The First Hello © 2015 (Rough Draft Version) By: J.L. Jacobs *Sequel to: "The Final Goodbye"*

Fate has given Sophia Lancaster a second chance. As she wakes up from what seems to be an overly vivid dream, Sophia soon realizes that it was no dream at all, rather, she had been brought back from death's embrace to the very day she is set to marry Dr. Jeremy Thompson.

From the knowledge and perspective she had gained in her former life, she decides to make better decisions and choices that could potentially alter her life, the lives of her loved ones, and history as she once knew it. In this exciting sequel to: "The Final Goodbye," follow Sophia's new journey as she takes the chance in which Fate has bestowed upon her to find out who her soulmate really is and what the consequences of her actions will be.

*Please be sure to read The Final Goodbye first! This is a only a rough draft and may contain grammatical errors. It is formatted just as a hard-copy full-length book should be. I love to hear your feedback, and your votes and shares are greatly appreciated!

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10. Chapter Ten: And So It Begins

Chapter Ten: And So It Begins

 

 

August 10, 1890

It's been such a long day. Mrs. Cox left very early this morning and is on her way to San Francisco, California to visit with her daughter for the next month or so. Tomorrow, Rachel will be leaving to head back to Wellington now that I am all settled in here. She's really enjoyed her time here in Turtle Creek, but misses Joseph a lot. Now that she can feel the baby moving inside of her, she is eager to share that with her him. I used some of the money I had brought down here with me to buy her an express ticket back home so that she only has to be on the train for four days instead of ten, especially since she's still being plagued with nausea on and off. She says it's actually getting better now. Her stomach is hardening up and there is a noticeable swell that she was proud to show me last night before her and I went to bed. However, when she is fully clothed, her pregnancy remains unnoticeable. That will start to change over the next month or two.  

I spent all of yesterday making sure Travis's house was cleaned, and all the laundry was washed so that Rachel and I can enjoy her last day here as much as possible. After I finished up with the breakfast chores, and the children completed their chores, we all went swimming in the pond. Rachel delighted in how refreshing it was given how hot the days are down here in comparison to up North. I had so much fun myself, having missed swimming in there as I used to do in my past life. Mikey and Hope loved splashing us, and we loved splashing them in return. After only a short while, the sky darkened up and a thunderstorm quickly blew in which caused us to end our swimming expedition earlier than we had wanted. I was the only one who wasn't running into the house screaming, since I actually love thunderstorms. Once we got inside, I instructed Mikey and Hope to change out of their wet clothing. Since mine and Rachel's clothing is in our cabin, I was the one who had to run and grab dry clothes for us. Lightning crashed just as I was running back, and one of the willow trees that lined the driveway came crashing down upon the side of the house. In my past life, I was in the hospital recovering from surgery when a similar situation happened, except the winds blew the tree away from the house so that it crashed into the fencing. I had Rachel and the children wait in the kitchen while I walked upstairs to inspect the damage. The tree landed on the side of the house where Travis's bedroom is located, and there was so much damage that I had to walk back downstairs. I waited until Travis came in to eat his luncheon meal before I told him about what had happened. He'd seen the tree, of course, when he walked towards the house, but he hadn't been aware of how much damage had been done. Once he'd surveyed the damage, he'd decided that Mikey and Hope would sleep together in Hope's room so that Travis could use Mikey's bed to sleep in. After luncheon was finished, the storm had passed on by so Travis rounded up his men to start cutting the tree down into sections both from the outside and in. Travis told us during the supper meal that it would take weeks to fix the damage enough for him to once again use his bedroom. 

Finally, the kitchen has been cleaned up after the supper meal and the kids are tucked away in their beds. Rachel and I sat on the back porch swing talking about anything and everything for quite awhile as we enjoyed the beautiful night. The men stopped working on cutting up that tree, ready to resume their work early tomorrow morning after they've broken their fast. Travis said he would take the carriage and drive me and Rachel to the Texas and Pacific Railroad station in Dallas to drop her off. With my help, she is all packed up and ready to go. Now, I must get in bed myself. The hour grows late and I am very tired. 

--- Sophia A. Lancaster

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     Once the carriage was loaded with Rachel's two suitcases, the children, Rachel, and Sophia climbed inside the carriage, and Travis perched himself on the driver's bench. In the short while that they had gotten to know Rachel, the children really bonded with her. Sophia got to observe how loving and kind Rachel was towards them, and came to the easy conclusion that she will make an excellent mother. Depending on what happens once Mrs. Cox came back in a few weeks, Sophia silently worried on whether she would be having to return back to Wellington herself. However, on the off chance that things worked out somehow and she got to stay here in Texas, she then made a solemn vow to Rachel that she would return to Wellington for Christmas, and stay until after the baby was born. Sophia mostly listened as the children chatted with Rachel during the ride, but it seemed to have gone by so quickly because before they knew it, Travis had pulled the carriage into a spot not far from the boarding platform. Rachel hugged everyone and said her goodbyes with tears in her eyes, having saved the last for Sophia. "Be safe my dear sister, and please send me a wire once you arrive so I know that you are alright." Sophia said in a husky voice as her throat constricted with sadness. She didn't want Rachel to leave, but knew it was time. She had already been more than generous by taking the sudden trip out here with her. Rachel quickly wiped her tears away with a handkerchief she was holding, then looked into Sophia's eyes, "I am actually somewhat dreading my return, not knowing what my reception will be. I am sure I will be questioned for hours over our whereabouts, and as to why you have not come back with me." "Well, now that I have respectful employment and housing, they need not worry. I will keep in touch with them through letters and the occasional wire. While Mrs. Cox is gone, I will be trying to look for another position to take over so that I hopefully will not have to leave upon her return. But if I do have to come back, I will telegraph you personally to let you know. Oh, do send me a letter and tell me how everything went after you get back, that way I know how much trouble I may be in for if I do return home." Sophia said quietly with a half-hearted giggle so that Travis and the kids could not overhear their conversation. The final boarding whistle blew just as Rachel was nodding her head. "I love you sister! This has been such a fun trip! Thank you for letting me come with you. I will miss you dearly." Rachel cried out as they parted. "Oh Rachel, I was lucky to have you come down here with me. Thank you for believing in me. Besides, we've never done anything like that before and the memories I shall cherish always. Give Maybelle a big hug for me and tell her that I will be writing her. You will be there before my posts arrive." Rachel stepped onto the platform and gave a final wave to all of them, then boarded the train. She could hear Hope crying and Travis's comforting words to her, but was unable to move to offer her some comfort herself. In fact, Sophia didn't budge an inch as she watched the train leave several minutes later, and continued to watch until she could no longer see it in the distance. 

     Hope walked up to her and wrapped her arms around Sophia's legs when she noticed the tears streaming down her face, "Aww, Sophia, you will get to see her soon. Don't cry." Sophia looked down at the little girl and couldn't help but laugh at her, "You're telling me not to cry when you're doing so yourself? Now if that's not the pot calling the kettle black, I don't know what is!" "I wish I had a sister." Hope said sniffling. Sophia smiled lovingly at her, "Perhaps one day you will. You never know what the future might bring." Travis watched their exchange with a small smile playing on his lips. "Are you ladies ready? I need to stop at the general store on the way back." he said. Sophia took a hold of Hope's hand and they walked over towards him. "That's convenient, as I need to send a wire while you are there." she said to him. "Sounds good, let's get a move on. I have a busy day. If all goes well, we'll have that tree done cut up, then the men and I can get started on repairing the damage to the house finally.  I can also gather some of my clothing and other necessities and move them into Mikey's room." Travis commented casually. He helped Hope and herself into the carriage, and Mikey decided to sit next to him on the driver's perch. The ride to the general store only took a few minutes, and once again Travis parked the carriage and tethered the horses to the hitching post. The four of them made their way inside. Mikey followed Travis as he obtained all the supplies he would be needing, and Hope trailed along with Sophia as she wrote up a couple telegraph messages to send out. 

 

To: Mr. Louis and Mrs. Lucinda Lancaster of Wellington, Ohio

Rachel boarded train. STOP. Will be arriving in four days. STOP. I have a job here and will be staying behind. STOP. Will send a letter with more info. STOP.

From: Sophia A. Lancaster of Dallas, Texas

 

To: Joseph McCord of Wellington, Ohio

Rachel boarded train. STOP. Will be arriving there in four days. STOP. Do not be upset with her. STOP.

From: Sophia A. Lancaster of Dallas, Texas

 

     After the wires had been sent, Sophia decided to pick up some items she would need at the main house in order to stock up the larder which she put on Travis's account, she then browsed for some personal items she was wanting to get. She purchased two small chalking boards and one in a larger size. Next, she picked up a box of chalk. Seeing some pretty fabric, she bought a few yards of each. Finally, she purchased two lollipops to give to the children. Once she was done, she and Hope walked back outside and she helped the little girl back into the carriage, then climbed in herself. They only had to wait about ten minutes before the boys had finished up. Travis arranged for the store to deliver his items since they would not fit in the carriage. On the way back, Hope began asking Sophia many questions. "Does it snow in Wellington?" was the first, in which Sophia replied, "Yes. From around early November until the middle of April, and it gets very, very cold. I do not like the cold weather to be honest. I love it here." "When Mrs. Cox comes back, will you have to go back to Wellington?" Hope questioned. Sophia sighed, "I am not sure. If I can't find another job here before then, than I suppose I will." "Will you be sad to leave if you have to go?" Hope asked. Sophia answered, "Yes Hope. I will be very sad indeed." "So even if you don't find a job here, why would you have to leave?" she wanted to know. Her line of questioning was perfectly innocent but it was making Sophia anxious. "I need a job to be able to pay for a place to live, to get food to eat, and other things that grownups need to live." Sophia said honestly. "But why can't ya just live with us? Maybe you and my Papa can get married and you could be my new Mama." she said with a smile lighting up her precious face. "Oh Hope, it's not that easy. Can we please talk about something else or just enjoy the rest of the ride in peace and quiet?" Sophia begged the little girl. Hope gave her a little pout and began staring out the window next to her, and Sophia did the same. She felt slightly bad for hurting Hope's feelings. Hope was too young to understand the complications of being a grownup.

     Once they got back to the ranch and Sophia carried in her purchases and it was time to start making luncheon. Mikey decided to go help Travis with his work, so Sophia gave one of the smaller chalking boards to Hope, along with a stick of chalk, for her to use while she was busy making the food. Sophia went down to the larder to start gathering the ingredients she would need. Since it was so nice and cool down there, she dawdled just a bit longer before going upstairs into the oppressive heat of the kitchen. When she got back up there, a wave of dizziness over came her momentarily, which led to a short bout of nausea. Perhaps once they all finished with lunch, she would persuade the children to go for a swim with her. After she was back to feeling normal several minutes later, Sophia began chopping up some vegetables for the soup she was making. Once the broth and vegetables were simmering on the stove, she then went to work on slicing up some ham and bread. When the noon hour hit, Sophia had Hope run to fetch Travis and Mikey as she set out the bowls of soup and the plates of ham sandwiches on the table, along with a fresh pitcher of sweet tea. After everyone was seated and began to eat, Sophia told Mikey about the chalking boards she had purchased, finishing with, "so then the three of us can start working on doing our writing and arithmetic lessons each day that I will start doing with you so that you are all ready for school in a few weeks." Mikey didn't seem to like that idea at all as a grimace took over his usually sweet face, "Aww heck Sophia, why do we have to do that?" "Hey young man," Travis intervened, "you should be thankful. I think that was nice of Sophia to be concerned with your education." Sophia gave Travis a smile of thanks, and he gave her a wink in return. "I also had another idea." Sophia said, "How about when you both are finished with your lunches, we three go for a swim?" Now that was something that Mikey delighted in! "Oh yes, I want to go!" he said happily. "Me too!" Hope giggled. "That's not fair." Travis said, mockingly grumbling, "I want to go to but there is still so much work to do." "I gots an idea Papa!" Hope called out, "How about Sophia takes you swimming after me and Mikey go to bed?" A twinkle lit up Travis's eyes as he looked at Sophia, "Actually little darlin', that is something I will have her do for me." Hope finished up the last of her soup and smiled with pride for thinking up an idea that made her Pa happy, while Sophia rolled her eyes with a few giggles escaping her mouth, "Your Pa doesn't need me to take him swimming, he's a big boy!" Travis gave Sophia a sly smile, "But I disagree. I do need your help. Besides, you get to take my kids swimming, so it's only fair that I get my turn too." "Yep!" Mikey agreed, "My Pa's right. It's only fair." "Oh Lord help me." Sophia laughed heartily.

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     Since Travis and his men were still outside cutting up the last pieces of the wood from the fallen willow tree, Sophia had the children take their baths, then she read them a story and tucked them into bed. They still had to share Hope's bed so that Travis could use Mikey's. Once she was done with that, she took a walk down to her cabin and headed inside, feeling lonely now that Rachel was gone. It was only a little after eight o'clock, so even though it wouldn't get dark outside for over another hour or so, she lit the lanterns in the cabin and sat down at the kitchen table with the fabric she had purchased earlier and began to outline a pattern on one of them. Before long, she was well into her project of making a dress when she heard a soft knock at the door. She set down her needle and the fabric she was sewing on the table, then stood up and briefly stretched out her very stiff back before opening the door. It was Travis. "Ready for that swim now?" he asked her with a wicked grin playing on his features. His face was sweaty and there were smudges of dirt, but he looked just as handsome as always which never failed to make Sophia's heart race. She opened the door wider so he could step inside, then gestured towards the table, "I am plumb in the middle of making a dress." she said, "Perhaps some other time?" But Travis wasn't having it. He had waited all damn day for this time with her, and he wasn't about to let her get away with it. So taking matters into his own hands, he scooped her up in his arms and flung her over his shoulder, then walked back out of her cabin, making sure to use his other arm to swing the door closed. "Travis!" she laughed, "Put me down this instant!" "Nope." he laughed back. "Travis, seriously. You can go swimming on your own!" she cried out. "Nope." he said as he quickened his steps. She began squirming under his hold as a wave of giggles took over. But he was strong, and her squirming only made him tighten his hold on her. He reached the pond a few minutes later, and once he reached the waters edge, he threw her into it. As she came sputtering to the surface, he was quickly divesting himself of his shoes and clothing, only leaving on his drawers when he jumped in after her. She tried to swim in the other direction away from him, but he swam faster and took hold of her, pulling her backwards so that his front faced her backside. With one strong arm, he held her firmly around the waist, and with the other, he began to unbutton her dress. "Travis!" she whispered frantically, "Someone might see us! The sun hasn't quite set yet! Besides, this is highly improper!" He laughed wickedly in her ear, "The sun is setting as we speak and the men are all busy enjoying their cups of rum in the bunkhouse." Once the buttons were all unfastened, he slid the wet fabric down her shoulders. She protested but he managed to take it all the way off and threw it over into the grass near his own pile of clothing. "Travis, stop. Please. This isn't right." she whispered weakly. "Sshhh." he whispered, "This is so right and in so many ways." Since she hadn't been wearing any shoes when he showed up at the cabin, the only things she was left wearing was her chemise and her pantaloons. "What in the world has come over you?" she cried out, "We are unmarried. What of my reputation? I work for you! We cannot be doing this Travis Ewing, and you know it!" came her reply. "Just trust me woman. Now do be quiet so I can ravish you like I have dreamed of doing since that first day I laid eyes on you in that restaurant." "What if I don't want this to happen?" she said, trying to squirm within his arms. "I see the way you look at me. You feel the same as I. You do want this. I can see it in your eyes." he whispered in her ear. He still had her pressed against him and she could feel his erection jutting up against her hip. Instantly, she felt the apex of her thighs grow warm and tingly. His arm let go one her for one brief second in order to turn her around so she was facing him, but she used that second to dive under the water and swim quickly away. "You little minx!" he laughed as he swam after her. By the time she resurfaced, Travis was already waiting for her. Once her head popped up, she was surprised to see him in front of her. Before she could say another word, he playfully splashed water at her which wasn't what she had quite expected. After the initial shock, she cried out, "Travis Lee Ewing! I will get you for that!" He quickly swam away as she attempted to splash him back and the water missed him entirely. Then he dove under the water, so she swam away in order to avoid him. This time, when his head came out, she was ready. He expected to see her in front of him but she wasn't there, so he slowly turned around only to be splashed back right in the face. Before he could see where she was, she dove under the water past him and quietly resurfaced to see that he wasn't where she thought he was. All of a sudden, he wrapped his arms around her bare legs and drug her under the water. His one arm then encased her waist while the other was wrapped firmly around her full breasts. He used his strong legs to kick them back up to the surface, then closer towards the shore so that he was able to stand upright while still holding her. The feel of her breasts under his arms made his shaft ache with need. It was almost fully dark by now. He turned her around to face him, while still holding onto her firmly so that she could not escape again. His eyes turned stormy with passion as he bent his head towards her own to claim those luscious lips of hers, full and hard. She didn't bother trying to pull away; her body was helpless with a need as strong as his own. Their kissing deepened and intensified. She didn't even recall at just what moment he had laid her on the ground so that the upper halves of their bodies were on the grass, and the lower parts were still in the water. He kissed her with a ferocity that shook her to her core. The same core that was now on fire despite the coolness of the water. Off in the distance, crickets began to sing as the sun faded away to darkness. His hard shaft was pressing against the apex of her thighs, blocked only by a very thin layer of fabric from her pantaloons. One hand raised her wet chemise to expose her bare breasts with her taut nipples. He looked down at them. They were perfect. 

     He took one of her nipples into his mouth, gently suckling it, while his other hand reached for her head and began to remove her hair pins one by one until her hair fell down and loose upon the ground and over her shoulders. She wrapped her own fingers through his hair, grabbing onto his head hard as he began to pleasure her other breast. Her hips began to gyrate of their own accord, wanting him inside of her. His own hips matched her movements. His mouth once again claimed her own in a fierce kiss, his tongue making an invasion inside her mouth. She matched the fervor of his kiss as her tongue intermingled with his. He pushed himself against her. She moaned. His left hand pulled at the strings that tied her pantaloons until they were set free, and he moved the fabric down past her feet. "Sophia." he whispered seductively. She actually shivered with desire. He used his knee to spread one of her legs away so that his throbbing shaft could seek entrance inside of her. Slowly he worked his way inside, but she was so tight. So damned tight. The water worked to his advantage as it created the moisture he needed to slip himself into her further so slowly, then he pulled himself back out so that only his tip remained inside. She wrapped her legs around him and she pulled his head towards hers to deepen their kiss. He moved slowly back inside of her, allowing her tight core to accommodate his thickness. His hands latched into her hair as he gave a quick thrust, causing Sophia to cry out in pain even though her virtue had already been claimed by Jeremy. Her body still wasn't used to this sort of love play, and it hurt. "Ssshhh darlin'," he whispered in her ear, "it won't hurt for long." He began to kiss the sensitive spot of her neck, just under her right ear as he moved in and out slowly. God she felt so damned good. It took every semblance of his control to not spill himself into her just yet. He kissed her neck, lower and lower until he reached her collarbone. Her fingers tightened their grasp within his hair as she unknowingly moaned in delight, which caused his shaft to tingle with pleasure. He began moving in and out of her a little more quickly as her hips moved themselves in semi-circles. As his movements went even deeper still, he pressed against her bud. Back and forth, deeper and deeper. She began to feel a warmth coming from her core as it tingled from within, her pleasure increasing as he moved inside of her and against her bud. Faster and faster he moved into her tightness which was now a snug fit for his rather large member. Her arms wrapped themselves around his back, as her fingernails dug into his skin. The pleasure grew and grew until she cried out as her orgasm peaked in a moment of sheer bliss. Her soft whimpers of joy made his own pleasure begin to build. His mouth reached for hers. His shaft could feel her core contracting back and forth as her orgasm began to die down. His own was just beginning. He thrust himself into her even harder, even faster... over and over again until moments later, he, too, cried out in ecstasy as he spilled his seed deep inside. He had never felt such a wondrous amount of physical gratification like this before. He was in heaven. She was in hell. 

     Once her senses came back to her, she cried silently as his head lay upon her breasts. She could feel his heart beating rapidly against her abdomen. What had she done? Oh God, this wasn't supposed to happen yet! If at all, at least, not until they were properly married. Now she had lain with two different men in just a matter of weeks, even if one of them was completely against her will! Could Travis tell that her virtue was gone? Why had he done that, and why had she let him? She was weak. Hells fire! Even if she knew her destiny was with this man, she still should not have given into his desires so easily. "You are the most amazing woman I have ever laid eyes on Sophia Lancaster." Travis stood up and began dressing himself back into his wet clothing as she lay there on the ground with her eyes closed, agonizing over what they had just done. Of course she had wanted him in this way, but not like this. She forced herself to sit up after a couple of minutes, unaware that he was standing there watching her carefully. "I want to sleep with you tonight in your cabin. I want to hold you in my arms." he said softly. She began to put on her dress, which was somewhat difficult considering it's wet state. He buttoned the back of it for her once she had it on. "Have you nothing to say?" he asked. Sophia remained silent as she walked briskly towards her cabin, with him following from behind with his boots in hand. Thankfully she knew her way because it was now so dark outside, the three-quarter moon providing just enough light to see by. When she reached the door, she quickly whirled around to face him, "You cannot leave the children in the house alone and unattended. I am tired. It's been a long day. Please, leave me be." Then she opened the door and went inside, closing and locking it before he had time to react. Tears poured down her face as she stared blankly at the kitchen table with the fabric strewn about it. Sophia went to the small bathing room and drew herself a bath. Thoughts weighed heavily on her mind. Things were going a little too fast for her. She had wanted to confess to Travis about what happened between her and Jeremy before they ever shared that sort of intimacy with one another. He had the right to know everything. He only knew a little bit about why her and Rachel had come down here, but not the whole story. How would he feel about her once he knew everything? Chances were high that he would be sorely upset that she had lain with another man before him. He might choose not to be with her once he did know. Sophia did plan on telling him, but figured she had more time before they would have shared passion with one another. Now that she had lain with Travis, this complicated matters much worse! She would have to confess everything. It was the right thing to do. He needed to know before his feelings for her got any stronger. He might send her packing, but at least she could unburden her mind knowing she had been honest with him. After a short while, Sophia headed off to bed and fell into a dreamless sleep. 

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