Tuesday, July 30, 2019
Poplar Mountain by Dellani Oakes Part 17
Dollie tells Rachel the news. She tells them about Big Earl's time in the War, and the fact that she'd had a baby who died before Will was born.
The Henrys' cabin was spacious compared to most. It had a large front room that was kitchen and family room combined. There was a bedroom for the parents, another for the three girls and a third that Lucius shared with his younger brothers, Sam and Jacob.
Dollie puttered around the kitchen and made a pot of coffee. Rachel's one luxury was a pump at the sink. They might have an outhouse, but they did have water in the kitchen. It was far more than most had. They either made do with a pump in the yard or toted water from the creek.
Lucius sat at the table on a split bottom chair. Head on his hands, elbows on his knees, he was the most miserable looking human being on earth. Dollie put her hands on his shoulders, rubbing gently. Wiping his face with his palms, Lucius straightened up.
"I'm so sorry about your pa, Lucius. Despite everything, he was a good man."
"Hell, I don't know if he was or not, Dollie. All I saw of my father was a drunken sot who got to be a mean drunk. He never hit my mama, or the girls, but he smacked us boys a fair bit. He worked this land, but less each year. I done what I could to help out. Now I gotta figure how I'm gonna work my job, and this land. One man can't do it all."
"Something will work out. You do have brothers, you know." She patted him on the back. "You mustn't fret over it right now. It'll work out."
Lucius took her hand, kissing the palm. "One thing I love most 'bout you, Miss Dollie, is that bright outlook. You always see the sunny side."
"Someone's got to." She sat next to him. Taking both his hands, she held them in her lap. "Too many people look only at the bad. I refuse to be one of them."
"I love you, Dollie," he whispered huskily.
Unable to stop himself, he kissed her. It didn't matter to him that he was in his mother's house, nor that his father lay dead in the creek below. All he cared about was showing Dollie how much she meant to him. A lot would change now that Earl was dead. He couldn't even begin to imagine how much.
Sitting on two chairs was awkward. Instead of stopping, Lucius lifted Dollie onto his lap, kissing her harder and faster. He wanted her with a burning passion. Part of it, he knew, was his own sorrow. It hurt in his chest, like an empty, cold void. Earl might not have been much of a father to him lately, but he had a few good memories. Despite his faults, he was still his father.
Lucius' hands got overly familiar, burning through Dollie's clothing. She suddenly understood what Patty said about loving a man so much, decorum didn't matter. She wanted something from him that she couldn't even describe. His hands on her body made her feel giddy, breathless. Filled with an indescribable need, she let him do whatever he wanted. When his mouth moved from hers, down her neck to the top of her dress, she stiffened. Up until then, he hadn't touched her bare flesh.
It took Lucius a moment to realize that she wasn't responding as she had moments before. Instead, she pushed at him. Opening his eyes, he met her steely gaze.
"What do you think you're doing?" she demanded.
"Kissing you, Dollie."
His mouth was a mere half inch from her chest. His breath tickled and warmed her, making her melt inside. She shivered and he held her close, wanting to bury his face between her breasts.
"Not like this," she gasped. "Not now." She clutched his head to her, inadvertently placing his face in her cleavage.
Lucius groaned as she pressed his face to her bare skin. Unable to stop himself, he licked between her breasts wanting desperately to take one soft, enticing mound in his mouth. Dollie moaned softly, knowing she should stop him, but unable to do so. She couldn't describe how he made her feel. The unfamiliar desire burned hotter.
A small sound across the room startled them. The door to the girls' room opened slowly and Sally came out carrying a lamp. She stopped, surprised to see Lucius and Dollie in the front room. She scratched and yawned, blinking slowly.
"I need to pee," she explained.
Dollie took the little girl to the outhouse. When she was finished, Dollie brought her back inside. Lucius waited for them a few feet away. He carried Sally back to bed, tucking her in with a kiss.
"Miss Dollie," he began as he closed the door.
"Lucius Henry," Dollie said with a giggle. "After tonight, you got no call to be so formal."
He chuckled, dropping his head. "Reckon I'll do it the rest of my life."
"Even when we're an old married couple with a passel of young'uns? Grandbabies and great-grands running around the yard?"
"Reckon so, Miss Dollie." He smiled, running his hand through his hair. "I should apologize 'bout how I been behavin'."
"May be, but I won't let you. Did I act like I minded?"
His lips twitched as he thought about what they'd been doing. Shaking his head, he laughed quietly.
"Maybe I should marry you same time Patty and Will get married," he teased. "Cause I don't think neither of us is gonna be able to behave like civilized folks for too long."
© 2019 Dellani Oakes
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