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!


11. Chapter Eleven: Honesty

Chapter Eleven: Honesty



     The next morning, Sophia's mind was still unsettled after what had happened between her and Travis the evening before. Her emotions were high; partially from their intimacy, and partially from missing the company of her beloved sister who's companionship she was missing. Travis was the first to come downstairs to break his fast, as he usually was, and instead of sitting down to begin drinking his coffee, he went directly over to Sophia. She was still standing at the cook top range, stirring a large pan of sausage gravy. She was purposefully trying to avoid looking at him. He wrapped his arms around her waist and kissed the top of her head lovingly, "That smells so good darlin'." "Thank you." she replied quietly. She scooted out of his arms to grab the padded oven mittens that Mrs. Cox had made years ago. She carefully pulled out the tray of biscuits from the oven and set it on the other side of the range. "Your coffee is on the table." she said to him brusquely, "Go on and take a seat while I get everything put out. The children will be down any minute." She listened to the sound of his cowboy boots as he walked over to the table to take a seat. "You seem like your in a mood this morning." he said teasingly. "I'm tired is all." came her terse reply. She scooped the sausage gravy into a bowl, then placed the biscuits in another. Carrying each to the table, she set them down. As she began to walk away, Travis grabbed a hold of her arm and whirled her around to face him. "What is wrong with you this morning?" he questioned. His eyes held a look of genuine concern in them. Sophia forced herself to meet his gaze, "I already done told you!" she said bitingly. Travis visibly jerked from her sour disposition towards him. "Sophia, if I was out of bounds last night, then I sincerely apologize. I perhaps rushed things between us but-" She quickly interrupted him, "Can we not talk about this later after the children are in bed? Please? I need to tell you something anyway. I feel I owe you an explanation over some matters." 

They could hear little footsteps coming down the staircase nearby. Travis noticed that Sophia was not her normal cheerful self, and her desire to talk to him later left a queer feeling in the pit of his stomach. She pulled away from him to take a seat at her usual spot at the table as the children walked in. Hope ran over to Travis and gave him a quick hug, "Papa, I had a dream about you last night!" Then she ran over to Sophia and gave her a hug as well saying, "And Sophia, you were in it too!" Mikey sat down, "You hogged the whole bed and I didn't sleep well. Again. Pa, why can't Hope sleep in the other bed in Sophia's cabin?" Travis was making his plate with a smile on his face, "Hope, I'd love to hear all about that dream of yours. Mikey, that might not be a bad idea. If Sophia is agreeable, then I don't see why Hope can't do that until the work is completed on the house and I can get my own room back." "Oh Sophia, can I?" Hope cried out happily. Sophia sat there wondering that if after her talk with Travis this evening, whether she would even be welcomed there much longer. "I have no problem with that arrangement at all." she said honestly. Hope squirmed in her chair giggling, "Oh that will be so great!" Sophia's reply even made Mikey happy knowing he would have a bed all to himself once more. 

Shortly after they all began to eat, Hope started talking again. "I dreamed that we all went on vacation to Sophia's home in Wellington. It was Christmas time and we picked out a really pretty tree and decorated it. Rachel helped me make strands of cranberries to put on it. There was some lady who gave me and Mikey mugs of warm chocolate to drink. Then you and Sophia got married out in the snow." Sophia dropped her fork in shock. The dream that Hope had just described seemed eerily similar to the actual trip they had all taken to her parent's home in her past life, except, her and Travis were already married at that point in time. Travis chuckled, "You don't say? Well, that's quite a dream you had there little darlin'." Hope giggled back as she ate her food. Mikey perked up after taking a few quick bites. "Sophia, this gravy sausage and biscuits is really good. Even better than Mrs. Cox's, but please don't tell her I said that or she might smack my hide with a wooden spoon for it." Mikey said to her with a sheepish grin on his face. "I agree with Mikey!" Hope piped in. "I promise I won't say a thing to her about it." Sophia replied. She couldn't help but laugh as she made that one small promise. Goodness, if they all knew the truth of the matter, that she had learned how to make the dish from Mrs. Cox herself in her past life, well... they'd all have a good laugh. But as it was, they would not know about that any time soon, or if at all.  Sophia was lucky enough that Rachel and Maybelle believed this crazy journey of hers, but Travis and the kids were a whole different story. She pondered on whether or not to even tell Travis the truth before she had come down here, but now she wasn't so sure anymore. If she did explain the whole truth to him, she could always back up the story by telling him about some things that would happen in the future. However, she had already changed how things happened in this new life, since her reawakening, so she wasn't even so sure that any other of those future events would take place. Just pondering the idea, along with what she needed to tell Travis about what had happened with Jeremy back home that caused her to flee down here, well, it was giving her a positive ache in the head! As blessed as she had been to be given this second chance, she was constantly agonizing over the choices she was making and if they were the right ones. For instance, was her future meant to be with Jeremy or with Travis? Now that she had intimate relations with them both, she may very well have screwed up her destiny either way. Her heart was so sure she was destined to be with Travis. Her mind, however, was confused over the matter. Therein lied the problem. Should she listen to her mind and slow down to make sure her choices were sound, or follow her heart?  All these thoughts were bound to drive her insane at the rate she was going! Perhaps her destiny was to end up in the loony bin. 

     Once everyone had finished breaking their fast, Sophia took the dirty dishes and placed them on the counter. "Mikey. Hope. Ya'll go on ahead and get those chores of yours done." Travis said to his children. They grumbled among themselves as they put their shoes on near the back door, then ran outside into the sunshine. Travis lingered behind in the kitchen, and weirdly, he started to help Sophia clean up. She made the soap water on the left portion of the sink and placed the dirty dishes in there to soak for a moment while she cleaned the range. Travis began sweeping the floor. "Travis," Sophia said as she glanced at him from over her shoulder, "Stop doing my work. You pay me to do just that, remember? Go help out your ranch hands. You said yourself that you have a lot of work to do with the house repairs and all." "I will." he said stoutly, "But I want to have that talk of ours now. We can both talk and be productive at the same time. I won't be able to wait until later, because I have special plans for us and talking is not a part of that." She was starting to feel quite anxious. She didn't want to have that talk now. Hells fire, she really didn't want to have it at all, but knew it needed to happen. "Travis, I'd really prefer to wait until tonight. After the children are in bed." The range was now spotless so she walked over towards the sink and began scrubbing the dishes clean as he continued to sweep the floor which didn't take much time. When he was done, he walked over by her side and rinsed the dishes that she was washing. "I want to do this now. I can see that something is obviously upsetting you. I have obviously upset you. I am not leaving this kitchen until we have this conversation Sophia so you might as well get on with it!" She turned to look at him. His seductive green eyes focused on her own. "Travis," she said as tears began to form, "why can this conversation not wait until tonight? We both have work that needs to be done. I am starting educational lessons with the children this morning. That is why I purchased chalking boards yesterday. Once they have finished with their chores they will be coming back here. I am guessing that our conversation will need more time than that." Now Travis was truly worried. He could see that her whole body was slightly trembling, as well as the tears that brightened up her blue-green eyes. No, this conversation needed to happen now. Besides the fact, he had something planned for later that he did not want to delay. "Sophia, we are going to have the discussion now. I don't care how long it takes. The children can go help Mr. Cox out with some of his work in the cookhouse until we are finished. My guys are perfectly capable up doing the work without me for the time being. I'm going to tell Hope and Mikey to report to Mr. Cox after their chores are completed while you finish up these dishes and put the leftovers in the larder. By the time I am back, you will should be done. If it's not too much trouble, I also wouldn't mind another mug of coffee if you would be so kind as to make it for me. You know exactly how I like it." She sighed heavily as he walked out the backdoor of the kitchen. Oh hells fire! Why was that man so darned obstinate? Sophia began taking some of her fears and frustrations out on the poor dishes she was washing. It didn't take long to rinse, dry, and put them away. She then took the leftover food down to the larder where she stood for a few moments to bask in it's coolness. The kitchen was so hot from the range, so the cooler temperatures down there felt delightful. She heard the screen door upstairs open and close, then Travis's familiar boot steps walking into the kitchen, so Sophia knew Travis had returned. She took her time by walking back up the stairs slowly, really dreading the conversation he was so eager to discuss.  

     Travis was making himself a mug of coffee when she reappeared in the kitchen. "I didn't quite get to that yet." Sophia said meekly, "I apologize." Travis nodded his head, and once his coffee was just the way he liked it, he turned around to look at her. "Where would you like to talk at?" he asked. "How about we go out to the front porch and sit on the steps? I've noticed that at this time of the day when the sun is hitting the back of the house, the front is shaded and much cooler." she suggested. He held out his arm to indicate she should lead the way, so she walked out of the kitchen, down the long hallway, and out the front door with Travis following from behind. "I got a better idea. Let's sit here instead." he commented as he took a seat on the porch swing. Sophia sat down next to him.

"So what is it that upsets you?" he asked her directly, not wasting anytime. "I don't even know where to begin." came her honest response. "Let's start with last night since that seems to be why you are so edgy this morning. I realize I was out of line for making love to you like that. Sophia, it wasn't my intentions to have that happen. Not like that anyhow. I really did just want to take a leisurely dip in the pond with you." Travis said apologetically. "Except, instead of taking a dip in the pond with me, you took a dip in my pond in me." she said quietly. Travis couldn't help but chuckle at her cheeky reply. That was a part of her that he loved; her cleverness and  quick wit. "I am truly sorry for my actions. I can see that I have not only taken advantage of you but that I have hurt you in the process." he said truthfully. She looked at him and gave him a small smile saying, "Travis, let me be very honest with you. I don't feel as though you have taken advantage of me. Ever since our first meeting, I have felt this magnetic connection with you. One that I cannot even begin to explain. It's as if I have known you for such a long time. As if... aw hells fire, I don't know how to explain it right! But suffice it to say that what happened between us last night, well, I didn't mind how it happened. Or that it happened to begin with even if it was highly improper of me to have done that with you.." His eyes widened with both surprise and relief. "So why are you so upset this morning? I don't understand Sophia." he said as his eyes beseeched her. 

She took in a deep breath trying to work up her courage. Sometimes honesty could be a double edged sword; if one didn't know how to deal with it in the right way, it could leave scars that would never heal. So she sat there for a few moments while trying to figure out just how to tell him the truth without ruining either, or both, of their lives. "Travis, when you interviewed me, I was honest in telling you why I came down here. But I didn't elaborate on those reasons when I perhaps should have. Now that we've seemed to have developed a certain level of affection for one another, I feel it's time I shared with you the whole story and not just part of it." Sophia said in a quivering voice. Travis's whole body seemed to stiffen up as if he sensed he would not like what he would be hearing. "Continue." he said quietly as he sipped his coffee. Sophia looked at the mug and suddenly wished she had the forethought of bringing out a beverage of her own. Travis must have guessed her thoughts because he offered the mug to her and she took a few sips from it feeling grateful for his small act of kindness. "Thank you." she said with a genuine smile. "As I was saying, there is more to the story. It is the truth when I told you that my father was forcing me into a marriage I didn't want. However, I left out some important details so let me start from June first of this year."

His eyes narrowed a bit wondering what happened on that day in particular. Sophia's heart began racing because the story would be so much harder to explain. Mostly due to the complications from her reawakening that happened to her on that particular morning which was a huge part of why the events of that day had taken place in the way that they did. She didn't think he could handle that portion of the story just yet, which made it that much harder to explain everything else. Hells fire, this was all so damned complicated! If only Travis hadn't taken liberties upon her last night, then she would have had more time to allow their relationship to deepen, along with their level of trust with one another. She had planned on telling him everything once, or if, they got married. In the future after he properly courted her. Now her whole plan had been derailed! "I was betrothed to a man named Jeremy and that was to be our wedding day." she said quietly. She took in another deep breath of air into her lungs and continued speaking, "I had actually gone to see him early that morning because I knew I didn't love him enough to be married and didn't want to go through with the wedding. I didn't get the chance to tell him that because the partner of his medical practice, and that mans daughter, came calling on him just before. You see, Jeremy is a doctor and he owned half of a medical clinic in our town with another older doctor named John Milton. John Milton has a daughter who worked and helped out there and her name is Angelique Milton. Be that as it may, they showed up at Jeremy's house claiming that she was pregnant with Jeremy's baby. To make a long story short, our wedding never took place that day which was a blessing in disguise for me." 

Travis listened with a look of deep concentration furrowing his dark eyebrows. Sophia continued, "Not long after that day, I had an operation to remove some cysts from my uterus. I spent almost two weeks in the hospital recovering from the surgery and the very day I was released, I went over to Rachel's house to visit with her and my best friend Maybelle. We ended up talking about what happened on what was supposed to be my wedding day, and I knew that I still needed to tell Jeremy why I didn't want to marry him. He wasn't aware that I had the surgery, so I think he was still under the impression we'd be married." Travis spoke up, "Why would he have been under that impression? Didn't you say that he had gotten that other woman with child?" Sophia felt like smacking herself in the head. How would she explain that part without sounding crazy? After all, she had called Angelique out on her deception only because of the whole reawakening thing which left her with the memories of her past life. In her past life, Angelique and Dr. Milton had gone to Jeremy's house just before their wedding and Jeremy was told that Angelique was pregnant. He called off their own wedding that day, and married Angelique instead, only because he had felt honor bound to do so. But as it turned out, Angelique had lied about being pregnant in the first place just to trap Jeremy into marriage with her. In her past life, Sophia had been devastated. So much so that when Travis placed an advertisement in the newspaper looking for a mail-order bride, Sophia had responded to it just to get away from the small town she lived in. To avoid running into Jeremy or Angelique because it was too painful for her to bear knowing that they were married and supposedly expecting a baby. At the time, she had not known yet that Angelique faked her pregnancy, so leaving town seemed like her only option. She then went down to Texas and married Travis, whom she ended up falling deeply in love with over time. Good Lord, she couldn't tell Travis any of that! If only she could, as it would all sound more legitimate and she could be even more honest with him about everything! It was too soon. He would certainly send her packing for fear she was a certified lunatic if she told him that she thought she had died and was brought back to that first day of June in eighteen ninety! After all, he had sent her packing the very next morning after their quick wedding and her arrival in Texas, without even giving her much of a chance. So why wouldn't he do so now, in this life, when there was better reasons for him to do so?

Sophia rubbed her temples which were beginning to throb from stressing out over the whole thing because she was unable to confide the whole truth."Um, it turns out that she had been examined by a midwife later that morning in order to verify her claim. Angelique made up her pregnancy in an attempt to trap Jeremy into marriage. But that didn't change how I felt about him and the fact that I still didn't want to marry him regardless of that fact. So as I was saying, the day I was released from the hospital after my surgery, I was at Rachel's when the three of us were talking about that day. Maybelle mentioned something about Jeremy wanting to reschedule the wedding or something to that effect. Actually, I am not quite sure what was said, but I had determined that I needed to speak with him right away so that I could tell him I was not in love with him, nor did I want to marry him. I left Rachel's house and went straight to his medical clinic. The waiting room was empty so I rang a little bell that they have sitting on their reception desk. Angelique was the one who came out to the waiting room. When she saw me, she immediately became upset. I don't know why she would have been upset with me when it was she who had lied, but she was. I asked to see Jeremy and she said he wasn't there but I could sense that she was being untruthful about that so I pushed my way past her and walked quickly down the hallway to where his office was located. The door was shut and I was able to knock on it a couple times before she assaulted me by pushing me to the ground. I had landed on my abdomen which was still healing from the surgery. When Jeremy opened his office door, she had been kicking me there. In my abdomen. I was in so much pain. It all happened so fast so I am a little fuzzy on the exact happenings, but after she assaulted me, Jeremy had to physically remove her from the building. I do believe he locked her out as well. I was in so much pain that I was retching in his garbage receptacle when he finally returned to his office. I remember asking him for some laudanum. He's a doctor so I trusted him. As it turns out, he gave me double the dosage that the doctor had been giving me while I was in the hospital, so I began to feel very strange and asked him to take me home to my parents' residence." Sophia's throat constricted painfully. Tears formed in her eyes. This was the part of the story she was positively dreading to confess! After what she would say next would determine whether or not Travis would send her packing. It would ultimately determine her whole future. Nay, their whole future! 

 Sophia suddenly burst into tears and Travis pulled her into his arms feeling alarmed over her sudden emotional breakdown. Something was terribly wrong and his gut wrenched painfully for her. He could tell that she was absolutely petrified by how pale her face suddenly became. "Sophia darlin' please don't cry. Just tell me what it is bothering you." he said soothingly as his lips kissed her silky hair. Her body was wracked with sobs as her body heaved from her intense crying. Travis felt helpless in that moment and wanted nothing more than to comfort her. To make her feel safe. Protected. Loved. "Look at me." he said as his fingers lifted her chin so that she was forced to look up at him. Hesitantly, she did. "Trust me." his deep voice said softly. She forced herself to believe him and quietly began talking again once she had calmed herself down enough. "Travis, he didn't take me home. I woke up in his bed many hours later, still feeling the effects of the laudanum he'd given me. He was lying there next to me. As it turns out, we, well, he and I, had intimate relations. I wasn't a virgin when you and I did what we did last night! I hadn't told you this because I didn't think it mattered, since I am just an employee of yours. If the time came when I needed to tell you this, I would have. Please believe me on that." 

As the realization of what she just said to him sunk in, Sophia watched in horror as his face took on a murderous look. Travis bolted off the porch swing and threw a punch at the exterior wall of his house. She became instantly frightened that her worst fears were coming to fruition. He would make her leave. He screamed out and punched the house for the second time in a matter of seconds. Sophia saw blood fly from the knuckles of his hand which were now cut open and bloody. Part of her wanted to rush over to him and soothe his wounds, but the other part of her was rooted to the swing. She was literally frozen and unable to move as tears streamed down her face. Travis paced back and forth on the porch furiously for several minutes. Sophia felt so ashamed over her actions. For giving her virtue to Jeremy. She got off the swing and started running for the porch steps needing to get away. She felt truly awful for hurting Travis this way! Seeing how badly she had hurt him, to the point that he would bloody his own knuckles, was more pain than she could bear. She would need to get her stuff packed quickly and leave so that he wouldn't have to tell her that himself. 

She reached the side of the house before she heard Travis calling out her name,"Sophia!" She ignored him and kept running. In her peripheral vision she could see his men working on the upper portion of his house. Then everything got suddenly quiet. The men stopped sawing, talking, laughing and joking with one another. Their attention was now focused on the scene taking place below them as Travis ran after Sophia and was yelling for her to stop. They watched with rapt attention as he caught up with her, then grabbed a hold of her arm to stop her. "I said to stop woman!" he yelled frantically. Travis turned her around so that she was facing him. Her chest was heaving from running and her face was red from feeling so ashamed. Tears continuously streamed down her face. Travis placed both of his hands on each side of her face and forced her to look in his eyes. "What in the hell is wrong with you? Why are you running away from me?" he said gruffly. "You don't have to say it Travis. I will leave on my own. Please, let go of me. I will pack my things and leave straight away. I'm so sorry!" she cried out. The men all watched as their boss drew Sophia in for a passionate kiss. One of them whistled loudly, but both Travis and Sophia were enveloped in their own little world, oblivious to anything or anyone around them. Travis stopped the kiss just as suddenly as he began it, then scooped her up in his arms. As he began walking off with her, the men could hear him say, "We're getting married. Tonight!" Then Travis disappeared from their line of vision as he rounded the corner of the house. Neither Travis nor Sophia heard when the men all hollered out various comments of ribald joviality over hearing their boss making demands of marriage on the beautiful Miss Sophia Lancaster. 


     "What did you just say?" Sophia cried out as Travis damn near ran in the direction of her cabin. Surely she had misheard him? "I said, we're getting married! Tonight!" he yelled angrily. Her mind was a whirlwind. Here he was saying they were getting married, and yet he seemed so upset with her. It made no sense. Before she knew it, they were at the door of her cabin. He set her down, taking one of her hands in his own while the other one opened the door. He went inside, forcing her to go with him, then he slammed the door shut. She stood there in shock, not knowing what to think. He looked down at her with stormy eyes. She suddenly felt as if she needed to use the commode before she wet her pantaloons. He made her feel as if she was a naughty child when her father had been upset over something she'd done wrong. He once again grabbed her face and kissed her fiercely. So passionately. Her insides felt like they were melting and her legs turned to jelly. "I was going to propose to you tonight. That was my plan anyhow. But now, well now... hell, we're getting hitched at the courthouse instead! As soon as possible! I am making you my wife and that will be happening! Hell, do you realize that man, Jeremy, raped you? I feel like going up to Wellington right now and punching the living daylights out of him!" Travis yelled out furiously. His face was a bright shade of red and his light green eyes were positively bright from the intense emotions he was feeling. He stormed out of the room, leaving Sophia standing there in the kitchen in shock. Surely she must be going crazy. Why in the world would he make such a proclamation after what she had just confessed to him? "Travis, wait. He didn't rape me!" she called out. 

Seconds later he reappeared in the archway that separated the kitchen from the sitting room. "He most certainly did rape you! He drugged you, then took advantage of the situation. That constitutes as rape in my book! I don't know the gent, but I do know he has no honor in him after what he's done to you! Is that why your father demanded you two marry? In case you are with child?" Sophia was struck dumb. With child? The thought had never once crossed her mind. Oh God. What if she was carrying Jeremy's baby? That would change everything. She could not marry Travis, no matter how much she desired it, if that were the case. "Travis!" she yelled after he once again disappeared. She ran into the other room after him beginning to feel like a crazy woman. "Travis, what are you doing?" she said, looking for him. The cabin was small, so there weren't many places he could be. She found him in her bedroom looking through various drawers. "What are you doing?" she demanded to know. "I'm finding a suitable dress for the ceremony. Where is that green one that you wore for your interview with me?" he yelled. "I am not going to marry you. Not now. Not this way." she said quietly. Part of her wanted nothing more than to be his wife. His lover night after night. To resume the life they had once shared in her former life. But now, considering the possibility that she might be with child, well, that changed her dreams in an instant. Jeremy might not have any honor but she sure as hell did! Travis stopped short to look up at her. "What did you just say?" he asked in a very low voice.

 Sophia sat on the edge of her bed and look at him with watery eyes, "I cannot marry you. Until you just put the thought in my head, never once did I ever consider that I might be with child. I cannot marry you like this. It isn't fair to you if I am carrying Jeremy's baby. Oh hells fire Travis, I have fallen in love with you. So hard and so deeply. But as much as being married to you sounds like a dream come true, I cannot do so." "Why in the hell can't ya?" he replied, his eyes beseeching her now. "I thought I just explained my reasons why not." she said softly. He stood up and knelt down before her, "I love you Sophia Lancaster. I think I fell in love with you from the moment I laid eyes on you. I have never felt this intensely over a woman before. I planned on proposing to you this very evening and not just because we made love last night! I made love to you knowing that I wanted you to be my wife. You possibly carrying that man's baby changes nothing!" "It changes everything!" she shouted, "Why can't you see that?" He laid his head upon her lap as tears of his own began to fall down his cheeks. There was a desperation in him that he had never felt before. She kissed the top of his head, her lips being caressed by his soft, sweaty hair. "If we are to ever marry, I need to make sure I am not carrying his child. That is only the right thing to do." she whispered despondently. He looked up at her, "What if you are carrying my child?" he asked logically. Once again, he had made her think of another possibility that she hadn't considered. Oh goodness, what if she were? How would she know who's child it was since she had lain with two men in only a matter of weeks from each other? She felt a wave of dizziness come over her. This was all too much for her to think about right now! Her chest tightened up uncomfortably. The room's stifling heat began to make her feel as if she were being suffocated. She stood up, forcing him to back away, as she ran outside to breathe in some much needed fresh air. She wanted to confess everything to him. Nay, she needed to confess everything to him! About her reawakening. About their past life. But she couldn't. He would never understand. Perhaps that was why he was in love with her. Never did she guess that he would feel such a strong love for her after such a short period of time of being with him again. It was probable that he felt their connection from their shared love before she had... possibly died and was brought back, but it still didn't change the fact that if she was carrying Jeremy's baby right now, that it wouldn't be fair to him. Her eyes were shut tight against the blinding light of the sun. Travis now stood by her side. She had heard his footsteps as he walked up from behind her. "Marry me. I cannot imagine a life without you in it. I feel we are meant to be together, and I cannot explain to you how I feel this way, but I do." he said hoarsely. "Oh Travis!" she said, turning around to face him, "I feel it too. I cannot deny it. But I need to know if I am with child or not before I can marry you. Can you not wait a few weeks until we are certain one way or another?" she pleaded. "What if you are? Then what?" he asked. Once again, his question caught her off guard. He was right, if she were with child, then what? This was all too much! He wrapped her in his arms and kissed the top of her head, "Oh Sophia, this will only delay the inevitable. Surely you realize that?" She held on to him tighter, as she tried to digest everything. "I- I need to start getting the luncheon meal prepared!" she cried out, needing some time to think. She ran towards the main house leaving him standing there watching her departure with a heavy heart. Travis was determined to make her his, come hell or high water! 


  (This is the end of the chapter. Please submit your vote and comments.)  











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