter she came across, including the squirrels and raccoons that loitered around her yard.

 

"I suppose the livery will have to do."  She sighed dramatically.  "I'll just have to walk down to visit her, but it will be worth it!"  She'd find time in the evening to get to the livery, at least until the snow melt, when she could enjoy an evening ride.  Even just this little bit made her feel relaxed and free, and the thought that she could ride whenever she had the time was exhilarating.

 

"Thank you again, Barnabas."  Still beaming brightly, she looked over at him.  "You know this is my first Christmas present since I lost Andrew."  There had been no one to give her presents, and she had spent the holidays 'working', although on Christmas, the meals she'd made had been free to those who needed it, and she always had enough grateful patrons who were away from home and happy for a taste of the familiar, and who paid her to make up for any losses.

 

This year it would just be the two of them, but that was fine, it was the sign of her moving to more personal time, and not hiding her life in her business.

 

@Flip

 

 

 

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“I dunno, Em. Jest never put a name to an animal. Never give it much thought.” It sounded good to him, hopefully she would accept that rather than the truth about having to eat it. “We kin walk down ta the livery so long as it ain’t deeper’n we are tall, ‘er blowin’ sideways.”

 

He stood there watching the snow fall put a dusting of glistening white in her dark hair as she thanked him for the horse, there were probably some things he needed to tell her that were really not that monumental, nor were they dark. He had touch of fear inside that there was the chance he could lose her as he had Julia Dey, this was now happening at the same time of the year as it had before.

 

“Don’t you give it a second thought Em, I’m jest pleased as punch she gives you joy. He said honestly.” He looked to the sky as the snow began to fall more consistently. “Best we get these animals back, I believe we’re in fer it tonight.”

 

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"Fresh snow for Christmas, that would be beautiful."  While it would come with its own problems, so long as there wasn't a blizzard, hving everything covered in a pristine blanket of snow would make for a perfect morning.  "She gives me a great deal of joy, and now I can't wait for Spring all the more!"

 

Gardening, warm breezes, colorful flowers, and now a beautiful mare to ride.  She'd find reasons to go afar now and again, and there woudl be trips to a homestead if that worked out.

 

They arrived at the livery and she frowned, wishing the ride could go on, but it was getting late and she still had things to do to get ready for Christmas.  Reluctantly, she slipped to the ground, then patted Noel's neck.  She'd help unsaddle the horse and get her in her stall.  After all, she was hers now!

 

@Flip

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“Ain’t been the longest ride a body could take, but with the dark, no moon, and the snow it’ll have to do.” Pike stated. “An’, I gotta get you ta home in this. Been pickin’ up steady, so thet blanket of white you was talkin’ about, reckon we’ll see that in the next hour.”

 

They pulled the leather off the animals and gave them a quick rub down before the ventured out into the falling snow. For Pronto it had been a great Christmas so far, even as they moved as quickly as they could up the boardwalk to avoid the frozen flakes holding steady for the time being.

 

That she had been surprised, and that she was happy, that made his day. Trudging in the cold, laden with heavy clothing, arm in arm, Pronto Pike could not imagine a better evening, be it Christmas or not. The lights in the various windows along the way seemed to highlight the evening stroll. Quiet, peaceful, only the sound of their footsteps to be heard.

 

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Linking her arm into his, Emeline was happy and content to just be at Barnabas' side, absorbing the stillness of the evening.  She had always enjoyed Christmas Eve, there was a magic to it, the anticipation of the coming day, and with the snowfall, it was all the more still.  And with her companion, it was all the more magical.

 

"I have some mulled wine on, if you've a mind to stay for a while," she finally commented as they started up the walk to the cafe, "and some sugar cookies, too, if you've a mind."

 

She surely would enjoy the company, although she needed to get to bed early so she could get supper for Christmas started in the morning.  Still, she had a bit of time.

 

@Flip

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"I have some mulled wine on, if you've a mind to stay for a while," she finally commented as they started up the walk to the cafe, "and some sugar cookies, too, if you've a mind."

 
“Now thet sounds like a real winner ta me.” Pronto agreed, measuring the snow fall, but it was going to be what it was, either he spent time with Em, or scurried to the boarding house. There would be no scurrying. A glass of wine and a couple cookies with Em would just top off the evening.


And then there would be Christmas Day together with no customers in the diner, just the two of them. A rarity to be sure. They did have dinners together after a long days work, but this would be different, and most welcomed.

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When Barnabas opened the door for them, they were greeted by the wonderful aroma of cookies, clove, cinnamon and pine, Christmas, as far as Emeline was concerned.  She breathed in deeply then sighed. 

 

"This is just the way our house smelled on Christmas Eve," she mused dreamily, "Papa would be playing carols on the concertina and we'd all sing.  There were candy and cookies, oranges and cider.  Mama and I would festoon the walls with pine boughs that we decorated with ribbons, popped corn and whatever else we could find."

 

The cafe was 'festooned', and upstairs in her living quarters she had a small tree waiting to be decorated, this was the most effort for herself that she had put into Christmas since she'd been widowed, and although it was simple, it gave her some nostalgic happiness.

 

"We can sit in the kitchen," she commented, slipping out of her coat, "it's warmer there."  Because she had closed early, she had shut off the main cafe dining area that didn't need the warmth, so that the kitchen would be nice and toasty, and they could relax at the small table in the corner there.

 

"So, would you like sugar cookies or snicker-doodles with your wine?"  It was a bit of a sweet combination, but it was Christmas Eve, they were supposed to indulge!

 

@Flip

 

 

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Place does smell wonderful.” He agreed. “If I hadn’t been out foolin’ about I’d could’a helped with the decorating an’ such, but ya dun a fine job of it. I’ll say that.” He smiled at her. “Don’t play no insterments and I’m a feared I got no voice fer singin’ though I try at times.” He felt hat was an honest answer about his voice.

 

“Now, as to these sweets yer offerin’ up, reckon I best have me one a each, jest ta prove I ain’t partial ta one over the other.” Barnabas, when he thought off the name it took him back a fair piece, back to his boyhood when his mother would call hm that and raise a fuss when he would be called Pronto by the others in the family. He was comfortable with Emeline, like they fit. Tomorrow would be the first Christmas he had celebrated in Virginia City

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"One of each it is."  Emeline laughed as she set several of each cookie on a plate that she put on the table, then she grabbed mugs and the pot.  "Although you were good today, so you can have more than one each if you'd like...it's a holiday, so we are obliged to indulge." 

 

Grinning, she poured the mulled wine, a filter in the pot keeping out the spices that gave extra flavor to the warm drink.  "I don't think we'll be called on to sing, so there is one thing we don't need to worry about...and if I burst into song, I won't expect you to join in...in fact, I won't expect you to stay in the same room!"

 

With a laugh, she raised her mug.  "To good friends on this sacred night."

 

@Flip

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"One of each it is."  Emeline laughed as she set several of each cookie on a plate that she put on the table, then she grabbed mugs and the pot.  "Although you were good today, so you can have more than one each if you'd like...it's a holiday, so we are obliged to indulge."


“Good ta know I was bein’ good whilst lollygaggin’ about like I had good sense.” He replied in jest.
 

Grinning, she poured the mulled wine, a filter in the pot keeping out the spices that gave extra flavor to the warm drink.  "I don't think we'll be called on to sing, so there is one thing we don't need to worry about...and if I burst into song, I won't expect you to join in...in fact, I won't expect you to stay in the same room!"


“Hallelujah! Though I been known ta raise my voice in praise of the Lord. Time was my mother thought I had quite the voice, ‘course, she was a mite prejudice on the matter.”   He then added, "You do what yer a mind to Em, I'll weather it, should that be required, or enjoy it, as I would expect."
 

With a laugh, she raised her mug.  "To good friends on this sacred night."

 

“Yeah, good friends.” He raised his glass to hers thinking of those lost. “To us, as we move forward in this life.”

 

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Nodding, Emeline took a sip of the hot wine, then sighed.  There were so many memories, some so distant they were sugared by time, others new enough to still be painful, and then there were the memories that had never happened, ones with laughing children that she occasionally indulged in, well aware that they were just imaginings.

 

"I agree with moving forward," she commented, "and I have something to move toward now, more than just surviving."  There was no self-pity, but since Andrew had died, she'd just been making ends meet.  Finally, though, she had found a place she wanted to stay, her business was going well and she didn't have any debt to speak of...

 

She munched on a cookie, then started reminiscing about baking with her mother, going out with her father and brothers to cut down a  tree then decorating it on Christmas Eve...

 

"Oh, goodness, look at the time!"  While she was enjoying herself immensely, she wanted to be up early to get things ready for Christmas.  "I don't mean to chase you away, of course, but I need to be getting some sleep."

 

@Flip

 

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"I agree with moving forward," she commented, "and I have something to move toward now, more than just surviving."  There was no self-pity, but since Andrew had died, she'd just been making ends meet.  Finally, though, she had found a place she wanted to stay, her business was going well and she didn't have any debt to speak of...


“Alas figgered it ta be the best direction.” He said. “You got lots ta be thankful for, an’ whole lots ahead for ya.”
 

"Oh, goodness, look at the time!"  While she was enjoying herself immensely, she wanted to be up early to get things ready for Christmas.  "I don't mean to chase you away, of course, but I need to be getting some sleep."


“Yep, shorely is, an’ I don’t figger the snows let up none. Best head on the the boardin’ house. You wouldn’t mind if I called on you tomorrow would ya?” He asked getting to his feet. “Wine was good, cookies was most excellent.”

 

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"Oh, of course!  I'm expecting you, and for the day, if you're congenial."  Emeline had been so engrossed in making plans the past few days that she had forgotten to actually extend the invitation!  "I meant to ask you sooner, but I've been so busy, what with Whitefish and all."

 

While she couldn't imagine that he had other plans, she realized she'd be quite disappointed.  Fortunately, he was coming over, and that anticipation was the best gift she could have...well, the second best!

 

"Whenever you'd like, please come over.  I have a special breakfast in mind."  Start the day right!

 

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 "Oh, of course!  I'm expecting you, and for the day, if you're congenial."  Emeline had been so engrossed in making plans the past few days that she had forgotten to actually extend the invitation!  "I meant to ask you sooner, but I've been so busy, what with Whitefish and all."


 “Figgered as much, jest makin’ sure.” He explained. Somehow he couldn’t imagine not being with her, no matter what the day was. It had just become normal to be there in the diner with her, even if it was doing dishes and some cooking.


While she couldn't imagine that he had other plans, she realized she'd be quite disappointed.  Fortunately, he was coming over, and that anticipation was the best gift she could have...well, the second best!

 

"Whenever you'd like, please come over.  I have a special breakfast in mind."  Start the day right!


“Yes Ma’am, I’ll be here, count on it. Best be off then. Let you get some sleep, and me as well.” He said, fiddling with his hat.

 

Tag @Bongo

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That way he had of fiddling with his hat was endearing, and Emeline couldn't help but smile.  "Be careful," she murmured, "don't get lost in a drift!" 

 

She kissed him on the cheek.  "Merry Christmas, Barnabas Pike."  This was so natural, she enjoyed his company, and was at ease with him, and she was really looking forward to sharing some traditions with him.

 

@Flip  Done?

 

 

 

 

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