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!


13. Chapter Thirteen: The Unexpected


Chapter Thirteen: The Unexpected



August 25, 1890

Finally, all the restoration work has been completed on the main house, and this morning, Travis has moved all my belongings into his room. There is so much firewood now from the tree they had to cut up that Travis says it will last all the buildings on his property through winter. The winters down here, however, are much more mild than the ones up North. Down here, they think it's cold when it's in the fifties. Just wait until I bring Travis and the children up to Wellington. Then they will get a dose of a true winter, complete with snow which Hope nor Mikey hasn't yet seen. Well, at least not in this new life of mine. I've asked Travis if we could go visit my parents after Christmas so that I can be there for the birth of Rachel's and Joseph's first baby. Travis happily agreed, so I am really excited. We've shared two days of wedded bliss and I must say, this new life of mine is going even better than I would have ever imagined. I have no cancer to worry about, which is the biggest blessing of all. I've sent out wires to mother and father, Rachel, and Maybelle to let them know that I was married to Travis and will be visiting after Christmas. I haven't heard back from Mother yet, but I am sure she will send a telegraph back soon. Rachel wired back to say that she is jumping with joy and cannot wait to see me. I still haven't heard word from Maybelle either, but expect I will soon.

Just this morning, when I woke up, I was very much relieved to see that my monthly menses have started. I am not with child, hallelujah! Now, when I do get pregnant, I can know with a one hundred percent certainty that the baby will be Travis's. I cannot wait! I want my little Madeline Rose back in my life so badly. Hopefully Fate will bring her back to me. Nay, to us! Travis will be so delighted once she comes into our lives, much like he had been in my past life before my reawakening.

We've received word from Mrs. Cox that her daughter has delivered her baby a couple weeks earlier than expected, just as her doctor had predicted. She now has a new granddaughter named Taylor Joy. The first name of Taylor is an odd choice of names, but I guess it's a homage to one of Mrs. Cox's sons that had died at an early age. In fact, Mrs. Cox has actually birthed five children but only has that one living daughter left. I cannot even begin to think of all the pain Mrs. Cox has suffered by losing four of her children. I suppose she is the strongest woman I know!

It's late and Travis has just finished with his bathing, so I am heading to bed so I can lay in his arms even if we cannot make love due to my monthly curse. Life is so blissful right now. He's given me instructions to redecorate our bedroom since the interior had been damaged from that tree. I have a nice idea to have it painted a soft shade of light green on the bottom of the walls with a nice wallpaper on the upper portion. There will be a wooden divider put up between the two sections. I think once the work is finished, or bedroom will be quite lovely indeed!

--- Sophia A. Ewing


     A couple weeks later, Sophia saw her step son approaching her. "Mikey, how was school today?" she asked pleasantly with a wide smile. She was in the fenced in pen near the chicken coop trying to grab up one of those pesky creatures so she could make fried chicken for their supper meal. "Eh, it was okay I guess. I have sums to do that Miss Mason asked us all to do for homework." he said, "You have to be quicker when grabbing one of them chickens. Want me to help you out Mama Sophia?" He had a smirk on his face as he looked at her like she was incapable of doing the task. "I can do this." Sophia replied with a grin, now feeling even more determined. If her six year old step son could do it, so could she. Those little buggers where flapping around frantically though. It was as if they knew one of them was going to die very soon. She sat herself on the dirt, hay, and seed covered ground, deciding to wait for one of them to come close to her once they calmed down some. Mikey just shook his head at her with a knowing smile, then ran off towards the house with his chalking board in hand. "Do your math work!" Sophia called out to him. One of the chickens flew into her with it's wings slapping against her face. She grabbed it and stood up, holding it firmly in her arms against her breasts. It's beak pecked at her hard which almost made her drop the darned bird, but she prevailed. She placed the neck over the chopping block nearby, using one hand to hold it in place. With the other arm, she grabbed the heavy ax, raised it up, and swung it down very hard. Blood splattered her body but she smiled seeing that it had been a nice clean cut. Even though it's head had been successfully decapitated, the body was still flapping around wildly. Still, she kept her grip, allowing the blood to pour out of the hole in it's stub of a neck. Unaware that Travis had come out of the barn and was watching her, she sat down on the ground once more and waited for the chicken to cease it's movements. Once that was completed, she then started plucking out it's feathers and placed them into an empty wicker basket next to her.

     She actually did it, Travis thought to himself with a look of surprise and bemusement. It was as if she had done that before. He couldn't help but feel a wash of pride come over his body. He ascertained that he was one lucky man. Especially now, knowing there would be chicken on tonight's dinner menu. He gave an appreciative chuckle and continued on with his work, with Sophia none the wiser that he had been watching her, as her sole concentration was focused on plucking out all the feathers on that dead chicken.


     An hour later, Sophia had finished gutting, cutting the chicken into the appropriate pieces, washed all the parts, then made the batter for the fried chicken she would be making for supper. Mikey had finished all the sums on his chalking board, so he went up to Sophia who was standing at the counter, "I didn't think you'd be able to actually do all that." Mikey said teasingly. Sophia looked down at him as she was coating the meat with the batter. "Well, I wasn't always so good at doing this. I remember the first time I ever decapitated a chicken... boy did I make a mess of the whole thing! I ended up driving the ax right into it's poor head instead of the neck. Both eyeballs popped out and there was blood splattering everywhere which got all over me. The neck and body of that chicken was flailing about, which only make the blood splatter much worse. It got all over me, and later on, I found out that one of it's eyeballs was actually in my hair! Can you even believe that?" Mikey laughed really hard, "I would have loved to see that for myself." Oh, but you did, except it wasn't in this lifetime, Sophia thought to herself with a merry twinkle in her eyes. Hope came in from outside, "Pa says one of the cattle is giving birth! Mikey, you wanna come watch it with me?" she asked excitedly. "Yeah," Mikey replied. Before Sophia could say another word, both children flew out the back door. She finished coating the chicken and set the pieces into the large wrought iron frying pan that was heating up on the range with the lard that was now completely melted. She checked on the pot of potatoes which were slowly boiling, then made up some biscuits. After those were made and placed into the oven, she started cleaning the counters and swept the floor while the food was cooking. It was so dreadfully hot in the kitchen and she was covered in a thin layer of sweat, so she walked down to the larder where it was much cooler in order to enjoy a few minutes of being out of that hot kitchen. 

A sudden wave of dizziness came over her, so she sat down on one of the barrels of flour and began to fan herself with her hands. Sophia only sat down there for a few more blessed minutes before heading back upstairs to flip the pieces of chicken that were frying in the pan. It was so hot in there. After a short while, supper was done just a few minutes shy of six o'clock. She threw some water on the flames inside the range so that it would at least become less hot in there, now that all the meals for the day had been cooked. Carefully removing the hot ashing tray from the bottom, using the mitts that Mrs. Cox had made years ago, she carried it outside in order to dump it out. As soon as she walked onto the porch she could hear the sound of a carriage or hackney pulling up the long drive. Sophia emptied the tray, then dawdled for a moment, curious as to who the visitor or visitors might be. After another minute or so, the carriage was finally within seeing distance as it pulled up past the back of the house. Instead of being openly nosy, she hurried back inside the kitchen and slid the ashing tray back into place. Then she peered out the window above the sink to see who might be in the hackney. The driver climbed down from his perch and helped down a man, then a woman, and another man. It was still sort of hard to see who they were, but she had a small inkling of whom they might be just by their familiar shapes and sizes. As they walked towards the back porch, Sophia's heart began to beat faster and her stomach twisted into knots. It was her father, mother, and... Jeremy?  Why would her parents come all the way down here unannounced, and why was Jeremy of all people with them? They were the very last people she would have expected to come calling. It wasn't as if they lived nearby; they came down here all the way from Ohio with nary a word about it. Oh hells fire!

     The trio approached the back door and one of them knocked on it. Sophia had no other choice than to answer it. She nervously walked over to the door and opened it up while pasting a faux smile on her face. "Mother, Father, Jeremy. Please, come in. What a very unexpected visit!" she forced herself to say. Her parents did not look happy with her, or to even see her for that matter which stung a bit. "May I offer you a glass of sweet tea?" Sophia muttered with a small degree of mock pleasantry. "Oh yes!" Lucinda said, "I positively declare that I am going to suffer a heat stroke. It's so hot down here!" "Yes, I shall have some myself." Jeremy replied with a grin. Her father remained quiet. "I will be right back." Sophia uttered, "We keep it in the larder downstairs so it stays cool. Please, have a seat at the table. Travis and the children will be here momentarily to eat supper. I fear I haven't made quite enough food to offer you since I didn't even know you were coming." "We already ate our supper just before we came here." Jeremy responded. Sophia nodded her head, then walked down to the larder to fetch one of the glass pitchers of tea. 

Heading slowly back up the stairs, she heard the back door open. "Who are you?" Hope ask curiously. Sophia walked into the kitchen and set the pitcher of tea down on the counter, then grabbed a few glasses. "Well, I am Lucinda. Sophia's mother. Who might you be?" her mother asked cordially. Lucinda always did have a weak spot for children. Before Sophia's reawakening, in her past life, Hope and her mother had grown quite close and fond of one another. Hopefully, in this new life, it would be the same. "Oh, I'm Hope Ma'am. I'm four years old. If you are my Mama Sophia's mother, then you are you my new Grandmother!" the little girl said happily, as she ran towards Lucinda and wrapped her arms around her trim waist in a hug. Lucinda seemed momentarily startled, but awkwardly patted Hope's back not knowing what to think. "Did you say Mama Sophia?" Lucinda asked Hope. Hope looked up at her with a big grin on her face, "Yes Ma'am. Mama Sophia and my Pa got married, so now she's my new mama and I got to be her maidenly honor at the wedding! You should see the rings Grandmother, there are real diamonds in them! When I grow up and get myself a fine looking gent, I pray he gives me a beautiful ring like hers!" Lucinda couldn't help but laugh over how cute Hope was, despite the inner anger she felt towards Sophia over not knowing she had gotten married. 

Sophia quickly handed out the glasses of tea to the new guests. "Hope, you were actually my maiden of honor, not maidenly honor." Sophia chuckled. "What is the meaning of this!" Louis said in a low voice after Sophia handed him his glass. "Father," she said calmly, "I will explain everything--" The back door opened which interrupted Sophia's sentence and in walked Mikey with Travis right behind him. Both of their eyes widened in surprise when they saw the visitors in the kitchen. When Travis noticed one of them was Jeremy, he couldn't help but narrow his eyes at the man suspiciously and wondered why in the hell he was in his kitchen. Sophia rushed over to Travis and gave him a hug whispering in his ear, "My parents are here with Jeremy. I don't know why they are here but please be cordial to them. Especially in front of the children. Once the children are settled in bed I can talk with them to find out why they are here so unexpectedly." "Fine." he muttered back quietly. Sophia whirled around and pasted another smile on her face as she took off her dirty apron saying, "Mother, Father, this is my husband Travis Ewing. You've already met Hope and this here is Mikey. Since it is time for our supper, if you'd like, I can show you to the sitting room or you can take a stroll outside and check out Travis's ranch." "Show us to the drawing room." Lucinda said. "No, I think I'd much rather take a walk and have a look around outside." Louis intervened bitterly. "Wonderful!" Sophia said, "Then feel free to look around Father. Once we have finished with our supper, I have to get the kitchen cleaned up and then get the children ready for bed. After that is completed we can all sit down and have a talk." Louis, with his glass of tea in hand, stormed out the back door. Jeremy gave Sophia a weird look, then followed her father. "I'd like to relax in the sitting room myself." Lucinda commented, "It's too dreadfully hot out there for my disposition." "Sure, please follow me Mother." Sophia said. Once they entered the sitting room, Lucinda took a brief look around. "What have you done? You got married?" she said, whirling around while glaring at Sophia with anger in her silver colored eyes. "Mother, we'll talk about this after the children are in bed. Now, if you'll please excuse me, I have to feed my family their supper now. I don't mean to be rude but your visit here was quite unexpected." Lucinda's mouth opened in shock over Sophia's directness. She left her mother alone and walked back to the kitchen.


     Hours later the children were in bed and fast asleep. The adults were gathered in the sitting room, each with a glass of finely aged whiskey in hand that Travis had politely offered them. Sophia sat with Travis on one of the settee's, her parents shared the other opposite of them, and Jeremy sat in an arm chair close by that Travis brought in from his office. The sun was beginning to set outside so the wall lanterns and candelabra's were now lit to provide adequate lighting. "You do not have electricity out here? There is electricity in Dallas." Lucinda asked. Travis spoke up, "Not quite yet but we're in the process of having the power lines installed out here, so hopefully by this time next year, we'll be wired for it." "This is quite the operation you have here." Louis commented, "How much land do you have?" "About one hundred and fifty acres sir." Travis replied cordially, "This ranch actually used to be farm land. My Pa grew cotton until he started getting sickly about ten years ago. At that point, I took over the operation of his farm for him. But out here, in Texas, the farming industry became steadily unprofitable. Most of the farmers ended up losing everything. After talking with a long time family friend, Richard King, who is the most successful cattle rancher in this whole state, I made the decision to turn the farm lands here into a cattle ranch. At first, my Pa despised the idea. He wasn't one who liked change. I had no other choice though as he was dangerously close to losing all of his land to the bank. However, after the first year of running the ranch, it had turned a nice profit. My Pa saw that I had made a wise decision and gave me his blessing. He died not long after and all his land and investments were left to me in his will." Louis's eyes widened in surprise and he said begrudgingly, "You seem to be doing well for yourself." "Yes sir, that I am. I've been blessed. It's hard work but very rewarding." Travis replied honestly. Louis then looked over at his eldest daughter, having quickly dismissed Travis. Sophia could tell from the look on his face that he was very upset with her.

     "Sophia, I think we're owed an explanation your mother and I. Hell, even Jeremy. You had us worried sick over what you've done! Taking off with your pregnant sister like that! What in the hell were you thinking? And now I learn that you are married? I demand to know what is going on this instant!" Sophia took several sips of her whiskey. She could feel it's warmth and a mild burn as it made it's way down to her stomach. Liquid courage. That's what this stuff should really be called, she thought to herself. She set her semi-empty glass down on the table that separated the two settee's which faced each other, then took a hold of Travis's hand before she felt brave enough to speak up. Travis gave her hand a gentle squeeze and she gave his one in return. She was so thankful that he was there with her. "Father. Mother. I know that what I did was wrong in your eyes by leaving the way I did. So please allow me to explain my actions without interruption." Her father's eyes were full of pent up fury. Her mother, as always, tried to act calm and collected but her feet tapped the floor repeatedly which showed Sophia that she really was just as upset as her father. Lucinda just had a better way of containing her emotions than Louis did. Then there was Jeremy. He sat there staring right at her with a look of smug satisfaction on his face. Did he have no care for the conversation they had with one another the day that she and Travis were married? 

Instantly, Sophia knew something was amiss regarding this whole unexpected visit. She narrowed her eyes and pursed her lips back at him, then watched as some of his smugness seemed to falter under her own brazen scrutiny. "Sophia." Louis said impatiently. The vein on his left temple made an appearance which meant his anger would turn from a slow simmer into a rapid boil unless she spoke up soon. "Father, I appreciate what you have done for me the morning that Angelique pressed charges. I realize you found me at Jeremy's home that morning after knowing I had been there all night. I am also aware that Jeremy has since told you that he and I had, um, intimate relations. But I am not so sure you know the full story." She couldn't help but notice Jeremy squirm in his seat. She now knew he hadn't bothered to explain the whole truth to her father. "The day before you found me at Jeremy's house, well, you already knew about the assaults Angelique had done to me. However, as she assaulted me, my surgical incision site was where she kept kicking me at. That was the same day I had been released from the hospital so that area of my abdomen was still healing and I was in the worst pain imaginable from her vicious attacks on my person. I asked Jeremy to give me some laudanum which he did alright. But he gave me double the normal dose. I remember beginning to feel really strange. I asked Jeremy to take me home. Many hours later I woke up in his bed, literally confused as to where I was as my head was still fuzzy from the medicine. I realized that I was completely undressed and found him lying next to me. He, well, we... we did have relations but I was not in my right mind, nor was it consensual on my part! To be perfectly honest, he took advantage of me knowing full well I was still under the effects of the medicine! I would never have allowed that to happen if I were in the right frame of mind. Surely you know that. Be that as it may, he took that opportunity to use my body for his own pleasure. Against my own will mind you! He claims I was willing but to me, I felt like I was dreaming or something. I cannot explain how I allowed it to happen. It just did. When I finally realized what had taken place I was furious. First, from him over dosing me like that, then for him not taking me home like I requested. Lastly, because I had lost my virtue to a man I did not love!" 

Jeremy stood up and furiously screamed out, "You were very responsive to the whole thing Sophia so stop trying to act like you weren't a willing participant!" Now her anger began to boil. Obviously, so was Travis's because he stood up and got right in Jeremy's face yelling back, "How dare you, you son of a bitch! She was drugged by you and wasn't able to make any rational decisions! You are a doctor for God's sake! You knew full well what you were doing! You raped her!" There was an audible gasp that came from her mother. Louis stood up and cried out, "Jeremy Thompson! You never once mentioned that part to me! Is that true? Did you take advantage of Sophia while she was medicated?" There was a deadly silence in the room. Sophia was so angry that she was shaking. Jeremy's silence and look of shame confirmed the truth of the matter. Sophia looked at her mother accusingly, "I told you what happened that night. Why didn't you tell that to father at any given point between then and now?" A look of remorse came over Lucinda's flushed face, "I didn't know if you were being truthful about that or not." Sophia grabbed her glass and finished off the whiskey in it. Then she stood up, pointed her finger at her mother and cried in outrage, "You didn't believe meYou didn't believe me? I cannot even fathom you just said that Mother! When have I ever given you cause to think I would be untruthful? I was taken advantage of! Drugged then raped! This is what I get from the two people in the world who raised me?" Lucinda burst into tears. Sophia had rarely ever seen her mother cry like that. It was a bit shocking actually. All of a sudden, all hell broke loose as Travis punched Jeremy square on the jaw, causing him to fall backwards to the floor. Travis was about to attack him again when Louis grabbed him to prevent him further assaulting Jeremy and held on tightly while Travis screamed at Jeremy. "You raped her! How dare you show up in my home like this! I want you the hell out of here! NOW!" At the same time Louis was yelling, "Everyone sit back down and be quiet! Throwing punches will not solve the issues we have!" Sophia desperately felt like running from the room. Both her and Lucinda were now in tears. Travis's chest was heaving from his deeply rooted anger. Blood slowly dripped down from Jeremy's cut lip. Louis's face was now an alarming shade of deep red. He forcibly pushed Travis towards the settee. "Everyone sit back down! This has gone far enough!" Louis raged. 

     It took several moments for everyone to calm down just enough that they all took their seats once more. But before Travis did so, he walked over to the liquor cabinet and brought the bottle of whiskey back with him, refilling his glass then slamming the bottle down on the table. Sophia poured some more into her own glass and quickly drank it, unaware that Travis was doing the exact same thing as her. Everyone sat there glaring at one another. Finally, after several minutes, Sophia began speaking again in order to finish her story. Clearing her throat she said, "The past is done now! Despite what Jeremy did to me, it still doesn't change anything. I told him that I wasn't in love with him any more and did not want to marry him! I am fairly certain I said the same to you Mother and Father. So after you, Father, declared that I was going to marry Jeremy the night before I left town, I knew I wouldn't be able to do so because of the reasons I just stated. I am sorry, but I am a grown woman of twenty-two years and I will make my own choicesNo one has the right to force me to do anything against my will, no matter what the circumstances might be. Father and Jeremy, you have both acted horribly in regards to myself, each in your own way. I am appalled, literally appalled. No one will ever dictate whom I will marry! I had been put through enough when I was back in Wellington, all thanks to the individual acts of Angelique and then Jeremy. But to be forced into a marriage with a man I not only did not love, but with one who used me like that, well, I had no other choice but to run away the way I did! I went to Rachel for help the next morning after our dinner when Father demanded I was to marry Jeremy. I asked Rachel for money so that I could leave after telling her about everything that had transpired. She was the one who forced the issue about coming down here with me as a chaperone until I was able to find gainful employment! As it turns out, I found a position working here rather quickly, which meant that Rachel was able to return back home now that I had a respectable paying position. Then I fell in love. With Travis. We got married a couple weeks ago on August twenty-third. I am making a life for myself here with the man I do love! Could I have handled the whole situation better while I was still back home? Perhaps. But I could not risk being forced to marry Jeremy. I swear, I would have ended my own life had that happened!" 

Travis took a hold of her hand once more and just that small gesture made her feel a little bit better knowing she had his love and support. Her mother's face turned pale and she looked shocked to the core. However, Louis was still pretty worked up. "You, darling daughter, regardless of your state of mind at the time, had intimate relations with Jeremy. You also happened to sign a legally binding contract while you were still at the Wellington town hall, stating you agreed to a marital union between yourself and Jeremy. That was me having my lawyer clean up that whole rotten mess for you, to make sure your reputation was still intact! The wedding ceremony would have only been symbolic. That betrothal contract is legally binding because I did procure the special license from the Mayor, which I had signed on your behalf as your legal proxy because you left town. That contract, being signed by you, combined with the license and the fact you've technically consummated the marriage, means that in the eyes of the law, you are married to Jeremy. I will not risk having my reputation torn asunder, nor your mother's, and that of my bank! You will be coming back with us to show the town that there are no issues going on between you and Jeremy. Angelique Milton has been spreading some awful rumors and it's high time to put them to rest for the sake of our whole family. This entire situation has been damaging enough to us all. I have been telling people that you and Rachel went out of town to get your honeymoon in order. She as your chaperone for the sake of propriety. At that point, I sent Jeremy to fetch you which gave me the chance to tell people you two were taking a honeymoon. The plan worked out perfectly when your sister returned when she did!" Louis said through gritted teeth. 

Sophia was repulsed when some of the spittle came flying out of his mouth from the vehemence of his declaration and happened to spray a bit on her shirt. Lucinda looked over at him in horror, "Louis what on earth are you talking about? Sophia didn't sign any betrothal documents. Those were all the legal papers for her release and the restraining order against Angelique Milton. That's what you told me and her! Never once did you mention anything about betrothal papers! She is married to Travis now whether or not we like it." "Yes, my dear, she certainly did sign a bunch of papers that day, obviously not even looking at what they were. I had placed the betrothal contract in there and she most certainly signed it! Other than a ceremony, she and Jeremy are married in the eyes of the law. That means this farce of a marriage between her and this, this, stranger is null and void. Sophia talks of being in love with this man? Hell, she hardly even knows him! It's more accurate to say she's in lust rather than love!" Sophia's heart was beating so rapidly that she felt close to fainting. It was true that she had signed many papers that day, and it was also true that she had not looked them over. She never thought her own father would stoop to something so low by slipping in a betrothal agreement without telling her. Plus, he then took it upon himself to sign the marriage license for her by proxy? Was that even legal when she was of age? Why would he even do such a thing? He didn't have anything to gain from it, except perhaps, the fear for his own reputation within the town of Wellington. "Father, no, tell me that isn't true! You never once told me there was such a contract in that stack of papers. I trusted you! How could you do that to me? Now you expect me to go back to Wellington and act as if Jeremy and I are returning from our honeymoon? No, I will not do that! I am married to Travis! I actually do love Travis!" Sophia yelled out bitterly. Never before had she ever raised her voice like that towards her father, but then again, never before had her father given her cause to! "I did all of that to protect our family! To protect you! How dare you be so ungrateful!" Louis bellowed out. His rage was now at a full boil. Travis sat there just shaking his head, almost as if he were struck dumb. His eyes, however, looked positively ready to murder someone. 

     "Well Sophia, even I hadn't seen that one coming, wife. It seems as if my wishes have come true. Once we are back home and have you settled into my house, I am sure you will come around in due time and we can love each other as we did once before." Jeremy said with a sly grin on his face. Sophia jumped up from her seat and threw her glass of whiskey at him, which hit his abdomen hard and bounced off to the wooden floor breaking it into many pieces. "You can go to hell Jeremy Thompson!" Sophia screamed at him, "I hate you! I absolutely hate you! I will never  love you again nor will I ever pretend that we are some happily married couple returning from our supposed honeymoon! You disgust me!" Then Sophia looked over at her father. He sat there looking so smug with himself for being clever with that plan of his working out to his advantage. "I trusted you and you of all people have betrayed me! You don't care one fig about me, your own daughter. The only thing you truly care about is your precious reputation and that, Father, sickens me! I will never trust you again!

"Sophia, do not talk to your father in such a disrespectful manner. I am sure once the dust settles you will come to realize that he had your best interests at heart." Lucinda intoned, but even she didn't look quite so sure on the matter. "Oh, you really believe he had my best interests at heart? That's just lovely to hear Mother. I am certain he didn't know that I had been raped when he slipped the contract into that stack of papers. Mayhaps if you had told him that, then this conversation would not be taking place right now! If having my best interests at heart means that I have to be married to a rapist, then you are utterly crazy! I never want to lay my eyes on the three of you, ever, ever again! Family does not do such despicable things to one another!" 

Lucinda cried out in despair with a loud wail. Travis stood up at that point. He had never felt such a burning degree of anger before, even when his previous wife and newborn daughter had been killed by that drunken lout Dr. Folsom. "I want the three of you to leave my home. This instant! Sophia isn't going anywhere with any of you. I will be contacting my own attorney first thing on the morrow to look into your allegations Mr. Lancaster. But either way, her and I are married. She is my wife and she is not going anywhere! Now get the hell out of my house before I end up doing something I shall regret!" he said in a very low and menacing voice. Sophia noticed that his light green eyes seemed to burn from within. Lucinda looked over at Sophia with shock in her eyes. Louis's face began to color again as his anger was fueled from the embarrassment of being kicked out in that manner and because Sophia wasn't going with them. Jeremy, having felt before as if he triumphed, now looked visibly shaken up and... cowardly. "You heard my husband!" Sophia screamed, "Leave this instant! All three of you! If I never lay my eyes on you again that will be just fine with me. I cannot believe you have betrayed me like this." She watched as her father stood up. He looked at her with such contempt in his eyes that it broke her heart even worse in that moment. Louis walked past them and headed towards the front door, followed by a reluctant Lucinda, and Jeremy who seemed veritably frightened. Sophia and Travis walked behind the trio. Louis opened the door, and allowed Lucinda and Jeremy to walk outside before him. Then he said to Sophia, "This matter is not settled. If you stay here with that man, you will continue being an adulteress. I didn't raise you this way and I have never been so disappointed by you as I am in this moment." Sophia closed the distance between them and stood a few mere inches from his face, "And I, Father, have never felt you were capable of such selfish and deceitful behavior. You can go to hell right along with Jeremy!" She slammed the door in his face, then fell to the floor in a heap, sobbing her eyes out. What in hells fire just happened? 


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














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