Thursday, September 19, 2019

Poplar Mountain Part 32 by Dellani Oakes

Will leaned over next to her, whispering in her ear. "He's a man, Dollie. He can't help it."
She playfully smacked him as she carried the empty cup out. Luke settled more comfortably in the bed. When she came back in, Dollie arranged the blankets, fluffed his pillow and turned out the light before joining him in the bed.
He might be sick, but he'd have to be half dead before her presence in his bed didn't excite him. Now that his fever was down and he'd slept, his body reacted to her closeness in a most embarrassing fashion. He turned on his side, facing away from her so she wouldn't know.
Dollie lay on the other side of the bed, carefully away from him. She could have slept in one of the other beds, but she wanted to be near Luke in case he needed her. It was silly, really, but she knew she'd worry if she wasn't right there. Oblivious to the effect she had on him, she went to sleep.
The fever tea contained an herb that made him sleepy. Luke was grateful for it because he didn't think he'd have fallen asleep otherwise. Dollie's body lay temptingly close. He wanted her more than ever now. The breeze from the open window wafted her perfume toward him. Groaning slightly, he buried his nose in the blanket so he wouldn't smell her. Finally, he fell asleep again.
Several hours later, he woke to birds singing and the sunshine streaming in the window. He lay facing Dollie's side of the bed. She lay next to him, spooning against his body as he held her in his arms. He became of aware of her soft body cuddled next to his as various parts of him rose to the occasion. Mortified by his predicament, he lay very still not wanting to disturb her or call attention to the fact that he had a painful erection that was pressing temptingly against her buttocks.
Slowly, he moved his hips away from her. She wiggled toward him in her sleep. Cursing mentally, he brought a knee up in font of himself to keep her from backing up any more. She woke with a start, jumping slightly. He used her confusion as an opportunity to move his arms and scoot back a little more.
Dollie yawned. Stretching, she rolled over, smiling. She lay with her hands under her cheek, eyes fixed on his. Her full lips twitched, pouting slightly.
"Good morning. You look better." She touched his brow. Her hand was cool and soft.
Lucius touched her hand, holding it to his cheek. He turned his head, kissing her palm. Dollie felt a thrill run through her from her head to the soles of her feet. The exciting tingle scurried back up her spine, lodging in her belly. Unsure what to think, she suddenly felt awkward.
Luke could tell when the apprehension hit her. Her eyes dropped from his face. Pushing his luck, he kissed her palm again, slowly, sensually, watching as another shiver went up and down her back.
"I suppose I shouldn't really be in your bed, Mr. Henry."
Lucius laughed softly. "Reckon not, Miss Belloit. I sure don't mind. You're a damn sight prettier than Will." He leaned on his elbow, gazing down at her. "When we're married, I can wake up to you every day."
"I can't wait."
"Me neither."
He bit his lower lip in an effort to remind himself that he had an untamed beast in his bed—himself. He wanted to take her in his arms and kiss her. It was a compulsion so strong, he had to close his eyes. Groaning slightly, he flopped on his back.
"Luke, are you all right?"
Dammit, she was too close. He wasn't sure how long he could control himself.
"Dollie," he groaned. "You got—to get up out the bed now."
"Are you ill? Do you need something for a fever?" She hovered over him, face half an inch from his. He felt her warm, moist breath on his skin. It was torture.
"No. I'm fine. Just please, Dollie. Get out the bed." His voice sounded strangled even to him.
"Are you sure? Should I....?" She touched him again, her hands moving over his body.
"Dammit, woman!" He snapped as her hands pressed his chest and drifted lower. "You ain't my wife! Get out the bed!"
She hopped back, yelping, nearly falling out. His grip on her wrist was all that kept her from tumbling to the floor.
"I'm sorry. Dollie, I'm sorry! Forgive me for yelling." He held her close.
Dollie was too startled by his abrupt behavior and her near fall to protest immediately. She trembled, hands pressed to his chest. Something was different about his body but she wasn't quite sure what it was. Suddenly, realization entered her mind. With another yelp, she pushed away, launching herself from the bed.
"Mister Henry! How dare you? I never!"
Lucius clutched the blankets to him. "I know, Dollie. Why'd you think I told you to get up?"
"But—that—thing!" She pointed at the bulge under the blanket that refused to go down.
"Can't help it," Luke sighed, covering his eyes with his right forearm. "I'm a man. And that thing's got a mind all its own half the time. My apologies, but I can't tame it. Only one can, that's you."
Her pillow hit him in the face. She pounded his body with it repeatedly. Instead of making him less excited, it made him more so. He tried to tell her, but nothing he said made a lick of difference. He was too weak to get out of the bed and leave. Her behavior had excited him to the point he thought he'd explode. Thankfully, Will came in.
© 2019 Dellani Oakes 

Tuesday, September 17, 2019

Poplar Mountain Part 31 by Dellani Oakes

"Believe me, I don't intend to. But I do intend to marry Dollie as soon as we can, decent like. Don't want nobody thinking it's a have-to."
The doctor nodded, hands in his pockets. "Well, sir. You take it easy the rest of the day. Sleep and keep that hand elevated. Will, you make sure he does everything I said."
"I will, Doc. He'll behave if I've gotta sit on him."
The doctor laughed as he saw them out. They were a little surprised to see that chapel was ending and everyone was heading down to lunch at the dining hall. Will drove his brother down to see Dollie and tell her about Luke being sick. She and Patty said they'd be up to see them soon.
"We'll drive up in my car," Dollie said excitedly. "You haven't seen it yet!"
"I'd like that a powerful lot," Luke said quietly. "I love you, Dollie."
"I love you too." She kissed him. "You're burning up!"
"I know. Doc give me a shot and told me to drink a lot of water and Ma's soup."
"Good advice."
The men left, driving slowly up the mountain to their mother's house. Will helped his brother to bed and got him a glass of cool water from the kitchen. He and Luke had saved up money to buy their mother an electric refrigerator after the county had decided to wire houses in the district and supply them with power. Electrical lines came up the mountain from the school. Will and Luke wired the house themselves.
Lucius drank the water and sank back on the pillows with a sigh. Still feverish, he fell into a deep sleep. When his mother got home, she prepared a fever tea for him and forced him to drink every drop before she was satisfied.
The family took turns sitting with him, waking him from time to time to drink something. Rachel made chicken soup. When Dollie arrived, she spoon fed him a bowl of the hearty, rich broth. Afterward, it was time for another cup of fever tea. She persuaded him to drink that too, though he made awful faces over it.
"You look dreadful," Dollie said quietly, taking his hand. "You're so hot."
"I'm better than I was this morning. At least now I don't feel like I drank a gallon of Granddaddy's brew." He flopped on the pillow. "Only half a gallon," he muttered, trying to laugh.
"You rest now, Luke. I'll be right here." Her hand felt cool on his feverish brow. She washed his face with a damp cloth.
He fell into another deep, fever induced sleep. When he woke the next time, it was dark in the room. Someone lay in the bed beside him, but it didn't feel like Will's body. The person was too small and soft to be his older brother. He shifted restlessly, having lain in one position too long. The person next to him moved closer.
Leaning up on her elbow, Dollie smiled down at him. Her face was mostly in shadow, though enough light came in from outside for him to see her smile. Her hand on his face felt wonderful.
"You feel better," she murmured. "Your fever broke. You've soaked your sheets."
It was then he felt a cool breeze from outside and shivered. His pajamas and pillow were damp. His hair stuck to his head. He tried to get out of the bed, but became dizzy and light-headed. He flopped on the bed like a rag doll.
"You lie there and I'll get Will. We'll get the bed changed."
"Where are the boys?" He looked around at the empty room.
"Doc and Mrs. Starbuck are keeping them for the night. The girls are down with Patty at our place."
"Why? I'm not contagious."
"Oh, I know, but your mama thought you could use some quiet. We thought if the boys got a special night out, the girls should too. Tomorrow will be a hard enough day...."
Luke had forgotten that tomorrow was his father's funeral. He rolled on his side as Dollie went to the bedroom door. She put on a robe before opening the door and calling softly to Will. The older Henry brother came in, smiling. He held a pile of clean sheets and a chair. He helped Luke into the chair and gathered up the damp sheets that Dollie had stripped.
Together, they made the bed with fresh sheets and Will even gave Luke a different pillow, leaving his to air by the window. Dollie went out to fix a cup of fever tea and Will winked at his brother
"Boy, I can tell you're sick as a dog. Got a beautiful woman in the bed with you and can't do shit."
Luke groaned, sitting heavily on the edge of the bed. "Don't remind me! My own body betrays me. Nothin'...." He sighed as his brother laughed. "You wait till it's your turn," he griped.
"Here we go," Dollie said as she carried in the tea. "Drink it all," she admonished Luke as he took the first sip.
"It tastes horrible, Dollie."
"I know, but you need to take it all."
"I'd drink it a whole lot better if it tasted as good as you."
Dollie giggled, blushing. "You ought not to say things like that, Lucius Henry."
© 2019 Dellani Oakes

Thursday, September 12, 2019

Poplar Mountain Part 30 by Dellani Oakes

The doctor examined his hands carefully, nodding, frowning and tutting. "This one's infected," he muttered. "Where were you fencing?"
"By the bull."
"You've got a mighty fine infection, young man. You need a shot. Should help set you to rights. I think you got something off that piece of wood in your hand. I'm gonna take that out, then I'm giving you a shot of penicillin. You can take that, can't you?"
"So far as I know. Ain't never had it before."
"That's right. You're outrageously healthy." He chuckled. "Except for the occasional cut and a sprained wrist, I hardly see you."
Luke started to sit up. Doc pushed him back down.
"You stay put, boy. I can do this fine with you lying there. Give me a minute to get things together. Will, you okay with blood?"
"Does it make you squeamish?"
"I birth cows and sheep, Doc. Don't reckon it bothers me more than most men."
"Can you stand to help me get this splinter out?"
"Yes, sir. Want I should sit on him?" He chuckled.
The doctor smirked, his pale blue eyes twinkling. "That won't be necessary."
Doctor Starbuck bustled about getting everything together. Lucius gladly lay on the table, waiting. Will washed his hands carefully as instructed by the doctor, and waited too. When everything was ready, the doctor came over. He turned on a bright light, focusing it on Lucius' hand. He cleaned the skin with soap and alcohol and brought out a syringe full of clear liquid.
"I'm gonna give you a shot to deaden the pain. That's a biggun and deep. I'm gonna have to cut on you and you sure don't want to feel it. It'll need a couple stitches. Will, hold his arm still for me, son. This is gonna sting some."
Will did as he was told, holding his brother down as the doctor gave the shot. Lucius cussed loudly, glad the doctor's wife was at chapel. Embarrassed, he apologized.
"Son, if I'd got that shot in the thick of my thumb like that, I'd sure say that and more." He draped sterile cloth around the hand and asked Willem to hand him instruments as he needed them. "You could have a great career in an operating theatre, my boy," he complimented when they were about halfway through the procedure. "You've got a steady hand."
"Got to as a jeweler," Will replied.
"I imagine you do at that. Almost done," he told Lucius.
Lucius felt a tug and a trickle of warm liquid. The doctor dabbed at his palm with gauze, coming away red. As he watched, the doctor prepared a needle and thread. Will leaned around to look, earning a nudge in the ribs.
"Give me room, boy. If you want to see, come on the other side."
"This is pretty neat, Luke. He's sewing you up slick as can be. Not even Mama makes such little, precise stitches."
The doctor beamed. "Shouldn't leave much of a scar. See?" He pointed to the wound. "I use little, bitty stitches close together. It heals better and leaves less scar tissue. That way, his hand won't lose mobility."
When the stitching was done, he bandaged the hand and gave instructions on how Luke was to care for it, when he could use the hand and so forth.
"I hope you're remembering that," Luke told his brother. "I feel like I've been nipping at Granddaddy's stash."
The other men laughed. Doc took out another syringe.
"I'm gonna give you a shot of penicillin, Luke. It'll help that infection. I drained some puss outta there where it festered. Got to give it in the bum. Roll over and drop them pants."
With his brother's help, Luke rolled up on his side and pulled his britches down. This needle hurt even more than the one in his hand. The medication stung as it went in, leaving a lingering tingle of discomfort. Easing his pants back up, he favored the left cheek where the medication went in.
"If he isn't feeling better by tomorrow, you bring him back down. Meanwhile, lots of fresh water, light meals—some of Miss Rachel's excellent chicken soup. She knows how to treat a fever better even than me. And rest."
"I ain't contagious, am I Doc?"
"No, I shouldn't think so. You don't need to worry about the family. Or that beautiful girlfriend of yours." He winked, nudging Luke.
"How do you know about me and Dollie?"
"Son, you kissed her in front of God and everyone yesterday. Reckon the whole county knows by now."
Luke chuckled. He'd forgotten about that little slip up. "Reckon so."
"Better make an honest woman of her soon or you're gonna rupture your spleen. Since that's a real messy operation, I sincerely hope you don't."
© 2019 Dellani Oakes

Tuesday, September 10, 2019

Poplar Mountain Part 29 by Dellani Oakes

"You know damn well what's in my britches. Shut up."
Will laughed quietly, punching his younger brother's shoulder. "Bed that girl quick!"
"I said shut up. You'll wake the boys."
"Not them. They're dead to the world."
Luke lay on his back, right arm raised, hand on his brow, as he stared at the ceiling. Will rolled over on his side, facing his brother.
"So," he whispered. "She said yes...."
Luke chuckled softly. "She said yes." He sighed sadly. "And who knows? Dollie ain't the back seat of a car kinda girl."
"Any girl is a back seat kinda girl if she gets hot enough," Willem whispered.
"Was Patty?"
"None of your damn business what Patty is," Will said a little more loudly than he should.
Lucius shushed him. "Point is, neither is Dollie. And she's got her reasons to be wary."
"Go to sleep, brother." He punched Lucius again and rolled over the face the wall.
Lucius did his best to relax. Closing his eyes, he took a deep breath and imagined he could smell Dollie's violet perfume. The summer breeze drifted through the open window and he imagined he heard her voice saying, "I love you."
"I love you too," he whispered. Folding her in his arms, he fell into a sound sleep.
Will kicked Luke as he got out of bed. "Wake up, sleepy! Ma's wanting to go to chapel."
Groaning, Lucius sat up slowly. Having experienced his share of hangovers, he decided this wasn't unlike the time he'd had too much of Grandaddy's famous 'shine at the tender age of 17.
"Glory, I feel like hell."
Will flopped on the bed next to him. "You ain't getting' sick, are ya?" He felt his brother's forehead. "Lord have mercy, Luke! You're burning up!"
"I don't get sick," Luke protested, getting out of bed with difficulty. "Ain't took sick a day in my life." That wasn't entirely true, but it was true that he didn't get sick often. When he did, it was usually pretty bad.
"You're gonna go to the clinic, see Doc Starbuck."
Lucius couldn't disagree. He felt terrible. He managed to dress himself with Will's help. Staying away from his mother and the children wasn't easy, but he didn't want to take the chance of passing along something.
"I'll meet you at chapel after I take him down," Will told their mother.
"You won't! You stay with your brother. Me and the girls can watch the young'uns." She took Luke's face in her hands, glaring into his eyes. "Don't you die on me, boy! You hear?"
"Yes, Mama."
Her eyes filled with tears. "I can't lose another I love. I can't!" She burst into tears.
Jane took her mother by the shoulders, leading her to the couch. She sat down with her, holding her mother close. She cooed softly, humming and rocking to calm her as if she were a child. Tipping her head toward the door, she told them silently to go. Will helped Luke to the truck and drove slowly down to the clinic at the base of the mountain just below them.
Doctor Starbuck, a retired surgeon, lived in the clinic building and cared for the sick and injured of the school. He gave shots, set bones and did minor surgeries in a small operating theatre. He was just waking up when the men arrived. He set aside his breakfast and hurried them into the examining room. He helped Will put Luke on the exam table then washed his hands and dug around for a thermometer. Rinsing it off, he put it under Luke's tongue as he listened to the young man's chest and felt his glands.
"You're one sick fella," he told Luke as he read the thermometer. "Hundred and one point two. Lie down," he instructed.
Luke lay gratefully back on the table. The cold metal made him shiver through the sheet. His long legs dangled off the end. Doc felt his abdomen, listened to his chest again and frowned.
"Had anything different to eat or drink?"
"No, sir."
"Drunk out of a rusty pump? Or outta the stream?"
"Nope. I know better, Doc. You told us often enough."
The doctor nodded. Reaching for Luke's wrist, he took his pulse. It was then he noticed the scrapes and cuts on his hands.
"When did you get these?"
"Reckon the other day fencing. Them old poles are mighty torn up."
"You didn't take out the splinters?"
"Thought I got 'em, but they's so many, who can say? I had on gloves, but that shit goes right through."
The doctor examined his hands carefully, nodding, frowning and tutting. "This one's infected," he muttered. "Where were you fencing?"
© 2019 Dellani Oakes

Saturday, September 07, 2019



Abigail Bender lost her only love at Gettysburg in 1863. One hundred and fifty years later Kaitlyn Novacs, teetering on the edge of a breakdown after the loss of her one love, encounters Abigail’s spirit in a quaint Canadian inn. There’s a connection between these women, Kaitlyn feels it the first moment she sees the ghost but refuses to admit it. She is forced to accept how closely her fate mirrors the ghost’s when through Abigail’s window she witnesses the ghost’s life and death. Still, there’s a secret Abigail withholds from Kaitlyn. Will discovering that secret come too late to save Kaitlyn from Abigail’s fate?


May 16, 2019
Format: Kindle Edition
even in this digital age there is nothing to compare then picking up a book like Abigail’s window sitting in a comfortable chair on a rainy day with a hot beverage by your side and immersing yourself into a story that grips you from the beginning until the very end. A little history a little romance a little intrigue everything that you want to get away from the Monday and world that we are in I’m so glad that I let Abigail‘s window Take me away for a little while and I can’t wait for Susan Solomon’s next book to do the same thank you Susan please keep writing

July 13, 2019
Format: PaperbackVerified Purchase
Ghosts, history and the power of love. Something for everyone. Buy it, cry a little, smile a lot


Chapter One

Face in the Window

As I stepped from the rental car, I saw the lace curtains pulled aside in a second floor window. I felt eyes stare down at me. My jaw dropped. Had it followed me here?
Ronnie Hoffmann glanced at me over the roof of the car. “What’s wrong now?” she said.
I stood, blinking.
With a shrug, she turned to Andrea O’Rourke, who popped the trunk and lifted out our suitcases.
When I looked again at the window I saw a woman, but not quite a woman. She appeared to be… transparent. Shuddering, I turned my back to the house.
Yeah, I’m cold too, Katy. Get your suitcase.” Ronnie took off her thick-rimmed glasses and brushed a strand of hair from her eyes. Though only in her early thirties, her long black hair showed streaks of gray.
I wrapped my heavy coat tight around my chest but didn’t move. I hadn’t wanted to come to Niagara-on-the-Lake, hadn’t wanted to leave my apartment. After what I’d been through, I never wanted to venture out again. Ronnie had refused to let me become a hermit.
You waiting for April when the snow melts?” she called to me.
I lifted my eyes to the window. The curtains were closed. Feeling as though the woman continued to watch me, I shrank back against the car door. “Somebody’s… up there.”
Andrea clicked her tongue.
Another ghost?” Ronnie slammed the car trunk closed. “The Niagara Inn isn’t any more haunted than your apartment.”
My friend knew what haunted me. She had helped to pull me through a breakdown seven years ago. She didn’t believe a ghost caused it then, and didn’t believe one pushed me toward the edge this time.
I pointed to the window. “Don’t you see her?”
Ronnie didn’t bother to look. “Probably another guest.”
The stiff Lake Ontario wind had turned Andrea’s face almost as red as her hair. Looking around the empty parking lot, she said, “Can’t be another guest. No one but us is stupid enough to travel in this weather.” She hefted her suitcase. “Yap out here if you want. I’m going inside.”
Shivering, I examined the bed and breakfast Ronnie had brought me to for a long, girls-only weekend. Pale behind the falling snow and surrounded by skeletons of azalea bushes and a row of evergreen hedges, the Niagara Inn rose two stories above what appeared to be an ancient brick foundation.
Come on, come on. I’m about to turn into an icicle,” Andrea complained.
More like a cherry popsicle,” Ronnie said.
Yeah, whatever.” Our redheaded friend turned and stomped off through the snow.
The wind rushed up to encircle me. In its howl, I heard a familiar laugh. This disembodied sound had chased me since my teenage years. I looked at our car, now coated with a thin layer of snow. I had an urgent desire to get in, drive back across the border to the Buffalo airport and fly home to Manhattan. Though the laughter also haunted me there, at least in familiar surroundings I could almost ignore it.
While I thought about fleeing, the lake wind pushed me toward the house. I held fast.
Ronnie grabbed the sleeve of my black faux-fur coat. “Come on!”
I pulled away. “I can’t… the laugh.”
You’re hearing it again?”
I nodded.
She took me by the shoulders. “You’re not being haunted, Katy. What you hear is just in your head. How many times do I have to tell you that? Now get inside before we both get sick.”
When I still resisted, she gave me a tight-lipped stare—her way of saying, Kaitlyn Novacs, get over yourself.
Ken and I were here for our anniversary five years ago,” she said. “This is a beautiful place, not some crappy dump with cobwebs your warped mind is turning it into. Now move!”
I gritted my teeth and took a deep breath. Nothing in this house could be worse than what I’ve been through, I thought.
The wind howled again, louder this time. It might have been telling me, You think so?
Ronnie’s grin wrinkled her eyes. “What an expression. You look like an Eskimo searching for the nearest dogsled. Wanna rub noses?”
I grabbed a handful of snow from a bush and flung it at her. Then, feeling a rush of warmth for my best and sometimes only friend, I hugged her.
Yeah, yeah, I love you too,” she said. “Now can we get out of this storm?”
With her hand propelling me forward, I slogged through drifting snow from the parking lot to the Niagara Inn’s door where Andrea O’Rourke waited.


Thursday, September 05, 2019

Poplar Mountain Part 28 by Dellani Oakes

After their misunderstanding, Luke and Dollie make up.

"And I love you, Lucius Henry. Dorothea Henry," she mused. "That's pretty. I'll be so proud to have your name and your babies."
They started walking down the hill back to the girls' dorm.
"How many kids you want?"
Dollie shrugged. "We'll figure it out when it happens."
"Reckon we will. I best say goodnight, Dollie."
As there were others around, he kissed her hand before seeing her inside. Will waited for him, Patty already having gone inside. He wished Dollie a good night as well. They waited until she was inside before heading back to the Henry cabin.
Inside, Dollie was confronted by her sister. Patty was fixing tea. Pointing to Dollie's chair, she insisted that the younger Belloit take a seat.
"We've got some things to discuss," Patty said as she poured tea.
"About the wedding?"
"Kind of. Dollie, I know you're completely ignorant of the ways of men and women. I was too till Rachel told me."
"That must have been embarrassing."
"Extremely. But when she saw things getting serious between Will and me, she told me what I needed to know so it wouldn't be a shock."
"Is it that bad?"
Patty's face softened. "Oh, no, honey. It's beautiful! It's just a bit startling if you don't know what to expect."
Dollie leaned forward, blushing a deep red. "Patty, what is it that grows in their pants?"
Patty burst out laughing. "Oh, honey, I'm so sorry. Let's start at the beginning."
She had a very frank conversation with her sister. Patty told Dollie even more than Rachel had told her, surprised at how much knowledge she had. She and Will hadn't been together more than half a dozen times, but she'd learned a great deal about men in the meantime. Coupled with what Rachel had said, she was able to give Dollie a very clear picture indeed. Her younger sister didn't know whether to be disgusted or interested. She tried to hide her curiosity, but couldn't. Frankly, she was intrigued by the entire process.
"Does it hurt?" she asked quietly, about an hour later.
"A little the first time, but you soon forget. Mostly it feels grand!" Her eyes sparkled and she sighed happily. "When you love each other, there's no better way to show it."
"Lucius said the same thing. But people do this even when they aren't in love."
"Yes, they do. The human body needs certain things, Dollie. Especially men. They go plumb crazy when they don't."
"But why?"
"That I don't know, except that's how God made 'em. So when Lucius gets a little fresh, and he will, it's not because he's trying to hurt you, it's cause he honest to God can't help it. So don't get mad. If you aren't comfortable with it, you tell him so and he'll try. But you can't make a man wait forever, Dollie. Not when he loves as hard as Luke."
"Patty, thank you. I feel a lot better now. It was the not knowing."
"I know, honey. I was terrified and relieved all at once when Rachel talked to me. She said more women should tell their daughters. There'd be a lot less trouble in a marriage if women know about it."
"But it's wonderful?"
Patty took her sister's hands, face glowing. "Oh, Dollie, it is. You'll see. It'll get so you can't get enough of each other. I tell you, my wedding can't come fast enough. I can hardly stand to be around Will without wanting to rip his clothing off!" She giggled, covering her mouth as she blushed. "You'll think I'm a wanton!"
Dollie hugged her sister. "No, I think you're the luckiest woman alive."
Setting that matter aside, they talked about the wedding as they got ready for bed. Far later than they usually went to bed, the finally turned out their lights and fell asleep. Dollie could feel Lucius' strong arms around her as she lay in her bed. She knew he was thinking about her.
"I love you," she said in her mind, feeling the words as she spoke them.
A warm thrill came back and the arms around her tightened in a hug. Rolling on her side, she snuggled into Lucius' embrace, content.

Luke lay in his bed thinking of Dollie. He couldn't sleep for a long time, his body craving hers. Thumping his pillow, he rolled on his side, shifting to get more comfortable. He hadn't shared with Will in a couple years and he wasn't used to having his brother in the bed. It was wide enough for two, but he'd grown accustomed to sprawling.
A fist punched him in the ribs. "Settle down over there," Will grumbled, half asleep. "Yee Gods, Luke. You got ants in your britches?"
© 2019 Dellani Oakes 

Poplar Mountain Part 32 by Dellani Oakes

Will leaned over next to her, whispering in her ear. "He's a man, Dollie. He can't help it." She playfully smacked h...