Martha, Cadence's mother, is one of my favorite characters. She has a short part, but she's got some great dialogue. She's a good woman with a kind heart, who is concerned about her daughter's happiness.
On their way to the mysterious safe location, Cadence and Scott stop at her mother's house to drop off the cat. Martha, is cooking butter beans. The temptation is too much for a Southern boy like Scott. She invites him to have some while they talk.
Cadence served him a plate of collard greens and butter beans. He thanked her with a contented grin. "My mama fixes these, but I never get any. I don't see her too often."
"For shame on you. My Caydee's a good cook. She fixed you anything?"
"We had lasagna a couple nights ago," he replied. "It was delicious."
"So, how long you two been dating?"
"Couple months," Cadence replied quickly. "Sorry I haven't told you about it."
"Sweetie, after that last man, I don't blame you for playing it close. And look what happened to Sammie when she brought that man of hers around?"
"He married her sister," Cadence filled in the blank.
"What a toad," Scott replied, his mouth full.
"Some men got no sense a'tall," Martha replied as she loaded bread pans with dough. "At least she hadn't bedded the critter yet."
"I'd have to shoot the fucker in the foot," Scott replied. He gulped, blushing. "Sorry."
"Sugar, I was married to a Marine. And I've got a son and a passel of nephews."
"Seventeen, isn't it?"
"Yep. Hell of a lot of nuisance they are too. But good men to have in a pinch. You got any brothers?"
"Just sisters. They could use a good man, maybe we can introduce 'em to your nephews."
She laughed loudly, washing her hands. "Well, I can't say they're the best men around, but they do know how to treat a lady. They got their gentleman manners, just if they decide to use them."
"That's true of all of us, Miss Martha. It's the nature of the man-beast."
"Yeah, men. Can't live with 'em, can't shoot 'em."
"Oh, come on. We're good for something besides opening jars."
"Opening jars and making babies. That's about it." She poured them each a tall glass of tea and sat down. "So, you taking care of my daughter in that department?"
Scott nearly spewed his drink. He wiped his mouth with the back of his hand. "You'd have to ask your daughter about that."
"We haven't progressed to that yet, Mama."
"That's the purpose of this long weekend? See if you're compatible?"
"Yeah. Something like that," Scott said diplomatically. "I promise to do my best. I won't ever hurt her on purpose, you have my word on that."
"Your word better be worthwhile. Lots of men, their word's not shit."
"Mama, he's a policeman."
"Makes no difference, baby girl. Men are men. They get that blood flowing south and they lose all sense."
"Martha," he said quietly, setting down his glass. "I know Cadence has a whole line of hurt behind her. Fact is, ma'am, so do I. Got my heart trampled so many times, I'd about given up on ever finding a good woman. But I think I found one now. So you can be sure I'm gonna treat her right. Lord knows, I'm gonna try my best. That's a firm and solid promise."
Martha held his gaze a long time, staring deep into his eyes. She finally nodded, decision in her face. "I believe you. I think the two of you found the one person who's not gonna stomp all over 'em. You take care of my baby girl, I'll fix you collards and beans anytime you like."
"That's a deal," he said, holding out his hand. "Cadence, your mom approves. Reckon you got to marry me now." He winked.
Cadence giggled, her blue eyes sparkling. "Guess I do."
© 2015 Dellani Oakes