Tuesday, July 23, 2019
Poplar Mountain by Dellani Oakes Part 15
Luke manages to say all the wrong things to Dollie, making her cry. Luckily, when he hugs her, she calms down and lets him
Still sniffling, she raised her chin, parting her lips. Taking his face in her hands, Dollie kissed him. At first, he was too stunned to respond, so she doubled her efforts. Allowing her to have her way suited Lucius fine. He relaxed, closing his eyes as she kissed him. She might not have a lot of experience, but she'd picked up on kissing pretty well. She grew bolder, more adventurous, experimenting some as they kissed. Lucius loved every minute of it, letting her do whatever she wanted. Unfortunately, he couldn't control his hands. When he got too fresh, Dollie jerked away, hand raised to slap him.
"Mr. Henry, I'll thank you to behave."
Lucius hung his head. "Dollie, hasn't anything I've said tonight got through? I love you. I want you to be my wife. That don't mean I'm gonna be all over you, but, dammit, a man can't help touching! It don't mean I disrespect you, it means—I want you."
His voice dropped into a deep, husky tone that made Dollie shiver. The light of the full moon filled the inside of the truck with brilliant silver light.
"When I touched you, how did it make you feel? Did a fire leap in your belly? Did sparks skitter up and down your spine?" He nuzzled her neck and nibbled on her earlobe.
Dollie sighed, relaxing against him. His hand drifted to her breast once more, of its own accord.
"Does it make you melt inside? Does it make you hot?"
She never would admit it aloud, but Dollie was hot and it did feel as if a fire had ignited inside her. Her panties were damp in a most embarrassing fashion and she wanted more—though she didn't quite know what more was.
"When you're ready, I'll be here. I love you, Dollie. I want to make you mine." His kiss was fierce, primal, breathtaking.
Speechless with desire, Dollie gave herself over to the passion inside her. She kissed him, telling him with her actions how much she loved him.
Lucius found his self-control foundering. He knew if something didn't happen to stop him, he'd do something awful and alienate Dollie forever. But God help him, he'd waited for this moment a long time and he wanted her more than he could possibly admit. He prayed for a shooting star, a brush fire, anything to break the thrall because he was truly under a spell.
The bell at the dining hall clanged and clattered urgently. It took a few moments to work into Lucius' befuddled brain that his prayer had been answered. Lights blazed on all over the darkened campus as its residents and staff woke up. Voices raised with worry and curiosity joined the crashing of the bell clapper.
Patty burst from the apartment half dressed. The girls poured forth from their rooms, gazing down the hill and across the way to see what the commotion was. Since they were in their night gowns, Dollie and Patty made them stay. Patty rounded them up while Dollie and Lucius went down to find out what was wrong.
Mr. Bertram stood on the broad wooden porch, quieting the bell with his hand. His hat was askew, his shirt buttoned wrong, suspenders half off. When he saw Lucius, he beckoned him forward.
"I hoped you'd be here. I apologize for waking you all. I need the ladies to take the children inside and the men to join me. Lucius, you especially. Dollie, you stay here," he cautioned when she made to follow her boyfriend.
"I'm going with Lucius." She knew instinctively that he would need her.
Mr. Bertram didn't give permission, but he didn't argue either. Grasping Lucius' hand tightly, Dollie followed down to the banks of the creek. Mr. Bertram's truck was there, headlights blazing. The men followed him with torches, flashlights and lanterns.
It wasn't until they got right up to the creek bank that Dollie saw what all the fuss was about. The body of a man floated gently, half in the creek. His arms and hair drifted upon the chilly water. The lower half of him was snagged on a partly submerged log.
Mr. Bertram held up his hands to keep them well back. "Don't need all y'all tramping around down here 'fore the sheriff comes. Lucius, I need you on down here. I'm sorry, son."
Dollie squeezed Lucius' fingers. She knew who it was before he even went down the bank. The massive shoulders and the lovingly mended blue cambric shirt were distinctive.
"Vance, if it's all the same to you, I'd rather not. I know my daddy, even from up here. Y'all know it's him too—otherwise I'd not be here."
"We had to have identification," Mr. Bertram said quietly. "I'm real sorry, Lucius."
The younger man nodded, shrugging. "Is it okay if I go up and tell Mama? Reckon she'll wanna know he's been found."
Mr. Bertram nodded. "I'm real sorry, son."
"Yes, sir. I 'spect you are. I 'spect my mama's gonna be more so."
"I'll go with you," Dollie said quietly, taking his hand in both hers.
© 2019 Dellani Oakes
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