The Final Goodbye By: J.L. Jacobs © 2015 (Full Length Book)

Out of sheer desperation, Sophia Lancaster flees her small town of Wellington, Ohio in order to become a mail-order-bride. Naive and full of hope, her world is shattered once again as she is quickly wed to Travis Ewing who seems to despise her from the moment they meet.

Over time, they fall madly in love with each other but Fate has other plans in store for them. This is a suspenseful and very emotional love story that is set in the 1890's where history comes alive. You will laugh and cry over Sophia's journey through hell and back as she fights for the only thing she truly believes in: Love.

*I love to hear your comments and feedback but please DO NOT POST ANY SPOILER ALERTS OR GIVE AWAY STORY INFO. This ruins the reading experience for others.* This is a rough draft version. This book is for mature readers over the age of 17 only. It does contain some profanity and a few graphic love scenes. The synopsis will be re-written, and I will be updating the book with edits.

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9. Chapter Nine: Back Home

Chapter Nine: Back Home

 

 

     Sophia sat on the outside carriage bench next to Travis as they headed back to the ranch, thankful that she wasn't cooped up inside on this beautiful day. It was still very hot and muggy but as the carriage clipped away at a fast pace, it had actually created a breeze against them that felt quite nice. Texas was so spread open once they had left Dallas. The closer to Turtle Creek they got, the lusher the land became thanks to Exall Lake. The land out here was untamed, wild, and raw. Sophia basked in the glory of it all. It was so beautiful! Since her arrival in Texas, she had always been inside the carriage when traveling which made it difficult to get a good look at the scenery. But sitting up there on the bench, out in the open, had treated her with all the sights she hadn't been able to enjoy up until now. Travis was being his usual self or at least the only self Sophia knew him as; the angry, obstinate, and unmoving man of which she had come to know over the last few days. This was their third day of marriage, and yet, it felt like it had been much longer. "Travis," Sophia said with a pasted smile on her face, "I really think we should talk. Perhaps we should get to know one another?" He looked over at her and grimaced, "I'm not much on conversation." Sophia sighed. This man never seemed to make anything easy on her but she refused to budge. "Well, then I shall tell you about me." "No thanks. I'm not interested in knowing a lick about you. What I do know is that you are a deceiving little wench." Sophia narrowed her eyes and began to fume. Wench? Wench! Now she was very irritated with him, more so than she had been before, and she lost her patience. "You dare call me a wench? I don't know who in hells fire you think you are but I was raised in a respectable family! Referring me to... as a... as...well, a prostitute is very ungentlemanly of you sir! I am untouched so that word does not apply to me and I think your unfair judgment of my character---" "I don't give a fig what you say you are! I will call you whatever the hell I want to MRS. EWING." he roared back at her. "Did you treat your other wife this poorly?" she shot back with her own dose of venom slipping forth at him. Immediately she felt terrible about saying that to him. From what Elsie had told her, the two had been very much in love and bringing his dead wife into their problems wasn't fair of her to do. It was downright low. That comment visibly inflamed him even further. He stopped the horses abruptly and was about to raise a hand to slap her across the face when he saw her eyes widen in fear as un-shed tears pooled inside. What in the hell was he about to do? Travis wondered to himself. He had never hit a woman a day in his life! He felt awful that he almost hit her but before he could apologize she scrambled down from the bench onto the ground and began running back in the opposite direction as fast as she could run. As it turned out, that wasn't very fast at all considering she was wearing heeled shoes and a confining dress. He jumped down after her and quickly caught up. Grabbing her arm, he whirled her around to face him. Tears were streaming down her face and she looked at him saying in a choked sob, "Why do you hate me so much? What have I done so wrong to you?" He felt like he had just been kicked in the gut. Her eyes were a vivid shade of aqua from her tears and her hair was falling down from its pins that were keeping it held up; the running jarred the pins out of place so her hair tumbled down in some places. To him, she never looked more beautiful. He didn't know what overcame him but in that moment he had a flashback of her laying naked in the bathing tub the first time he'd ever laid his eyes on her and he felt his desire for her once more. He cupped her face in both of his hands and kissed her full on the mouth. A hard, sensual kiss that deepened as she unwillingly responded to it. Sophia surmised that this kiss was so very different than the one they had shared on their wedding day which was barely a kiss at all. No, this kiss was one that the penny romance novels described. Sophia, coming back to her senses, inched herself away from him while looking at him with glazed eyes. "I'm sorry." he genuinely apologized while looking straight into her gorgeous eyes, "I cannot say enough how sorry I am. You're right. I don't know what my problem with you is other than you lying to me." She looked at him just shaking her head, "You wouldn't even let me explain!" she countered, "I would also like to say how sorry I am to you as well. I never should have made that comment about your dead wife. That was pure down rotten of me and I truly am so very sorry. I just don't understand why you seemed to have hated me from the second you met me. Maybe you wanted someone prettier. I was so scared to come here. I knew nothing about you. But I was also excited in a strange way knowing I would be a part of your family. To be your wife and it has just gone all wrong. You never gave me a fair chance. Not even once. On top of all that, you've treated me with nothing but contempt. Even before I told you the truth about my lack of experience with homemaking. That wedding was something I will have only done once and it will never be a good memory. You were awful towards me since the second you laid eyes on me and I don't even know why." Tears continued to pour down in a steady stream that created a wet streak in her dust-caked face from the wagon ride. He knew she was right. Hell, he even heard the same from his lawyer plus Mr. and Mrs. Cox. "Let's get back in the carriage Sophia. Please. I really have a lot of work to finish today." he said as he grabbed a hold of her hand and led her back towards the carriage, "I promise we can talk later this evening. For now, please accept my apology. I mean that sincerely." "I am acceptable to that." she replied by flashing him one of the most beautiful smiles he had ever seen in his life. Something stirred within his heart that left him confused. Her wet eyes sparkled in the sunlight. How could she possibly think she wasn't pretty enough for him? She was even more beautiful than Rebecca had been if he was being honest with himself. It made his heart thump wildly. He helped her back up to the seat and got back in on his own. They didn't speak the rest of the way back to the ranch, each lost in their own thoughts. Sophia reflected that she had been genuinely frightened when she thought he was going to hit her. Then she felt utterly confused when he had kissed her like that. Travis, doing some reflecting of his own, was mortified at his behavior and couldn't help thinking about how good his mouth had felt on hers. He couldn't argue that he felt real desire for his new wife. That much was true. But he was still very upset over her deceiving him. Maybe there was a reasonable explanation for why she had done it. He decided he owed it to her to find out.

 

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     Fifteen minutes later they pulled off the dirt road and onto the main drive leading to the ranch. Sophia looked around at the sights. There were large willow trees that lined each side of the drive and they were magnificent! This was such a lovely home he had made and the ranch itself was very well maintained. "You don't seem have as many cattle as I thought you would. I remember someone mentioning that you have at least a couple thousand." Sophia remarked as she looked out at the fields. Travis parked the carriage, tethering it up, and walked around to the other side to help her down. "I had that many but at the beginning of every spring we have a cattle drive to sell off the stock. Usually up in Kansas. But I have a little over five hundred currently." he answered, "The rest that are here are all being bred or are getting ready to birth. The ones close to giving birth are called a springer. I keep several dozen bulls on hand for breeding purposes." "Do you not go on the cattle drives yourself then?" she inquired out of curiosity. "I used to but haven't gone since my wife died a couple years ago." he replied. "I've been worried about leaving the children for that long. Now I just have my trusted crew who go in my stead. I do plan on going next spring though, or at least, I had planned on it." Sophia smiled, "You mean you planned on going next spring providing that the mail-order bride you wanted had worked out." Travis chuckled at her astuteness, "Yeah, I guess you could say that." Grabbing her suitcase, he escorted her inside the house, then went upstairs to deposit her bag in their room. Sophia remained downstairs after she heard sounds of the piano being played from a room at the front of the house. She made her way there without giving much thought to the action. She had figured in her head that little Hope was the one playing it from the awful sounds that emitted forth from the piano, but walking into the room, she saw it was Mikey instead. Sensing someone was there, Mikey stopped playing and looked up from the piano to see Sophia standing in the doorway. "I thought my Pa got rid of you." he said bitterly. Sophia walked fully into the room by that point and sat down on the piano bench next to him. "I guess he changed his mind." Sophia answered flippantly. She then took over the keys and began playing a song her and her sister had made up years ago. Mikey wanted nothing more than to jump up off the piano bench but Sophia had blocked him in. He sat there with his arms crossed in anger but as he begrudgingly watched her play, he really liked what he had heard. "I didn't know you could play the piano." he remarked. His voice had softened up a bit when saying that. Sophia looked over at him and giggled, "Well," she said, "I guess I didn't know you could as well. Who taught you how to play?" she questioned him. Instantly his whole demeanor had changed. He stiffened up but answered her question, "My Ma." he replied quietly. Sophia began to play another song while Mikey sat there watching her. "I can finish teaching you how to play if you'd like." she suggested once the song was over. She stood up from the bench and walked away just far enough for him to be able to move if he chose to. Mikey took the opportunity to get up from the bench and started to walk out slowly of the room. "Whenever you are ready, I am here to teach you!" Sophia called out to him. He never answered her back. 

 

     Sophia knew she had a lot of work to do before she won him over. She knew deep down that he must be really missing his Ma something fierce. The whole family was. There was some commotion going on in the kitchen, so she made her way down the hallway in that direction. Before she got close enough to be seen, she could hear a conversation taking place. Upon hearing her name being mentioned, Sophia decided to eavesdrop. She heard Mikey talking to someone. "I thought you were done with her Pa!" Mikey said in a raised voice. "My lawyer demanded I bring her back here for proprietary sake." Travis replied, "It's only temporary until the marriage can be dissolved." Sophia felt like a knife had just stabbed her in the back. He really didn't want her there! She tensed up as the pain in her stomach came back at that moment. She braced her right hand on the wall for support while her left hand pushed down on the area where the pain was located. "Do I really have to be nice to her Pa?" Mikey asked Travis. "Yes." Travis said, "You were raised to respect your elders son, and I expect you to treat her with both respect and kindness while she is here. She's not a bad person and doesn't deserve the way she's been treated since she got here. That includes from myself. She's been nothing but kind to you Mikey, and I have to say that I am disappointed in your behavior towards her. Start showing her your nice side unless you want her to think you're nothing but a brat. That is an order." "Papa?" said a sweet little voice, "I think she's awful perty. I will be nice to her. She's been awful nice to me. I like her." Sophia recognized Hope's voice. Even though the horrible pain still consumed her, Sophia couldn't help but smile. At least one person on the ranch liked her. "I appreciate you saying that little darlin'." Travis said. "I don't want you walk on your feet so keep them propped up. When Sophia comes in here she can use that wheeled chair that Dr. May let us borrow to wheel you around if you'd like." Hope giggled, "That will be so much fun Papa!" Travis next said, "I have to go find Mrs. Cox and let her know that Sophia is back here. Do either of you know where she is?" Both the children chimed in at the same time saying, "She's scrubbing clothes." "Okay, good. I will go talk to her. Mikey, I want you to come with me. I have some fences that need mending that you can help me with." Travis remarked. "Yes Pa." Mikey answered respectfully. Sophia heard the back door open and close as they left the house. She stood there for several moments until the pain had subsided enough that she could stand up straight again. 

 

    Walking into the kitchen, she saw Hope sitting on a kitchen chair with both her bandaged feet propped up on a chair while drawing on a small blackboard with a piece of white chalk. Hope heard her walk in and smiled at her, "Sophia!" the little girl exclaimed. Sophia walked over to her and wrapped her arms around Hope into a big hug. "How are your feet feeling today?" Sophia questioned. Hope shrugged her little shoulders, "I am fine. My Papa says I have to stay off of my feet. If I want to go anywhere than you can push me in the rolling chair thingy." Sophia sat down in the hot kitchen in a chair across from Hope. "What are you drawing on there?" she asked with curiosity. Hope set the chalkboard on top of the table and turned it around to show Sophia. "I am drawing Mr. Gray." Hope answered. Sophia looked at the drawing and wasn't quite sure what this Mr. Gray was that Hope spoke of, so she asked the little girl, "Who is Mr. Gray?" Hope giggled, "He's my kitten that my Pa got me for my last birthday!" Sophia smiled, "You have your very own kitty? How exciting. Back where I used to live, my Father had bought a kitten for my sister and me when we were little. We loved our kitten very much as I suspect you love your Mr. Gray." "Oh yes! Very much so!" Hope giggled. "Can you draw me your kitten?" She asked Sophia. Sophia nodded her head yes then took the chalkboard and chalk from Hope's now outstretched hand. "My kitten is actually all grown up now but I can show you what he looked like when he was smaller." Sophia didn't mention the fact that the cat was now gone after dying of old age. She used the side of her hand to erase the drawing and began working on one of her own for several minutes as Hope sat there watching her with an avid interest. When Sophia was finished with her drawing, she turned the chalkboard around and handed it back to Hope who picked it up to look at it. "Gosh Sophia, you're not very good at drawing! That kitty looks like a dog!" she laughed. "Hey!" Sophia laughed back, "I'll have you know that the kitten I drew is a pretty good representation of what it looks like." She winked at Hope as the little girl continued to giggle. Hope commented back with an honesty that only a child could have, "Well, I suppose your cat must have been pretty ugly then." That remark made Sophia burst into laughter saying, "I suppose so." Then Sophia became serious again. Looking straight at her, she said to Hope, "I wanted to tell you how very sorry I am that you cut your feet yesterday. Really, very, truly sorry." Hope patted the top of Sophia's hand gently a couple of times like she had seen Mrs. Cox do before, "Aw, gosh Sophia, it wasn't your fault. Dr. May said I was a very good patient and gave me a whole peppermint stick!" Sophia raised her eyes in mock surprise saying, "A whole peppermint stick? Gosh, you really must have been a super good patient. I am so proud of you for being so brave" At that moment Sophia remembered the children telling Travis that Mrs. Cox was doing the wash. "Where does Mrs. Cox do the wash at? I would really like to watch and learn. Maybe help her." she said to Hope. "Usually on the back porch." Hope answered, "Can I sit on the swing and watch?" "Sure, that sounds like a wonderful idea!" Sophia smiled as she got up from the chair. She walked over to Hope and picked up the little girl in her arms. Sophia carried her out to the back porch. 

 

     Sure enough, Mrs. Cox was out there in the blistering heat, scrubbing an item of clothing up and down the washboard that was inside a large tin tub of soapy water. Sophia set Hope down on the swing and moved her legs on top of it so they went across the length of it. Mrs. Cox looked up from her scrubbing and smiled at the two of them, "Well I had heard from Mr. Ewing that he brought you back." she said to Sophia. Sophia walked over to the part of the porch where Mrs. Cox was at and sat herself down on a small wooden stool. "I would like to help you Mrs. Cox, if I may. I want to learn how to do this." Mrs. Cox's admiration for Sophia grew another small notch at Sophia's request, "I surely don't mind at all Mrs. Ewing." she smiled. Sophia sat down on her haunches and listened as Mrs. Cox explained the process to her; about how to use boiled water to fill the washing basin, then how to mix in some soaping powder into the water. She told her that a bar of soap could be used directly on hard to clean stains by scrubbing them roughly. Mrs. Cox showed her the small wooden paddle that was laying on the porch near the basin, describing how the water had to be stirred vigorously until the soaping powder created suds. She then explained to Sophia that a second basin of hot water was used for rinsing. She showed Sophia how the washboards were placed into the sudsy water and then how to scrub the clothing up and down it vigorously many times until the particular clothing item was clean. Next, Mrs. Cox demonstrated how to use a washing dolly which was made of wood. Sophia listened to her intently and watched as Mrs. Cox continued to scrub a couple more items. "May I try?" Sophia asked. Mrs. Cox laughed, "Absolutely you may give it a try! I am getting tuckered out." The older woman began to get up from the wooden stool to allow Sophia to sit down. Sophia sat down on the wooden stool and Mrs. Cox plopped herself on the top porch step to watch. "Are you in pain?" Sophia asked Mrs. Cox with a worried look on her face. "Oh darling, when you get to be my age you'll understand it better, but tasks like this can be hard on my old bones and muscles. Don't worry though, I'm more than used to it. Been doing things like this my whole life. I am sure once you are done, you will be pretty sore yourself giving that you're not used to this type of work." "Yet!" Sophia commented as she began to attack the task of scrubbing the dirty clothes. Outside, there were men hard at work all over the ranch doing various duties. Sophia asked Mrs. Cox, "Would you mind teaching me the other chores that you do for Travis?" Mrs. Cox shook her head yes, "I sure will. I am so glad you asked me." she said. While Sophia continued doing the wash, Hope was humming and singing various songs while drawing away on her chalkboard. Mrs. Cox sat there and supervised Sophia, once in a while interjecting with comments on certain things that Sophia was sometimes doing wrong. The day was overly hot and Sophia was sweating profusely all over. She made a mental note to get some dresses that were better suited to life on the ranch, much like the dresses Mrs. Cox and Hope wore which were made of a lighter fabric in an overall simpler design. Mrs. Cox wore a dirtied apron which made Sophia think that she would need a few of her own. Over an hour later, with Mrs. Cox's help and instructions, they were both using wooden clothes pins to hang the wet clothing onto the clothesline that hung outside in the yard. Once they were finished, Sophia noticed the deep ache in her muscles from head to toe. This had been hard work. She thought of Nellie who had been doing all the household cleaning plus managed to cook three meals a day, much like Mrs. Cox did here. It gave Sophia a much keener appreciation of both these women for working so hard each and every day. When she wrote to Nellie next, she would have to give her a big thank you for all the years of her dedicated service to her family. It didn't take very long to hang all the wet clothes to dry since there were the two of them to do it. 

 

     Sophia found that she was terribly thirsty so she went inside to pour herself a refreshing cup of sweet tea to help quench her thirst, then offered some to both Mrs. Cox and Hope who eagerly accepted her offer. Sophia enjoyed being able to sit for a moment to help ease her already stiff muscles. "You're feeling sore already aren't ya?" Mrs. Cox said winking at Sophia. Sophia laughed, "Yeah, I sure am. How do you do it?" "I have no choice. It's got to get done. But Mr. Ewing pays me a good wage so that helps keep me motivated." Mrs. Cox replied honestly. Once they were finished with their sweet tea, Mrs. Cox looked at Sophia and said, "Now it's time to begin preparing supper. We are making fried chicken tonight, so if you'd like, I can show you how to do that?" Sophia was utterly exhausted after finishing the wash but smiled brightly and answered, "I would love to!" "Well then, follow me!" Mrs. Cox said, who began to head towards the pen in the yard that contained over two dozen chickens. At the end of the fenced in pen, which had chicken wire nailed on it from all sides, there was a decent sized two level chicken coop. "Now watch and learn!" Mrs. Cox said as she opened the latched gate to the pen, "Stay there and just pay attention to what I do." the older woman instructed. Sophia nodded her head to indicate she was paying attention. Mrs. Cox swiftly grabbed up the nearest chicken onto her overly ample bosom with both her arms wrapped tightly around it. The chicken tried to squirm its way out but Mrs. Cox kept a firm grip. She let herself out of the pen and nodded her head towards Sophia for her to follow. They went over to a log near the side of the coop which was stained on the top with a dark brown substance of some sort. "Hand me that ax." Mrs. Cox asked, nodding her head over towards the chicken coop which was very close by. Sophia spied the ax sitting against the side of the coop, then walked over to grab it. It was surprisingly heavy. Mrs. Cox laid the neck of the chicken across the top of the log. "Now use the ax by raising it up into the air. You're going to want to bring it down swiftly and strongly, but make sure you make a nice clean cut in the middle of the neck." Sophia felt instant bout of nausea at the realization of what Mrs. Cox wanted her to do. "Oh my, I don't... I don't know if I-I can do this." Sophia stammered. "Oh nonsense!" Mrs. Cox laughed, "You wanted to learn how a ranch wife works, well, this here is a part of the job. Now do hurry please. Let's not dilly-dally. It's getting past time to get that supper going and Travis gets cranky when his meals are late." Neither one of the ladies had noticed that Travis, Mikey, and a couple of other ranch hands were headed their way, intending to go inside the barn. But instead of doing that, they stopped to watch. Travis was surprised to see Sophia wielding the ax. Her face was white as a ghost and she looked like she was about ready to vomit or cry. Maybe both. "She's gonna chicken out, you just watch and see Pa." Mikey said. "Pun intended?" Travis guffawed. Mikey laughed back, "I suppose so!" "I bet a whole dollar that she can do it!" one of the ranch hands declared. He had though Mrs. Ewing was such a beauty that she could do anything in his mind. "I'll take that bet." Travis said rolling his eyes as he noticed the love sick look on his worker's face. 

 

     Sophia raised the ax up with shaky arms. She was not used to the feel or weight of holding an ax. Travis watched as Sophia started to move the ax downward. At first with hesitation, and then with a brutal force. Sophia had done just as Mrs. Cox had instructed her, but instead of it slicing clean through the neck, the ax got embedded into the head of the chicken which began to flap so wildly that poor Mrs. Cox was knocked backwards onto her bum in surprise. The chicken was squawking and making all kinds of horrid noises. He could hear Hope screech on top of it, unable to move off the swing because of the stitches in her feet. Blood and brain matter imploded all over the place including the faces and upper portions of both Sophia and Mrs. Cox. Sophia screamed in shock, instantly realizing that something had gone wrong. Travis stood there in horror as he noticed one of the chicken's poor eyeballs had popped out from the force of the ax and landed in Sophia's hair in a goopy mess of blood and goo. He wasn't sure where the other eyeball was at, but both eye sockets were now empty and full of blood that was streaming down from them. "Oh my Lordy, lord, lord, lord!" Hope yelled from her seat on the swing as she briefly covered her eyes. Sophia was practically hyperventilating over the massacre while Mrs. Cox got herself up off the ground. The rest of the chicken was still flapping like mad in the air as the ax had the rest of its head fully embedded onto the log from the initial impact. Mrs. Cox tried her best to pull up the ax but it was stuck real good, therefore, she was unable to pull it out. 

 

     "Told ya." Mikey giggled as Travis walked over to where the ladies where at. Sophia was bent over, crying hysterically, while blood and goop seeped off her face and onto her dress as it fell the ground. She was frantically trying to remove the matter off of herself with her hands, freaking out while doing so. Mrs. Cox didn't fare any better as she was also covered in all the gooey mess. Travis couldn't help himself; he began to laugh. It was such a deep hearted belly laugh that soon after it started, Mikey and the other ranch hands couldn't help but to burst out laughing themselves. "Leave it to my new wife to muck up a simple beheading that badly." Travis thought merrily to himself. This would be a moment that none of them would ever forget. He would stake his entire life on it. Sophia looked up to see Travis standing in front of her, laughing so hard that it irritated her. "What in hells fire do you find so amusing about this situation!" she admonished him through her hysterical crying. The next thing she knew, Mrs. Cox also began to laugh. She honestly couldn't help it. Meanwhile, the bloodied and mangled chicken was still flapping about furiously and almost hit Mrs. Cox's side a couple times. "Let me show you how it's done woman." Travis said with a fair degree of mirth in his eyes. Sophia began to look more and more furious which made everyone else laugh that much harder. She was such a sight to see being covered up in blood and brain matter like she was. She still had no idea that a burst eyeball was stuck in her hair inside a pile of blood. Travis took a firm hold of the wooden handle of the ax and forcibly wrenched it free. As the head of the ax was released, so was the flapping chicken who now jerked around wildly. He quickly took hold of the bird which took some doing, then placed the neck back on the block, holding the body firmly in one arm while using the other to bring the ax down very swiftly so that it completely severed the already limp neck in half. The horrid squawking noises finally stopped to the relief of everyone there. The headless body of the chicken fell to the ground as it jerked and flapped about quite violently. Travis knew from experience that the jerking of the dead chicken was normal and would cease soon, but Sophia had never seen anything like that so it truly freaked her out. She cried for the poor bird and the cruel death it had suffered which was prolonged by her having missed the neck to begin with. She began to shake. The head of that poor chicken was still on the top of the log, squirting blood from it's severed neck. 

 

     "I am thinking these two women need to get cleaned up before they finish with the chicken, what do you say boys?" Travis said in that slow southern drawl of his. Mikey and the ranch hands noticed the mischievous look on Travis's face and nodded their heads in the affirmative. Travis grabbed Sophia and threw her up and over his shoulder like a large sack of potatoes with ease, then began to carry her over towards the vicinity of the nearby pond. Everyone followed him including Mrs. Cox. Hope had no choice but to stay where she was at but she could still see them all. Sophia, not being able to see where Travis was headed, squirmed within his grasp. Blood was oozing down from her hair where the chicken's blood had splattered all over it and it was close to getting into her eye. But before she had the chance to wipe it away, Travis had already thrown her into the air where she landed right into some cool and refreshing water. When Sophia rose to the surface of the water, she espied Travis who took off his cowboy hat and boots, then started walking into the pond himself. "What could you possibly be thinking TRAVIS EWING!" she yelled at him, angrily splashing water towards him as he walked closer and closer to where she was standing. Mrs. Cox had also walked into the water. "I am thinking that after your fiasco with that there chicken, you needed a quick way to get cleaned up a little." he laughed. "Oh, so he thinks that this is all so funny, does he?" Sophia thought to herself while glaring at him. He worked his way so close to her that they were mere inches apart. The water where Sophia stood came up just short of her perky breasts and since her dress was wet, it clung to her body like a second skin leaving very little to Travis's imagination. He felt desire begin to stir in the depths of his blue jeans. Even resembling a drowned shaggy dog, Sophia looked so desirable to him in that moment. If there weren't people around he very well may have ravaged her right then and there! The way he was staring at her made her think he was about to kiss her until his hand reached up and tugged something out of her hair. When it was out, he proudly showed her what it was. Sophia scrutinized what looked to be a very small piece of a soft boiled egg but it was tinged in pink. "What is that?" Sophia asked skeptically. "Do you really want to know? Travis teasingly asked her. Sophia nodded her sopping wet head yes, while pushing away strands of her hair that was stuck to her forehead, cheek, and the side of her face. "It appears to be an eyeball." he answered with twinkling eyes. Mrs. Cox, standing not six feet away from them, gave out a shout of laughter, and poor Sophia shrieked, "Get that thing away from me!" she screamed. Everyone watching them was laughing, almost to the point of peeing in their undergarments. Travis threw the eyeball off into the distance then took hold of Sophia. He wrapped her in his arms with one strong arm while the other used the water to help clean off the rest of the bloody goop from her face and hair. Mrs. Cox was still laughing as she cleaned up her own self, making quick work of the job so that she could get out of the pond and change into dry clothing. She surmised that she had to get back quickly in order to teach Sophia how pluck the feathers and then slice up the dead chicken into pieces in order to cook them for supper. If Sophia was even up to it at this point. What a story she would be telling Mr. Cox that evening! "Mikey," Travis yelled from the water, "go with the guys and finish up the work in the barn." Seconds later, Travis saw them walk towards the barn talking animatedly and still laughing over what had happened.

 

     Now that everyone was gone, he finally had his wife all to himself. Looking back at Sophia who was trying really hard to get out of his hold, he held onto her even tighter. "Thanks to you I am now a laughingstock to everyone!" she said in a raised voice to him. He looked down at her, smiling seductively. "No woman, you made yourself a laughingstock to everyone." Then he could no longer resist himself; he leaned in to kiss that delicious mouth of hers. She closed her eyes as his kiss deepened and a soft little sigh escaped her mouth as the pleasure of his kiss took over her senses. He held her tighter up against him where she could feel the strong muscles of his arms, legs, abdomen, and..... something else that was long and hard as it pushed up against her belly. He deepened his kiss by opening up her mouth to invade it with his tongue. She melted. His kisses in that moment was the closest thing to heaven on Earth that Sophia could imagine. She admittedly loved being kissed by him and wanted more. "I want you so badly right now." he whispered in her ear. Even though she was like putty in his arms, she couldn't help thinking about him wanting to dissolve their marriage and it stung her heart. There was no way in hells fire he would be taking her virtue knowing that! She pulled herself out of his grasp as she made her way back to dry land. The water had been so very refreshing on that hot day that she really didn't want to leave it. Looking back over her shoulder, she said to Travis, "Keep dreaming bucko. You might dissolve this marriage and make me a ruined woman but there is no way you will take my virtue too!" She strode off towards the house, leaving behind a very sexually frustrated Travis who was still standing in the water laughing at her.

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